The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Book Reviews

45). O'Connor succeeds admirably in depicting and preserving such, whether it
was "cowboyin"' and ranching, preaching and praying, singing and baptizing,
farming, fishing and hunting, pecan-gathering, playing, fighting, celebrating-
but above all, coexisting with the land.
As I am from this area of Texas myself, the tales in this book are indeed like
"goin' home." This handsome volume, lovingly compiled over fifteen years by
one whose influential ranching family has lived in the area since 1834, is not a
typical "history book." It is rather like looking at a photo album-indeed, the
238 photographs, 19 original illustrations, and 4 maps are wonderful-and lis-
tening to recollections representing generations of intimate family experiences
(both good and bad) from the 148 "tellers of tales" recorded by the author. Yes,
nostalgia is in these pages ("goin' home" is like that), but also difficulties, vio-
lence, sadness, death; yet also life, joy, and wonder.
Prefacing each section with her own carefully accurate portrayal of the his-
torical context, O'Connor disperses these narratives throughout the book,
which she divides into such intriguing chapters as "They Met Us at the Boat";
"River Bottom Communities: Centers of the World"; "Kith and Kin"; "The
Darker Side" (feuds, killings, and rascals); "Livin' Off the Fat of the Land";
and appropriately, "Time Has Made a Change." A helpful glossary aids those
not familiar with such expressions as working "can't to can't," going "halfsies,"
or making a "hooraw."
I will praise the author in this way: if you don't know the Texas Coastal Bend,
this delightful book will make you want to visit-but you'll then grieve that
you've missed the historical experience. If you know the area, this book will be-
come your own scrapbook album, a history of your "extended family." O'Con-
nor, inspired by her grandmother, the esteemed historian Kathryn Stoner
O'Connor, has produced a worthy successor to her previous work, Cryzn' for Day-
light (1989), which recorded the working lives of people in the ranching culture
in Refugio, Victoria, and Goliad Counties. I heartily anticipate the next volume
in this unique series.
Georgza Southern Unzversity CRAIG H. ROELL
Fzrst of a Kznd: The Buzldzng of the South's Fzrst Newsprint Mll. By Bob Bowman.
(Lufkin: Best of East Texas Publishers, 2001. Pp. vii+294. Introduction,
photographs, bibliography, index. ISBN 0-878096-61-3. $25.00, cloth.)
This book is the product of an old pro. Bob Bowman has written twenty-six
books on Texas history and folklore, and each has been well received by the
scholarly community and the public-at-large. This time, Bob chronicles the im-
portant story of the development of Southland Mill, the South's first newsprint
mill, which popped up in Lufkin, Bob's lifetime stomping ground.
Beginning production in December 1939, the mill became the first in the
South to make commercial newsprint paper out of Southern pine trees. New
York bankers and brokers, along with foreign newsprint producers, predicted
that Southland would fold within a year. After all, everyone knew that pine trees

200oo3

497

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed October 20, 2014.