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A timely print job means nothing if it doesn’t make it to the post office on time. Our people do what it takes to make your deadline. We can do the whole job from computer mailing list production and printing to labeling and delivery. Call Futura at 389-1500. AUSTIN, TEXAS 3019 Alvin DeVane, Suite 500 389-1500 Data Processing Typesetting Printing Mailing mechanic who took over his business following an accident, by his boulderlike friend, the King of Swing, by an estranged celebrity son and a mad, old school teacher called The Crow Woman for her habit of flapping about and cawing wordlessly, and perhaps most of all by the bees living inside the old schoolhouse he’s turned into a garage, Kellerman does at last, against community intervention and encroachment of diabetic crisis, reach the door of his dream and stand there knocking. Automotive History is a wonderful mixture of the elegiac and comic, of rude, get-it-done pragmatism and revery. Here, for instance, is Kellerman remembering his wife: The day after Babe’s funeral he took a butcher knife and hacked every plant in the house to pieces. Except for the peperomia, which he shut away in a dark cabinet above the water heater. He found it again a month later, pale and wilted, but somehow still alive. He carried it out with the trash and dumped both into the cage he used as an incinerator. After spreading the Sunday Oklahoman throughout the cage, he set the contents on fire and watched the brown smoke trail off toward Yukon. A month later he found a single green leaf rising out of the blackened tin cans and ashes. All right, all right, he said. He moved his trash burner to the other side of the yard. And here, he sums up his life: Kellerman shook his head to erase the memory. The past was past, he reminded himself. He didn’t want to think about it anymore. And just before dawn this morning he had decided he didn’t have to. Why should he? The past was pain. Nothing else. On his sixty-fifth birthday the people who had made up his past the life he had wanted, the life he had worked so hard for were all either gone or dead. And the present? Well, that was hardly better. What was left for him now? A nosey half-breed who brought him sugar. A senile old woman who thought she could fly. A son four-thousand miles away who had shamed him. And his project. He looked over at the lumpy gray canvas next to the automobile frame. The hum of his honeys’ beating wings made his bones tingle. He grabbed a wrench. All right. Even if it didn’t matter a good goddamn to anybody but him, he could still work, by god here in his sanctuary, with his honeys, where no one could bother him. Here he was and here he would stay until he was finished, no matter if the whole town of Yukon and half the dead rose against him. MARSHALL TERRY’S Joe Ringer is a far more ordinary dreamer, as lovable as Kellerman is prickly, dressed out in the youthful hopefulness which is the other side of age’s bitterness. Joe’s dream, amidst the cyclic ruins of his life, is to make that one big score which will set him up for good, redeeming all his failures and abbreviations, unlocking prosperity’s reluctant door this time a concert of up-and-coming country musicians. Moving from third-rate bars to cheap motel rooms to 7-Eleven phonebooths, from “women friends” long ago abandoned to vague acquaintances, Joe once again does the thing he does best: he Meanwhile his family, just as the reader must, cheers for Joe and while not expecting too much, hopes for the best. They do what they can. There is wonderful good humor in this novel, and character after singular character. \(I, for one, wanted more time with director of the creative-writing program at SMU, and longtime literary critic for the Morning News, Terry has suffused his novel with the physical presences and faces, all the diverse and often contradictory miens that define Dallas. That Sunday Bill Ringer rose up early and went out on his morning walk in white tennis shorts and his red, yellow, and blue Converse All-Sports coach’s shoes. He walked from his bois-d’arc-lined street north to the street that bordered the old Homestead place’s land. It just might be the strangest piece of property existing in any major American city: a plot of many intact acres left over all the way from the 1850s, with the old white-columned house still on it, bordered to the east by Dallas’s Central Expressway, crowded-up milliondollar houses being built all around it as it sat there, the land no longer plowed as it had been just a few years ago, the property just sitting there waiting for the inevitable “progress” that so abhorred such a vacuum. Standing there with the early sun coming up over the rim of the horizon, shining red and gold and reminding you for a moment that this was prairie land, standing there at that corner of the forgotten past and the swarming future, you looked to the twin gold buildings that seemed to say Dallas, twin cubes of soft gold in the morning sun just beyond this patch of undeveloped land, with a smaller waterblue cube of a building sitting just to the left of them. God, this was it, Ringer thought, what the fools had always been looking for: Cibola! In this age of blockbusters it often seems that the best of our literature, or all our literature, has retreated to dozens of university and small presses scattered about the country. That these fine novels were published, not as they would have been some years ago by Knopf, Doubleday, or Scribner’s, but by small presses in San Antonio and Vermont, is at once cause for despair and, because of the devotion of such publishers, themselves adamant dreamers, for celebration. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21