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From the heartland to Hollywood

On the Oscar road: A stop in 'Spacek City'

CNN Headline News producers Sid Lipsey, left, and Stephanie Cooke are with entertainment correspondent Kendis Gibson on the Oscar road -- which in Quitman, Texas, is named Sissy Spacek Drive.
CNN Headline News producers Sid Lipsey, left, and Stephanie Cooke are with entertainment correspondent Kendis Gibson on the Oscar road -- which in Quitman, Texas, is named Sissy Spacek Drive.  


By Kendis Gibson
CNN Headline News

Editor's note: In our Behind the Scenes series, CNN correspondents share their experiences in covering news around the world.

QUITMAN, Texas (CNN) -- Day 2 of our cross-country sojourn to check the pulse of regular moviegoers on this year's Oscar race takes us to the birthplace of one of this year's leading contenders for best actress.

The day started in Shreveport, Louisiana, in which we reported live from KTBS, our CNN affiliate.

Three hours later, we rolled into Quitman, Texas -- population 2, 030 -- amid signs welcoming us to the "Bass Fishing Capital of Texas." That may be true, but this small east Texas town also takes tremendous pride in its most famous catch, Sissy Spacek.

A quick stop at the town's newspaper office yielded plenty of photos of Spacek, and stories about who knew her when. We learned she was voted one of her school's cutest.

'Special, real special'

  ON THE OSCAR ROAD
  Day 1:  Crawfish, Mentos and best pics

  Day 2:  A stop in 'Spacek City'

  Day 3:  Talkies at the Tascosa

  Day 4:  Day 4: Dams and damsels

Speaking of school, we tracked down Charles Patrick, a 1967 graduate of Spacek's high school. He was voted "most athletic" along with the future actress. He said of her, "It was quite an experience to spend time with Sissy ... she was special, real special."

Spacek left Quitman 35 years ago, but we drove by her tiny childhood house. It's said to look very much as it did when Spacek was there.

This is a town so proud they've named a street after their native daughter, and are nearly unanimous in their support for her in the best-actress race.

We drove out of Quitman and headed to Dallas with smiles on our faces and an appreciation of the down-to-earth values instilled in one of this year's Oscar nominees.

With Quitman, Texas, behind us, Big D and OKC lie ahead before we call it a night on a 17-hour day of travel, shooting and reporting.






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