Scenes From Wisconsin

Man walking across the yard, a baby in one hand, a martini in the other.

An interesting note – judging by the door in the dining room, there may one day be a grand deck jutting off the back of the Johnson house, one which will take in a pretty glorious view. But I wonder if, view or no view, it will ever replace the place’s front porch, which runs across the entire front of the house. Like kitchens, porches seem to gather people even when other, grander options exist. Not that the porch isn’t grand, mind you – it’s deeper than most, with wood below and wood above and stripped tree trunks for posts. On my last night there, it hosted a splendid conversation with friend Joseph until around four.

Yessir, there’s something about porches. Someone could write a book about it.

I’ve never had a porch here in California. Patios, yes. Decks, even. But nothing up front. At least my current stoop is a step up from the narrow crack in the facade that was the entrance to my last home. “Welcome to my cave. Won’t you step inside?” A fellow could even fit a chair on what I’ve got now, if he had a mind to. Just one chair, perhaps, but a solitary porch-sit is not without its virtues.


  1. Adam DeVille says

    I’m glad someone else has thought about porches–even to writing a book! Goodness. I love a big long porch on a house. I have a theory, totally untested I admit, that part of the contemporary decline in urban life in some quarters is tied, at least co-relatively if not causally, to the decline of the front porch and the concomitant retreat to the back deck or into the house or, worse, to the suburbs with their cookie-cutter houses and no-you-can’t-paint-your-house-that-colour rules.

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    You’re not alone in that theory, although I don’t know if it’s seen much print. My brother is of the same mind. I’m curious to read the book…

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