I occasionally take a trip to my book pages on Amazon. Today, I found a lovely review for Tales of a Texas Boy. Thanks to J. Chambers! I read Jim's book on growing up in the 50s (here's the link. click on it). I'd definitely recommend it. I've captured his review here intact. The ebook is on sale for only 99 cents up to Christmas Day.
5.0 out of 5 stars A time machine to the 1930s, December 16, 2010
By J. Chambers (Georgia, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Tales of a Texas Boy: Large Print (Kindle Edition)
NOTE: I read the regular print edition.
"Tales of a Texas Boy" is a collection of twenty anecdotal stories told by a young boy, Eddie Perkins, who lived on a farm in rural Texas with his mother, father, a younger brother, and a younger sister during the 1930s when the country was deep in the Great Depression. I assume that Eddie is a fictional character, although the stories read like a true memoir.
I enjoyed the book very much. I was born in the 1940s, and I have a special fondness for the period from the 1920s through the 1950s, the period when my parents and I were growing up and coming of age. Marva Dasef has done a marvelous job of capturing what it was like for kids in the rural southwest in the 1930s. They probably never realized how tough their life was, and they actually had fun. Even though I was born a generation later, I related to the stories, especially in how siblings got along with each other.
Some of Eddie's anecdotes might have seemed mundane to another Texas kid in the era, but to me, a suburban kid in the post-WWII era, they were far from mundane. Try to imagine the thrill of hunting for (and finding) dinosaur fossils or going to town to buy livestock. Rattlesnake hunting with the local men was a thrill for Eddie, and little did he know what kind of animal he would rescue from a huge rattler's mouth one day. And handling a 1500-pound jackass? No problem, but make sure you get the instructions for taming the beast!
Some of Eddie's neighbors ("neighbor" meaning they lived no more than a few miles away in the sparsely settled west Texas landscape) were especially interesting, notably the Luck brothers, Fred and Frank. Although they were twin brothers living together, they passionately hated each other and spent most of their time trying to kill each other. Unfortunately they had a habit of taking things that didn't rightfully belong to them, including women, and this kept them in hot water!
Eddie's adventures included a remarkable encounter with a famous movie star. No spoilers, but just think "Come up and see me sometime, boys." Okay, that was probably a spoiler!
The most poignant moments of the book were Eddie's recounting his ma and pa's stories, including his pa's service in World War I.
I enjoyed "Tales of a Texas Boy" so much that I bookmarked some of my favorite stories for rereading. Most of the stories are short and would make great readings to kids today who can hardly imagine a time of grinding poverty with no modern conveniences, and yet a time when kids like themselves made do with what they had and had fun.
Definitely two thumbs up and five stars.