Water from Stone: The Story of Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve

Water from Stone: The Story of Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve

by Jeffrey Greene, Margaret Bamberger
     
 

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Award-winning author Jeffrey Greene provides a portrait, by turns lyrical and provocative, of J. David Bamberger’s unlikely transformation from first, a vacuum cleaner salesman, then to co-founder and CEO of Church’s Fried Chicken, to an internationally recognized conservationist. In fact, Greene tells two integrally related stories: the evolution

Overview


Award-winning author Jeffrey Greene provides a portrait, by turns lyrical and provocative, of J. David Bamberger’s unlikely transformation from first, a vacuum cleaner salesman, then to co-founder and CEO of Church’s Fried Chicken, to an internationally recognized conservationist. In fact, Greene tells two integrally related stories: the evolution of one man’s business sense, applying profit incentives to land restoration and nature conservancy; and the creation of a Texas Hill Country preserve where he effectively demonstrates his own principles.

Growing up in rural Ohio during the Great Depression and World War II, Bamberger learned at an early age to shun waste, grow food productively, and admire the Amish for living in harmony with the land. His mother taught him to love the natural world and gave him a book that would set the course for his life: Pleasant Valley, by Louis Bromfield, a visionary American advocate for land restoration. Inspired by his new role model, Bamberger would say, “If I ever make money, I want to do what Bromfield did.”

After finding that financial success, Bamberger bought what he describes as “the sorriest piece of land in Blanco County” and entered upon his decades-long effort to restore the ecological balance of 5,500 acres that had been virtually destroyed by more than a century of misuse. Naming his preserve Selah—from the Old Testament term meaning “pause and reflect”—Bamberger dedicates himself and his resources to protecting species and educating school children, conservation groups, government officials, and everyone else who will listen to his central message, delivered with evangelical zeal: We must take care of the earth, and anyone can help.

Today, David and his wife, Margaret, have received many awards, and he has been featured in The New Yorker, in Audubon, and on CNN and network news. But until now, no one has fully told the story of how a man with vision transformed a place—and in doing so, transformed himself.

Editorial Reviews

New Southerner
An accomplished poet and memoirist, he weaves history, ecology, anecdote, statistical evidence and keen personal observation into a tapestry that's richly textured but never heavy, a book that's a pleasure to read and that might gently persuade—even inspire—a reader with little prior commitment to environmental causes to live more consciously on the earth.

The Permian Historical Annual
The story of J. David Bamberger is the Cinderella tale and the American dream wrapped together in a man who started as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman . . . and then devoted his golden years to environmental responsibility in the Texas Hill Country.

Lone Star Sierran
. . . well-written and compelling . . . Margaret's own illustrations add such a special dimension to the volume . . .
Texas Parks and Wildlife
. . . one of the Texas Hill Country's greatest conservation success stories.
David E. Texas Parks & Wildlife

. . . one of the Texas Hill Country's greatest conservation success stories.

David H. Riskind

". . . interesting, well-written and insightful.”--David H. Riskind, Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., Austin

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603440639
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
06/15/2008
Series:
Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series, #41
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
1,181,799
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

David H. Riskind

". . . interesting, well-written and insightful.”--David H. Riskind, Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., Austin

David H. Riskind, Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., Austin

Jane Goodall
David and Margaret Bamberger share my concern for the future of life on this planet; their deep connection with and reverence for the natural world is captured in this thought-provoking and richly-written book. In Water from Stone, the Bambergers encourage us to respect all life on Earth and to do everything we can to save it. (Dr. Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE; Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace)

Meet the Author


JEFFREY GREENE is the author of the memoir French Spirits and three collections of poetry. He lives in Paris.

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