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Gene K. Garrison

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Member Since: Jul, 2007

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Review of FROM THUNDER TO BREAKFAST by Yates and Garrison
Thursday, October 04, 2007  11:27:00 AM

by Gene K. Garrison

Reviewer Alicia Hathcock wrote this highly recommended book.

I met the most interesting man the other night.

No, I wasn’t at a party or a local watering hole. I wasn’t working or traveling. I wasn’t even out of the house, but was instead curled up in my favorite chair, next to my husband on the couch who was happily pursuing his sport of choice, tag w/ the TV remote.

I met Hube Yates in the pages of a wonderful book named From Thunder to Breakfast. He is unlike any man I have met before, whether in real life or in the corners of my imagination. Definitely a character, I found him to be a trickster who enjoys a good heartfelt chuckle, but who exemplifies a sweet and true spirit. Hube is a man who arises to every occasion life hands him, who always tries to do the right thing, to be and do what his family and society demand of him. It occurs to me as I write this, that calling Hube Yates a hero wouldn’t be exaggerating!

From Thunder to Breakfast tells the story of Mr. Yates’ life, beginning when he is eleven. His minister father decided to move his family of seven children from Guthrie, Oklahoma to Phoenix, Arizona. The year was 1914 and the family’s traveling mode consisted of two covered wagons pulled by mules, two pack horses, various trunks and supplies, as well as their mother’s organ, heavily padded for protection. The journey was long and rough, and it took the little family three and a half months to make their way to their new home. Hube recalls thinking he felt prepared for the trip because he’d immersed himself in pulp fiction that described the wild and wooly west with all of its dangers. He wasn’t disappointed in the dusty, lonely journey at all - not with standing guard at night with his 12-gauge single-shot rifle; not in meeting Indians; not even in stumbling into a group of horse thieves or the sheriffs who pursued them. In fact, after reading many of Mr. Yates’ adventures during his lifetime, I don’t think he was disappointed in anything that ever happened to him, but instead saw it as a chance for another great story!

And what stories he tells in this book! There are a few more tales of Yates as a youngster including how he ran away while in his teens because he didn’t want to finish his “schoolin’” and the big bicycle race when he was seventeen and he earned the name Leather Lung Yates because he beat everyone in the 144 mile race. There are stories about when he met his wife, Patsy (to whom he dedicates this book); prohibition and the sprinkler wagons; eccentric but admirable people like attorney Hattie Mosier; playing midwife at the birth of his first child; how he became “a fire-fightin’preacher”; roping a skunk and so many more that I don’t want to spoil your pleasure by mentioning all of them.

My favorite story is “The Frog Stunt” and it shows Hube as the consummate trickster. All I’ll say is that it involves a 300 pound Chief of Police, a baseball rivalry between the firemen and police, a hot summer day, some water and frogs.

Reading From Thunder to Breakfast is like being present when an older relative starts to remember “way back when”. The stories are precious for the knowledge of times long gone and are told in a down-to-earth manner. They aren’t fancy with glowing descriptions or metaphors or figurative language. Instead, you get pure storytelling at its finest, with adventures and giggles thrown in for sweetening. Go on, pull up a chair, kick back and open up this book. You’ll be glad you met Hube Yates.

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