The Book of the Week is “My Extraordinary Ordinary Life” by Sissy Spacek with Maryanne Vollers, published in 2012. This is the ebook autobiography of an actor and filmmaker who grew up in a small town in Texas.
Everyone knew everyone else. They were church-going folk, farmers and merchants, Methodists and Baptists. The mayor of the town was also its fire chief, owner of the local insurance company and funeral home. His brother was an undertaker, hardware store owner and co-owner of a motel. The brother’s wife was room attendant at the motel and a chinchilla breeder.
Spacek’s immediate family included her parents and two much older brothers, and many pets through the years, including horses. She writes, “I learned to drive a car when I was still a little kid, seven or eight years old.” At thirteen, she was driving with a thirteen-and-a-half year old passenger who had an official driver’s license. This is because in rural areas, people learn to drive farm equipment at an early age.
In high school, Spacek took up baton twirling as a majorette with a marching band that performed at halftime at high school football games– one of three major values in Texas; the others being family and Christianity.
In 1971, the author acted in her first movie, Prime Cut, with Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman, that required her to do a scene in the nude. She is probably best known for playing Carrie in the eponymous movie.
Read the book to learn about her adventures as a young adult in 1960’s New York City, and as an actor, wife and mother in various states in later decades.