The Gate in the Garden Wall
Last year Sam Pickering announced that he’d written his final word. “I intend to sit in a chair at the edge of the driveway and on sunny days doze through hours waking up occasionally to identify birds on the feeder. My hands and lap will be empty, and I won’t worry about a wind scattering papers across the yard.” Three days later Mike a college classmate wrote him. “Given all the books you have written, it makes me sad to hear that you have written your last book. Please remember what mighty things 80-year-olds can do. For instance, Goethe taught himself Greek when he was 80. Too bad he died at 81.”
“I’m trapped,” Pickering said and picked up his pencil. “Words are me.” Sam Pickering has written more than thirty books and barrows of articles. When not at his desk, he was in the classroom, the last thirty-five teaching English at the University of Connecticut. Originally from Nashville, he did not plan to teach, or write. “But,” he says, “the good life knocks a person about and takes him here and there”—in Pickering’s case to years meandering the Mid-East, Eastern and Western Europe, to Australia, and Nova Scotia, to places great and small. He says he loved teaching, the secret to which was “liking people.” His pages reflect his enjoyment of and love of life, particularly the ordinary things that form the fabric “of all our lives.”
Vicki Pickering holding Little Sammy Pickering, Big Sammy looking on beside the Reedy River in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Edward Pickering)
About The World Is My Garden, too:
An inherently fascinating compilation of deftly scripted and reader engaging essays showcasing a perceptive mind and a born storyteller’s narrative style, The World Was My Garden, Too will prove to be a welcome addition to both community and academic library collections.
—Paul T. Vogel for The Midwest Book Review