Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Electronic Failures Lead To Better Pastimes

I am on Day 3 without having a TV to watch. I have a DLP TV and the bulb went out Saturday night. I knew it would happen one day, but you are never prepared when it does. Just like that, you are cut off from the world! Or so it seems. I’m not a big TV watcher, so I really didn’t think it would bother me too much. I usually don’t even turn it on until maybe 10 pm, watch the news and then watch whatever shows I have recorded. Fortunately there aren’t any right now that I’m just dying to see. OK, maybe one. Or two. But I’m trying not to think about it!
So, I’ve been reading during that time and making quite a dent, I might add, in the stack o’ books that have been patiently waiting for me. I finally finished “Loving Frank”

It was OK, but not as compelling as I would have liked. It’s about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress during the early 1900’s. Sounded like it would be right up my alley, but as I said, it kind of drug on for me. I had to work at finishing it. Others I know just loved it, so “to each his own” as my Mom would say.
Now I am reading a book I picked up at the Oklahoma Historical Society’s annual meeting last May. They had various history book vendors there (man, was that worth the drive to Bartlesville!) discounted, no less! I picked up 3 and put back 3 more. I wanted ‘em all. The book I’m reading now is called “Whose Names Are Unknown” written by Sanora Babb.

The back of the book cover sums it up better than I can:
“Sanora Babb’s long-hidden novel Whose Names Are Unknown tells of the High Plains farmers who fled drought and dust storms during the Great Depression. Babb wrote this in the 1930’s while working with refugee farmers in the camps of California. Originally from the Oklahoma panhandle area herself, she submitted the manuscript for the book to Random House for consideration in 1939. Editor Bennett Cerf planned to publish this “exceptionally fine” novel but when John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath swept the nation, Cerf explained that the market could not support two books on the same subject” and thus, the book was shelved until 2005, just before Ms. Babb died at age 98. I’m finding the book captivating, but then, we all know how much I love history, especially Oklahoma history. And I believe I will finish it before the new bulb arrives for the TV.

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