Some words by the writer, Marshal South, whose home site named Yaquitepec
I recently visited.
After making the trip down to the home site, I decided to pick up a book about
the man, which also includes most of the monthly columns he wrote for Desert Magazine. The pay for those articles was the primary means of support for himself and his family while living up atop Ghost Mountain.
I picked up a signed collectible copy at a real good price from a small bookstore
and I realize after the fact, that the smart plan would have been to buy the book first, read it, and then go make the pilgrimage, but of course, I did the opposite.
If I had read the book and studied the layout of the home inside, provided by
the eldest son, Rider, I would have been much more knowledgeable, and more
awed by all the family accomplished, atop that barren, windswept ridge.
You live and learn. I will be going back for a second visit.
I am going to make a strong statement. Having read through page 105, I feel like I have read enough to say Mr. South has to go up there with a very small
group at the top of the wilderness writers pyramid. Having read Abbey and others, reading Zane Grey, the western writer, etc- the word paintings found in this book are as good as any I have read.
Take a look at that new section on the left column of this page. From time to time, I will pick out a small paragraph that has meaning, in this case personal
meaning to me- and put it in this new section. Read it and think about it.
When I saw this part of a paragraph, I was overwhelmed almost by the memory of the smell of the giant creosote plant after a rain in my backyard of my Joshua Tree house. Alas the new owners tore it out right after they moved in, this pleasant memory they will never hold dear, as I do.
Another great paragraph which I will probably highlight next was when he remembered his father- just a wonderful description- the man was truly a master wordsmith.
Here is a photograph of my copy. It is in like new condition and signed by Diana
Lindsay, the editor. I also enjoyed the information from Rider South at the beginning of the book, especially his memories of his parents and siblings, and how life was at Yaquitepec.
This really is a great read and I highly recommend that you reading these words here, go out and get a copy- read it at night before laying down, and dream of life in the desert- you may wake up smelling that desert rain.
Vaya con dios.