By A. C. Greene
It is a harsh, distant state, the place the elements is usually very shut and the horizon distant. The Brazos state 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 lower than endless skies—all are made resonant through a local son’s affection and realizing. it's a manner of life—resilient and persnickety—that is sort of 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 frequently as now not happened), either alarmed and happy the younger boy; Uncle Aubrey, “who married late”; the blacksmith they woke up at the hours of darkness; the accepted friends; the infrequent and deliciously mysterious strangers.
With humor and robust, unsentimental feeling, A. C. Greene conserves for us the valuable 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 truly own nation, yet what he seeks to percentage may be common to all who get pleasure from the thoughts that tie them to their very own designated sector of America.
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Additional resources for A Personal Country
This second phase of the frontier, when it closed, was replaced by an agricultural economy which was just putting to use new scientific and chemical discoveries with new implements and new tools to try out. When the new farming phase was endingwith some parts of West Texas recognized as being unfit for anything but grazingthen came oil to revitalize the lowering economic momentum. Except for some sagging during the Great Depression, oil swept West Texas along with a strong hand until the 1960's.
All such things you outgrowand I havebut you cannot scrub them from your bloodand I haven't. West Texas is too vigorous a soil to grow in. This ability to identify so much with one's place of birth is becoming rare in American culture. I don't think my children have it and I have not tried to give it to them. They have lived in places that didn't strike up through the soles of their feet or assault their eyeballs. If there are fewer of us who retain our identity with a region there are fewer regions powerful enough to force an identity.
He didn't live long after that. It might have been the sound of rain falling on the sheet-iron roof of his little store "back there" that cut his remaining time short. I missed his death by thirty-five years, but I feel close to him. I, too, went back, although my reasons were toward a form of success rather than from failure. Even now you do not do it except with a taint of surrender. In West Texas the ability to stick confers a special kind of kinship on you. It also means native sons have a special place in West Texas when they stay, especially when they stay in the face of some talent or opportunity that should send them to other places.