Coming Home

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They are a vanload of pilgrims, climbing through the swirling snow of a late December night from the Denver airport up toward ski country -- a family from Missouri, another from North Carolina, a couple of college kids headed home for the holidays.  And the Guitar Man. 

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Home to Robert Inman is Elba, Alabama, where he grew up and where his grandmother lived. But his stories--all of them true, he assures us--encompass everything south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Inman writes about Vacation Bible School, a must for Elba's Methodist faithful; southern politicians; the differences between North and South Carolina; small-town radio stations; the joys of Thanksgiving and Christmas; University of Alabama football; the painful process of writing; weddings and marriages; and his "beautiful, warm-hearted, generous, even-tempered, talented, and witty" wife, Paulette. Inman, author of three novels and seven screenplays, devotes a section of the book to his friend Delbert Earle, who wants to ban the month of February with its "dismal drearies": snow and ice, gloom and angst, and public unrest and domestic discontent. And there's much more in this delightful collection of memoirs, down-home storytelling at its best. 

George Cohen

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