by Louise George
Column - "Personal interviews with Texas Panhandle men and women
born in the early years of the twentieth century rewarded me with
hundreds of stories illustrating their everyday life. I like to share
those stories just as they were told to me. " - Louise George
Sunday Morning 7-12-06
Little Problem 6-14-05
"Fields" in 1930 4-13-06
Determined Young Lady
Scary Thing - Dust Storm in the Texas Panhandle, April 1935
Life in a Camp
an Experience 8-8-05
Texas, 1920 6-15-05
Back then, it was dry land farming. We didn’t make very much.
Place to Place 4-17-05
"...Imagine riding in the bed of a wagon over a bumpy trail
across the prairie hour after hour under a blazing sun, or in a
sudden downpour, a dust storm or a cold winter’s wind, with only
an old quilt to sit on or use as a shield against whatever elements
the weather threw at you...."
Work, Work 3-12-05
Zuleika O’Daniel: “I don’t remember how old I was when I learned
to milk a cow...."
Reba Guess: Droughts, dust storms and the depression years
in the Texas Panhandle
Mean Old Grandfather 12-12-04
Mill Burnett Boyd: "I could hear them talking about shearing
the sheep and then dipping them before they shipped them...."
Better or Worse 11-1-04
In their own words some of yesterday’s brides tell about their weddings
and the early days of their marriages
Real Character 10-16-04
Mill Boyd: “There’s a funny story about my Grandmother Burnett.
You talk about a character, she was a character."
Ola Covey: “I knew from what they said around the courthouse that
the bootlegging was going on...."
Nola Sheldon: “I don’t remember when I got my first doll. We tied
things up and made dolls out of it..."
I Got My Name - Zuleika Kendrick O’Daniel as told to Louise
The Way To School 8-17-04
© Louise George
Column began August 17, 2004
George was born in 1932 on a farm southwest of Tulia, Texas. When
she was six, her family moved to Cushing, Oklahoma. She has joked
through the years that when her dad realized his mistake, he got them
back to Texas as quickly as he possibly could. The family moved to
Amarillo permanently in 1945 and Louise graduated Amarillo High School
in 1950. The following year she married J.A. George. They had five
children. J.A. went to work for the Bureau of Mines, Amarillo Helium
Plant in 1956. The following year he was transferred to the Exell
Helium Plant at Masterson, located between Amarillo and Dumas. The
family lived there for over eleven years. In 1969 they moved to Dumas
where Louise worked twenty-three years as an employment interviewer
for Texas Employment Commission.
Louise never gave a thought to becoming a writer until she was nearly
sixty years old. It was almost an accident that led her in that direction.
While preparing photograph albums as Christmas gifts for her grown
children, she decided to write each child’s story with the idea of
preserving their early memories. Friends and family members who read
the stories encouraged her to continue in the newfound hobby. In 1992,
the committee compiling a book about Moore County’s history in connection
with its centennial celebration, enlisted Louise as a contributor.
She researched and wrote a chapter on the history of churches in the
county for the book called 100 Moore Years.
Years earlier when J.A. went to work at Exell Helium, the family moved
into one of seventy-five houses built near the plant for workers’
families. The housing area was commonly called a camp. A nearby camp
had thirty-two houses. Approximately five-hundred residents in the
two camps and on surrounding farms and ranches made up the community.
Other than the camps, there was a school, a church, a tiny country
grocery store and not much else. Living there was a unique experience
and the George family remembers the years they lived there as their
“best” years. By 1984, Masterson was a “ghost town.” (That is if you
could ever call it a town.) The camps, school, church and store were
all gone. After retirement, Louise wrote her first book to record
the history of the community. No City Limits, The Story of Masterson,
Texas, was published in 1994.
A desire to pay tribute to the women of her mother’s generation was
the inspiration for her second book entitled Some of My Heroes Are
Ladies, Women Ages 85 to 101 Tell About Life in the Texas Panhandle.
The nine women featured in the book were chosen because they spent
all or most all of their lives in the Panhandle. As the one-hundred-one
year old said, “We just pretty well saw this area settle up like it
is today.” As they were watching the area settle up, they worked hard
and faced hardships that we can only imagine and they did it with
a quiet dignity that is difficult to find in following generations.
In the book, in their own words, they tell all sorts of stories -
from hilarious to positively heart wrenching.
Newspaper articles, speaking at various clubs in the Panhandle about
her books, and interviewing for and writing the next book keep Louise
busy nowadays. In fact, she rather resents the ordinary things that
take her away from those activities. No one is more surprised than
Louise about this unexpected calling that came to her so late in life,
but she’s having a ball!
Louise George can be reached at (806) 935-5286, by mail at Box 252,
Dumas, TX 79029, or by e-mail at lgeorge@NTS-online.net.