Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Walked the Line by Vivian Cash

--by Abby

In the midst of family vacation I've started this book. It's the story of Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian. The description reads:

Before there was June, there was Vivian, the 17-year-old girl from San Antonio, Tex., who met Cash in the summer of 1951 as he was headed overseas in the army. Three years of ardent letter writing sustained them—indeed, a good part of this book consists of Johnny's aching letters from 1951 to 1954, revealing his attempts to keep himself away from drinking and loose women, while begging her to wait for him and pray together. Finally wedded, the couple set out for Memphis, where Cash worked as a door-to-door salesman. After Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two began to travel, Vivian, pregnant from year to year, moved with him constantly, sewed his performance clothes and scribbled lyrics for I Walk the Line as he drove in the car. By 1961, as Vivian Cash tells it, when Johnny was drinking and popping pills heavily, June Carter joined Johnny's tour and tenaciously pursued him. Johnny and Vivian divorced in 1966. Vivian, who died in 2005, has told her story candidly to TV producer Sharpsteen, disclosing myriad tender details and an affecting ability to forgive.

The book is (thusfar) just Johnny's love letters. They are very sweet, and very young, and very frequent. I'm about about halfway through and its 2 years of Johnny's almost daily letters. None of Vivian's writing is included, but the introduction is her explaining why she wrote the book and getting Johnny's approval to do so.

I'm hoping to finish in by the end of the week. After that I think I'm on to some Miranda Recommendations.


miranda. said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this. It makes me sad that there aren't more hours in the day to dedicate to reading.

ballew76 said...

This was a moving account of life with Johnny. I cried at the end because I felt the pain Vivian felt when she finally figured out the deceit in her marriage and the conviction June had over her husband. After seeing the movie and reading Vivian's account of some things, it is apparent that people around Johnny saw the affair between him and June differently. But all must agree that affair and the drugs tore apparent his marriage to Vivian. That part is painfully true and evident. Too bad Johnny didn't seem to have the nerve to apologize to his first love.