Goodbye to Innocence

Goodbye to Innocence

by John Warren Smith


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Brian Hanley, pretty good athlete, is growing up in the apple-pie town of Pinedale, Texas, amidst Saturday night football games, Halloween pranks, occasional traveling carnivals, and folks he's always known.
The sleepy pleasantry is shattered when a burned-out cabin reveals bodies with bullets in them. A semi-nude white man was seen on the premises the night of the burning.
A bullying sheriff, together with a politically ambitious D.A, soon have a young black man in custody and force from him a confession.
The underside of this All-American town is soon exposed: the other half - the black half in the ghetto - never gets to enjoy the Halloween trick-or-treating or the ballgames in the all-white stadium, and by law are ineligible to attend the state university in their midst.
Gripping trial scenes are intertwined with Brian's slow farewell to innocence. In one scene, the closest neighbor to the burned out home - a blind black woman - says to the defense attorney, "you must be blind as me if'n you expect to learn 'bout justice in a place that don't know what justice is. The state of Texas been executin' innocent niggahs fo years; we be's known ovah in Awkansas as the butcher shop o' the nation."
Will the Negro be executed? Will the white mystery man be exposed? Will Brian make it through? For a good read, take a deep breath and hang on.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781389398513
Publisher: Blurb
Publication date: 05/22/2019
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

John Warren Smith first came to the attention of the book world with his history of an actual slave plantation in Texas, which he novelized into a story of his family from 1834 to 1869: "No Holier Spot of Ground - a Texas Story."

In the novel "Goodby to Innocence" he returns to the Texas scene with a story of injustice peculiar to Texas. This time he has shortened his work, provided gripping trial scenes, and faithfully recorded the sad growing up of a boy in a small, college town that should provide the perfect place to grow up - but for one thing. The idyllic place slowly reveals its deep bigotry covered only slightly by a thin layer of Southern hospitality when the bodies of three Negroes burned in a fire reveal they had been murdered.

The author knows about such towns because he grew up there. He has lived in Texas all his life except for a short stint in the armed forces (in California and Korea) and in school in New York City. He holds degrees from Sam Houston State, Columbia, and the University of Texas in Austin.

In between these two works, Smith has published several other works, all of which are available on or A widower, he lives in Houston near his two sons, where he is at work on another story of another Texas murder.

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