The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

as public education and law enforcement in a frontier city, but, because of
its beautiful prose and colorful style, this volume will have appeal to people
interested in the history of Tarrant County and northern Texas.
Texas Tech University HARRY JEBSEN, JR.
A Season of Weathering. By William A. Owens. (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1973. Pp. xii+ 258. $7.95.)
William A. Owens won the 1966 Texas Institute of Letters nonfiction
award for This Stubborn Soil, which told of his family's battle for economic
survival in the Northeast Texas farming community of Pin Hook and
Owens's determined efforts to finish high school. In A Season of Weather-
ing Owens continues his autobiography, describing his dogged pursuit of
education and a teaching career during the years after he left Pin Hook.
The book is a memorable chronicle of farm people, poor people, East
Texas people; of hard times in the i920s; of the unrelieved business of sur-
vival in the workaday world. It is about the way people faced grim events
without blaming God or Society or One's Luck.
Although Owens tells at length the inner turmoil he faced within his
Baptist fundamentalism and describes his return to Pin Hook as a teacher,
much of what he deals with is work: the job that lasted from sunup to sun-
down and that made Sunday not a day of casual recreation or mild bore-
dom but simply a day of welcomed rest from the demands of the other six.
He writes of people on the edge of poverty who accepted long hours and
uninspired meals ("purplish baloney and milk the color of blue john") the
way people today accept television sets and family trips to Disneyland.
Owens describes how he studied for his high school diploma in Com-
merce, Texas, worked in the S. H. Kress store in Paris, Texas, enrolled as
a freshman at Paris Junior College, worked for Butler Brothers and then
the Salvation Army in Dallas, and became, briefly, a magazine salesman.
He was like a swimmer constantly going against the tide. He had to work,
had to help support himself and his family, had to keep moving from one
job to another, one town to another, but always he kept a single idea fixed
in mind: he was going to finish his schooling, get a certificate so that he
could teach, finally move out of the chain store stock rooms and the cotton
fields in order to find himself a place in the world of books.
Owens writes in a bare, straightforward style, clean and clear. He does
not soar in his telling but moves steadily ahead--an observant, thoughtful
countryman out for a walk across deeply familiar land.

278

ELROY BODE

El Paso

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117148/. Accessed May 28, 2016.

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