When first and last met, Mitchell Mibbs, a black boy, has an old station wagon, a dog Jeff, a manuscript, and memories of his Maine mother Pearl whom he has just killed. Following the funeral of his Uncle Melvin Which she was planning to skip out on.... Melvin was the only person Mitchell had ever loved. There are scenes of Pearl and her constant bottle of bourbon and inconstant men--at seven, one Big Larson moved into their bed; and a little later a coarse stepfather who tried to promote her singing career which ended under the table; etc. etc. And in between Mitch playing ball, working hard, landing a scholarship to Brown until the disorderly finale. However unlikely the audience--Mr. Beckham's sorry tale is redeemed by the spontaneity of what is seemingly happening right now and by its bonafide sentimental appeal in a world where wrong and right no longer exist, or at any rate seem to matter.