the fire. Pete, a retarded neighbor child, fell into the slush pit and had
to be rescued by Estha's father. A baby accidentally drank battery acid.
The oil field boiler exploded and blew a fellow worker into pieces. Oil
field fires occurred. A flood destroyed most of the camp. Uncle Buss
was severely crushed by falling tools, and Aunt Ira's steering wheel
came off while she was driving downhill. Worst of all for Estha and her
father was the time when her mother was stricken with tuberculosis
and had to recuperate for several months in the sanatorium at San
But family ties were close, and Estha and her father, sustained by
mutual love and hope, saved their money and prepared for the return
of their recuperated mother and wife. Her mother away, Estha went to
the oil field with her father and played with her doll or improvised
other pastimes while her father worked.
Such improvisation and strength to cope with difficulty underlie the
cheerful tone of the book. Tender moments in the story touch the hearts
of characters and reader alike, and crises test the sinews of the charac-
ters' strength. Yet the book is sprinkled with humor-practical jokes,
funny stories, times of wresting humor from disaster. It is a sensitive,
firsthand account of life in the families of early Texas oil field workers, a
valuable dimension of life added to the body of boomtown stories with
Texas Tech Universzty MARY MCBRIDE
First Encounters: Spanish Exploratons in the Carzbbean and the United States,
1492-1570o. Edited by Jerald T. Milanich and Susan Milbrath.
(Gainesville: Univeristy of Florida Press, 1989. Pp. 222. Acknowl-
edgments, illustrations, maps, selected references, index. $44.95,
cloth; $16.95, paper.)
The rapidly approaching Columbian Quincentenary in 1992 points
out the necessity for scholars to explain in meaningful terms the contri-
butions of Spain to the overall American heritage. First Encounters does
just that for a part of the Caribbean region (Espafiola or Hispaniola)
and much of the southeastern United States, known in the Spanish six-
teenth century as La Florida. As the ninth number in the Ripley P. Bul-
len Monographs in Anthropology from the Florida Museum of Natu-
ral History, its purpose is to examine the Caribbean explorations and
settlements "that were a prelude to the exploration and settlement of
the United States" (p. 4). The principal focus is the Hispanic impact
upon native peoples in the Bahama Islands, Espafiola, and La Florida.
Little pertains to the Southwest and Pacific regions of Spanish explora-
tion in the period 1492-1570.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/. Accessed December 7, 2013.