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Book Reviews255 The Howies deliberately befriended two local black teachers, Sadie Berger and John Lawyer, under attack for their NAACP membership. The couples double dated, knowing the dangers of simply being seen together in South Carolina, where citizens' councils urged Christians to "help pastors who sponsor integration move on to other parts."The people ofBluffton did not mind what John Howie preached about integration. They did care that the Howies acted on John's words. The Bluffton Charge charts the spiritual and poUtical evolution ofJohn and Bev Howie as they move from a fife as social activists in the South to become the Midwestern parents Stephen Howie remembers. Douglas Goetsch Here are two books ofnonfiction by two ofmy favorite writers, each having been originaUy published in the 1980s and re-issued in the 1990s; happily , they are stiU in print. Mitchell and Ruff:An American Profile infiazz, byWilliam Zinsser, foreword by Albert Murray. Paul Dry Books, 2000. 208 pages, paperback, $14.95. Mitchell &Ruff first pubUshed in 1984 under the title Willie & Dwike, takes us into the lives of two virtuoso jazz performers and teachers, pianist Dwike MitcheU, and French horn and bass playerWiIUe Ruff. The book is arranged tidily in seven chapters, each bearing the name of a different city. We see the unusual duo on the road giving concerts, talks, and workshops in places as diverse as Davenport, Iowa and Shanghai, China. We see the rural towns in the American South where they grew up and began to play and we hear about their first meeting one another as musicians in the Air Force in the years after WorldWar II, where MitcheU schooled the younger Ruffon the bass. ("Every time he made a mistake I made him go stand in the corner, and he hated that, and he'd scream and hoUer. He had the loudest scream you ever heard. But he never made that mistake again. He'd say, 'I'm not getting in that corner.'") We foUow Ruff to Yale, where he teaches music and studies the language of the next place he wants to visit (he wfll not travel to a country until he speaks its language), and we foUow MitcheU to NewYork City where he is the dedicated mentor to numerous apprentices, Zinsser himself among them. WiUiam Zinsser, author of over 20 nonfiction books, plies his craft with the same kind of dedication and reverence as these two musicians. Mitchell 256Fourth Genre & Ruffaccumulates power the way many a good story does: graduaUy and subtly, through the accretion of accurate detail, free of emotional flourishes and extraneous concerns. We come to see this as a book about stewardship: two humble artists who travel and educate all who care to hear about American Jazz, and who educate themselves about the world of music jazz fits into. This is not about crossing cultures, so much as seeing one's rightful place in a national and world mosaic of culture. The Real West Marginal Way:A Poet's Autobiography, by Richard Hugo, foreword by WiUiam Matthews. Norton, 1992 (reprint). 261 pages, paperback , $10.95. This coUection ofautobiographical essays, by perhaps America's foremost poet of place, was complete at the time of Hugo's death in 1984, though it was published posthumously by his wife Ripley Hugo. The essays, arranged chronologicaUy by subject, often convey the feel of a continuous narrative. When they don't, they stiU click satisfyingly together, as puzzle pieces, reveaUng the development of Richard Hugo's distinctive aesthetic. The essays begin with his early life, structured like slalom runs around the gates ofhis early poems. They show a lonely boy growing up in the house of "peasant" grandparents, who keep him free, for the most part, of books and even conversation, free to wander silendy in the woods ofdrizzly western Seattle, internaUzing a landscape of dilapidated houses of drunks and Indians, slow rivers running north, while playing basebaU in his head against the great NewYorkYankees. The essays move on through the landscapes of Hugo's life, which seem simultaneously bleak and rich: shy teen sublimating feelings ofloneliness and inadequacy in sports; World War II bombardier—"I was the worst"—stationed in "gray and brown" southern Italy...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1544-1733
Print ISSN
1522-3868
Pages
pp. 255-256
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-13
Open Access
No
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