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What manner of man is Leon Hale? A paper man, whose regular column in The Houston Post has been one of that newspaper's most popular features for more than two decades. A Texan, whose writing celebrates the state and the independent, individualistic people who populate it. An easygoing sort of fellow, whose pieces for the Post reflect his own personal style: straightforward, deceptively simple, unpretentious as a well broken-in boot. And Hale's travels too are an easy going, a relaxed ramble in which he uncovers the simple pleasures of the state and shares them with us. Here Hale goes 'on the road again,' taking us with him across the Grand Prairie, the Piney Woods, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and other Texas territory as he records the sights and sounds of the state's back ways. Uncommon folk: a bridge-burning sheriff, a country blacksmith, hard-working illegal aliens, a young man dying with quiet grace. Old-time expressions. Tales passed along, of Uncle Rhodie's whiskey-swilling bear, iceskating jaybirds, and other curious animals. These are Hale's subjects as are his own shirttail days, his growing-up time in West Texas. Hale's theme is happiness - not strived for but come upon easily, naturally, when one lives with a relaxed openness and is alert to the infinite potential for joy in the commonplace.