richard and elaine

If putting a smile on people’s faces is a measure of success, then Thanksgiving arrived early for this author. After my newest book, Stories I’ve Been Told – Volume 3, made its debut earlier in November, Richard Dixon, one of the Fayette County residents profiled, beamed his approval.

Appreciative Smiles

At The Fayette County Record’s 102nd birthday party, Gary and Gale Lincke were happy to see the story and family photos of their flooring business, a La Grange, Texas, institution, featured in the new book.

(It was very special for me to introduce this new volume during the newspaper’s celebration because the feature stories appeared first in the newspaper over the last 10 years.)

Mrs. Frances Schumann, her daughter, and son-in-law, came by to sign books and renew our friendship. In her story, Mrs. Schumann, who grew up in a German-Texan family, recalls the German Christmas celebrations she knew as a child. 

Diane Mueller was pleased to have John D. Marburger, one of the three Fayette County natives she photographed for the cover, sign her book.

Saving Stories One By One

The family of Korean War veteran Gene Wessels, whose story appears in the book, arrived with their Christmas list. We had a wonderful time visiting while I wrote individual dedications to all 19 family members.

Ron Langhamer is mighty proud that the story of his parents’ courage, endurance and hard work in establishing Leon’s Electric and Plumbing is featured in Stories I’ve Been Told – Volume 3.

I Love My Readers!

La Grange Mayor Jan Dockery is pleased so many stories about local residents and their way of life are preserved in my Stories I’ve Been Told series.

Nancy Gosch is one of my super fans. Seeing her smiling face at every book signing I’ve ever held in La Grange fills me with joy.

It’s great to see book lovers I know and also fun to meet new ones like Rev. Andrew Stafford, Pastor at St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Schulenburg.

Why Bring a Cactus to a Book Signing?

When I was signing books in La Grange, Pete and Phyliss Fridell dropped by to pick up a cactus. It wasn’t just any cactus. This was the pup of a pup given to me years ago by Pete’s father, World War II veteran Cleve Fridell. Cleve sent it home with me after I interviewed him for my column in The Fayette County Record. Cleve’s story later appeared in both the newspaper’s special publication and my book, Veterans’ Voices and Home Front Memories.

What a Feast for Mind and Palate

The Friends of the Schulenburg Library and the public library’s staff were fabulous hosts/hostesses at the second book signing for Stories I’ve Been Told – Volume 3. In my remarks, I provided overviews of the stories from the 13 people I have written about with Schulenburg ties. Several of these dear people were there in person and others were proudly represented by family members.

All the Way from Canada

What a treat it was to have Canadian family members from Nanton, Alberta, at the Schulenburg event. Thank you Adam, Kassy and two-year-old Olivia for joining Emil and me. By the way, Olivia is already a big fan of books. Maybe it’s a family trait!

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share the stories of Fayette County, Texas, people with readers. What marvelous people I’ve encountered. What a difference they – and you – continue to make in my life. Thank you.

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What Early Readers Say

“I found myself laughing at one story while in tears with the next.” Paul Mikula

 “Far more than biographies of the rich and famous, these are stories that inspire readers of all ages to know that our actions matter and our own lives, can and do, have meaning beyond the present.” Annette Citzler

“I feel like I know these hard-working, God-fearing people because as a native Texan, the stories remind me of people in my past.”Beverly Freeman

“The best parts of the book for me were the firsthand accounts of day-to-day life in rural Texas: church gatherings and one-room schools, special Christmases, picking cotton and milking cows on a sharecropper’s farm, going to dances, falling in love, delivering the U.S. Mail on muddy, unpaved, ungraded country lanes, buying donuts at two for 5¢ and strong community ties.”K Leonard

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You might also enjoy the stories about three of my other books.  

Elaine Thomas
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