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Sandhills Boy: The Winding Trail of a Texas…

Sandhills Boy: The Winding Trail of a Texas Writer (edition 2010)

by Elmer Kelton (Author)

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372592,984 (4.08)1
Kelton reveals the origins and development of his unique storytelling talent and Texas treasure.
Title:Sandhills Boy: The Winding Trail of a Texas Writer
Authors:Elmer Kelton (Author)
Info:Forge Books (2010), Edition: Reprint, 256 pages
Collections:Recent Reads

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Sandhills Boy: The Winding Trail of a Texas Writer by Elmer Kelton


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  Snoek-Brown | Feb 7, 2016 |
I didn't grow up in west Texas, but I spent a couple months in San Angelo over 30 years ago, on temporary duty with the army at Goodfellow AF Base there. It was my first time in Texas, and what I remember most is the vastness of the plain that stretched away from GAFB, and how you could watch a storm approaching from miles away. It was kind of a topographical revelation to this Michigan kid. Kelton's description of his youth on a dry land ranch near Midland, TX, made me remember those days. Since Kelton wrote more than 60 books in his lifetime - and I've read a few of them - I was not surprised at the sterling quality of this memoir. When he told of being a 17 year-old student at UT Austin in 1941 when the US entered WWII, and still to shy to talk to the girls who vastly outnumbered the "men" on campus, I was reminded of the Iowa farm memoirs of Curtis Harnack, who was in basically the same boat as a too-young student at tiny Grinell College at the same time. Kelton easily makes his story a kind of everyman tale, telling how his father had very little patience with his teenage sons when they worked for him, expecting them to just "know" how to do things without his always having to explain. The truth is fathers always expect more of their sons than they do of other people's children, or even of paid employees. I remember it well. He also tells of how difficult it was for his father to express his true feelings - aside from anger and impatience - regarding his sons. Been there too. Kelton's time in the army during the closing days of the war are also tellingly described - the cold and hunger, the fear and the loneliness. Much space is devoted to how he met his wife in Austria at the end of the war, how they fell in love and dealt with all the red tape of bringing her to America for a marriage that would last for over 60 years. There is plenty here about west Texas, about its harshness and its beauty, and especially about its people. It is filled with anecdotes about family members, ranch hands, cowboys, and various other characters that Kelton rubbed up against in his 83 years of living. Kelton died in August of this year, but his books about Texas and the West will be around for a long time. I hope this particular book will endure too. It's a good one. ( )
1 vote TimBazzett | Oct 23, 2009 |
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Kelton reveals the origins and development of his unique storytelling talent and Texas treasure.

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