TOLBERT'S TEXAS by Frank X. Tolbert


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An unassuming gathering of Tolbert's columns for the Dallas News--38 brief bits of gentle rumination, folksy lore, and affectionate personality-profile. Tolbert muses a lot about the fabled farkleberry tree, with its sparkling leaves and supposed talismanic powers (they ""need some shade to really sparkle, otherwise they will just frizzle before they farkle""). He spends a night in a haunted house, recalls the stories of a few bygone Texas billionaires, pays tribute to the late, great Ima Hogg, and visits real-people--from a moonshiner to a football-coach to LBJ's chef to that ""classic curmudgeon,"" his old, now departed pal John Nance Garner, 32nd VP of the US. (""Didn't that woman offend you, calling you Old Man Garner,"" Tolbert says after Garner's cook leaves the room. ""Goddamn it!"" replies Garner. ""I am eight-five years old. I AM Old Man Garner."") But the best items here are Tolbert's eulogies for such black-music greats as Mance Lipscomb (a memorable mini-interview), Hudie ""Lead Belly"" Ledbetter, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Sam ""Lightnin' "" Hopkins--with visits to barely-marked graves, chats with colleagues, and just the right sort of un-gushy admiration. In short: nothing remarkable, but a pleasant book of glimpses for those with a yen for Texas local-colors.

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 1983
Publisher: Doubleday