James D McCallister
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In the explosive conclusion of DIXIANA's epic, visionary satire of the Great American Novel, all threads coalesce on the Tillman Falls town green for one last Southern-fried, Edgewater County-style hootenanny, but not before we culminate the relationship between Button Sykes and Heather Ponderview, buy an expensive turntable, have an epiphany, and almost run our granddaddy’s old pickup off the side of a mountain.
Meanwhile, in the novel’s middle passage (“Honkytonk Man”), we enjoy a trip back in time to the origins of The Dixiana, the early marriage between Rabbit and Runelle, the friendship with Burnie, fighting the war in Germany and over the waters of the South Pacific, and into the prosperity of the postwar years—along with the eventual, inevitable decline, and the passing of the torch to a new generation, one that in the case of Roy Earl Pettus wants nothing to do with it.
In the end the bossman, grieving over any number of personal losses but with newfound hope regarding his marriage to Creedence, finally stages the music festival in memory of his old-timey-loving grandparents. After that? Color him gone. It's time to leave Edgewater County again; he's made progress and enjoyed spiritual growth thanks to Button's teachings. And Roy will need that newfound zen—a threat to the remains of his dwindling fortune means he must soon seek another type of power, an inner glow of serenity, to make up for a diminishment of financial resources.
With all the other characters having their say, finding their way and appearing for a curtain call on the literary stage we call DIXIANA, fondest wishes, worries and fears all come true—especially the ones they should never have dreamed in the first place. Always remember: keeping wishing, but be careful what you wish for.
Magic, Music Festivals, Country Music, Southern Gothic, South Carolina History, Postwar America