Map your own Whiskey Flat

Whiskey Flat Parade 2013
Sierra South’s Hooligan float crosses the Kernville Bridge during the Whiskey Flat Parade 2013.

This past weekend, Kernville hosted the annual Whiskey Flat Days. Whiskey Flat was the name Old Kernville sported before the church ladies sobered up the former gold-mining town, whose history includes all the classic Old West tropes– both celebrated and notorious. Now Whiskey Flat connotes three days of parades, rodeos, carnivals, craft fairs, and festival-friendly food: Indian fry bread tacos, turkey legs, funnel cakes, Kettle Korn, churros, fudge, lemonade, and more. At night, the children with balloons go away and the tank tops and beer come out. It’s a little spooky. But the best part is how so many former Kernvillians return to their hometown for the festivities. “Has it changed at all?” they inevitably ask. Some of the characters get recast, we tell them, but it hasn’t really changed. Then they go on a tear: Remember that time we … and that other time where we were …

In honor of Whiskey Flat Days, this week’s writing prompt, should you choose to accept it:

Where is your own Kernville? Choose a place from your childhood– the house your grew up in, your grandparents’ home, or another place you visited often– and draw a map of it, with as much detail as possible.* Let the map ignite your memory about what happened in this place and who was there. Write a scene for a story based on a fictionalized or real-life account of one of your memories, using this place as the setting and your map as source of description.

*From Poets & Writers “The Time Is Now,” December 22, 2011

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