Sunday, 21 March 2010

Fascinating memoir

Finished March 21
Life is So Good by George Dawson and Richard Glaubman
Richard Glaubman, a schoolteacher, became intrigued when he heard about George Dawson, a man who learned to read at the age of 98. When Richard met George, he became even more interested and decided to tell George's story, with George's help. Born in 1898, George had very interesting stories to tell about his life and the events he witnessed. From watching a man he knew get accused of a crime he didn't commit and get lynched for it, when he was ten, to signing a contract with a white man when he was 101, George has watched racial relations in the U.S. change dramatically. George was brought up to speak to white man a certain way and always defer. George, as the eldest boy, was forced to work to help support his family rather than attend school. He lived and worked away from home while still very young, and learned that hard work gets respect. Having a yen to wander as a young man took George from Mexico to California, and expanded his experiences in a way he hadn't thought possible. Eventually though, he ended up back in Texas and settled down. It wasn't until someone came to his door with a pamphlet on adult education classes that he realized that he hadn't totally lost out on the opportunity to learn to read. He tackled this new task with the same effort he had always applied to any work he took on. As I read about George's life and his outlook on life, I was very taken with his story.
An interesting life and a good read.

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