A Man of the Family Author:Elizabeth Burleson Author's Note: — In this story, the boy Speck speaks for a way of life rather than as a specific person. He is a mosaic, pieced together out of fragments from the lives of my own four brothers and other boys who grew up in my country in the early years of this century. Born in time to see the first Model T steered over the high Divide Country o... more »f Texas, he lived ever after in two worlds -- one uneasy foot on an accelerator, and the other, booted and spurred, forever reaching for the more familiar stirrup. The days of his life stretch from a kerosene lamp and a hearthside to rural electrification and central heat. Like the eentury he has lived with, he has come into his third quarter and is grateful for the modern comforts of automatic coffee makers and blankets with push-button controls, but his mind is apt to dwell wistfully on early memories of a chuck wagon and a bedroll beside a campfire.
It is my hope that his story will keep alive a few of those memories. With the men who lived them, they are disappearing as quietly as the last snows of winter melting in an April sun, but as snow moistens ground for a new harvest, so may the recollections of a passing generation soften a little the hard ground in which we sow today.« less