HEART IS IN THE EARTH
True Stories of Alabama and Mexico
by Wayne Greenhaw
River City Publishing, Montgomery, Alabama
For Wayne Greenhaw,
writing and life are synonymous. From his childhood days in rural
Alabama to his days spent south of the border in Mexico, he relates
stories of his experiences, finding an Alabama/Mexico connection is some
of the most unlikely places.
He begins by introducing
his readers to his Granddaddy, Hiram Dizzy "Bub" Able, who
once told him, "When your hearts in the earth, you know youre
home." Ironically, Greenhaw met an old Mexican who told him the
same thing years later. And it was then that he knew that his home state
deep in the heart of Americas South was somehow related to Mexico.
Little did he realize that the common bond was him.
To Greenhaw, Alabama, a
state most readers know little about, isnt a place, its a
"state of mind." His roots run deep in the rich soil and
stories of his home. But for Greenhaw, while his home may be Alabama,
his heart is forever in Mexico.
In this intriguing series
of true stories, Greenhaw takes his readers with him as he ventures for
the first time across the border at age 18. Written in prose reminiscent
of great Southern writers like Truman Capote, Greenhaw shows whats
its like to be Southern.
The son of a traveling
salesman, he grew up with the sounds of the Grand Ole Opry but didnt
appreciate the deep, heart-wrenching lyrics until later on in life. As
he remembers his childhood, he weaves a tapestry of life in rural
Alabama that few readers could never imagine.
His cast of characters
reads like a Whos Who of the Famous, from Governor George Wallace, a
personal friend of his daddy, to William Spratling, an Alabama native
son, who single-handedly revolutionized the silver and pottery-making
industry of Mexico. His knack for down-home biographical details makes
each personage come alive. Each character gives Greenhaws tales a
special twist that makes life in both Alabama and Mexico easily
He recalls the South of
the Ku Klux Klan, back roads and good ole boysof green beans, country
stores and black eyed peas and cornbread. He introduces his readers to
Nub, the ultimate football fan, and to Martin Luther King and the Civil
Rights Movement, which he covered for local papers.
But Alabama is only half
the story. Greenhaw went to study writing in San Miguel Allende a week
after graduating high school. On the train, a Mexican General introduced
him to his first cerveza, and then to tequila. But that introduction
would pale in comparison to some of the characters like Alan Ginzberg,
"an overweight poet," he met while studying at the Instituo
Mexico got under Greenhaws
skin, just as she does to so many creative people. But he still sees her
through Southern eyes.