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The Man and His Land
on August 12, 2005
Texan John Graves is not a man to shy away from challenges: he invites them. When he bought his little piece of Texas, he clearly knew he was in for a big one, but I am not sure if he was aware of how his accumulated knowledge of this land would shape the man he was becoming. This book takes you through the process of a bumpy courtship and the resulting marriage between a man and his land.
Already armed with a deep appreciation of Nature, he was able to slowly coax renewed vigor into this misused patch of land through his gentle nurturing of it.
The book is full of his personal adventurers such as stone masonry, animal husbandry, carpentry, and all the hazards inherent in farm life. All presented without regret, with humor and modesty. Inevitably he laments the encroachment of more urban activities as they threaten his bucolic existence. Yet he speaks of the duality of his own urban interactions and compares them to the realities of his rural lifestyle.
This book to me was as much about the man John Graves as it is about his subject, "Hard Scrabble". Tough and complex, like his Patch of Land, he personifies the best Texas has to offer.