By A. C. Greene
It is a harsh, distant state, the place the elements is often very shut and the horizon far-off. The Brazos nation of long-ago Fourth of July fishing expeditions; the grass-grown is still of a fashion station of the Butterfield degree Line; the streets of Abilene; the sparse grazing lands less than endless skies—all are made resonant by means of a local son’s affection and figuring out. it's a manner of life—resilient and persnickety—that is nearly gone.
Above all, it's humans: the author’s grandmother, who had a mortal worry of bridges and whose premonitions of unnamed calamities (that as usually as now not happened), either alarmed and happy the younger boy; Uncle Aubrey, “who married late”; the blacksmith they woke up at nighttime; the ordinary pals; the infrequent and deliciously mysterious strangers.
With humor and robust, unsentimental feeling, A. C. Greene conserves for us the beneficial eccentricities of position and individual that are being flattened out—almost actually bulldozed away—by the impatient, insatiable onrush of the 20 th century. His West Texas is a really own kingdom, yet what he seeks to percentage might be usual to all who enjoy the stories that tie them to their very own certain area of America.
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This mirage effect grows especially disconcerting out around Sweetwater and Roscoe where there are long acres of irrigated fields which, in fact, do bring water almost to the highway itself and where there are also shallow-water lakes, after a rainy spell, which stand out on the horizon so that it looks as if the highway mirage is joining the real water on either side of it and will plunge you into some sudden and spectacularly unannounced lakebut the lake disappears then reappears farther ahead until you begin to doubt all water, or trees or hills.
But in my relation of personal experiences, I have tried not to tell a single lie, unless Old Time has misguided my memory. To describe my inheritance I have had to relate a lot of family secrets and other accumulata which come into one's life like salt and sauce come into one's foodnot the nutrient but the taste of it. This means, of course, that a great deal of this book is autobiographical. This must be explained at once, for even my wife would be forced to Page xvi deny me autobiographical necessity, although not so much as I myself would.
Neither have I gone deeply into the economic story of oil in West Texas, even though it supplies an important peg on which to hang the area. Again the reason is experience. No, the purpose of this book (and discussing purpose is a deadly pursuit for an author) is simply to find out, from one life in one region, if all of us are not gifted from the soil whence we sprang, seeded by the people, and watered by the times. And if I seem to spend too much time searching my own recollection, it is only to help the reader find the same identity.
A Personal Country by A. C. Greene