Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Excerpt: THE WHOLE DAMN CHEESE by Bill Wright

THE WHOLE
DAMN CHEESE
MAGGIE SMITH BORDER LEGEND
by
BILL WRIGHT
Genre: Biography / Texana 
Publisher: Texas Christian University Press 
Facebook   Instagram   Twitter
Publication Date: October 12, 2018
Number of Pages: 160 pages with B&W photos


Anecdotes about Maggie Smith abound, but Bill Wright’s The Whole Damn Cheese is the first book devoted entirely to the woman whose life in Big Bend country has become the stuff of legend. For more than twenty years, Maggie Smith served folks on both sides of the border as doctor, lawyer, midwife, herbalist, banker, self-appointed justice of the peace, and coroner. As she put it, she was “the whole damn cheese” in Hot Springs, Texas. A beloved figure serving the needs of scores of people in Big Bend country, she was also an accomplished smuggler with a touch of romance as well as larceny in her heart. Maggie’s family history is a history of the Texas frontier, and her story outlines the beginnings and early development of Big Bend National Park. Her travels between Boquillas, San Vincente, Alpine, and Hot Springs define Maggie’s career and illustrate her unique relationships with the people of the border. Vividly capturing the rough individualism and warm character of Maggie Smith, author Bill Wright demonstrates why this remarkable frontier woman has become an indelible figure in the history of Texas.


CLICK TO BUY
TAMU PRESS   ║   AMAZON   ║   BARNES AND NOBLE


EXCERPT FROM
THE WHOLE DAMN CHEESE
BY BILL KNIGHT

Maggie had a dry sense of humor and wasn’t reluctant to express herself. Once a woman wearing shorts and her family came down to Hot Springs. It was on a Sunday. She asked Maggie if there was a church nearby. Maggie advised the couple that the nearest church was in Alpine, almost a hundred miles away. The woman asked Maggie, “Well, what do you do to go to church?” Maggie said, “I don’t go to church. There’s no church to go to.” The lady said, “I think that’s ridiculous!” Maggie, who believed in modesty, was quick with a retort: “Well, if you want to know what is ridiculous, it’s you going around half naked. That’s more ridiculous than me not going to church. I can’t go to church, but you can put on some clothes!” she said, laughing. 

Maggie met all sorts of people who came to take the baths. Some of them were surprised at the primitive nature of the accommodations, but Maggie managed, in her direct and honest way, to win them over. She never let them get the upper hand. One patron who came from Louisiana complained about the situation: a hundred miles of dirt roads, hot weather, and other difficulties. He stated it was supposed to be a beautiful park and asked Maggie, “What part do you play?” She responded, “I’m the whole damn cheese here at Hot Springs if you want to know!” That settled the man down, and she later received a letter from him addressed, “Dear whole damn cheese.” After staying a couple of days, they became good friends. He fell in love with the country, becoming a regular customer, and later sent Maggie a pair of mounted steer horns as a gift.



 

For thirty-five years Bill Wright owned and managed a wholesale and retail petroleum marketing company. In 1987 he sold his company to his employees and since then has carved out a remarkable career as an author, fine art photographer, and ethnologist. He has written or contributed to seven books, and his photographs appear in Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
10/17/18                Excerpt                              Texas Book Lover
10/18/18                Character Interview           All the Ups and Downs
10/19/18                Character Interview           Max Knight
10/20/18                Author Interview               That's What She's Reading
10/21/18                Review                               Hall Ways Blog
10/22/18                Scrapbook Page                 StoreyBook Reviews
10/23/18                Review                               The Book Review
10/24/18                Excerpt                               Reading by Moonlight
10/25/18                Review                               Forgotten Winds
10/26/18                Review                               The Clueless Gent



   blog tour services provided by

  

No comments:

Post a Comment