My Home Town
For thirty years this California town
has been the place where I have slept at night,
and shopped, and worked, and driven about.
But home is where my childhood feet
ran bare on Texas clay …
on streets that were like arteries
to all the lives I loved and shared.
Now, as storm clouds gather in November
and leaves are on the ground,
these asphalt streets and stranger’s cars
seem even more remote.
I long to live where I am known,
and my grandparents, too …
where all the folks I meet each day
know just where I belong.
They’ve known my folks and relatives.
They’ve seen me go through school.
I have a place on Texas soil
in the town where I was born.
It is my home, belongs to me,
and I yearn for a hearth that’s gone.
From Dorothy Hansen's “Cedar Berries,” her collection of poems about Texas.
Dorothy Lee Hansen wrote this poem about my home town of Mineral Wells, Texas. She was born there in 1925 and is of my mother's generation. From what I have read about her she was full of life, laughter, determination, and grit. She was full of pride about her pioneer heritage and always interested in sharing it with others. She was a great-great niece of Charles Goodnight, who along with his partner, Oliver Loving, were famous cattle drivers from the Mineral Wells area. The book "Lonesome Dove" was based on them.
Mrs. Hansen kept a home in Mineral Wells that she called "Hill Cove" to which she returned often. She was a world-wide traveler and when she returned she would engage her friends and the social clubs with readings from her poetry.
She died in February of this year at the age of 84, an Emmy award winner and poet laureate. She also had many accomplishments in theater, radio, and teaching. She was also very active in civil rights.
Cedar berries: poems of pioneer Texas and American Indian heritage
Goodnight Descendant Dorothy Hansen Dies by Libby Cluett, Mineral Wells Index
Although Dorothy Hansen was not my ancestor, I am a descendant of Mineral Wells, and because of this association, I offer her poem which speaks to my soul for your enjoyment.
Bill West's 2nd Great American Local Poem and Song Genealogy Challenge at West in New England.