Friday, September 30, 2011

Same Kind Of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

First let me start by saying the movie version of the book The Help was phenomenol.  I highly recommend seeing the movie if you have not already.  Stunning performances by Emma Stone and Viola Davis.

Since life has been getting interesting on the literary representation front, it took me a while to read my latest memoir entitled Same Kind Of Different As Me.  This memoir is written by two gentlemen from seemingly opposite ends of the earth.  Ron and his wife Debbie are a quite wealthy couple living in the Dallas, Texas area.  The wife decides they should participate in outreach programs so they volunteer at a local mission where they meet a man named Denver.  Denver has a long and varied history.  Initially, he comes off as quite standoffish, but you can understand why after reading that he grew up on a plantation and he and his family were slaves to the plantation's owner.  They picked cotton.  So did my grandmother.  It ain't easy work and there's not a lot of pay for the task.  Denver loses a succession of family members.  He finally jumps a train from Louisiana to Texas which is when he meets the Hall couple at the mission.

The Halls befriend Denver slowly but surely.  They invite him to their home, take him out to lunch, invite him to a church retreat, and they begin to win his trust.  He has a lot to teach them about the difficulties in life and overcoming crisis.  Unfortunately, Ron Hall's wife is diagnosed with cancer and continually undergoes treatments for it that do not work; Denver seems to know that Mrs. Hall will pass on and it is his responsibility to take up her torch in helping the downtrodden.  She believed in him when no one else did or would.  He helps Ron Hall bury his wife and build a family cemetery on their vacation ranch.  He becomes family to Mr. Hall and his children.  Ron Hall and Denver Hall even travel back to Louisiana to visit Denver's family home and some relatives.  A new mission is dedicated in remembrance of Mrs. Hall and we all learn that there for the grace of God, we could have all been born into Denver's way of life and suffered as he has.  I highly recommend this book.