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Posted Tuesday, February 02, 2010 @ 10:34 AM)           

A Century Later

Joe Holt Anderson and Lena Lorice Kerely were married Wednesday, February 2, 1910 in Chillicothe, Texas, in the middle of a blizzard, making it difficult for their guests to come, even in the small town.

The Kerley family came to Hardeman County (where Chillicothe and Quanah are) in 1890, and Joe arrived in 1906. The couple lived in Quanah, Beeville, and San Antonio before returning to Chillicothe at the outbreak of World War I. Joe worked in the Navy Yards at Norfolk, Virginia, during the war and opened a sheet metal shop after returning to Chillicothe.

To increase his volume of business, Joe mounted his equipment on a small truck and went from gin to gin over the area to do on-the-spot repair work. Within a comparatively short time, his talent was in demand.

In 1933, he opened a shop in Quanah and moved his family there in 1936, at which time he moved the Chillicothe shop to Lubbock. Two men were employed by Anderson Sheet Metal Works when it opened in Quanah, but in 1983 34 men were required to turn out gin equipment in the Quanah plant for gins throughout the cottonbelt of the United States and Mexico.

Although his business required a great deal of his time, Joe found time to be an outstanding civic leader in the community. He was widely known for his work as a layman in the Methodist Church and served in many capacities in Chillicothe and Quanah. He was active in the I.O.O.F. Lodge, Lions Club, was president of the Chamber of Commerce and Quanah Independent School District Board. He headed Salvation Army and United Fund drives and was a member of the Hardeman County Hospital Board. During World War II he served on the draft board.

Lena was active in the Methodist Church and in clubs in Quanah. She was educated before marriage at a Roberts Business Collegebusiness college in Bowie, Texas.

Joe invented the cottonhouse valve system and held patent number 1995464 on it, the patent being issued "this twenty-sixth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fifty-ninth." The patent description states:

This invention relates to distributing devices designed for the proper distribution of cotton after the same has been taken from wagons or trucks, and particularly to means whereby the cotton may be conveyed to the stalls of the warehouse by air.

The general object of my invention is to provide means connected to the conveyor pipe of this system whereby a plurality of stalls may be served from one branch elbow and a further object is to provide an elbow so constructed that it may be readily rotated through a complete circle to thus serve a plurality of stalls and so constructed that the extremity of the elbow may be shifted outward and downward so that the cotton may be discharged over the wall of said stall without the likelihood of the cotton being blown into the next adjacent stall.

A further object is to provide a swivel connection between the branch pipe and the main pipe which will not gather lint and thus required to be taken apart every now and then for cleaning, and which is further so constructed that the operator by moving the swivel connection may discharge any lint or other foreign matter that has gathered thereon....
Joe also invented the traveling telescope, which uses a vacuum action to suck cotton bolls from trailers into cotton gins, but he did not hold the patent on this invention. Although the patent was stolen from him, he paid for the use of the device, while the offending company declined to pay for the patent he did hold.

Joe and Lena tithed for 57 years. From a Texas Methodist article about Joe in 1961:

"Once in 47 years, I was tempted to quit tithing," admits Joe ANDERSON, who is "Mr. Methodist" in Quanah, "but after I won that battle I have never been tempted again." The devil got his lick in when "Brother Joe" came out of the Navy after World War I and had a break down. He was without work for a while and finally was able to take a little job that provided enough to keep soul and body together. One day he made sales enough to clear $156.50. The youngsters were without shoes, and the family needed to spend the money on clothes. "For two weeks" the veteran tither recalls, "I held the Lord's money back playing with the idea of using it for ourselves, but finally I put it in my tithe box, and I have never been tempted since."
Joe was born Old English, Red River County, Texas, November 29, 1887 and died February 13, 1972. Lena was born December 24, 1988, in Mexia, Linestone County, Texas, and died December 9, 1966.

Joe and Lena were the parents of Lena Lorice Anderson Barnes, the mother of Lynda Lorice Sparkman and John Anderson Barnes; Alma Ellen Anderson Breedlove, the mother of Mary Ellen Prescott, Barbara B. Rollins, Carol Truitt, and Kathy Gaebler; and Joe Holt Anderson, Jr., the father of Judith Anderson and Gwen Urguidi. Their impact lives on, thriving.
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Posted Sunday, January 03, 2010 @ 8:16 PM)           

A Time for Verse

I have neglected to say my latest single-author book (well, my latest book, period) is now out. A Time for Verse, poetic ponderings on Ecclesiastes was written as my attempt to figure out the idea of meditation. My mind races so quickly, it's difficult to stay focused. In trying to respond on screen to the text of Ecclesiastes, I was able to surprise myself sometimes and certainly grow from it. Some of you have been kind enough to say you appreciated my allowing you to read drafts (allowing? I was honored you would!) that it seemed appropriate to publish it. This makes the tenth book of Silver Boomer Books, though it was published under our Eagle Wings Press imprint. That number ten marks a significant step, a "legitimatization" of Silver Boomer Books as a real publishing company. 

We began Silver Boomer Books with the anthologies Silver Boomers, prose and poetry by and about baby boomers published in March, 2008 and followed in August by Freckles to Wrinkles. Then in 2009, we goosed up production and branched into single-author books with Slender Steps to Sanity - 12-Step Notes of Hope by OAStepper, compulsive eater, followed soon by Writing Toward the Light - A Grief Journey by Laura Flett, both under the Eagle Wings Press imprint. The last four months, we published three books under the Laughing Cactus Press imprint: Poetry Floats - New and Selected Philosophy-Lite by Jim Wilson, Bluebonnets, Boots and Buffalo Bones by Sheryl L. Nelms, and not so GRIMM - gentle fables and cautionary tales by Becky Haigler. Under Silver Boomer Books we added This Path, the third anthology and a progeny of Silver Boomers and Freckles to Wrinkles, and, as a single-author book, Song of County Roads by Ginny Greene. 

Thanks, folks, for your support and encouragement. We're in this for the long haul and hope to become your favorite publisher, and that of most people you know!

I published this blog entry, then it occurred to me to come back and say yes, you can buy the books! You could get there from the earlier links in this email, but the quick way is www.SilverBoomerBooks.com/buy.html.
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Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 4:28 PM)           

Thanks for your service

Jeffrey and Samantha are on the road, headed this way. I had something I wanted to post for Christmas but I'm afraid I won't get it copied and posted if I don't do it now, so...

This is from a clipping perhaps from the Quanah Tribune-Chief, and it may have been taken from the Stars and Stripes, or my uncle Joe may have been reporting from Korea to the local paper. I don't know when Joe was in Korea. The Monday Christmas during the fighting was 1950; Joe was 22 that Christmas. The article says:


Sidelights About Soldiers and Service
by Joe Anderson

(Ed's Note: Cpl. Joe H. Anderson, Quanah youth, is presently on the staff of "Stars and Stripes.")

With the 25th Infantry Division in Korea. - The Quartermaster had apparently ordered what the Army's insistent reverse wording probably called "One each Christmas, white, Korean style, M-1850."

It snowed for weeks--not every day, but off and on, starting just in time after a dry spell that it put Christmas back in the soldier's mind before that particular cold Korean Monday appeared on the scene.


Where they had received them, the messes served their special Christmas rations: canned turkey, canned cranberries, canned everything. It was one of those meals that the army seems to save up for weeks in advance – one of those with which they try to make up for weeks of corned beef hash.


Up in the medical company of a Negro regiment in this division, the "Medical Harmonaires," a quartet that could give some real competition to their radio namesakes, switched from spirituals to carols. They were beautiful.


The field chapel services were packed – as usual, but a bit more so.


Where there had been fighting before, the fighting continued – but you've heard of that in much greater detail than the soldier in Korea ever hears. He's always too close for perspective.


The soldier joked as usual about the talking the diplomats were probably doing as usual. If his Christmas packages had arrived, he opened them. Many packages hadn't.


It wasn't much of a Christmas, but the soldier did his best with it.



Thanks, soldiers still in Korea. Thanks, soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, wherever. Thanks for your service. Have a really merry Christmas!



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Posted Monday, October 05, 2009 @ 10:20 AM)           


Why do you get publicity when you don't want it? Why can't I get the kind I want?
The kind I want is the blatant advertising like I put on this blog last. I'd love toget the word out about our books and publishing company. And we're getting there. In the process, I now have a presence on facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. I don't quite know what to do with them, but I'm learning, including actually having an ad on facebook right now thta I'm pretty excited about. It's been running since the 25th and has had 25,741 times it was shown and 48 times it was clicked on taking them to the call for submissions for Eagle Wings Press, and we've gotten some pretty good submissions during that time. It's exciting. So. That's good publicity.
And bad? I decided not to run for reelection, a decision that had to be made public by the end of the deadline for filing for the office, December 3, 2009 through January 4, 2010. The primary election is in March, the general election in November, and the end of the term December 31, 2010. But to be fair to the lawyers wanting to run for it, I had to say earlier that I'm not running for reelection, so that of course got picked up by the media and in the newspaper and on TV, and everybody knows. And everybody feels the need to comment on it. And I want them to forget about it for at least a year. And they won't. But, in talking about not running, I keep trying to get information out about my plans to work fulltime with the publishing company. And that keeps getting ignored by the press. Except for the newspaper that said I was going to work with the family publishing company. Oh well, all publicity is good publicity? But that's the subject of this diatribe.
I heard a case on Friday. When it had previously been set, I heard announced on the TV the night before that the dog, the subject of the cruelty to animals suit, would be in my courtroom for the hearing. I was displeased. The hearing that day was postponed for other reasons. I had informed security they were not to allow a dog into the courthouse, and I told the courtoom crowd that day that I controlled the courtroom, not the news media or anybody else, and there would be NO dogs in my courtroom when evidence could be presented in any other way, such as a video or pictures. Well, no attempt was made to bring the dog this time. We did have an audience for the non-jury trial. But there was nothing in the paper, and if there was TV coverage, I didn't see it. I don't mind the media. But I don't seek them out. Except when I do.

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Posted Saturday, October 03, 2009 @ 8:47 AM)           

Housekeeping and Deciding

I promised a few days ago when I was trying to set up a blog for the AbileneWritersGuild.org site I'm come back and do something more than test my ability to blog by mail. So I've returned. The AWG site issue was my trying to structure my life, going different directions. A few years ago I boasted of keeping websites for something like five individuals and about that many non-profits. Now I'd just as soon not do any, though I'll keep some. But obviously this blog has been ignored and has no function other than enabling me to be humbled -- and humiliated -- by realizing how long ago I updated it. So there seem to be two options: revise the Sharpwriters site to delete the blog, or use it. I have chosen the second. For now. We'll see.

Life is good. It's not so exciting I need to blog about it here often. But it's good. Last week we turned out three new books. Now, if Silver Boomer Books was a huge publisher, that might not be a big deal. But when they numbers six, seven, and eight, that's rather impressive. Along with book five which we got the last couple of days of August, that makes four in a month, doubling the inventory. They are: 
  • Poetry Floats, New and selected Philosophy-lite by Jim Wilson. Jim's a veterinarian, and this is his fifty poetry book, so it was absolutely appropriate it also is our fifth book. It was the first book with our poetry and fiction imprint, Laughing Cactus Press. Jim's poetry is neat. Glenn Droomgoole in reviewing it says he's a fan of Jim's poetry "which by the way rarely deals with animals, except the human species."
  • Bluebonnets, Boots and Buffalo Bones by Sheryl L. Nelms also serves up down-to-earth poetry, this distinctly and dramatically the West Texas variety. Sheryl writes of such things as killing the rooster, grandma solving a problem with gypsies coming for handouts by giving them fermented dill pickles ("they went away happy / never came back / she said"), and a Texas ice storm that gritches around like a hundred hands squeezing cellophane. Sheryl's book is also from Laughing Cactus Press.
  • This Path is our third anthology, following the path begun with Silver Boomers, a collection of prose and poetry by and about baby boomers and Freckles to Wrinkles. The path is Somewhere between the dream life predicted in our high school yearbooks and now, lies the Path we actually walked: This Path. The back cover explains:
    These pages mark the trails stamped out and the journey imprinted upon those who write from around the country and a few places beyond.
    This path continues two traditions begun in the first two anthologies, the crawl line (continuous text at the bottom of the page, with quotations on the subject of the anthology) and a quartet poem at the end. To give you an idea of a quartet poem, here's a chat I had with a fellow editor recently:
me: Okay. But I may not want to give it up. We'll see.
 Karen: hmmm?
 me: I've been busy. Hadn't seen your message about your graphic designer friend.
 Karen: oh.
  that was hours ago
  it's just another person to file into our resources pile
12:55 PM me: I've been busy. Silly busy, but really really busy.
 Karen: I just tore up all the carpet in the kids bathroom.
  tile underneath it
  tore that up to
  going to do our bathroom sink area in a few
 me: you don't have to get that mad....
 Karen: had to take a break and eat something
 me: understood
12:56 PM Karen: ha ha
 me: yeah
 Karen: I've been going to do it for a long time
 me: I was looking to see how becky put our books on her page in linkedIn. and I was looking at the aps, and I decided I could do a quick PowerPoint program to introduce SBB. It's not quick.
 Karen: our stupid fridge leaked a few days ago and the water ran under all the cupboards and soaked the carpets in the bathroom - so now it's time
12:57 PM me: and you're shocked I wouldn't just throw something up there.
 Karen: but it's also making my allergies worse
 me: yeah
12:58 PM Karen: eventually we will tear up ALL the carpet in the house
 me: this chat box is a pretty good quartet poem, duet type.
 Karen: it's just a very slow and long process
  • Song of County Roads by Ginny Greene is our eight book and my all-time-favorite book until I get another that takes its place. Ginny says it's the story of her long road to becoming a country girl. I say it's precious. The back cover says, "Do you have music in you not yet sung? This recombined family took their city tune and rearranged it in a rural setting. To their daily amazement it was no simple melody. Their music composed a symphony of life: Song of County Roads."
So. That's where I've been. I think I'm going to use this not just to talk about my life (present tense) but to look back at my life (past tense) and to use this for a drafting board for my parts in the books we're doing next including one on Grandmas and Grandpas, one on recipes and family memories, and one on early reading experiences that led to a lifetime of books. (See calls for submission for the last two on the Silver Boomer Books website.)
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Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2009 @ 11:22 AM)           

I'm here

I haven't posted in forever. I'm doing well, running a publishing company with my partners Ginny Greene, Becky Haigler, and Kerin Riley-Bishop at Silver Boomer Books. I promise to come back here and post more if this will still post to my site. Just checking.
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Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009 @ 10:08 PM)           

Way Too Long!

Obviously last August I intended to blog more often. Obviously, I did not. I won't make more false promises, but my intentions are to keep this a great deal more current.

In the car this morning, it took a radio host on the East Coast to tell me it was April 21, San Jacinto Day, here in Texas and wherever former students and fans of Texas A&M might find themselves. So tonight I found myself at my very first Aggie Muster. I've always had a great respect for Muster. But today it was special. My father, Sam R. Breedlove, died Christmas Eve. At his funeral, my Aggie son set it up so we could go out to the Aggie War Hymn played "Loud enough!" Daddy was a remarkable man. A poem I wrote about him, one published last year in Silver Boomers describes his past:

Daddy, May I?
                                                       Barbara B. Rollins

colonel, engineer, 
captain of the band.
Baritone, tinner, 
mayor, leader— 
you could do everything
but hula-hoop and fix my Timex.
Muddled of mind,
breathless, a stranger 
in your own head,
you plan the ordinary,
relearn the routine.

The chasm gapes.
Can I be the child again? 

But the poem I couldn't help thinking of today I wrote a long, long time ago:

They Call the Roll
                                    Barbara B. Rollins

The Aggies of Texas assemble each year
by tens and by thousands in towns far and near.
The twenty-first day of the fourth month they stand,
solemn and somber, at sea or on land,
while up at the rostrum a roll call begins,
the roster of those who'll not be there again,
for each name they call is an Aggie who passed
from this life since they read from the muster list last.
But present in spirit, they stand nonetheless,
Aggies forever, a brotherhood blessed.
The voices now silenced will answer the call
as brothers and sisters respond for them all.

My father and son are Aggies. I'm not.
Enrollment at muster will not be my lot.
But still as a symbol of love muster stands
a solid, fraternal mass joining of hands.
And I have a Brother, creation's first-born,
who'll answer for me when they sound judgment's horn.
My name will be called and his voice God will hear
at muster call yonder I'll surely be there.

Thanks, Daddy. Sam R. Breedlove, June 22, 1915 - December 24, 2008.

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