From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Walk West comes Barbara Jenkins's long-awaited tale of her walk across America, an adventure that once captured the national media spotlight. From the untold narrative of her impoverished hillbilly upbringing, to the crushing aftermath of her walk toward newfound courage and strength, So Long as It's Wild is her story.
Thursday, September 14th – Thacker Mountain Radio Hour returns to the Powerhouse Community Arts Center for the first time this fall.
Showtime: 6 pm
Learn more about the show's lineup here.
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Barbara Jenkins and her memoir So Long As It's Wild
As a child growing up in the wild beauty of the Ozarks, Barbara often spent her days exploring outside and daydreaming of faraway places to escape the realities of poverty. She longed to trade her homemade clothes and outdoor toilet for spectacular adventures around the world. That chance came in the form of a young wild-eyed, long-haired "viking" man named Peter.
After an exciting courtship and a wedding on a dime, the young couple departed on foot from New Orleans on July 5, 1976, heading toward the Pacific Coast. News of the couple's expedition spread like wildfire, landing them on the cover of National Geographic Magazine and countless other publications. Soon after beginning their nearly three-year journey, Barbara realized the funny, adventure-seeking, charismatic man she married was not the loving partner she thought. Despite this realization, she continued the difficult journey, and whether she faced aggressive renegades, a life-threatening fall from Engineer Pass, or a devastating heartbreak that caused her to feel lost and alone, Jenkins pushed through it all with grit and determination.
Despite the newfound fame and the bestsellers she coauthored, The Walk West and The Road Unseen, Barbara's side of the story of the infamous walk that later left her in the shadows. She said of that time, "We appeared on magazine covers, were guests on radio and television programs and appeared in newspapers everywhere. International fame and good fortune followed until it evaporated into a trail of heartbreak, a thousand deaths, and my disappearance." Now Jenkins is telling the rest of the story, sharing her perspective on what took place from the bayous of Louisiana to the Pacific Ocean, and beyond.
With lyrical, transportive prose, So Long as It's Wild: Standing Strong After My Famous Walk Across America is one woman's tale, stepping out from behind the man she had married, to find her voice and claim her story.
About the Author
Barbara Jenkins grew up in the wild beauty of the Ozarks with no running water and homemade clothes. The first in her family to go beyond an 8th grade education, she received her Master's from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She shot to fame in 1976 with her then-husband for their ambitious walk across America. That journey became the inspiration for their New York Times bestseller The Walk West, selling over 12 million copies. She has since published a number of other books, including The Road Unseen, a Gold Medallion Book Award winner. Her writing and entrepreneurship has been featured on Good Morning America, Reader's Digest and more. Jenkins now travels the country, speaking at universities, conventions, and other events about her story. When she is not writing, speaking, or traveling, Jenkins loves spending time with her granddaughters, Josephine and Lyla. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Thursday, September 14 at 6 pm (CT) – WUMS 92.1 FM University of Mississippi
Friday, September 22 at 6 am (CT) – WYXR 91.7 FM Memphis, TN
Saturday, September 23 at 3 pm (ET) – WUTC 88.1 FM University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
7 pm (CT) MPB — Mississippi Public Broadcasting
9 pm (CT) APR – Alabama Public Radio
Sunday, September 24 at 3 pm (ET) – WUOT | 91.9 FM, Knoxville
2 pm (MT) KNCE 93.5 | Taos, New Mexico
From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Walk West comes Barbara Jenkins's long-awaited tale of her walk across America, an adventure that once captured the national media spotlight.