Pat Cobb states that the purpose of her writings in A Fine Ride is entertainment and reflection, or in her words, “to write down some experiences for whatever family history and/or entertainment value they may be,” and “for a greater understanding of your neighbor and yourself.” She has accomplished her purpose. In the narrative, she reveals an ability to present characters and events that become as genuine and honest to the reader as to the author herself.
Clearly a labor of love, her memoir is an endearing and evocative account of growing up in the rural south, getting married and raising children, earning a doctorate, and having a distinguished career at Auburn University.
And she accomplished all this while remaining true to the God, family, neighbors, and country values she learned at home and in the Methodist church she attended. That is not to say that she was someone who always followed the conventional wisdom regarding “approved” ways of going about the business of life; rather, she did things her way.
As for her distinguished career, I should mention that she was the first female Extension Entomologist in the United States. How did she pull that off during the early eighties, when faculty were traditionally recruited and hired into “male” and “female” occupations, especially in Extension work at the state level and in the counties? To find out, you have to read the book. What I can say, however, is that she did it her way.