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A man puts pieces of his life up for auction. An antique chess set played with a troubled brother ($99.99), number plates from a crashed stolen car ($20), Chuck Taylor trainers worn in a riot in Seattle ($8.99). Along with a short description, he tells their stories, how they fit into the tapestry of his life.
In National Treasures men and women measure out their lives in tattoos, sharpened fragments of a moose’s hoof, autumn leaves, scribbled phone numbers, the red eyes of a heron. This is the America we never see – it’s not in the movies, or on the news.
National Treasures is about people trying to get by and get on. These can be tough lives of tough love and tough luck but they are full of poignancy and intensity, and Charles McLeod writes about them thrillingly.