Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 18, No. 4, Fall 1998, pp. 345-346


Copyright 1998 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska- Lincoln


This volume recalls experiences during the 1930s and 1940s on farms in the Plano, Texas, area north of Dallas. Frances Wells, a local Plano historian, helped Eddie Stimpson organize into a book his written memories, intended originally for descendants. In the introduction James W. Byrd, a literary scholar, suggests the influence of African American folk culture on the writing style and on some activities described in the volume, such as yard sweeping. Popular culture phrases also appear occasionally, and the author's phonetic spelling has been retained throughout.

After an opening summary of his life, Stimpson presents short chapters on a range of economic and social topics. He discusses raising animals, hunting, bootlegging, and family roles in farming, along with changes such as the use of tractors and the impact of insecticides on wild fruit and animals. He recounts the strain between opportunities and the fear of failure.

Chapters on aspects of social life are more extensive. When Stimpson turns to family tensions and roles he recounts his washing and ironing, although gender defined other tasks. He also describes houses as well as types of food and canning.