As a young boy, I loved to hear the stories of my ancestors told by my parents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors. The storytellers and listeners came to sit and spin yarns under our large willow tree after the evening meal, which we called supper.
We lived in what then was a semi-rural area of Austin, Texas. Most of the informal gatherings drew rural folks who raised livestock. Since I came from a family that had been in the cattle business for 300 years, the conversation always seemed to be about cows and cowboys.
The stories were just stories until I started in-depth research many years later. I discovered that stories of an Indian massacre in what is now the center of Austin took place as it was told. That my great-great-grandfather, after fighting for Texas Independence from Mexico in 1836, was induced by President Miribeau Lamar to come to Austin to help build the new Capitol City of the Republic of Texas.
I use these stories as a professional storyteller and to write the Westward Sagas, a series of historial fiction books about one family and their struggle to survive in the new frontier. The Westward Sagas begins in 1760 as the family made their way from Pennsylvania to Texas in a 100-year odessy.