“Memories,” he said. “I was asked to give a talk on memories. How does one give a twenty minute talk on a lifetime of memories after being raised in Kilgore,” Caleb Pirtle III quipped as he stepped up to the microphone at a recent Kilgore Women’s Club meeting. “What you get in 20 minutes is a fast compilation.” And off he went, keeping his audience of all ages spellbound in what lasted (at their request) more like 30 minutes.
“My mom and dad came here and never left,” continued Caleb. “My father was a son of a sharecropper that never got to go to school. At the age of thirteen, my father got to go to school. It was a one-room serving first through eighth grade. In one year, my father learned to read and made it through all eight grades, making him the smartest student in the school.
“He taught me the greatest gift is a library. As long as you can find a book, you can do anything,” Caleb interjected.
“He worked the oilfields in West Texas until somebody discovered oil in the ‘30s on the outskirts of this town and he loaded up a 1928 Chevrolet and enroute had thirteen flats. He simply fixed the flats and went on to make it to the East Texas fields. He thought he was the richest man in the world making one dollar a day,” He said.
During that time Caleb’s family lived in Turnertown and he spoke about Happy Hollow and the proud hardworking people that came from the area.
“Memories come from the things you remember the most; the ones that haunt you and stay with you,” he said. Then he recounted the New London School explosion and other harsh times for the people of the area.
When they moved to Kilgore, his father went to work for Eastman and Caleb was introduced to the Hardy Boy collection at Martin’s Book Store and the Kilgore Public Library.
“Every child had 10,000 pair of eyes watching over them and Kilgore was absolutely wonderful place to grow up,” he said. “Memories are like photo shots and are the most valuable asset. I thank God I have a storehouse full.”
Caleb has put those good times and harsh times to use as he is now author of over 65 books. In April, he released an e-book called Back Side of a Blue Moon – the Boom Town Saga Book 1. It is about a small East Texas town in the 1930s.
Last week his next mystery, Place of Skulls -Ambrose Lincoln Book 4 was released. Both books can be found on Amazon.
His wife, Linda also writes and has several books under her name as well. They live at Hideaway Lake in an eclectic array of a house, according to Caleb. To him and to others in Kilgore, he never left. He can be found at local restaurants here and the library quite frequently.
FOLLOWING ON HIS HEELS in Hogeye Country, otherwise known as Liberty City, Kassy Paris is off to autographing sessions with her new release called Murder in Maggie Valley (A KEPS Cozy Mystery). The book is written under the pen name of Kasandra Elaine a writing team of Kassy and Elaine Bonner Powell.”
“Murder in Maggie Valley takes place in a real place in North Carolina,” said Kassy. “The story is pure imagination. But my writing partner and I loved the mountains in North Carolina and Wyoming and we went several times before she went on to heaven.”
“Elaine and I became friends when her family moved from Denton for her father to pastor at McCarey’s Chapel. Our first writing adventure came when we were seniors and we wrote a Christmas play,” Kassy continued.
“In January, 1997 she bought her first word processor and called me to meet her in Carthage. It was there she informed me God had told her we were supposed to write together. Our first book was released in 2002.
“This one is the fifth one written under Kasandra Elaine,” she said. “We have 6 more that need revision, and outlines for several others.”
Kassy is a retired elementary school teaching having taught third and fourth grade writing. Her best writing times start near midnight each night and when not writing she teaches developmental writing to all ages.
She, too, lives just around the bend from where she first met Elaine. Murder in Maggie Valley can also be found on Amazon. It is a quirky, not gruesome, mystery according to Kassy.
THE BLACKBERRIES are ready to pick and the vines are full, according to Nora Fain. “They are just hanging in rows and you can get a handful in a matter of seconds,” she said. “Blackberry season will be over in a couple of weeks, you better get them while you can.”
May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 903-984-2593. I am going to read a good mystery…or two.