"I have come to realize that the Biblical Joseph and I have much in common."

This memoir recalls the life of a man brought up in poverty, the son of a sharecropper in Mississippi. His parents had fifteen children. He was the youngest boy, and like Joseph in the Old Testament, was most favored by his father, a strict, righteous man who bought him a bicycle and often took him to the local store to get candy. The family earned a little money by raising cotton on land owned by a white farmer and subsisted by canning fruits and vegetables, fishing in a local stream, and hunting small game. At nineteen, Lockhart volunteered for the military, serving for three years. He developed problems related to women, alcohol, and anger and was incarcerated. He was later able to give back by working with delinquent boys, observing some “miraculous” turnarounds. He describes camping and playing basketball with the teens as a “healing time.”

Lockhart believes now that, like Joseph, he had to recognize his “shortcomings and arrogance” and find forgiveness. He is frank about both in this poignant review of his eighty-three years. His recollections of childhood, though scattered at times, give a definite flavor of those years, depicting such activities as building a wagon, dynamiting tree stumps, planting and harvesting cotton then taking it to the gin, and waking up to the sound of a rooster’s crow. His writing at times consists of short sentences, almost like a list of items he wishes to record and remember. Lockhart’s narrative expresses a sincere wish to share his memories with family and friends. As such, it can be the basis for the sort of teaching, even preaching, that Lockhart is clearly capable of doing.

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