Between them, Jerome and Bobette Doerrie served on the Panhandle Professional Writer’s (PPW) board for almost a decade. They enlisted each other when needing help, partly because, as married couples are wont to do, it’s easy to call “Honey....” Also, it is not easy to recruit volunteers from Amarillo when you live on a farm near Booker, Texas.
An educator, Bobette said they both flunked “Retirement.” She is still teaching (in Panhandle in the mornings, and Woodward, OK, in the evenings); Jerome, despite the drought, still farms. Schedule conflicts have precluded their PPW meeting attendance lately, but they continue to write. “Curriculum” Bobette chuckled. She also writes poetry. Jerome founded an astronomy club four years ago, and since then, his main writing focus favors astronomy.
Located in Lipscomb County, TX, Booker should be an excellent place to view the night sky. The entire county’s population is under 3,500. In fact, despite its designation as the county seat, I drove past the entire town when looking for its courthouse this afternoon. With my friend, Sondra Kennon, navigating, we backtracked and found the building—quiet and dignified on the outside, bustling with activity of wonderfully friendly people within.
With Sondra’s help, I was delivering a jeepload of books to the Lipscomb County library. The courthouse maintenance crew directed us to a nearby once-vacant schoolhouse, now turned into a library. They unloaded the books in a foyer, and then led us into their library, complete with overstuffed chairs in reading areas, and ambience so inviting, we hated to leave it.
But plans included lunch with the Doerries at Imo’s in Booker, and earlier irresistible scenery around Canadian had slowed my driving. We were running late.
Our good-byes came too soon, but not before tentative plans were laid for another excursion in that direction--a writers’ weekend in June at Lake Fryer.
In the meantime, Panhandle residents can easily drive to join the festivities this coming weekend around Canadian, and scope out fantastic scenery for the delight of looking or for a possible setting in an upcoming novel.
©2012, Bernice W. Simpson