Have you ever wondered what a book where “The Waltons meet Little House on the Prairie told with Mark Twain’s humor” (Tom Rodgers) would sound like? Well, you
Running on Red Dog Road and Other Perils of an Appalachian Childhood
by Drema Hall Berkheimer
Have you ever wondered what a book where “The Waltons meet Little House on the Prairie told with Mark Twain’s humor” (Tom Rodgers) would sound like? Well, you will be able to find out when Drema Hall Berkheimer presents her book Running on Red Dog Road and Other Perils of an Appalachian Childhood. Make sure you don’t miss this award winning author whose memoir will transport you to a much different time and place.
“Mining companies piled trash coal in a slag heap and set it ablaze. The coal burned up, but the slate didn’t. The heat turned it rose and orange and lavender. The dirt road I lived on was paved with that sharp-edged rock. We called it red dog. Grandma told me, Don’t you go running on that red dog road. But I do.”
Gypsies, faithhealers, moonshiners, and snakehandlers cavort through Berkheimer’s childhood in 1940s Appalachia after her father is killed in the coalmines, her mother goes off to work as a Rosie the Riveter, and she is left in the care of devout Pentecostal grandparents. Grandpa, a retired coalminer, preaches hellfire and salvation while Grandma tries to keep Uncle Ed from drinking the rubbing alcohol. This spitfire of a memoir reads like a novel with intrigue, sweeping emotion, and undeniable charm. Through laughter and tears, Berkheimer serves witness to a multi-generational family of saints and sinners whose lives defy the stereotypes. Just as she defies her own. This memoir is a living breathing history of a bygone time and place. And a red dog road runs through it.
Drema Hall Berkheimer was born in a coal camp in Penman WV, the child of a miner who was killed in the mines, a Rosie the Riveter mother, and devout Pentecostal grandparents. Her tales of growing up in the company of gypsies, moonshiners, snakehandlers, hobos, and faithhealers, are published in numerous online and print journals. Excerpts from her memoir, Running on Red Dog Road and Other Perils of an Appalachian Childhood, won first place Nonfiction in the 2010 West Virginia Writers competition. She is a member of West Virginia Writers and The Writer’s Garret. A longtime resident of Dallas, she lives with her husband and a neurotic cat. The cat takes after her. Her husband is mostly normal.
(Wednesday) 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The Wild Detectives
314 W 8th St, Oak Cliff, Dallas