House Of Cash: The Legacies Of My Father, Johnny Cash
John Carter Cash
[Rating: 5 stars]
Stuffed to the brim with family pictures, handwritten notes, setlists, and discarded lyric sheets, this 150-page coffee table book paints the The Man in Black as a colorful guy. John Carter Cash takes us into his dad’s personal archives with the enthusiasm of a tour guide, paying special attention to the skills and hobbies that most Cash fans tend to overlook. As it turns out, Cash was something of a skilled photographer, with a large portfolio of nature shots and pastoral still lifes. He was also a painter, a poet, an authority on all things related to Apostle Paul, and an expert preparer of fried chicken. His biggest fan in every endeavor is John Carter, who exalts his dad’s activities in plainspoken paragraphs and short, simple vignettes. As a memoir, House Of Cash comes up short; only a few of John Carter’s stories shed new light on a man whose life has been recounted in countless biographies already. As a sort of textual museum exhibit, though, it’s worth the admission price. The photos are genuinely rare – if you’ve seen them before, you must be a relative – and the replicated documents range from Cash’s high school diploma to his own chili recipe (secret ingredient: self-rising cornmeal). June Carter figures heavily, too, mostly as the recipient of the love letters, birthday cards and Valentine’s Day notes that he wrote her annually, even after her death.