It’s often been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And, I might also add, that hundreds of pictures are worth many more thousands of words. But I’ll leave it to you to calculate the exact number.
For the longest time, as a resident living on the North Shore of Lake Travis, I’ve been trying to locate old photographs of the area, with little success. It’s not that old photographs of the area don’t exist, because they do, it’s just that they have been held in private family collections and have never been published. All that changed this year when The North Shore Heritage and Cultural Society, through Arcadia Publishing, published a new image book, The North Shore of Lake Travis.
Last week, in the local newspaper, I read where the society was going to promote the new book in Lago Vista, with those responsible for its creation on hand for a book signing. As you can imagine, I was excited as a school boy on the last day of class before summer break.
The day of the book sale, it could not have had a better day. Arriving shortly after things got underway, I was warmly greeted by members of the society. After purchasing my book, I watched as it was signed, not only by those people most responsible for the book, but also by others who, just like those who had made the book happen, were a genuine part of the history of the north shore. Notable among these folks were Marge Richards, the only living daughter of a Civil War veteran in Texas, Vernon Hollingsworth, an honored veteran of WWII, and Betty Jo Carter, who grew up around Lake Travis.
People like John and Charlene Vohs, Janice (Hollingsworth) McGrew, Genny (Rodgers) Kercheville, Gloria Van Cleve, and Shirley Davis, who have lived many years on the north shore of the lake, contributed so much, and spent several years pulling the book together, were kind enough to spend several minutes speaking with me. In those few minutes, I learned much about the local history of the north shore. But, perhaps, more important, I learned that they were extremely proud of the north shore’s history, and passionate about preserving its past, by keeping its history alive.
As I was walking out, I noticed that a few more books about the north shore were being offered for sale. Genny Kercheville’s, Nameless, Its History and Its People, and Lago Vista, Its Story And Its People, edited by Bruce Vernier and JoAnn Siefken, were also available. Of course, I thought I had hit the jackpot, and bought those as well. In just a few short days since the signing, I've read all the books. Each of them offers a fascinating insight into the history of the lake's north shore. The photographs in all three books are priceless, and will be appreciated by anyone who is familiar with the area.
It’s now quite apparent to me, that there are a lot of folks on the north shore who are very passionate about its history. And, as they are truly the ones keeping the history of the area alive, I was just glad to be a small part of it the other day, as I met them and purchased their important historical contribution to the area.