Book Reviews
by Wilma Pinola

The Loblolly Book
Edited by Thad Sitton, Texas Monthly Press
copyright 1983, 245 pages, not indexed.
Available online from several sources for about $11.00

This book is a collections of folktales, reminiscences, and oral history telling about old-time Texas. It is an anthology of student articles drawn from four history/folklore magazines. Each of the twenty-two chapters deals with local people telling their stories. The articles are diverse, from Wild Hog Hunting on the Sabine to Hant Stories.

The stories give one the feeling of being a part of the history of a local as people give their first hand accounts. If you want to find out what your ancestors everyday lives may have been like, you will enjoy reading it.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter Sheriff Corbett Akins: Bloodhounds and Bootleggers. Mr. Akins relates some of the adventures he and his brother have growing up in Panola County, Texas during the early 1900s. "My brother and I were looking after the smokehouse to make sure the fire kept burning. My mother left that afternoon to help a neighbor quilt. She told us not to let the fire go out. My papa had gone to Carthage to be on the jury. Before he left that morning, I heard him tell my mother that it might be one or two o'clock that night before he got back. He had to ride the thirteen miles on a mule.

Horace and I got all the cracklins squeezed out into the cracklin jars. We had vented up the fire. We were sitting there like two little boys playing and having fun. I picked up this small, greasy churn that we had had the cracklins in. When he turned around I put the churn over his head. I was not thinking about any trouble. Naturally, he reached up and tried to get the churn off his head, but he couldn't. After he worked a good while, I tried to get it off. I pulled on that churn until I gave out.

About six o'clock my mother came in; she wanted to know where Horace was. "My brother," I says, "he's in the smokehouse with a churn on his head." She went out to the smokehouse and brought my brother Horace out. She worked with that (churn) till way in the night and stretched his neck as long as a crane but never did get it off. So after that she brought Horace into the house and put us to bed, and I wanna tell ya it is a job to sleep with a fellow with a churn on his head. He rolled and tumbled and beat the bed! (I wonder how poor Horace felt?)

In the late hours, near two or three o'clock, my daddy came in. And my mother called my father, says, "Lee," which was my father's name, "Lee, Horace has got a churn on his head." But anyhow, we got him out of the bed and set him on the old bench. We didn't have many chairs those days; most all we had was just benches, or stools you might call them. Well, he worked and worked and he couldn't get it off. So after a while he decided that there had to be some thing done. I remember quite well when he told my mother to go to the tool box and get his hammer to bust it off. She says, "Lee, don't do that, that would kill him." We lived far in the country, we didn't, couldn't get, to no doctor or nothing. But after she told him that will kill Horace, he says, "Well, he's gonna die anyhow so, get me the hammer." I remember quite well he got the hammer, hit the side of that churn and busted it. And you know, my brother's ears looked like two bananas. They'd done turned blue and swollen. After that, Papa took him to town the next day to see if there's anything to be done for swollen ears. And Doctor Hornsburger, which was several miles from our home, said to take him on back, and said, " Nothing you can do except just feed him some peas and clabber and buttermilk and collards."


I'm My Own Grandpa

A psychiatrist visited a metal institution and asked a patient, ‘How did you get here? What was the nature of your illness?" He got the following reply. "Well, it all started when I got married and I guess I should never have done it. I married a widow with a grown daughter who then became my stepdaughter.

My dad came to visit us, fell in love with my lovely stepdaughter, then married her. And so my stepdaughter was now my stepmother. Soon, my wife had a son who was, of course, my daddy's brother-in-law since he is the half-brother of my stepdaughter, who is now, of course, my daddy's wife. So, as I told you, when my stepdaughter married my daddy, she was at once my stepmother! Now, since my new son is brother to my stepmother, he also became my uncle. As you know, my wife is my step-grandmother since she is my stepmother's mother. Don't forget that my stepmother is my stepdaughter. Remember, too, that I am my wife's grandson.

But hold on just a few minutes more. You see, since I'm married to my step-grandmother, I am not only the wife's grandson and her hubby, but I am also my own grandfather. Now can you understand how I got put in this place?" After staring blankly with a dizzy look on his face, the psychiatrist replied, "Move over!"


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