I Wuz Just Thinking: Memories of Books and Friends

Books remind me of friends from days long ago, as well as the good times we had during my growing up years in Kilgore.

Spring cleaning and downsizing are very slow and difficult tasks for me.  Today, working on a few shelves of the book cabinet in one of the bedrooms, I took each book, wiped it free of dust, read the title and the author, and memories would begin filling my mind.

To some of the books, I placed a small sheet of paper telling my connection to this particular author, a personal friend, a daughter of a special friend, an acquaintance who lived in a nearby town and had autographed each of her novels personally to me, a preacher.

Betty Mahurin Baker

Mother would take us, as children, to hear his summer revival sermons.  He was, in my opinion, a Hell Fire and Brimstone type preacher.  For nights, I would suddenly awake from terrible bad dreams about the devil.

Remembering his sermons, I was hesitant to read his book of the olden times in East Texas. I’m glad I did, and I did not have any bad dreams afterward.

While going thru the shelf of my Kilgore books, one brought back fond memories of a friend and former high school classmate, Paul Mayo Spear, Jr.

Not only did he tell of his first memories as a child, houses where he lived – the Drennan farmhouse and the Spear home (once La Hacienda Mexican restaurant, schools he attended – Kilgore Heights and Kilgore High school, Kilgore College, and the University of Texas, but also the lineage of the Drennan family.

I had to stop my cleaning and sorting of books to re-read Mayo’s book: The Drennan Idyll, Sorrows, and Successes, A History of a Twentieth-Century American Family.

I still find it interesting, and his stories bring back memories of locations in Kilgore and the people I grew up with in this small East Texas town.

I wuz just thinking.

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