Once again, through a boy's eyes, Ralph Jackson sees a winter sky darkened with geese and ducks, a kitchen stove glowing with cheerful warmth, Aunt May strolling in her flower garden, moonlight filtering through treetops to cast patches of white light on a sandy woodland road. Again he catches odors once so familiar: of a mysterious attic, of burning salt grass in late summer, of mountain streams with their fresh green smell, of dark-roast coffee and of slab bacon sizzling in the pan. He hears again a panther's scream from the darkness surrounding a campfire, the scampering of mice across the barnloft floor, the sigh of a felled pine tree changing to a crashing roar as it meets the ground, the sounds of a meal in preparation, the hum of a mosquito swarm rising from the marshes. He remembers the taste of barbecued goat, the sweet sharpness of peppermint candy, the flavor of gumdrops from the country store-where, as showcase neighbors of cigars and chewing tobacco, they acquired a faint tobacco taste. And he feels again the welcome shock of frigid spring water on a hot perspiring body, the pleasant sensation of sand between his toes, the breathtaking exhilaration of swinging on a sapling top. The joy of childhood on an East Texas ranch is the subject of this book: exciting events like the arrival of the first norther of the season, swimming with alligators, hogkilling, building tree houses, roundup, hunting and fishing, calf-riding, fording strange streams. Interspersed among these episodes are others of darker mood: a smallpox epidemic, the burning of the ranch house, wolves attacking the cattle. Jackson's characters come alive. Scenes are vivid; moods are various and enveloping. The author has told the delightful story of his boyhood from a highly personal yet universal perspective, and in doing so he has presented a picture of a region of the state previously largely neglected in Texas literature.
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|Size: ||4.2 MB|
|Publisher: ||University of Texas Press|
|Date published: || 2014|
|ISBN: ||9780292757448 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|