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The Red River Tea Room.and Other Remembrances

Jerrod Beasley

ISBN 10: 097135314X / ISBN 13: 9780971353145
Published by Jerrod Beasley, 2010
Used Condition: Good Soft cover
From Once Upon A Time Books (Springdale, AR, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Red River Tea Room.and Other ...

Publisher: Jerrod Beasley

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Perfect Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Growing up in a small southern town in the 40s, 50s, and 60s was not a unique experience. There were many of them. Although separated by geography, commonly held values, beliefs, customs, and traditions united these rural communities and gave them a sense of cohesiveness, brotherhood, and pride. The things that separated and divided the people of these towns were socioeconomic conditions, politics, and race. What made all of these places really different, though, were the colorful and memorable characters that stood apart from everyone else. This is a story about some of them and how the confluence of their lives changed the world they lived in. Victoria, a young ''firebrand'' who is not shy about crossing the established boundaries of her culture, commits a taboo that forces her to leave town. When she returns a few years later with a tow-headed son and gives a vague account of his paternity, suspicions are aroused and speculations are whispered about. Her flamboyant and eccentric Aunt Jessna is the only constant in her life and always a source of reliable support. Anna, a colored woman who lives in the swamp and possesses mystical and supernatural powers, becomes an ally and unexpected heroine. Calvin Todd is a man whose ignorance and meanness tragically affects them all.

About the Author:

When I started to explore the world of creative writing and journalism, the one lesson that I remembered from various teachers and advisors over the years was this: ''Write about what you know.'' So that is what I did. Like the characters in this book, I grew up in the same geographic location and environment. Namely, a mighty river and the waterways and swamps that connected it like the veins of the heart. I always remember the first line from William Cullen Bryant's poem, Thanatopsis, which I learned in a high school English Literature class: ''To him who holds communion with her visible forms, she speaks a various language.'' A reference to nature, it is there that I find God most often, and it is there where I go to renew my spirit and soul, especially, a swamp. I was also steeped in a culture and mindset that seemed to be foreign and unfamiliar to me. Although encouraged to pursue creative writing by more than one professor and a newspaper editor in my college years, I instead chose the nursing profession as my career. After spending almost forty years as an R. N., I decided to try my hand at writing. I came from a background that was rich in folklore and storytelling, so I decided to put that to use. The first day that I sat down with pen and paper, it took me an hour and a half to write the first sentence! I am not a disciplined writer like Ernest Hemingway. I waited for visits from Pegasus, the winged horse of inspiration, to channel my thoughts and guide my hand. A few years went by. After one period of fourteen and a half months of not having written anything, I was awakened by some force inside my head around 3:30 in the morning. I sat straight up in bed and realized that it was the characters from the Red River Tea Room demanding that I finish telling their story. I got up, put on a pot of coffee, and wrote furiously until well after sunrise. When I had finished, I closed my eyes and visualized each one of them, looking deeply into their eyes. When I acknowledged them all, they smiled faintly to let me know they approved. I hope that you, the reader, do too. ~ Jerrod Beasley

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