The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 156
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ship of J. Frank Dobie. Each publication in the series is person-
ally selected and endorsed by Dobie. The first selection made by
the distinguished writer was Ralph Semmes Jackson's Home on
the Double Bayou. A Dobie endorsement would bring reader
attention to any book so honored, and the first-born of the
Western books series definitely merits such a recommendation to
the reading public.
Ralph Semmes Jackson makes no claim to being a profes-
sional writer, as his vocation is that of a consulting geophysicist.
It is quite unusual to find an amateur writer, whose education
was oriented to the writing of scientific reports, who has such a
distinctive and enchanting literary style. Jackson originally had
no intentions of writing a book, but desired simply to make some
record of his family history and heritage available for his own
children. After studying the Jackson manuscript, J. Frank Dobie
urged the University of Texas Press to publish the narrative.
Jackson expanded his manuscript, and the results of his first
literary endeavor have provided one of the most charming ac-
counts of boyhood experiences in Texas literature.
The experiences which Jackson describes are those of a young-
ster growing up on the JHK Ranch in Chambers County. He
expresses the joys of his childhood from five to twelve years of
age in a region of the state which has received little attention in
the literature of Texas. The ranching industry of the southeast
Texas coast now has a champion in Ralph Jackson, although his
descriptions touch on the lighter side of ranch life and purposely
underemphasize the harder work of ranch operations.
The narrative itself is delightful, and the excellent graphic
illustrations done by Bubi Jessen further enhance the charm and
attractiveness of this little volume. For a literary novice, Jackson
displays excellent command of the language and an uncanny
ability for creating vivid descriptions. He establishes the atmos-
phere of the simple life-of the unhurried years--which are
almost forgotten in the present whirlwind pace of urban living.
The chronicle will doubtless bring pangs of nostalgia to Jackson's
numerous contemporaries who remember similar boyhood ex-
periences. Whether the reader spent his childhood in the city, on
a farm, or on a ranch, the situations described by Jackson should
have a universal appeal.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/178/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.