You Live and Learn. Then You Die and Forget It All:
Ray Lum's Tales of Horses, Mules and Men
by William Ferris (1992)
Narrated by Michael Kramer
Books On Tape Inc (1995) Book #3670. 0001265898/1985444-001.
Effectively out of print.
I could not find this recording in digital format,
so I converted my copy of this recording to MP3.
From audio cassette (Nakamichi Dragon) to CD
(Pioneer PDR-555RW) to MP3 (iTunes 8)
Bitrate: ~50kbps VBR, Mono, 22,000kHz.
Dolby NR was NOT used - you can post-process or equalize to your liking.
Chapter 1 - School Days
Chapter 2 - Dog Days
Chapter 3 - Up and Down That Dog
Chapter 4 - Rattlesnakes, Coyotes, and Wild Horses
Chapter 5 - Eight Thousand Horses
Ray Lum (1891-1977) was an American original, a one-of-a-kind figure. In this book he speaks his mind in a colorful folk dialect and tells of the world in which he presides. Mules were his main interest. His home and his auction barn were in Vicksburg, Mississippi, but in trading he fanned out over twenty states and even into Mexico. Over several years William Ferris tape recorded many long conversations with Lum. In them Lum gives the ins and outs of livestock auctioneering, cheery memories of rustic Deep South culture, and a philosophy of life that is grounded in good horse sense.
Review From Publishers Weekly
Born in 1891 in rural Mississippi, Ray Lum traveled the South for 60 years as a respected livestock trader and auctioneer, collecting rich experiences he retold--even at universities and folk festivals--in a colloquial, humorous and generous voice. Ferris, coeditor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture , interviewed Lum (who died in 1977), and notes that his life "bridged the disparate worlds of black and white, of old and new, of South and West." Lum's tales, organized into six chapters of narrative, might better be chopped into episodes, but they remain valuable for those interested in such folklore. His language is vivid (a cemetery is a "marble orchard") and his voice wise (when he loses money on an early deal, the lesson is, "You don't absolutely have to have, you can do without"). Among many adventures, Lum bested cheating gypsies who offered a pretty but vicious horse, ate barbecued rattlesnake, made a deal for wild Texas horses and barely avoided the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. "I'm fine," said Lum in his old age. "I just need to have my speedometer set back." This book lets him live on.
Review From Library Journal
Ferris serves a slice of Southern life in this presentation of the wit and wisdom of Ray Lum, livestock trader and auctioneer. Born in 1891 in rural Mississippi, Lum bartered horses and mules throughout the South and Southwest. He recalls his travels and life experiences with the passion and color characteristic of a consummate storyteller. These personal reflections are a tribute to a way of life gone by and a preservation of its memory. The volume opens with a foreword by Eudora Welty [not on audio book] and concludes with an extensive bibliographic essay and endnotes. Full of humor and the drama of life, this book will delight a wide range of readers.
Mule Trader: Ray Lum's Tales of Horses, Mules, and Men
By William R. Ferris, Ray Lum
Contributor Eudora Welty
Published by Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1998
ISBN 1578060869, 9781578060863
See the film "Ray Lum: Mule Trader" By William Ferris (aka Bill Ferris)