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Going Back to Bisbee Paperback – May 1, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- Tim Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, Wash.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
A mountain town built in the twists and turns of a narrow valley, Bisbee was once the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. More amazing today is that unlike most mining towns that sprang up in the West, Bisbee is not a ghost town but still thrives, chiefly as an artists' center and a tourist destination. A high school teacher, fresh out of the Army in the 1950s, Shelton tells of life in a modern-day mining community, and great storyteller that he is, there are entertaining accounts of fitting in to the community, establishing himself as a young teacher, and taking on leadership of a Boy Scout troop given to embarrassing public pranks.
But by the time Shelton brings us to Bisbee in the closing chapters of the book, he has lingered lovingly over the flora and fauna of the desert and mountains, provided readers with several hundred years of history in this area once ruled by the fierce Apaches, visited Tombstone (represented as a tourist trap), recalled his tour of duty with the Signal Corps at Ft. Huachuca, got caught in a downpour and had lunch in a roadside diner, and driven his van way off the main road where he finds a young man panning for gold.Read more ›
Mr. Shelton's lovely non-fiction book never travels in a straight line, and the reader isn't going to get back to Bisbee any time soon. He rambles, digresses, and describes, explains and reflects, and throws in his own personal philosphy for good measure. And he anthropomorphizes. Boy, does he anthropomorphize, and not just animals but also his old van, buildings, plants, about anything that crosses his path. Since I tend to do that myself, I don't have a problem with it. And he encounters ghosts. I don't have a problem with that, either.
The author's love and respect for the southern Arizona desert make this book a gem. I learned a bit of history of the area, about a early fort where the Buffalo Soldiers were sent, the Apaches who made the area so unsafe for settlers and miners, the booms and busts of mining in the area, and the resilience of the people who lived in and around Bisbee. I learned a great deal about this desert, and the things, sentient and otherwise, that populate it. And all in a wonderful, lyrical prose. I learned about the author and his tolerant wife, but this was not so much a memoir as it was a journey. The author apparently did not have an ideal childhood, but he did not delve into that part of his life, only alluded to it.
The author has respect for all the natural creatures of the desert, and his writing about our horrid treatment of coyotes, past and present, is especially poignant:
"I do not understand how the person who truly loves a dog, loves it enough sometimes to risk his or her life for it, can exterminate coyotes, the dog's cousin, in hideous and sadistic ways."
"We love and cherish our dogs because they respond with loyalty and affection, and because they obey us.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a wonderful book about the politics and ecology of this part of Arizona. Shelton has a wonderful sense of humor and parts of the book are laugh out loud funny. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Barb Montana
Anyone who loves reading about the West in general and Arizona in particular will enjoy Shelton's return to Bisbee and the many observations he makes along the way. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dee Kaiser
I think part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much is the coincidence of time. The author was stationed at Fort Huachuca in 1958, and got a teaching job in Bisbee when his tour... Read morePublished 12 months ago by R. J. McCabe
Very informative insight into history of Bisbee and interesting stories about Mr. Sheldon's years in the '50's as a teacher.Published 13 months ago by jane simpson
Beautifully written loved the detail of the Sonoran desert and history of Bisee.Published 18 months ago by Carol Cole
GREAT READ.If you are going to the Southwest this is a must read!Published 19 months ago by Robert Musolf