David Dick’s book of essays provides a glimpse into Kentucky life, as well as the author’s own life. Raised in Kentucky, Dick went on to become a CBS News correspondent who traveled the world. After retirement he decided to return to Kentucky and the land his family had owned for generations.
The view from David Dick’s Plum Lick is a lot like the view from my grandparents farm on Mud Lick; full of good people, hard work on the farm, a reverence for ancestors, love of the land and animals. The best essays in this book are the ones where Dick describes his own exploits on the farm. He writes about his pets, farm animals, and crop work with the temperament of a hardened farmer mixed with wonder. His reflections in the various situations he finds himself in are thoughtful and often comical.
A smaller portion of the essays in this book describe his neighbors, his family, and fellow Kentuckians. He writes with pride about the generations who came before. I shared previously the beautiful paragraph from his essay “Generations” in which he expresses his feelings after spending the day on the farm with his grandson. It was a touching tribute. Dick makes clear that the people of Kentucky, both related and unrelated, are held in his high regard.
For someone who grew up in this area there is nothing to not love about this book. David Dick did a wonderful job depicting life in Kentucky. His commentary on this land brings with it grace and beauty. For someone who doesn’t know Kentucky first hand, The View From Plum Lick provides a glimpse into our hearts.
(Also worth noting are the illustrations throughout the book by Janice Larkins. They added beautiful character to David Dick’s words.)