Nature verses the local grocery...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ALONG THE BACK ROADS OF YESTERDAY: Memory Trails

The book is here! Along The Back Roads of Yesterday by Oris George is now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and on Oris' website.

Oris George, has a love affair with words . His writing began early in life, his talent innate, and his stories - unforgettable, as you will quickly learn inside the pages of Along The Back Roads of Yesterday.

Yesterday...means different things to us all. To Oris, yesterday is about his youth on a farm in Colorado where chores were unending, food came from scratch, and Love was - well - just part of everyday living. Life unfolded to Oris through daily (sometimes hourly) lessons, and were sometimes garnered from his buddy Henry, his mule, Red, Homer the goat (who had a passion for keeping Oris' little brother in the outhouse), and so many other people and experiences in his youth.

One of my favorite stories in this unforgettable book is called, A Perfect Understanding. Oris weaves a touching memory about Bert, whom the town judges as a useless, dirty, aging person of little value, an out of control Palomino mule, his summer-long interactions with Bert as Bert trains this apparently useless animal, and the inevitable life-lesson learned.

"Mom was convinced Bert owned only one pair of bib overalls, and she knew that they had never seen the inside of a washing machine. Tobacco juice stained his thick, greying beard. A greasy baseball cap crowned a head of long, wild, unruly grey hair. He lived down under the hill behind the feed store on a straggly little 2 acre farm surrounded on all four sides by cottonwood trees and tall brush. The small dilapidated barn and the one-room cabin reminded me of Snuffy Smith's place in the Sunday funny papers."

"Fall passed and winter came again. Bert worked with his mule several hours a day. On Saturdays, I begged Mom to let me go to town with her and Dad so I could visit Bert. She didn't think I should spend so much time with Bert. She'd say, 'He doesn't bathe, shave or change clothes and isn't the right example for a growing boy.' "

" 'Aah, Mom,' I'd say. Bert was fun to be around, and he treated me like a man-full-grown."

By Rodeo Day in September, the real Bert - and his Dunfee Mule - overcame seemingly insurmountable odds.

"The loudspeaker crackled and the announcer said, 'Our own Albert Montague, formerly of Warren, Tennessee, has agreed to give us a demonstration ride on Stella, his gaited mule.' "

"Bert rode to the front of the grandstand, tipped his derby to the crowd, and Stella bowed. Turning Stella to the left, they moved out at a foxtrot. The crowd was silent. Halfway around the arena, Stella changed to another gait. The crowd went wild! Whistling and shouting, the spectators poured out of the bleachers like a giant wave and surrounded Bert and Stella. Hands were extended to Bert.

A new Bert, and Stella - no longer the Dunfee mule, exited the arena that day in 1945."

Titles like A Man Full-Grown and His Donkey, A Volcano on the River, Sounds Like a Plan (one of Oris' favorite sayings!), Little Man and a Naked Impression fill the pages of Along The Back Roads of Yesterday.

The war years of the 1940's held different values, different finances, different feelings. Oris immediately brings you back to those times through his stories, takes you back to those years when life really was simpler, sometimes harsher, but always real; living close to the land, steeped in family ties and hard work, Oris' yesterdays will live forever in your heart.

Only $9.32 from Barnes and Noble, this book is a must-read for your bedside table. Treat yourself to your personal copy of Along The Back Roads of Yesterday...today.

As always, Nature prevails.

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