Showing posts from 2012
Home, The Best Place To Be!

Joab could see the lights of home,
back where life, he hoped,  
would take on 
a semblance of sanity. 
Back to the real place of peace. 
Memories of his childhood 
rushed him by surprise. 
He had not told Rachel 
exactly when he would return. 
But she knew it would be before 
Thanksgiving. He was certain 
Jonathan had taken care of 
the turkey and that Isaac and Jennie 
would help with the vegetables 
and Rachel … well Rachel 
would have everything under control.

He had left Aggie behind, a hard thing … possibly the hardest thing he had done, that is, since the war and all the death in his own family. Life, fragile at its best, had dealt Joab a few losses. He hoped Aggie would not be included. He could not bear to lose her, to death or for any other reason. He had experienced a fair measure of the brittle thread over the past few months. He thought—life is as fragile as Aggie. But she is beautiful, delicate, like a piece of lace or a crystal prism through which I see life a…
Holly Springs is a beautiful little town South of Memphis where Grant winter quartered in November and December of 1862. He brought his lovely wife, Julia, and his son those weeks he spent in North Mississippi, though they did not stay in the same house. Grant had work to do, but he missed them and took some risks with their safety to have them near him, in fact just a few houses down from him on Salem Street. His love of family brought out the human side of a man who, from a military perspective, was ruthless and heartless.

JOAB features the Union General that was most hated by the South, probably as much as the North hated our Robert E. Lee. But that was the hard cold facts of War. Those who gave the orders to kill and destroy were the recipients of the height of hatred, and that was true for both sides. One thing was certain, Grant always picked the loveliest of the South's antebellum homes as his headquarters. In Holly Springs, Oxford, Vicksburg, Natchez—it was only the…

Deep In The Heart

of The Great Smokey Mountains of North Carolina is a splendid place to retreat. It's called Balsam Mountain Inn. Getting to it is as much fun as sitting on the porch of this 1905 bed and breakfast. I could have stayed here for a while. But far better than that... I think sitting on this porch or in any of the gazillion parlors I could write a really good story.

Balsam is a little whistle stop between Waynesville and Sylva. In earlier days, people from the Low Country who could stand the heat and humidity just so long used to take the train up to Balsam and recover on this very porch and in these parlors.

As you cross the railroad tracks and head toward the Inn, there's a Whistle Stop Cafe or Grocery Store (could have been either) that sits beside the tracks. Time has surely woven a story about this place, now all grown up with morning glories and kudzu and honeysuckle. Clapboard wood, once painted white is now in dire need of a coat of something. 

There must have been a barrel…

Oxford Town

Unforgettable. A treasure. Etched forever in my mind.
Some places affect me that way. Oxford is one of them. I guess you might say I'm just plain smitten with this little city. For many years I didn't know about it. Oh, I had been there when I was in high school. I had to perform a piano duo with another classmate once for school competition. At Ole Miss. It was the worst day of my life. The piano was bigger than big.You know, one of those concert grands with added keys on the bass. I had never seen anything like it in my small-town life. And the absolute lowest keys on the bass didn't play when I touched them. As a matter of fact, I remember struggling to reach that far down. The same thing must have been happening to my counterpart, because we both kept hitting those keys to try and get them to give us some sound. We just looked at each other and gave up. Later we laughed about it.That must have been fifty-seven years ago. And it was not until just the last few years that …

It's True! There's a Book Signing in Memphis!

All my Memphis and North Mississippi friends 
are so invited! Holly Joyner's House (Holly's my beautiful granddaughter!) 
115 Walnut Creek Road
Cordova, Tennessee 38018
Saturday, August 18, 2012 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

There is no more familiar place to me than Memphis. It was my town for many years. Like my coming-up trip to Clarksdale, going back to Memphis is always like going home again. I have so many ties to the old Bluff City.

My son and grandson are there! Sleepy head! This kid is amazing. Both of them are! They have lived in Midtown for well over ten years, almost as long as we've had Harrison, who is now thirteen! Where did the time go?

And, my granddaughters are there with their lovely families, which makes Memphis Town special, indeed.

This is Nichol and hers!

And this is Holly and hers!

So you can see, coming to my signing in Memphis will have lots of bonuses!

I won't be able to call names and put up photos of all the friends from the past, but I do want to menti…

We Lived and Breathed It—The Old South

This Delta Girl is proud to be going back —back to Clarksdale— this time to sign some books  and I want you to be there with me!
The Tourism Building In Historic Downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi Saturday, August 11, 2012 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
I know—I've been away for a long, long time. But I did go back nineteen years ago and after that trip, I began to write HOUSE NOT MADE WITH HANDS. I couldn't give up on it and some fourteen years later, I got it published. Here's a little excerpt from chapter one of my first book, my memoir, my love for the Mississippi Delta . . .

By the time the late fifties rolled around, my interest was not the surreptitious exodus out Fourth Street to Highway 61 North, for I knew nothing of it. Nor was it neighboring Tunica and the casinos, not yet a twinkle in Mississippi's eye. It was those oak-shaded streets—West Second, Catalpa, School, and Oakhurst Drive. It was Alan's and Powers' and Shankerman's department stores. And oh, yes, Wes…

For Some Reason

From Chapter 16 JOAB
When the house doth sigh and weep, And the world is drowned in sleep, Yet mine eyes the watch do keep, Sweet Spirit, comfort me.
Robert Herrick
The night was long and Joab slept little. Tossing and turning, thinking about the task at hand reminded him of the sleepless nights in Sarepta before he returned to Oxford Town. Was this the true meaning of bittersweet? He was fond of Will and felt a kindred spirit because of the war. Not only that, without motive of any sort, he was hopeful he could help Will. The purpose of the trip to Shiloh was to try and bring an end to the harbored hate and hostility. It was not Joab’s intention to stir up a hornet’s nest of a different sort, one that could potentially do even more damage. On the other hand, he was so in love with Aggie he couldn’t see straight. In moments of reprieve from sinister thoughts of how it would play out with Will Cavanaugh, Joab remembered the scene on the Stephens’ porch. The touch of her hand on his face, he…

The Last Tattoo

JOAB From Chapter 4

Listening long for voices that never will speak again, hearing the hoofbeats come and go and fade without a stop …
Donald Davidson Said of General Lee after the War

The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat The soldier’s last tattoo; No more on life’s parade shall meet That brave and fallen few.
From Bivouac of the Dead Theodore O’Hara

Joab spent the night on the bank of the Tennessee River, rose with the first light of day, rolled his blanket, and rode up the hill in knee deep grass to Shiloh. The rain had stopped and the early sun cast cheerful rays through hundreds of live oak trees whose fresh green leaves glistened with every drop that clung for moments and then dropped to the acorn-covered ground.
He was seeing the beautiful state of Tennessee for the first time. If not for the sickening thought of blood and treasure strewn across the hills of Shiloh, it would have been different. 
He rode slowly through the woods, past the Bloody Pond, its banks slightly overflowing from the …