Down Country Lanes, Behind Abandoned Houses

Down Country Lanes, Behind Abandoned Houses

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Social Sciences & Humanities.

Based on six years of extended ethnography in multiple agricultural areas of the Eastern United States, Down Country Lanes, Behind Abandoned Houses is a monograph which explores the lives of migrant ...
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Pp. 243-324 (82)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681081045115010010

Author(s): Keith V. Bletzer


This chapter focuses on first times that are socially noteworthy and personally memorable, dependent on who one wishes to emulate or what one wishes to explore/experience. For some individuals these “firsts” emphasize drug use, often associated with experimentation in growing-up. For men and women in the sample of 127, these events they remembered, such as first drug ever used, each new drug used thereafter for the first time, the last time that a new drug was initiated, and juncture in a life-long narrative, when someone “ceased using” and gained sobriety.

This chapter introduces 24 randomized narrators, beginning with Arnie, who had no experience with drugs or alcohol, when he first entered the United States. The snippets for each of the twenty-four describe lifetime drug repertoires, significant remembrances covered in their Narrative Life Story, and a truncated appraisal of their structural vulnerability experienced throughout their lifetime. The chapter opens with a rhetorical scenario of common first times for most everyone.


Administration mode, age cohort, continuing use, controlled substances, discontinuation, drinking, drugging, familiar locale, first times, first use, inward-pulling, last use, new drug use, overdose, polyuse, relapse, seasonal initiation, sojourn onset, Tale of Onset, temporary locale.