Sundays at the Garage Analysis
Sundays at the Garage Analysis
Kimbell describes a typical Sunday Vermonters spend down at the garage. He emphasizes the idea of “welding”, “fixing”, “repainting”, and “digging”, In order to stress the importance of building one’s life. He also mentions “sighting a gun” and “trying to charge a battery” in the hopes of painting a picture of rugged individualism, frontier living, and self dependence. Kimbell even highlights the practical necessities for everyday living and survival by including the smaller pleasures in life such as a “non-dairy creamer” and a “small refrigerator”, while representing the specific implements used in building a life, “washers”, “bolts”, and “screws”, the simple tools needed to create a sturdy foundation. The garage’s owner, Tom, uses his garage as a safe-haven and sanctuary, which offers tranquility and even allows for guilty pleasures of life with the assistance of his “Nordic-looking pinups” and “beer”; something the local Methodist church doesn’t exactly offer.
The Methodist church, or “the other spot”, is where the other local Vermonters assemble every Sunday morning. In the process of describing this “other spot” Kimbell expresses the idea of religion posing as a staple of the lifestyle of the locals. The church epitomizes a common place where the community gathers, although “the congregation might be short a farmer or two”, suggesting that it’s completely typical and natural for the crowd to be absent, the only exceptional days being “Old Homeday” and “Christmas Eve” where the services are packed”, expressing that celebratory events accumulate a larger audience than the routine Sunday morning service. He then continues to compare both establishments, stating that both places “offer coffee… of similar quality”, perhaps also suggesting that both places offer lessons and morals of “similar quality”.
Kimbell furthers his comparison by adding the fact that the church offers “leftover birthday cake” something Tom’s garage doesn’t offer, suggesting that the church has “extras” in which they use to attract locals, making the church look more appetizing, or appealing, when in reality the church is just feeding them junk, or empty calories, which are indifferent to a person’s body. Kimbell then goes into detail about a Sunday usual who brought everyone “pancakes and sausages” and go in trouble for “stand[ing] out”. Although pancakes and sausages are a practical breakfast perhaps practicality isn’t welcomed in the traditional places of opposition.
However the church does accept “grape or orange” juice, offered to the kids, who “run… [and] play tag under the large maple” where they touch-up on their “investigat[ion]” skills while exploring the “ancient two-holer hidden in the brambles”, which lends the idea of the church being of some importance in the up-bringing of children. “The church has a pressed tin ceiling… [from the] 19 th century” which “distort[s the] view of the river and green mountains”, by painting a picture of the church’s antique physique, it is to be interpreted that Kimbell is suggesting that tradition is getting in the way of practicality, and perhaps blurring other’s full understanding of what is being taught.
Kimbell soon returns to the primary location, Tom’s garage, describing how it is “smaller”, and how “nobody passes the plate” while visiting there, although “pretty good advice” is sure to be obtained. By stating this, Kimbell proposes the thought of the church being a bigger, and perhaps more flamboyant place, where they stick to the proper way of doing things and “pass the plate”, putting on a show but never fully teaching the greatest of life’s lessons. Kimbell then continues to specify the practical lessons learned in Tom’s garage, such as “make sure you know where your hunting dog is before pull the trigger”, “measure twice, cut once”, “hit first and hit hard”, and “help your neighbors before they ask for help”, comparing it to the impractical lessons taught in the Bible. He then advances
to re-address the “hot coffee” found in both places, adding the fact that Tom’s garage offers “cold beer”, proposing the idea of Tom’s garage being warmer, and perhaps more of a welcoming environment than the church.
The next spot on the map Kimbell explores is Harley Smith’s garage, which used to have a “drinking room” where Harley and “his neighbor Frank Thomas would sort out the problems of the world”. Perhaps Kimbell is comparing this “drinking room” to a confession booth, where people and neighbors go to sort out their problems. He also addresses the fact that Harley is “slightly sentimental “telling people about his first deer shooting experience, and how he “shot it in [his] Green Valley.” In sharing this, Kimbell is addressing the idea of working hard to reach personal accomplishments in your own personal “Green Valley”. Like Harley’s garage, his Green Valley serves as a “place of worship”, similar to Tom’s garage.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 5 November 2016
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