VIEWSnA MYTH IN A GARDENnThe following is the text of Mr. Lytle’s speech at the 1986nIngersoll Prizes Awards Banquet:nBorn the day after Christmas, 1902, like a wet firecracker,nas my mother remarked, I entered a world that livednwith and by other creatures. My grandchildren and their ilknare unaware that they are creatures. 1 am closer to the 12thncentury than to their world, for that world has money, notnsalvation, as its ultimate desire. College graduates study jobsnto get, not occupations to risk.nAs I grew up in Murfreesboro, the town easily joined thencountry. There were horses to hitch up, cows to milk (andnthat twice a day), often gardens to make. In town andncountry both, communities had the same kind of familynlife, with kin and connections, the connections by marriage,nnot blood. Because of this, people of the same stationnhad the same social life and, frequently, the same marriages.nFarming had not lost then its prestige as a way of life,nand you could live well by it.nMy mother was a town girl. My father lived 10 miles innthe country, but he kept fast horses. He would dance allnnight and drive the 10 miles, throw a blanket over Lunette’snback (she was a Hambletonian), and go straight to the fields.nI spent my childhood mostly in town. Coming home at thenend of the day, tired from play, I could smell roasting coflFeenbeans down the long street to my grandmother Nelson’snhouse, where we lived for a time. The odor sharpened anboy’s appetite, but chiefly was reassuring. I breathed it asncomfort without knowing why. I felt the invisible linknbetween all the houses on the street, filled as they were bynfamilies I knew or knew about, who had children I playednwith, or special associations.nMr. Dee Smith striding to the Square and Miss Luly, hisnwife, trotting behind like an appendage trying to catch up.nHe was a cousin of my grandmother’s, whose dwellingnmeant love and discipline, food and sleep, where grownnpeople always looked the same and never had to benmeasured for growth. Across the street lived Miss KatienFowler, who sang in the Presbyterian choir. A suitor, Mr.nPeter Binford, Sunday after Sunday sat enthralled, watchingnher bosom rise and fall in song. One memorablenSunday he saw the sack of love break about her heart, andnthe heart leapt two feet towards him. Her mother threatenednto put him in the asylum, and he threatened to picknevery pinfeather out of her old hide. He had a good cousinnAndrew Lytle received the Richard M. Weaver Award fornScholarly Letters on November 21, 1986.nby Andrew Lyticnlawyer whose defense was: A man in love is naturallyninsane. The case was dismissed. Not long afterwards, Mr.nBinford asked my father to go in partnership with him innselling frog legs. He said they were bringing a good price onnthe Chicago market. “How will we get them there?” mynfather asked. “Hop them,” he replied.nFurther down the street lived my other grandmother.nThey had thought it best to sell her farm, where she livednalone, and bring her to town. One night a storm had comenup and she went into the garden to look after some smallnchickens. There was a loose paling in the garden fencenthrough which she by habit went. The wind blew hernlantern out, and all night long as the rain fell she wanderedntrying to find the loose board. As I went to school, I passednher house on the other side of the street. Bending under anload of books, I hurried along, but she would call across thennnJUNE 1987/11n