My father was born Aug. 26, 1904, in Leander, Texas, the first son of a farming family; of a tough Scot mother and a vigorous, entrepreneurial father. He was, I’m told, a bright, ambitious boy who loved learning and dreamed of being a writer, traveling the world, spinning stories about those adventures.
By 1918, the family owned two farms, two mule teams, two plows. One of those farms led my grandfather to board a train for Port Lavaca in late October 1918. By Nov. 8, my grandfather was dead of Spanish influenza. He was 42 when they buried him in a family plot at Oatmeal, Texas. With him was buried my father’s dream of an education and the writing life.