I spent last night reading J. Frank Dobie’s Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest. While I don’t feel that it’s at nearly the same level as earlier Dobie works like A Vaquero of the Brush Country or The Longhorns, one quote, in particular, touched my innermost Texas soul. It comes in the first chapter, which is entitled “A Declaration.” Dobie wrote:
“Here I am living on a soil that my people have been living and working and dying on for more than a hundred years—the soil, as it happens, of Texas. My roots go down into this soil as deep as mesquite roots go. This soil has nourished me as the banks of the lovely Guadalupe River nourish cypress trees, as the Brazos bottoms nourish the wild peach, as the gentle slopes of East Texas nourish the sweet-smelling pines, as the barren, rocky ridges along the Pecos nourish the daggered lechuguilla. I am at home here, and I want not only to know about my home land, I want to live intelligently on it. I want certain data that will enable me to accommodate myself to it. Knowledge helps sympathy to achieve harmony.”
Wise words, indeed. Having left you with them, I’m going to go out with my camera to acquire certain data that will enable me to accommodate myself to Texas.