Heritage, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1988 Page: 22
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There seems to be an inferiority complex
in Oklahoma about home-grown
talent. This reached a high point when the
state song was adopted-written by two
men from New York who had never been to
Oklahoma. Oklahoma is not alone with its
complex. How many Texas students ever
hear of the genius that is Bob Wills and his
music? In this area, Savage makes a real
Being a bluegrass fan, I enjoyed the
section on the fabulous banjo player Alan
Munde, but was sorry not to see something
about Bill Grant and his great bluegrass
festival at Hugo. One other omission that I
feel should fall under the heading of popular
music is Southern Gospel. Oklahoma
has produced more than its share of gospel
groups. There are also all-night singings
scattered through eastern Oklahoma, and I
would like to know more about them.
Each chapter ends with an excellent
bibliography and discography. The pen
and ink drawings of Rebecca Bateman are
excellent. They really add spark and class
to the book.
This book is a good choice for those
interested in popular music and culture in
the Texas-Oklahoma area.
Review by Peter W. Nichols.
The Search for Emma's Story
The Search for Emma's Story. By Marian L.
Martinello, Texas Christian University
Press, Fort Worth; 223 pages; $12.95 paperback.
When I was restoring and researching
my vintage home some years ago, I found
an old ledger under the attic insulation,
obviously kept by the longtime owners of
the house. The brief entries touchingly
reflected efforts of the family to guard their
meager resources, while squeezing in small
pleasures where they could. "5 ice cream
for the boy"; "8 to Myrtle for picking
strawberries"; "$ 1.00 dues for the Grange";
"$25.00 train tickets for Ma and the boy".
From these clues, an old photograph of the
family, legal documents and interviews
with elderly neighbors, I pieced together a
picture of the people who had lived in the
house for 60 years. My research allowed me
to experience a kinship with them, especially
with the woman of the house, who
had operated a telephone switchboard in a
comer of the back parlor, made boxes for
the strawberries in the garage, and struggled
with the canning and preserving in
the tiny, inconvenient kitchen. And this
feeling of kinship supported me and lifted
my spirits as I went about my own daily
tasks as a mother and homemaker.
With similar artifacts, Marian L. Martinello
has reconstructed the life of Emma
Mayer Beckmann, a typical GermanTexas
farm wife who kept house, baked
bread and cakes, smoked her own meats,
did her laundry in a kettle over an outdoor
fire, made and mended her family's clothing,
carefully tended a vegetable garden
and a few pots of impatiens, raised chickens
and three children and in all her life never
left the Texas Hill Country. Emma wrote
no letters, kept no diary, and left few traces
of her life-a wish list for her dowry, a
wedding portrait, an old Watkins medicine
bottle, and the Victorian-style house built
for her family during World War I that is
the living history farm on the LBJ State
Park at Stonewall. In The Search for
Emma's Story: A Model for Humanities
Detective Work, Martinello has not only
provided a fascinating picture of the way of
life in the German-Texas community in
the first decades of this century, but she has
also provided a clear outline for others who
would like to reconstruct a life from the
past, using whatever traces are available.
The book details the questions Martinello
asked, the places she found answers, and
the basic steps of her research.
Martinello is associate professor of education
at the University of Texas at San
Antonio. The Search for Emma's Story was
originally developed as an audio-visual
program to interest high school students in
studying history from primary sources. It is
a helpful guide for everyone with an interest
in the past, from genealogists and historians
to school teachers and librarians.
Emma's Story includes a recitation on
the closing day of school, typical meals at
dances and weddings, the butcher clubs
that allowed everyone to share fresh meat
in the days prior to refrigeration, and the
wedding chivaree, that surprise visit to the
newlyweds by friends who make a wild
commotion banging pots and pans before
they are invited into the house for refreshments.
There is even a recipe for "suesser",
or sweet rice.
The book is generously illustrated with
photographs both old and new. Emil and
Emma look solemnly out from their wedding
portrait, a Fredericksburg resident
FOR EMMA'S STORY
by Marian L. Martinello
in your favorite bookstore or
order from Drawer C, College
Station, Texas 77843-4354
TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY PRESS
ON THE BAYOU
The Life and Letters of
by Ellen Robbins Red
"A fascinating look at day-to-day life
in early Houston and at Houstonians
of the time." - The Houston Review
- Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Please send Early Days on the Bayou.
I enclose $16.75 per copy.
Send orders to:
ELLEN R. RED
1802 Sunset Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77005
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1988, periodical, 1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45436/m1/22/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.