Books That Inspire 2007

Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

I grew up listening to my father talk about his childhood years in Oklahoma, the hard times of the Depression years, and the struggle to survive. Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, is a book about her life growing up poor in rural Oklahoma during those same years. The author's relationship and appreciation of the land; her foundation for values and attitudes; and the dynamics of her family, are an uncanny parallel to my father's stories. All of which taught me about the human spirit and the essence of life. Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie is a reminder that the struggles in life are oppor-tunities to persevere; and that the limits we live within are the limits we place on ourselves.
Tammy McCuen
Assistant Professor
Construction Science Division