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Roller: A Dirt Road Sport
Author : Julian Morgan
Category : Other
ISBN : 0-942407-48-2
Price : $ 19.95
Pages : 232
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In Roller, Julian Morgan has brilliantly recaptured boyhood in rural Georgia in the early 1950s. Roller's appearance and personality seem to be in perfect harmony. His clear green eyes punctuate an air of innocence, yet they sparkle with just a hint of mischief. The South Georgia sun has freckled his young complexion, and he glows with an out-doorsy nature. In this year between boyhood and manhood, he learns from the discipline of a strong mother, still more from a father trying to keep the family financially healthy during a drought. And in his numerous adventures during this crucial year, he is helped and guided by Cooper, a black man of gentle wisdom who understands the ways of youngsters struggling toward manhood.

From the Inside Flap
Roller's appearance and personality seem to be in perfect harmony. His clear green eyes punctuate an air of innocence, yet they sparkle with just a hint of mischief. The South Georgia sun has freckled his young complexion, and he glows with an out-doorsy nature. Sunset-gold curls frame a forehead that unconsciously wrinkles with expression when he speaks. He is not very handsome, he is wholesome, and most people are drawn to him by his pleasing smile and country-boy candor.

Roller has never met a stranger and has a welcoming deportment to all. If Norman Rockwell had been asked to paint a picture of the son of Mother Nature, Roller would have been his perfect model.

Although just a boy at the beginning of this novel, Roller already is smart in getting what he wants ~ whether that be killing a hawk that preys on his father's animals, getting even with a bully, or fighting with an older and stronger brother. In this year between boyhood and manhood, he learns from the discipline of a strong mother, still more from a father trying to keep the family financially healthy during a drought.

And in his numerous adventures during this crucial year, he is helped and guided by Cooper, a black man of gentle wisdom who understands the ways of youngsters struggling toward manhood.

In Roller, Julian Morgan has brilliantly recaptured boyhood in rural Georgia in the early 1950s.
 
About the Author
Julian Morgan is a graduate of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the University of Georgia College of Agriculture. He is proud of his rural heritage and proud, too, that he and his wife, Linda, were able to raise their son and daughter on the farm that his father and grandfather had nurtured.

He and Linda still live on their Randolph County, Georgia farm and marvel at its beauty daily.
 
Reviews:

Reviewer: Danny Ingram (Eufaula, Alabama) I loved this book. It brought me to memories of that rural Georgia area. Although I was riding it a few years later, I'm sure that road was the same for all of us. The store, the road, the creeks, and the people pretty much remained the same when I was a kid there. Reading the book I remembered that old oak tree. Julian captured what I think were the feelings of every boy in that community. It was a very special place, and very special people. Thanks Julian, for the memories.

Reviewer: Mary E. Hood (Commerce, GA) ROLLER is the story of a young white boy--"a dirt road sport" as the subtitle says-- growing up in the south in the days just before the freedom riders. His friend and guide is Cooper, a black man who has grown old expecting neither justice nor mercy in the lynching death of his father a half century before, a story so old and repressed its mystery is no longer noticed, like the dust on the road itself, and on the leaves of the family tree Roller climbs to rise above his raising. A new road is coming their way, and it threatens Roller's tree. Roller learns from Cooper how to bide his time, perfect his plans and aim, and wage righteous war against the breakers of his heart's peace. If Cooper endures, Roller prevails. Their adventures are funny, tender, rowdy, and even bawdy. The times are changing. Roller is growing into manhood, and Cooper is in decline, along with his beloved mules and rural life. "Rolling with the flow" is the way--as his daddy tells him--to survive change, and Roller rolls, but never far from trouble. "Boy," Cooper tells him more than once, "you thinks too ass much, sometime." But Roller's gift is that very brooding, upon which nothing is lost, "notes and words and many voices... an anthology of sad and happy, of earth and heaven, of today and tomorrow."

Reviewer: (Georgia) If the old game show, To Tell the Truth was still coming over the airwaves, we could have an interesting set of contestants using some of the books and novels that have been written in the past 100 years about farm life in Georgia. And, the secret is, Gone with the Wind would not be the winner - - in fact it would probably come in a distant third with Roller: A Dirt Road Sport leading the pack.

Julian Morgan, a fellow with first hand memories of the reality of growing up in the little town of Coleman, Georgia has penned a marvelous account of real life in the real age of innocence. Away from the influences of the "city" and long before the tainting of society by television and violence, Morgan sets forth an entertaining, realistic and straight-forward account of growing up in the dusty cotton and peanut fields of the rural south. With an old share-cropper as his mentor, guide, keeper and friend, young Roller is seen as he is maturing through the challenges of progress. With a keen eye for observation and an ever present wit that can be traced to his roots in the rural south, Roller goes about his life with the free spirit of an eagle.

The review on the dust jacket likens Roller to a modern day Huck Finn and this is a very apt description. Although quite honestly, Roller transcends the mirth of Huck Finn and confronts the realities of life and death, wealth and poverty and winds up as a character that every mother would want for a son and every father should be proud to claim as his own blood.

This is a great book and should be read by anyone who has even the slightest problem picturing Georgia as anything but what was put on the silver screen in Margaret Mitchell's classic legend. Roller is real - as real as the dirt between his toes and as real as the pain of shooting his own pet duck. It is a book with guts and a book with glory.

In fact, there really should be a new and separate genre of literature for books like this and those by other Georgia authors such as Ferrol Sams, Sonny Sammons, Amy Blackmarr and Jimmy Carter. I would call it Heritage literature- - the real side of life not some fictionalized and sugar-coated rendition of reality. While the names may have been changed, the stories are as real as they get. What these writers put on paper is honest, human, humane, and very rich with the blessings of growing up in the rural south and living in the rural south even after progress tried to ruin it.

Read it - you won't be sorry.
 

Title of the Month
Ray Stevens' Nashville
Ray Stevens’ Nashville is the story of a Nashville legend who has seen many changes during the last fifty plus years. Ray takes us along on his American Dream journey from the little mill town of Clarksdale, Georgia, where he was born, through his school days in south Georgia, to his early recording experience with friends like Jerry Reed and Joe South in Atlanta under the tutelage of Bill Lowery. Then, on to Nashville– Music City USA–where he established himself as not only a world famous recording artist but, as one Nashville star recently said, as “The most talented man on Music Row.”

Author : By Ray Stevens with C.W. "Buddy" Kalb
Category : Inspirational Books
ISBN : 9781935802228
Price : $ 19.95

 
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