The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 142
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
many different kinds of artists and considered together, they offer many possi-
bilities for synthesis.
For all of these virtues, and they are real, Translatzng Southwestern Landscapes at
times comes up short. Goodman's prose is often inaccessible because of overuse
of theoretical terms and slogans. Additionally, her narrative strays too often
from the region her book purports to address.
Despite these concerns, overall this new book is a welcome addition to the lit-
erature on the many cultures that have helped to make the Southwest what it is
today. It will be valuable to scholars and students in cultural studies, literary stud-
ies, American history, and related fields.
California State University, Fullerton DEBORAH LAWRENCE
Under the Chnaberry Tree: East Texas Folkways. By Tumbleweed Smith. (Austin:
Eakin Press, 2002. Pp. viii+214. Preface, illustrations, bibliography. ISBN 1-
57168-523-5. $22.95, paper.)
Tumbleweed Smith, born Bob Lewis in Waco and longtime resident of Big
Spring, is best known to most Texans as the creator and voice of the long-run-
ning daily syndicated radio show, The Sound of Texas. The radio program typically
presents a short anecdote, a bit of oral history, folksy/country observations con-
cerning declining or obsolete recreation, life and work skills, or place names.
Relentlessly focused on rural ways, these casual pieces are always upbeat and
non-critical. Under the Chnaberry Tree is composed primarily of items that seem to
have been collected for the radio program and that may have been presented
The preface and first several essays seem to have been written for this book.
The preface identifies water and trees, screened-in porches, red clay roads, dog-
wood, overalls, cotton, oil, timber, prayer and similar icons as "trademarks" of
East Texas. The first chapter, "Defining the Boundaries," is an interesting essay
identifying what and where the "east" in East Texas is. For example, Canton used
to be in East Texas but the First Monday crowd from Dallas grew so large that it
"lost much of its charm and character" and hence may no longer qualify. Dallas
and Houston "are too big to be considered belonging to any single part of the
state." Even the Big Thicket "is mostly in Southeast Texas," and seems to just
barely qualify. In short it seems that only places in rural Texas dominated by
pine trees and not near Bastrop make it into Tumbleweed Smith's East Texas. A
succinct, straightforward history of East Texas provides readers with all they
need to know to keep the rest of the book in context.
This book is fun and does not pretend to be anything else. There is not one
footnote in the entire book. The bibliography is woefully incomplete and does
not even include all the published works mentioned in the text. There are no
new interpretations or insights offered and no previous explanations chal-
lenged. The fifty or so black-and-white photographs, not particularly well repro-
duced, do not typically relate specifically to the text. There is no theme, no
agenda, no advocacy, just fun stuff offered just for the fun of it. The only fair
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/160/?rotate=270: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.