I'm over the moon that my essay on the 2013 Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival found a home at Chapter 16, part of Humanities Tennessee. Who's up for this weekend's 2014 version?
In Richard Avedon’s photograph of Boyd Fortin, the thirteen-year-old holds up a rattlesnake’s partially disemboweled carcass, the creature’s organs spread like a clothesline across a once-white apron. Avedon photographed Fortin in Sweetwater, Texas, at the annual rattlesnake roundup, an event that celebrated its fifty-fifth year last March. At these roundups, wranglers capture thousands of rattlers and bring them to an arena where they are brandished, mutilated, milked, sold, slaughtered, and skinned. Shortly after I moved to Atlanta in 2012, someone informed me that Georgia still hosts a yearly roundup, too. “They even crown a beauty-pageant queen,” I was told. “She kills the first snake.” KEEP READING HERE