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Praise for Forest and the Trees

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Floyd McGowin is as quirky a guide to the South as characters in Twain or Faulkner. If you want a view of an old world, told in the tough-guy voice of an endangered species -- the Southern family business man, pugnacious and proud -- you won't go wrong with The Forest and the Trees.
The Forest and the Trees is the story of Norman Floyd McGowin's life but it is also a social history of the times, including race and class relations, a corporate history and an informed, extensive commentary on developments in private aviation. McGowin, refreshingly, shows no hesitation in characterizing his friends, family and himself. McGowin worked for decades expanding and modernizing equipment and processes in the lumber business over the resistance of his conservative and parsimonious uncles. Like most memoirists of this variety, he is proud of his work in the industry and of his private life and he has every right to be.
The Forest And the Trees . . . begins with the lyrics of a song entitled “The Log Train” by Hank Williams that was recorded as a demo in 1952 and subsequently long forgotten. Williams’ father drove a log train for the W.T. Smith Lumber Company, and the song is the first of many references, from the trivial to the significant, that give life to this memoir. McGowin has an incredible memory for detail and for the appearances and characteristics of the places and people that he encountered during his life. He is more than willing to evaluate the motives, abilities, and performances of those with whom he interacted.