Tarleton, Texas Folklore Society announce book release
STEPHENVILLE — The Texas Folklore Society, a partner of Tarleton State University, is celebrating the publication of “A Biscuit for Your Shoe: A Memoir of County Line, a Texas Freedom Colony” by Beatrice Upshaw.
Upshaw, an East Texas native, lives in the Upshaw Community in Nacogdoches County, where she is a retired occupational therapist and a musician and Bible study teacher in the County Line Baptist Church. She’s also a chocolatier, producing homemade confections that her cousin Victor Morrison sells in his barbecue emporium, Uncle Doug’s, in Douglass on Texas 21.
The book does more than chronicle family stories and significant events. It tells of beliefs, home remedies, folk games and customs, as well as the importance of religion and education to a community of like-minded people. The narrative is a rich source of colloquial language and proverbial sayings that help define a group of people and their strong sense of place.
“There were no evils then, not in our corner of the universe,” Upshaw writes. “We were shrouded in ignorant bliss concerning what went on outside our haven. Far and away from us was the worry of drive-by shootings, drug busts, robberies, and murders. Some of the terminology heard frequently today describing the state of our nation had not even been coined back then. We were innocent, naive, country folks who largely made up the backbone of the nation — then.”
Photographs and introduction to the book are by Richard Orton of Nacogdoches.
The Texas Folklore Society is the oldest state folklore organization continuously functioning in the United States. Founded in 1909, it collects, preserves and shares the practices and customs of the people of Texas and the Southwest. Learn more about the organization at TexasFolkloreSociety.org.