When talking about The Last Resort, it’s hard to avoid the hackneyed expression “a labor of love.” For two years I pored over the journals and letters left behind by my father, John C. Goodlett—or Pud, as everyone called him—who died in 1967. Members of the extended family had always enjoyed handing around the journal that chronicled the adventures at his Salt River camp. It included stories of typical boyish escapades as well as keen observations about the flora and fauna of the countryside around his home in central Kentucky. I had always planned to type it up, simply to preserve the family history.
But it wasn’t until a friend suggested we publish it that I considered the possibility that a wider audience might find some pleasure in reading it. We eventually decided to include a few other things my dad had written a little later in his life and annotate the original text to provide context and insights into a time and a culture unfamiliar to many.
My friend’s introduction pulls all of these materials together into a cohesive reflection of another era. Readers may find the book a nostalgic indulgence or a snapshot of a simpler time. Some may be curious about the animal and plant life that flourished 70 years ago. Others may be charmed by the language and practices of a rural culture. On a more serious note, the book may provide a better understanding of how important events of the mid-twentieth century shaped the individuals who lived through them. Or it may simply remind us all of the importance of preserving the histories we hold in our hearts before they are lost.
We’re impatiently awaiting the publication of the book in August 2017, and we hope you will consider spending a quiet afternoon in a favorite spot along a creek or forest trail thumbing through its pages.