Don Newbury profiled in new biography
By Glenn Dromgoole
Loretta Fulton tells the story of former Howard Payne University President Dr. Don Newbury (the “Popcorn President”) in an excellent new biography, Faith, Fervor and Fun. Autographed copies are available at Texas Star Trading ($20 paperback).
The book includes a foreword by Dr. Lanny Hall and a section of comments by about two dozen of Newbury’s colleagues, friends, and family.
Fulton begins at the beginning, when Newbury was born on Sept. 7, 1937 – “the nation was still in the grips of the Great Depression and on the cusp of entering World War II.”
“The signs were there early in Don’s life,” she writes, “of what that grown man would look like. The sense of humor, the smarts, the work ethic, the love of people and conversation, the gift of storytelling, the optimism – all those traits began to emerge as
Don was growing up.”
In seven fast-paced chapters, Fulton takes Newbury from Humble Beginnings to Student Years at HPU to Sports & Journalism to Building a College System to Mr. President: Snyder Years to Saving His Alma Mater to Life After the Presidency.
Newbury, who now lives in Burleson, remains active as a humorous and inspirational speaker and a newspaper columnist, having recently published his one thousandth column.
Abilene and Texas in the Cold War
Abilene figures prominently in a new book, Cold-War Texas, by Landry Brewer (The History Press, $23.99). ACU Professor Dr. Amanda Biles wrote the book’s foreword.
Abilene, Dyess AFB, and the Big Country were in the forefront of the Atlas and later Nike missile defense systems.
The book devotes a full chapter to the activities of former Ranger College French professor Maurice Halperin, accused of being a Communist spy.
New Texas Coloring Book
Tour of Texas is a new “Texas-inspired coloring book” ($9.95) that includes most of the state’s best-known icons and attractions.
Native Texan artist India Hearne devotes pages to rodeo, cactus, oil (Kilgore), Texas produce, Texas animals, the Cadillac Ranch, Marfa Lights, Big Bend, the Alamo, the state Capitol, Tyler roses, butterflies, NASA, and more.
However, a huge chunk of Texas doesn’t make the cut. No Abilene. No Lubbock. No Midland. It wouldn’t be so bad except there’s a page at the back showing the “places we visited,” and there’s a huge hole from Amarillo down to Austin. Maybe next printing they could consider a page about Lubbock music, or Abilene storybook capital, or the giant wind turbines, or Midland/Odessa oil or football.
Still, it’s a good book. Just tell your kids or grandkids to color in something in the hole where Abilene ought to be.
Shinnery novelist speaking here Oct. 14
Kate Anger, author of The Shinnery, a new novel set in 1894-96 in this part of West Texas, will speak at noon Friday, Oct. 14, at the Abilene Public Library downtown. The event is open to the public. Her book will be for sale there, or you can buy it ahead of time at Texas Star ($21.95 paperback). The author’s name is pronounced ahn-JHER.
New local author bookmarks
Check out our new Local Author bookmarks that we include with the purchase of all books by authors from Abilene or with close ties to Abilene. We have about 75 titles now by local authors – children’s books, local histories, novels, sports books, Texana, cookbooks.