Patsy Harrison Roberts of Crossett, Arkansas will review “Before I Sleep- A Memoir of Travel and Reconciliation” by Frank H. Thurman at 10 a.m. Saturday in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church, 6501 Hazel St.
Roberts is the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Asa Harrison of Crossett, where she was born and grew up, attending the Crossett Public Schools, graduating from Crossett High School. She attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she graduated with a bachelor degree in business education and minors in English and social studies.
Upon graduation she returned home to Crossett and was hired as a beginning teacher in the school system. She married the late Tom Roberts who was employed in management with the JC Penny Company and his various job assignments took them to many different cities throughout the United States. She taught in the local school systems of Valdosta, Ga.; Metairie, La.; San Antonio, Texas; Homestead, N.J.; and Hopkinsville, Ky., before returning to retire in Crossett, where she taught until her recent retirement.
She continues to enjoy traveling, decorating, reading and is involved with the Crossett Book Club, and the Tom Roberts Scholarship Foundation. She is an active member of Crossett First Baptist Church and several educational and civic organizations.
“Before I Sleep” begins with a telephone call: Absent for three decades, Thurmond’s birth father phones from his death bed, offering his son a chance for reconciliation. During those decades of absence, the son passes through childhood in the rural South to fulfill his dream of studying abroad at Oxford University in England. Along the way, his travels take him from Dallas to Madrid to Soviet Moscow. The people he meets are larger than life, including Allen Ginsberg, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Queen Elizabeth II. Recounting life shaping events and the insights they yield, “Before I Sleep” brings Thurmond’s physical, intellectual and spiritual journey vividly to life. Readers will find this an engaging and deeply inspiring memoir.
The author did a great job blending his descriptions of his travels and education, developing a good story that is well written. At the heart of his narrative, told with splendid style and language, is a touching coming of age story about the value of hope, perseverance and ultimately reconciliation, which Frank Thurmond describes so effectively. It inspires one to focus on living ones life not only well, but to the fullest.
Everyone is invited to attend. Door prizes and refreshments will be furnished following the review.