Sentimental Sunday: Leo Radauskas, 1889-1973 - Leonas "Leo" Radauskas is a first cousin two times removed on my Guokas (maternal grandfather's) line. He was born on June 22, 1889 in Gikoniai village...
5 days ago
...an area where a jagged lava formation created a dramatic surf break, spray geysering into the air....A wave would sweep beneath the Jet Ski with the silky power of a baseball pitcher's perfect slider; when it connected with these rocks, all of its energy was blasted skyward. Sun glinted through the fifty-foot curtain of water, casting a scrim of tiny diamonds. At the edges, circular rainbows called glories shimmered like haloes.The lovely writing, and the silky voice of actress Kirsten Potter, the narrator, kept me listening. I was fascinated by the experiences of the seafarers and of scientists on research ships, as well as by the surfers--at the beginning. By the end of the book, though, I had to question the sanity of pursuing such a dangerous sport that appears to have little redeeming value. When one considers that climate change and bigger waves mean more storms, floods, destruction, and death, celebrating "the big ones" makes little sense to me.
she didn't feel honest calling the book nonfiction. "Once you start assuming or plugging up holes, jumping to conclusions, it's no longer pure. Once it's no longer completely nonfiction, then it becomes fiction.” So Half Broke Horses' subtitle is A True-Life Novel. Walls' hope for the book is that it inspires readers to examine their own family histories.The rollicking tale begins with Lily saving her two younger siblings from a flash flood on the Salt Draw near Toyah, Texas, where Lily was born in a dugout in 1901. Lily lives an exciting life in some of the most remote parts of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona - but also in the big city of Chicago in the Roaring 20s. She helps her father train horses, teaches in remote schools, works as a maid and marries a bigamist, sells moonshine during Prohibition, learns to fly a plane, and manages a huge ranch with her Mormon-raised second husband, Jim Smith
"How about a year of pleasures, instead?...So many people who lose someone think that they need to behave in a prescribed way. Of course you're hurting! But what if you determined to find one thing every day that you...make happen...purposefully doing one thing that brings you happiness every single day, in a very conscious way. It builds up the arsenal...And the days turn into years. And the years turn into a lifetime."That was the message John was trying to give her, too - perhaps still doing so with a series of cryptic notes on slips of paper he left in a wrapped cigar box a neighbor delivered after his death. Betta puts the papers in a Chinese chest that they "had always loved best of anything we owned...Sometimes we'd hidden things in there to be found later as surprises, either to ourselves or to each other." (page 31) Later she remembers what "green bowl" on one slip of paper means, and realizes about the other slips of paper, "Those that I had been unable to decipher, at least not then. But here was the glory: We were not done with each other yet." (page 32)