Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I Walked the Line - My Life with Johnny

I recently finished reading this book. Not to be confused with the movie or song "I Walk the Line" which I commented on back in November, this is the story of Johnny Cash's first wife, Vivian.

My main comment from the movie was "it turns out that the man who wrote the song 'I Walk the Line' simply didn't." (Read the full post here)

But this story is different. Vivian Cash did walk the line. While her husband was off on tour, she was busy at home raising four daughters. She kept her faith in God (mentioned several times in the book) and tried to straighten out her husband. Even when she realized he was cheating, she tried to make things work.

The first Mrs. Cash expressed some of her doubts, some of her regrets, but it's clear she holds her head high. It's also clear that her love for Johnny never died.

A large part of the book (over 1/2) is basically a reprint of love letters Johnny sent to her while he was stationed in Germany. While it gets rather soupy, it establishes the way that he felt. You can also see (if you look) the early stages of the abuse he later sent her way.

What was most interesting to me about the love letters was that you could see Johnny's love for Vivian growing during the time he was away. Writing an average of one letter a day, the bond between them grew. I wonder how many people would write that many letters today?

This book is a good read. I had to wade through the soupy love letters, they will be interesting to others. I would encourage anyone to read this book.


Ashley Beth said...

After our Freshman year in college, Adam and I didn't see each other for a whole summer because of our summer jobs. We wrote each other once a week - on Sundays I think. That's a far cry from everyday, but we also talked on the cell phone every night.

Randy Barnett said...

What would we do without cell phones? Life seems so different tody vs the 1940's (before I was born).

There were some days when Johnny wrote 2 or 3 letters. Totally amazing.

You should read the book.