It took less than a minute to reply, "Of course!"
At that time I had a list of books I'd already been assigned to read and review, along with deadlines for several writing projects, but Ellen's request was a no-brainer.
Full disclosure: I've known Ellen for about 15 years, and for as long as I've known her she has been an inspiration to me and other writers. She is kind and generous and wise, as well as a talented writer and storyteller and a respected authority on the Ozarks.
True to my word, on this last day of May, I am reviewing Ellen's delightful memoir.
Footprints in the Ozarks is a collection of short essays that capture the essence of the Ozarks, its people, its traditions, and its impact on American culture. Ellen's Ozarks story opens in December, 1944, with a story about her future husband Lane Massey. Dedicated to the memory of Lane, Footprints in the Ozarks is a personal glimpse into Ellen's years as a wife, mother, teacher, writer, and Home Agent for the Missouri Farm Bureau.
The memoir is divided in three parts: Home Agent in Lebanon, The Farm, and Back in Lebanon. The book's primary setting is Laclede County, Missouri, around the town of Lebanon, Missouri, located along historic Route 66, now Interstate 44.
As you read about Ellen's life, you'll learn about Ozarkians, Ozarks customs and sayings, and a rural lifestyle in bygone days --- a time of Shivarees, homemade rag rugs, pie suppers, and one-room schoolhouses. The photos enhance the memoir and give an intimate portrait of Ellen and her family.
While Ellen Gray Massey's footprints mark her life's work, her memoir Footprints in the Ozarks will leave an indelible impression on readers who want to learn about the people and the place --- the mysterious, magnificient, Missouri Ozarks.