A Boy from Barnhart: Times Remembered

by david on March 27, 2014

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Herbie Taylor remembers a life well lived

Herbie Taylor was a boy from Barnahrt.  He still is a boy from Barnhart…even though he spent a long career as a military officer and has traveled the world and spent a lifetime away from his growing-places of Barnhart, Big Lake, and small town Texas.  He still is a boy from Barnhart as we are all still a part of our growing up memories and experiences.

Herbie and I graduated from the same West Texas High School almost a decade apart.

I remember Herbie Taylor as a basketball star at Reagan County High School in Big Lake back in 1960 or so.  I also remember him as Penny’s boyfriend….Penny Farr, my best friend’s older sister.  I’m not sure Penny claimed that her brother and I even existed, but we were on the extreme periphery of  Herbie and Penny’s awareness.  Minor annoyances as only a little brother and his urchin friends can be.

After getting grounded in all the best possible ways as a country boy in West Texas, Herbie Taylor went to college, earned a degree and began a long and distinguished career as a military officer.  Sounds easy doesn’t it?

But in the book, Herbie goes into detail that make you want to know more about him, Penny, his father, his life and yes, even his in-laws, Louis Lee and Dickie Farr.  Some say that Louis Lee and Dickie were the real life models of Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor of the movie Giant.  I can certainly see the similarities there.

He married his long time sweetheart Penny, and together they made a life in the military.  Herbie writes of his life, a life well-lived from growing up in rural Texas to traveling the world.  He writes of love and love lost as Penny is lost to cancer.  I remember as a young editor Penny and her mother making a trip to Big Lake visiting old friends and seeing all the old sights.  I wondered after seeing them if that was Penny’s farewell tour of the old places and old friends.  Turns out that is exactly what it was.

So the book has a very personal side to it as well as a military-life type book.  There are no big war stories here, even though his military postings took him into and out of war zones.  The book touches more on personal exchanges between officers, enlisted men, Army politics, and the ever important quest for promotion.  Some make it to full Colonel and some don’t.  Then even fewer make it to that star status of a General Officer and some don’t.  That quest was one of the most interesting parts of the book to me.

Although Herbie probably wrote this memoir primarily for his friends and family, I found it to be fascinating as a life story.  He comes to some personal realizations that only serve to improve his life.

It’s a great story.  A Boy From Barnhart can be a success.  And if a Boy From Barnhart can adapt, compensate, and overcome….there may be hope for others.

Herbie Taylor is alive and well and lives in the Salado area.  You can read about his life well-lived in his book:  A Boy From Barnhart:  Times Remembered

You can order this book on Amazon in both a hard copy print edition and on Kindle.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

saundra willeford edwards July 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm

I really love what I have read in just these few pages especially since I was in school with the 3 of them and penny and verlis were my best friends. Penny and I played basketball together
I spent many a day on the big rocker ranch. I even knew David and his parents. So yea the book is fantastic. Any body that reads it will surely love it.


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