The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Book Reviews

These may hold little new light for the Porter specialist and are not meant to,
but they reflect current Porter scholarship and are the heart of the book.
In the conclusion, Tanner meditates on Porter's Texas roots, her feminism,
her peerless literary style, and like matters. Boosters in Brownwood may wince
at his sentence ending ". .. when she was invited to accept an honorary degree
from Howard Payne University, an obscure denominational school located
near her childhood haunts" (p. 192). This degree, however, had some weight in
Porter's reconciliation with her native state. Tanner ultimately says her choice
"to be buried beside her mother in the little cemetery at Indian Creek" is "more
revealing than anything else in the troubled relationship between Katherine
Anne Porter and Texas" (p. 198).
McMurry University PATRICK BENNETT
The Bounty of Texas. Edited by Francis Edward Abernethy. (Denton: University
of North Texas Press, 1990o. Pp. 232. $19.95.)
The Bounty of Texas, a God's plenty of folklore and history-oriented essays,
gets direction from Paul Stone's "Brush Country, Vaqueros, and Hamlet's
Ghost," a defense of J. Frank Dobie, answering Jim Lee's, Don Graham's, and
Larry McMurtry's iconoclastic questioning of Dobie's worth to the literature
and history of the Southwest.
"Bountifulness" is the feature picked up by the editor; his use of a header
throughout the volume, "The Bounty of the Woods," doesn't have a clear rele-
vance. Perhaps that is the exception that proves the rule of excellence else-
where.
"Definition of self" via autobiographical narrative is often central to this col-
lection. F. E. Abernethy remembers roughing it for six days, floating down a
flooded river in 1941. Paul Patterson recalls his once-upon-a-time attempt to
duplicate what rail-riding hobos did during his own penniless Depression vaca-
tion from school teaching. Humorists Joyce Roach and Bob Flynn do a de-
lightful dialogue about Chillicothe and Jacksboro, north Central Texas home-
towns. New pieces by Bertha and Frank Dobie come from their files, revealing
their feelings about deer, grass, and the environment.
The remaining dozen entries demonstrate the wide-ranging interests of folk-
lore collectors, including Kenneth Davis, Sylvia Grider, R. A. Hill, JanetJeffery,
Faye Leeper, Lera Lich, Tom McClellan, Connie Ricci, and W. M. Von-Maszew-
ski. Carolyn Satterwhite is pictured as assistant editor.
While any folkgroup can be defined by its vocabulary, the least valuable es-
say, with little or nothing new, is Charles Shafer's collection of Huntsville pris-
oners' slang. Not to be missed, however, are Jeri Tanner on Ollie North (the
prince into frog motif), Jack Duncan on Ben Carlton Mead (Texas folk art),
and Elmer Kelton on himself (the artistic use of folklore in four excellent nov-
els: The Tzme It Never Rained, The Good Old Boys, Stand Proud, and The Day the
Cowboys Quit). Kelton marries folklore to history in first-rate fiction.
The Bounty of Texas is one of the finest volumes ever produced by the Texas
Folklore Society. It joins Texas Folk Art (Volume 45 of Publications of TFS) as a

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed April 18, 2014.