When you put together history, local authors, 42 and football, along with local authors in all genres, you know it's time for the West Texas Book Festival! The 16th annual festival goes all week, beginning next Monday, September 19 at noon at the Abilene Public Library downtown featuring authors Carl and Pixie Christensen and their book Lone Star Steeples: Historic Places of Worship in Texas. The beautifully illustrated volume features 65 historically significant structures and places of worship in the Lone Star State, including Saint John United Methodist Church in Stamford.
On Tuesday at noon, the focus will be on history again, with Glen Sample Ely and his latest book The Texas Frontier & the Butterfield Overland Mail, 1858-1861. The Overland Mail Road ran from St. Louis to San Francisco through Texas, intersecting and influencing much of Texas' frontier history. It was the nineteenth-century equivalent of the modern interstate highway system, stimulating passenger traffic, commercial freighting, and business in the Big Country and Texas. This readable volume will delight history fans.
Oh, and by the way, did I mention that once again, scrumptious food will be a part of these and all of our noon programs throughout the week? You are welcome to bring your lunch, or the Friends of the Library will provide lunch for only $5.00. It's the perfect opportunity for a special break in the middle of the day!
Be sure and return on Tuesday evening at 5:30 for the Abilene Authors Showcase. Local authors who have been published in the past year will discuss, sell and sign their books. You will be amazed, I'm sure, at the range of genres and interests represented by our friends and neighbors, some of whom you might not have known were published authors. Here's your opportunity to find out more about this facet of our community.
Wednesday's noon program will be a fun one, as Dennis Roberson talks about his book Winning 42: Strategy and Love and the National Game of Texas. Roberson got his love of the game from his dad, who won the 1995 Texas Senior Games 42 Championship. Even better, if you want to practice your game with the help of the expert, stay after lunch and play 42. Whether you're a beginner, or an expert, you'll have the time of your life and maybe learn a smooth move or two.
Friday in Texas means High School football, and the Festival honors this tradition by bringing Chad Conine, author of The Republic of Football: Legends of the Texas High School Game to our Friday luncheon program. Encompassing seven decades of schoolboy fame, from Hayden Fry to Colt McCoy, this book will be one for every fan of Texas' legendary high school players, coaches, and teams from around the state.
I've barely hit the highlights of the week, so mark your calendar right now, so you won't miss a thing. To find out the complete schedule of events, go to www.abilenetx.com/apl/BookFest and click on the boots & books logo, or drop by any library location to pick up a brochure. And, be sure to allow the entire day on Saturday the 24th for more great authors, food and books. We'll have the skinny on that in next Monday's column.
Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library