front cover of Owning a Piece of the Minors
Owning a Piece of the Minors
Jerry Klinkowitz. Foreword by Mike Veeck
Southern Illinois University Press, 1999

Owning a Piece of the Minors is by and about a man who lived his dream and acquired a baseball team. When Jerry Klinkowitz joined the group that ran the Waterloo, Iowa, Diamonds in the 1970s, ownership of a minor league baseball franchise conferred little mystique. Neglected for a half century, minor league baseball was at best obscure. Yet in the purchase of fantasy, what difference if your desire is out of style?

Klinkowitz continued his work with the Diamonds through the 1980s and much of the 1990s. In Owning a Piece of the Minors, he maps out his personal journey through baseball and probes his fluctuating fortunes and those of his team as he evolves from a fan to a team executive and, most important, to a writer writing about baseball. This baseball story begins with a nine-year-old Klinkowitz who is elated when Milwaukee lures the Braves from Boston; this story of a love affair with baseball might have died—and in fact suffered a ten-year hiatus—when the apostate Braves fled to Atlanta in 1965.

Klinkowitz rediscovered the joy of being at the baseball park when, as a middle-aged professor, he took his own children to the Waterloo Diamonds games. Gradually his involvement with the Diamonds grew deeper until he owned the team. His immersion into team activities was complete, from shagging batting practice and working the beer bar to struggling with the Cleveland Indians and then the San Diego Padres as minor league affiliates to accommodate baseball's resurgence.

Klinkowitz writes of loss—first the Braves and later the Diamonds; of writing baseball fiction; of attending the 1982 World Series back in Milwaukee; of the great old ballparks around the country, including Wrigley, Fenway, and old Comiskey Park; of fictional and factual accounts of how the Diamonds franchise was lost; of friendships among season ticket holders in "Box 28"; and of Mildred Boyenga, the club president and Baseball Woman of the Year. A first-rate stylist, Klinkowitz shows the problems and perks and, most rewarding, the priceless relationships made possible in the world of baseball.


front cover of A Piece of My Soul
A Piece of My Soul
Quilts by Black Arkansans
Cuesta Benberry
University of Arkansas Press, 2000
Arkansas is well known for its rich tradition of upland folk arts. Little, however, has been reported from the lowland areas, particulary on African American contributions to the state's cultural heritage. A Piece of My Soul: Quilts by Black Arkansans seeks to rectify that oversight by drawing attention to the extensive, important collection of African American quilts in the Old State House Museum in Little Rock. Over seventy-five individual pieces of patchwork art are presented in this publication in full-color plates, each with a commentary by the exhibit's guest curator, Cuesta Benberry. The book details the importance of quilting to black Arkansans; the quilts' uses, materials and construction; and what each piece says about the artist and her beliefs. We are granted a glimpse into the living conditions and cultural mores of the quilters' lives. Regionalisms, such as the unusual custom of renaming traditional quilt patterns for things seen in the farmyard, such as Rooster Tail or Chicken Feet, and of piecing patchwork funerary cloths to decorate coffins are discussed. This impressive collection of cultural artifacts is placed in the larger context of the African American experience through an introduction by noted scholar Raymond Dobard (art history, Howard University), co-author, with Jacqueline Tobin, of the highly acclaimed book, Hidden in Plain View: The Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad (1999, Doubleday). All those interested in American folk art, the quilting craft, and black history will find this beautiful book fascinating and rewarding.

front cover of A Piece Of Work
A Piece Of Work
Five Writers Discuss Their Revisions
Jay Woodruff
University of Iowa Press, 1993

Books on writing generally offer prescriptions and proscriptions about this "craft so hard to learn" instead of evidence. But in A Piece of Work Woodruff's incisive questions guide five writers—Tobias Wolff, Tess Gallagher, Robert Coles, Joyce Carol Oates, and Donald Hall—through specific examples that enable the reader to see how good writing becomes better. From the first draft through various revisions and finally to the printed version of a single piece of each author's work, Woodruff traces the full course of the revision process.


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