A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some
spot of native land, where it may get the
This sentiment and the chance discovery of Nathaniel Holmes Bishop's The Voyage of the Paper Canoe (1878), detailing a canoe trip down the East Coast which included a side trip on the Waccamaw River, were the twin impulses that lead Burroughs to return to his native Horry County, SC and make his own trip down the Waccamaw. Burroughs, a professor at Bowdoin, published a terrific collection of essays Billy Watson's Croker Sack in 1991 (it even made Mr. Doggett's Suggested Summer Reading List for Students) and this book is every bit as good.
Whether he's detailing the history of the county, the river and his own family or relating his encounters with the river's unique residents or describing the wildlife he encounters, Burroughs has a sharp eye, a sympathetic ear and a silver tongue. Here is his description of one bird he meets:
Yesterday a red-shouldered hawk had called the day
to order, and got its business underway.
If you've ever seen one, you know that a pileated woodpecker has never been described better and if you haven't you must almost feel that now you have.
This is a wonderful bucolic look at the history and nature of the Waccamaw, which will leave you wishing that you too had such a place coursing through your blood.
-Horry County Historical Association
-Horry County Government Site (map, etc.)
If you liked The River Home, try:
Harris, Eddy L.
Thoureau, Henry David
Copyright 1998-2015 Orrin Judd