December 6, 2017

Lone Star Book Blog Tours : Yonderings by Ben H. English

YONDERINGS Trails and Memories  of the Big Bend

Ben H. English

  Genre: Memoir / Travel / Texas
Publisher: TCU Press on Twitter  ┃ on Facebook  ┃ on Instagram
Date of Publication: November 17, 2017
Number of Pages: 221

It was a time before Terlingua Ranch, chili cook-offs, and when you could drive a hundred miles without seeing another vehicle or another person.  The year was 1961, and the tides of humanity that ebbed and flowed into the lower reaches of the Big Bend were at their historical nadir.  It was a vast, empty land spotted by isolated ranch headquarters, a national park with few visitors, and the many ruins of a past shrouded in legend, lore, and improbable truths. Six generations of Ben H. English’s family have called this enigmatic region home.  With his family headquartered at the old Lajitas Trading Post, he worked and lived on ranches and in places now little more than forgotten dots on yellowing maps.  He attended the one-room schoolhouse at Terlingua, prowled the banks of the Rio Grande, and crisscrossed the surrounding areas time and again on horseback and on foot.
Some fifty years later he writes about those years, revealing along the way the history and legends of the singular land he knows so well, separating fact from fiction, and bringing the reader into a world that few have experienced.  He also explores the lower Big Bend as it is found now, and the extraordinary vistas one can still discover just over the next rise.  


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Yonderings is the true story of a man's journeys around a place he's called home for the past five generations: Big Bend, Texas.  As Ben English tells his story of what it was like growing up down in Lajitas, you get a sense that he was bit of a wild boy -- but growing up down in that part of Texas, you kinda have to be! But it's not until he has to leave the area for school and a career in the Marines and then later as a DPS Officer, that he can truly appreciate the area for what it is. 

Reading this book has made me homesick for Sanderson and that entire region of West Texas that I like to call No-Man's Land! You truly have to understand the land of that region to appreciate what beauty it has in store. For me, coming from Ozona, truly the Biggest, Little Town in the World,  it was awesome to see some familiar names. English's telling of his adventures and the sights he saw is downright interesting and make me want to go explore some of the sites he mentions (but minus the encounter with a certain critter like Ben had!) With a book that is filled with adventure and with stories from Ben's history, this book is for anyone who is looking for that read that has Texas History mixed in with personal stories of a famous landmark in a part of Texas that isn't talked about much. If nothing else, Yonderings will make anyone want to go explore this part of West Texas that has a certain beauty not found anywhere else in the world!

Thank You to Ben H. English for writing this very interesting book of the land that we both love -- and for your service as a Marine & DPS Officer!  

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours!

An eighth-generation Texan, Ben H. English was raised mostly in the Lajitas-Terlingua area. An honors graduate of Angelo State University, he served in the United States Marine Corps for seven years, was a high school teacher, and retired after twenty-two years in the Texas Highway Patrol.  


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