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Date: Friday, May 5, 2023
Time: 10:30 a.m. EST
Location: The Learning Center, Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Cost: Free and open to the public
Join us in the museum’s Learning Center for our new monthly Museum Story Time program. Aimed at toddler-age children and their grown-ups, we will gather on the first Friday of each month for a music- or Appalachia-related storybook, a tune or two by WBCM Radio Bristol show host Ella Patrick (a.k.a. Momma Molasses), and a related activity or coloring sheet.
This month we will be reading My Great-Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb, shared with permission from Harper Collins.
About My Great-Aunt Arizona
Reminiscent of the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, My Great-Aunt Arizona is an inspiring tale rich with history, family, and artistry. Based on a true story, author Gloria Houston’s joyous recounting of her great-aunt Arizona’s quiet yet meaningful life reminds us of the special place a great teacher can hold in our hearts—even after we’ve grown up.
Arizona was born in a log cabin her papa built in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She grew into a tall girl who liked to sing, square-dance, and—most of all—read and dream of the faraway places she would visit one day. Arizona never did make it to those places. Instead she became a teacher, helping generations of children in the one-room schoolhouse which she herself had attended.
About the Author
Dr. Gloria Houston wrote over 10 books that were published in numerous languages. Her books have won and been listed on more than forty awards and awards lists. Over the years, Houston taught at the University of South Florida and Western Carolina University and was lovingly referred to as “Ms. Mack” in earlier years teaching in Florida and Texas schools grades K-12. She frequently identified herself as “first, last and always, a teacher.”
Houston’s books are filled with Appalachian mountain history and culture with great attention to detail woven throughout the characters and scenery with many of the character’s based on her relatives. Her “Littlejim” series are books about her father, J. Myron Houston’s life and “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree” features her Mother, Ruth Houston, as the main character. She penned a tribute to teachers in “My Great Aunt Arizona,” a story about her Aunt Arizona Hughes, and librarians are the stars of “Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile.”
In each book Houston wrote of her childhood experiences and stories handed down through her family and community. Dr. Houston was designated as a Distinguished Educator by the International Reading Association. She won the National Excellence in Literacy Education Award, and was named a Distinguished Alumni at Appalachian State University. She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Outstanding Women of the Twenty-First Century, Who’s Who in the Southwest, Who’s Who in Education, International Who’s Who of Authors, Something about the Author, Contemporary Authors as well as other references. Houston passed away at the age of 75 in 2016.