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Lois Zook Wauson

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Rainy Days and Starry Nights
by Lois Zook Wauson   

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Publisher:  Maverick Publishing Co. ISBN-10:  18993271307 Type: 


Copyright:  October, 2003

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The story of a girl in South Texas, growing up on a sandy, dusty farm during the depression years and the 1940's.

Lois Zook Wauson writes about her life, in a family of 10, growing up during the depression years and the 1940's. Depressiona nd drought did not make it easy for the large family. Lois, the oldest of eight children of Bertie Lee and Lawrence Zook, does not flinch from reporting the difficult aspects of this life, which casts into grater relief her telling of everyday pleasures and triumphs.

Daddy was rugged and big, and used cuss words in all his conversations. He rolled his own cigarettes. He always seemed to be wearing a straw hat and smelled like sweat and dirt. He didnít shave very often. When he would nuzzle my cheek to give me a kiss, if he was in good mood, his whiskers scratched like everything!
He was gruff, tough, and hard and his hands were huge.
I knew what those big hands felt like and also the belt he would take off and use on us. It didnít take much to set off that anger and violence.
He was angry, worried and engrossed with farming and making a living on our 100 acres of sandy farmland and pastures with scrubby mesquite trees and lots of cactus. I was scared of him. When I heard his loud, angry voice yelling at my mother or my brothers and sisters and me I trembled with fear and tried to get out of the way. He always seemed to be in a bad mood.
Itís funny, but itís amazing how Old Man Weather has such an effect on our lives especially for farmers and ranchers. Their life depends on whether it rains or doesnít rain, or if the weather is too hot or too cold. Daddyís moods depended on the weather!

Professional Reviews

Reese Vaughn - Victoria Advocate
Lois Zook Wauson, in her book "Rainy Days and Starry Nights: Growing up in the South Texas Brush Country," describes her dad with words that fit more than one farm-and-ranch country father: "Daddy was rugged and big, and used cuss words. He rolled his own cigarettes. He always seemed to be wearing a straw hat, and to smell of sweat and dirt ... "
Wauson grew up on her daddy's 100-acre farm in southwestern Wilson County during the Depression and drought years. Her stories, published originally in the Floresville Chronicle-Journal, describe life on a peanut farm, washing clothes in an iron pot and cooking on a wood stove. Saturday night chores were "milking and feeding the hogs, chickens and livestock, and gathering the eggs ... " but on Friday nights during football season the Zook kids stayed in Poth with friends, ate french fries and drank Coke at Schneider's Cafe, "then walked around town to see who else was hanging out." And then everyone, uncles and aunts, from farm and town, went to the game.

Glen Dromgoole/Texas Reads/Abilene Reporter-News
Five authors have written their memories of growing up in different sections of rural Texas during the Depression. If you lived through it yourself, or you remember your parents or grandparents talking about what life was like back then, you might want to check out these accounts, all quite readable.
"The Bootlegger's Other Daughter" by Mary Cimarolli is set in East Texas near Sulphur Springs (Texas A&M . University Press, $24.95 hardcover).
"I Just Called Her Momma" by Mae DurdenNelson is set in the Hill Country near Fredericksburg (Eakin Press, $18.95 paper).
"What I Learned on the Ranch" by James Bruce Frazier is set in West Texas near Big Spring (McWhiney Foundation Press, $18 hardcover).
"Beneath the Window" by Patricia Wilson Clothier is set on a ranch in the Big Bend area (Iron Mountain Press, $17.95 paper).
"Rainy Days and Starry Nights" by Lois Zook Wauson is set in South Texas near Floresville (Maverick Publishing, $14.95 paper).

Mike Cox-in Austin American Statesman
I knew I was going to like Lois Zook Wauson's "Rainy Days and Starry Nights: Growing Up in the Soouth Texas Brush Country"when I read the first two sentences of her essay, "Friday Night in South Texas.
"Autumn in South Texas is not like autumn in New York, or in Michigan or even in Oklahoma", she begins,"In September we may get a cool front before the month is gone, but sometimes we swelter in the heat until October." Anyone who grew up in Texas can identify with that.

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