The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990

Book Reviews

can you admit that you came from "near Jayton"? But everybody has
heard of Spur.
Lost zn West Texas is a sentimental journey back in time to when the
Double Mountains were where God lived and the Big Rock Candy
Mountain had not been turned into gravel by the State Highway De-
partment. But it is the Croton Breaks-"my own wondrous middle
earth"-that is at the center of this volume. It is the Breaks that shaped
the writer and have kept him true to his time and his region.
Corder's book is filled with memories, historical data, folklore, and
family tales. He tells of the soldiers who passed his "middle earth"-
Randolph Marcy and Ranald Mackenzie-the Comanches who ranged
on these plains until the Bluecoats came, and the ranchers who settled
the rugged land. But mostly Corder shows the land's effect on the boy
who grew up there and who has carried it with him.
Elton Miles, who is as much a son of the Big Bend as Corder is of the
South Plains, weaves a different kind of regional appreciation. More
Tales of the Bzg Bend is the second volume of stories and tales that the Sul
Ross State University professor emeritus has put together. Part history,
part biography, and part folklore, More Tales includes some poetry
written by the locals, a few treasure tales, a good many badman and
lawman exploits, a history of the gold town of Shafter, once "the richest
acre in Texas," and a delightful biography of Maggie Smith, "madrina
of the Big Bend."
Miles's purpose is not to tell a personal story of the Big Bend, but to
put into print the oral stories that have circulated for years in that beau-
tiful, remote, arid (and some might say God-forsaken) part of Texas.
Miles, who spent most of his academic life at Sul Ross State University,
is a diligent collector and an accomplished arranger of this material. An
excellent folklorist, Miles is able to take the material he has collected
and make it clear and readable for folklorist and nonfolklorist alike.
His chapter on four Mexican American corridos found in the Big Bend
is a model of folksong collecting and explaining.
Both Lost in West Texas and More Tales of the Big Bend will interest
readers who want to know more about Texas to the west-far to the
west-of Interstate 35.
University of North Texas JAMES WARD LEE
The American West as Livng Space. By Wallace Stegner. (Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press, 1987. Pp. vi+89. Preface, photo-
graphs, bibliography. $18, cloth; $ o, paper.)
Wallace Stegner is the E. F. Hutton of environmental writing on the
American West. He has the respectful attention of all of us who study

253

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/. Accessed April 21, 2014.