Lizards on the Mantel, Burros at the Door: A Big Bend Memoir / Edition 1

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A woman who went West with her husband in the 1840s must have expected hardships and privation, but during the 1940s, when Etta Koch stopped off in Big Bend with her young family and a 23-foot travel trailer in tow, she anticipated no more than a civilized camping trip between her old home in Ohio and a new one in Arizona. It was only when she found herself moving into an old rock house without plumbing or electricity in the new Big Bend National Park that Etta realized, "From the sheltered life of a city girl of moderate circumstances, I too would have to face the reality of frontier living."

In this book based on her journals and letters, Etta Koch and her daughter June Cooper Price chronicle their family's first years (1944-1946) in the Big Bend. Etta describes how her photographer husband Peter Koch became captivated by the region as a place for natural history filmmaking-and how she and their three young daughters slowly adapted to a pioneer lifestyle during his months' long absences on the photo-lecture circuit. In vivid, often humorous anecdotes, she describes making the rock house into a home, getting to know the Park Service personnel and other neighbors, coping with the local wildlife, and, most of all, learning to love the rugged landscape and the hardy individuals who call it home.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292743397
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Etta Koch lived in Alpine, Texas.

June Cooper Price was a freelance writer who lived in Mesa, Arizona.

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Table of Contents

1. Where Is Everybody?.
2. The Long Road to Texas
3. Under the PiƱon Pines
4. Exploring the Basin
5. Terlingua
6. Dignitaries
7. Pets
8. Polecats and Horses
9. Boquillas
10. Of Mountains and Basins
11. The Broken Blossom
12. Mama Has a Birthday
13. The Winter of Change
14. Reflections on the Rio Grande
15. The Spa
16. Into the Limestone Lodge
17. Maggy
18. Menagerie
19. The Mail Comes on Monday
20. First, Go Fill the Water Bucket
21. A Lizard, Mice, and Other Winter Visitors
22. Mexican Wedding
23. The Steps That Led to Spanish
24. Have Some Beans?
25. Rocks of the Ages
26. Water Tales
27. A Christmas to Forget
28. Flight
29. Second Summer
30. On Top of Mt. Bailey
31. Kaufman's Draw
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