A compilation from The Times (of Shreveport) column with an introduction by Jim Montgomery. Edited by B. H. Giley


This volume consists of selections from Wiley W. Hilburn, Jr.’s “Fragments” column, which has appeared in The Times (of Shreveport) since 1978. The selections reveal an intensely personal view of the other (North) Louisiana—the Louisiana of piney woods and Scots-Irish Southerners—the Louisiana of Huey and Earl Long—the Louisiana of upland cotton—the Louisiana of kinfolks and coffee-break philosophers. Through it all runs a thread of warmth and personal feeling and a love of family—family in the deeply personal sense and the larger family of North Louisiana.


Pen portraits of personalities exude a characteristic humor and pathos. Also revealed are genuine and meaningful achievements in ordinary lives.


Insights into one of the nation’s most interesting political traditions is provided in analyses of politics and politicians.


Hilburn’s own experiences—childhood, teen-age growing pains, and encounters as a practicing journalist, with all of his foibles, embarrassments, self doubts, and fantasizing—evoke a nostalgia with which everyone who grew up in a small town can identify.


Humor abounds—inspired by life and much of it gathered from his coffee drinking cronies at Shipley’s and the Huddle House.


And there is the Hilburn family: wife Ellen, children, parents, grandparents, assorted aunts and uncles, and in-laws—with whom so many North Louisianians subconsciously claim kinship.


Finally, Hilburn paints a vivid picture of the North Louisiana landscape—sunshine and rain, changing seasons, fishing holes, and woodlands—places where all have been and to which all wish to return.