Ben H. English

Ben H English Alpine Texas ~

Happy Thanks Giving Day America ✨

Good morning, Folks!

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I want to share a review concerning ‘Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend.’ It was from Ron Secoy, an Army combat veteran and cowboy poet who now calls Oklahoma home. I met Ron at the book festival in Hico and he bought a softcover copy then. I asked him to let me know what he thought when finished, and his response follows below.

Thank you, Ron.

Some of you reading this might be headed to the Big Bend today, tomorrow, or sometime during the upcoming holiday season. If you are, I wish you a safe and memorable journey. I’ve been wandering that country for some sixty years now, first with my older family and kin and now often alone following their eventual passing.

I’ll never see it all.

Most likely, you won’t either. But if you want a jump start to seeing what you can, you will find this book to be a primer like no other. There is also an audio version, so you can listen as you travel along.

‘Out There’ was a labor of love, a sharing of hard won knowledge and a remembrance of those who came before.

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Ben H. English
Alpine, Texas
USMC: 1976-1983
THP: 1986-2008
Author: 2016-Present

‘Graying but still game’

“A quote from the Bruce Kiskaddon poem The Time to Decide is what drew me to your book Out There: Essays on the Lower Big Bend, being a cowboy poet and an admirer of Kiskaddon. After reading the ensuing comments, I figured that the book needed further investigation and gladly bought it. I haven’t been disappointed and being I read like I eat, I set out to devour the book.

The use of quotes from various people as introduction to each vignette of the multiple features of the lower Big Bend area of Texas were like hors d’oeuvres or wine preparing the palate for a multi-course meal. Each one had a taste of its own and whet my whistle for the food to follow.

The courses that followed were like sitting down to a feast that couldn’t be fully appreciated or enjoyed unless each were ingested slowly, savoring the flavor, aroma, color and consistency of each one. While the description of each area were hearty enough on their own, the back story, history, personal observations and photos made each course unique and memorable.

I preferred to eat in bites picked from various parts of the book. No rushing as I consumed. I let my food settle and then went on to the next morsel. Sometimes I back tracked, feeling like I missed the nuance of the dish. Each mouthful was an epicurean experience without the need for condiments.

The whole book was a culinary success. I really couldn’t tell you when I reached dessert. There was no formality to my dining but not done casually either. I was aware that I wasn’t consuming but dining; not feeding but feasting and not overeating but indulging my appetite.

I’m sure the meal is not over, and I’ll find myself going back for late night snacks or wanting to revisit the taste of the book. And to paraphrase another famous author, “it’s a moveable feast”.”

–Ron Secoy

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By @peacewriter51

Life is like a bunch of roses. Some sparkle like raindrops. Some fade when there's no sun. Some just fade away in time. Some dance in many colors. Some drop with hanging wings. Some make you fall in love. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Life you can be sure of, you will not get out ALIVE.(sorry about that)