Kathryn Tucker Windham begins this montage of stories with the sounds of summer and ends with a joyful Christmas memory. The mixture of tales, from the mouth-watering description of good Southern food to the story of a governor more familiar with Tom Sawyer than Tom Jefferson, comes together to evoke the image of a happy childhood.
"A Southern Treasure"
Nowhere are Kathryn Tucker Windham's transcendent themes of community, fidelity, and family more evident than in these stories. The author calls them "recollections of a happy Southern childhood", but her avid admirers would tell you that they are much more than that.
"Down in Thomasville, Alabama, a long time ago...." Kathryn Tucker Windham's mellifluous Southern voice guides us by words alone through a town where a parrot sings along with the doxology at church and the telephone operator can tell you anything you need to know.
She is a living icon of the family storytelling renaissance in America. And to hear her tell it, Kathryn Tucker Windham owes it all to her father, the small-town banker, school-board chairman, and Sunday school superintendent who always came home with a story. These stories celebrate the father he was and the stories that are his legacy.
Close your eyes and you can almost feel the rocking of the chair as you listen. Kathryn Tucker Windham's gentle Southern accent winds its way through these childhood and adult recollections, while her traditional wisdom and sharp sense of humor eventually break the spell she casts like a blanket over her listeners.
In these stories of her mother, her Aunt Bet, and other women who influenced her, author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham reveals the complexity of Southern women in the days before feminism entered the common vocabulary. A legacy of independent women permeates these recollections: women who managed households, who became entrepreneurs, and who managed public facilities. The women she remembers may have been fair, but they certainly were not weak.
"I Love Stories About The South"
The title story of this collection might have been dubbed "Mother Knows Best". Kathryn Tucker Windham has always had a healthy respect for wisdom, but her true love has always been humor. The stories in this collection reflect her appreciation for traditional values and traditional ways, but they also beguile the listener with that most enchanting of Southern traits, a keen sense of humor.