October 8, 2020

Faded Glory

Faded Glory

Cairo, Illinois was once a major town, and is located at the far southern tip of Illinois amidst the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, surrounded by levees and nestled between Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky.  

It became a major Civil War encampment for General Ulysses S. Grant (Fort Defiance), and was a major ferry crossing between the rivers.

But the ferries got replaced by the railroads and the railroads went to Chicago and the main roads bypassed the town, so the town degenerated quickly after the 1900s. Now it is a shadow of itself, mainly bleak and ruined.  

There is still the original U.S. Customs House from 1869, which was a federal court house, and a Post Office that was once the third busiest in the United States, and a few mansions in the Historical District.

But, the town is featured in Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods, with Cairo the home of quite a number of gods in the story.  Even the cat and dog are gods.

When Shadow first arrives in Cairo, he meets a cat, a talking dog, and a man in gold-rimmed spectacles who take him to Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor.

With old ancient gods and new technological gods, there are quite a few gods to keep track of, so here's a list.

The book won many Best Novel awards, winning the 2002 Hugo, Nebula, Locus, SFX Magazine and Bram Stoker Awards.  It also became a TV series.

Deanne and I went through Cairo on our way back to Indianapolis from the 2020 Show Me Rally based in Potosi MO (see my post).

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