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 kingdom of long-ago Fourth of July fishing expeditions; the grass-grown continues to be of a manner station of the Butterfield degree Line; the streets of Abilene; the sparse grazing lands less than limitless skies—all are made resonant via a local son’s affection and knowing. it's a means of life—resilient and persnickety—that is nearly gone.
Above all, it really is humans: the author’s grandmother, who had a mortal worry of bridges and whose premonitions of unnamed calamities (that as usually as no longer happened), either alarmed and happy the younger boy; Uncle Aubrey, “who married late”; the blacksmith they woke up in the dark; the typical acquaintances; the infrequent and deliciously mysterious strangers.
With humor and powerful, unsentimental feeling, A. C. Greene conserves for us the beneficial eccentricities of position and person who are being flattened out—almost actually bulldozed away—by the impatient, insatiable onrush of the 20th century. His West Texas is a truly own kingdom, yet what he seeks to percentage can be primary to all who enjoy the stories that tie them to their very own particular zone of America.
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Extra info for A Personal Country
Twenty feet is tall for it. In the summer it is a pale green, lightly tinted with yellow. The leaves are lacy, and when you pluck one you see the petals are tiny, narrow pieces running from both sides of a central spine like the backbone of a fish (bipinnately compound of two pairs of pinnae, in botanical terms). This tree is the mesquite, and although it is found throughout South, Central, and West Texas it is most closely identified with the latter. The mesquite is a symbol of something West Texas has always admiredpersistence.
With longhorn cattle then to be had almost for the rounding-up, and free land with free grass lying out there a gift from God, it was the sudden vision of a new life, and one ordained (before long) in their motivation by the Almighty who gave them the grass and the ambition. This may have had something to do with the holiness with which the cattle business is still viewed by many West Texans. It was kind of God-ordained, but it also called for a vast amount of daring, shrewdness, bravery, and primitiveness.
The late Frank Grimes, editor of the Abilene Reporter-News, made an annual affair of running Page 30 his poem warning those who would disregard this prophet: We see some signs of returning spring The redbird's back and the fie' larks sing, The ground's plowed up and the creeks run clear, The onions sprout and the rosebud's near; And yet they's a point worth thinkin' about We note that the old mesquites ain't out! If the mesquite asked too much of the land it could never have stayed in West Texas.