Vicksburg, 1980: On the road with “the stable” promoting GOOD OLD BOY and THE GHOSTS OF ROWAN OAK published that fall by Yok Press and still in print 35 years later. (Photo Janet Beasley) The mayor gave Willie the key to the city.
Yoknapatawpha Press is pleased to announce that GOOD OLD BOY: A DELTA BOYHOOD by Willie Morris, has a new cover.
The WPA photograph of two boys fishing in a Bayou, in Schriever, LA was taken in 1940 by Marion Post
Walcott, It’s archived in Photos and Prints Division, Library of Congress
Willie’s son, David Rae Morris, brought this photo to my attention. It captures the spirit of Willie’s story — and the time frame fits: GOOD OLD BOY takes place during WWII.
GOOD OLD BOY: A Delta Boyhood, by Willie Morris. Middle grade fiction, paperback, $12.95, ISBN 978-0-916242-68-8. All-time best-seller at Yoknapatawpha Press, Good Old Boy evokes the author’s memories of a Mississippi boyhood . Morris, who was the editor of Harper’s Magazine and Ole Miss writer-in-residence from 1980-90., grew up in Yazoo City, MS; taught in Mississippi schools.
Dean never told me which of Chopin’s waltzes she and her cousins all knew by heart but “Waltz in A Minor” with its tone of reflection and loss could have been the theme song of “Judith,” the ghost of Rowan Oak, who as the story goes, jilted by her Yankee soldier, committed suicide. One night at Rowan Oak in the late ’40s, Dean’s cousin Victoria, William’s stepdaughter, began playing the Chopin waltz at midnight. Jill, Dean and Vicki rushed downstairs only to find no one at the piano. Of course they believed the poltergeist Judith was haunting them. Only when Victoria was dying of cancer would she admit that she and Pappy set up the prank. When Dean was getting married in 1958 (to first husband), before leaving for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church she stopped on the steps of Rowan Oak where Judith “fell to her death” and asked Pappy if Judith was real. He said, “No, Dean, I made her up for you and the girls, but I believe in her, don’t you?”
And now, Chopin’s Waltz in A Minor as performed by “Miss Judith Sheegog” of Oxford, Mississippi: