The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

J. Buck Winn, and James Garner, plus a delightful scattering of
nostalgic cuts from mail order catalogs of 1884, provided from the
collections of Madge and Raymond Czichos of Wimberley, the
publishers.
Local dialect and idiom is a tricky medium for anyone, but Charles
Wimberly makes use of it in his sketches with feeling and to excellent
advantage. He also demonstrates descriptive powers of high order and
artistry. His Wimberley Hills was indeed a labor of love.
Waco, Texas ROGER N. CONGER
Abilene on Catclaw Creek. By Katharyn Duff. (Abilene: The Re-
porter Publishing Co., 1969. Pp. xi + 298. Illustrations, index.
$7.50.)
This history of Abilene is subtitled A Profile of a West Texas Town
and it fulfills that function well. Probably the most valuable con-
tribution local history can make is to add understanding to larger
movements-spicing up and individualizing the broader sweep. Abilene
is not wholly typical of West Texas, in that it is much larger than most
cities there, and, with three university-level institutions, has had to
pay more attention to the intellect than has most of West Texas. But
Abilene has always been a good example of the ambitious frontier city,
the one peopled by optimists who drive their community toward their
goals of achievement, come hell or high water. This kind of promo-
tional community drafts, never waiting for volunteers, every agency
toward its bright hopes: the newspaper is an organ for civic growth,
the professions are bent toward the good of the whole, the business
community does most of the municipal decision-making. Therefore,
reading Miss Duff's book is an experience in visualizing heroes, for
her models of leadership are the institutional "doers" who fought
reality and created a city where, as she points out, there was no
reason and scarcely even an excuse for one to exist.
This also means, of course, that Abilene's history is fairly dull, as
no cataclysmic events took place there (save one frantic spring when
Life magazine announced the city's imminent demise as the World
War II army camp closed down), few episodes of national note and,
alas, even fewer persons of importance to national life stepped from
Abilene to the larger stage. Some minor artists of one field or another
who did-Slim Willett, a composer of several hit songs, Mason Wil-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/. Accessed July 23, 2014.