Going to Texas

Rattlesnakes sign on Route 66, near McLean, Texas, 2009, by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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Going to Texas

by Carolyn Osborn
Southern Cultures, Vol. 19, No. 4: Winter 2013

"Crossing the Mississippi River, putting my head out of the window to stare at its broad muddy width—the last boundary of my well-known southern world—I left Tennessee."

In 1946, a year after World War II was over and just before school started, my ten-year-old brother and I (twelve then), and my father and his new wife—all of us nearly strangers to each other—piled in her bulky green Buick and drove west from Nashville. We were on our way to a small town in central Texas called Gatesville. Crossing the Mississippi River, putting my head out of the window to stare at its broad muddy width—the last boundary of my well-known southern world—I left Tennessee.