Dear ePublisher:

I really liked the previous issue of SouthernReader, so I thought I’d give you some feedback. Loved the cover with the watermelon; you are giving us an entirely new appreciation for these members of the gourd family. The ePublisher’s story was not only entertaining, but it also helped me make the connection to the “Big Chicken” story in the very first issue of SR.

Lisa Love’s article was great, as always. I think she will never let me down at this point. She is too intelligent, too witty, and too smooth with a pen (and/or mouse!), and I salute her.

The book review for David Margolick’s Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock was very insightful and Dusty Bettis almost led us readers to believe he was up to no good in his article on weenie cookin.’ A good story and probably a good thing you don’t mention his whereabouts.

Although I don’t read a lot of fiction, I really enjoyed William Love Dockery’s “Rapture” story and would gladly read more of his writing in the future.

Ron Hart’s article was plain good. He hits child-rearing and parenting right on the noggin and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade.

Steve Newton’s poem brings our mortality to the surface. I catch myself doing the same thing with the first chorus of frogs in the spring as he does with the migrating geese and, worse yet, with each full moon. I always throw an (unobserved) tantrum when the sky is overcast, and I always wonder if this full moon will be my last. These thoughts are morbid, and I should stop being such a realist. We should also tell Mr. Newton it isn’t healthy. What we must also tell him, though, is when a piece can rouse such feelings in the breast of those who read it, it is a good piece of work.

“Daddy’s In The Closet”…is it even safe for me to comment on this article (let alone say I got such a kick out of it)? SouthernReader must attract these kinds of stories. So many twisted writers and so little time. I wish I lived around people like that who can have such fun with basically everything.

Becky Swopes is a very good writer. While I consider her story a sad one, ironically, I think her work is actually a “feel good” story. Regardless of how you tag it, it was well written, and my hat goes off to her.

Martha Mathews was a wicked little girl. Who ever heard of injecting dye into a grasshopper? But her last stanza…that’s profound. The poem means so much more after you’ve read those last lines. I aim to look seriously into getting one of her books.

Lee Owens’ personal recollection of Lefty Frizzell was very interesting. But, on top of this, his knowledge of country music in its earlier days left my head spinning—he is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to first-hand knowledge. Another thing I enjoyed was his reminisces of early childhood. And when he states that he “grew up in a household very different from most middle-class homes,” I had to nod my head in agreement. I also grew up isolated from the world and had no idea that my friends’ fathers went off to work each day. Unlike Mr. Owens, however, I grew up on a farm, and no one was in and out of our house. But there was one other statement he made further on in his article that I could relate to completely: “By the time I was a teenager…I had manufactured a reality that wasn’t very congruent with true reality.” And I agree that can be a head-scratcher when you find yourself turned loose in the world. I still scratch my head, so my hat goes off to Mr. Owens for being able to make sense out of his own life. Plus, to have someone you look up to, like Lefty himself, slap you on the back (figuratively speaking) and say, “You have what it takes, son,” I would think that it would be more priceless than all the Christmas presents in the world.

And then there’s Ron Birch and his “Flying Family Reunion.” Again, my hat goes off to him—as well as my shirt, my shoes and my overalls if I ever have to fly somewhere with him in a small plane.

Overall, I felt like the Spring/Summer 2012 SouthernReader was the best, yet. But, alas, no publication is perfect. All have their blemishes. Sadly, the same must be said of that issue. Whereas, I loved all of the articles and poems, I must take issue with the writer of the “Letter to the e-Publisher.” He claims to be well-informed, but he comes off as a pompous know-nothing. And for the writer (and the reader’s) information—the hangy-down hook do-hicky he speaks of, found on the end of a goose’s beak, is technically called a “nail.”

Doug Combs
Olney, Illinois

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