Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Come With Me"

This is what we're saying, after all, when we tell a story.

And this is the title of the little book I just received in the mail, sent to me by father, authored by his brother.  Uncle Joe. In his late 70s. A storyteller all his life, who finally gathered up his stories at the exhortation of his brothers and his wife and made a book.

My dad edited it and their brother, my Uncle Bill, provided the many photographs that tell another version of those stories. I know most of them already. And still, my heart breaks with joy at the sight of them on pages, all together, names and images and turns of phrase that add up to my family and my home and Uncle Joe's overalls and his cornbread and his laugh and the cigarettes he sneaks and the jelly he gives me as "rent" for the muscadines he poaches from my land, adjacent to his in Van Buren County, Arkansas.

 From his acknowledgments, speaking about his brothers:

They are both experienced authors, and a few months ago they decided that this book should be published...we had to have a "book meeting" every Friday morning following breakfast. After sixteen weeks, thirty five pounds of ham and two hundred eighty-eight biscuits, we got it all together.

He has always wanted to write a book.

And now he has.

My uncle, the author.

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