Where I Come from as Told to Bryan Woolley

Front Cover
University of North Texas Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 278 pages
In 1999 Bryan Woolley of the The Dallas Morning News set out to record the stories of ordinary people in North Texas, to tell about their lives, especially their past, and how they became who they became. These stories were published in a column entitled "Where I Come From," which ran in the Sunday newspaper from May 1999 to December 2000, to great reader acclaim. Now, for the first time in book form, the best of those stories is gathered herein with photos of each storyteller.

Among the people featured are a refugee who traveled a long road to Texas after the fall of Saigon; a ballet teacher who as a teenager joined the French Resistance against the Nazis; a rabbi who is also a country-music disc jockey; a survivor of Auschwitz; a woman who spends her life saving abandoned dogs; a South Dallas blues singer; a one-man band from Denton; and a shoe salesman who is also a minister. Each story is told in the teller's words, making this collection a valuable resource for oral historians as well as for all those who enjoy a good story.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Kenneth Irby orphan
5
Tony Zoppi friend of stars
11
Jennifer Nguyen war exile
17
Lois Adair saloonkeeper
23
Clebo Rainey performance poet
29
Jeanette Grumpler the Tomato Lady
35
Frank Rush pioneer entertainer
41
Herbert Shore gerontologist
141
Leo Laufer Holocauset survivor
147
James Bell firefighter
165
Ann Gushing Gantz painter
171
John Hardman puppeteer
177
Abel Reyna history teacher
185
Sam Baker public radio host
191
Big Bill Johnson the Singing Drywall Man
197

Denise Brown member of the French Resistance
47
Burt Finger gallery owner
57
Kenneth Adams shoeshine man
63
James Jennings backroads traveler
67
Ed Seay Sr model builder
73
Oksana Marchenko new citizen
81
Beatrice Woolley mother
87
Dale Long bomb survivor
95
Terry Baker finder of lost heroes
101
Gwendolyn Leakey singer and yodeler
107
Frances James the Cemetery Lady
113
Aki hair stylist and potter
119
Etta Maberry doing whatever had to be done
125
Lindon Dodge paraplegic
131
R L Griffin blues singer
135
Alfred Martinez restaurateur
203
Pat Arnold dog lover
209
Bob Walker barbecue chef
215
Billy Roy Switzer oneman band
221
Paul Hastingsm singing store greeter
227
Quida Johnson schoolteacher
233
Bob Colombe Lakota barber
239
Frank Joseph rabbo disk jockey
245
Efren Ortega priest
251
Netha Stanton actress
257
Fred Brunei defense attorney
263
Al Cornelius county judge
269
Artist Thornton helper of young people
275
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About the author (2003)

Bryan Woolley is a native Texan and a senior writer on the staff of the The Dallas Morning News . Among his many books are Sam Bass (Spur Award winner), We Be Here When the Morning Comes (W. D. Weatherford Award winner), Mythic Texas, and Final Destinations (UNT Press). He lives in Dallas.

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