Wanderer Springs: A Novel

Wanderer Springs: A Novel

Wanderer Springs: A Novel

Wanderer Springs: A Novel

Excerpt

GOING back was a mistake but it was one of those mistakes I had to make. Not to go back would have been bigger than a mistake, it would have been a sin. A mistake is something you do to yourself, like shooting yourself in the foot. A sin is something you do to others, like forgetting a friend. Like not going back for Jessie Tooley’s funeral. Wanderer Springs taught me that.

That was one of the quaint values the Institute wanted me to write about. I was writing booklets about the Germans in Texas, the Wends in Texas, the Poles, the Chinese, so that schoolchildren named Hinojosa or Drieschner or Chinn could read about their heritage and know that they were the descendants of Abraham and Moses Austin, Luther and Carry Nation, George Washington and Samuel Colt. I outlined Texas history for them—the longhorn, the fence, the plow, the railroad, the windmill, the oil field, the highway, and the military installation.

“Write about Wanderer Springs,” the director said. The Director of the Texas Institute for Cultural Research is from Chicago. He is also young and a member of a minority—those being unwritten requirements to give him a broad perspective on Texas. By its own rules the Director of the Institute cannot be from Texas, the South, or Southwest. Something about “political disinterest.” Every effort was made to assure that the director’s opinions were not colored by experience. In terms of . . .

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