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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Opening Remarks

As many of you already know, I recently retired and have moved back to Roscoe to live in the same house I lived in when going to high school fifty years ago. My mother lived in it until she was 100, but then three years ago she moved to the rest home in Sweetwater, and the Duncan house has been unlived in since. As a result, many things (such as the air conditioner and refrigerator) aren't working, and it needs repairs and upgrades, so I have a number of concerns that need my immediate attention. The moving truck with almost all of my earthly possessions won't arrive until sometime next week, and I am still without television, but I got Internet access today, so in that regard at least, things are looking up.

I've moved back from Parkville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore, where I lived in a condo that I bought in 1998. I've just put it on the market and have my fingers crossed that I can sell it soon. Up until my last day as department chair about a month ago, I worked at Towson University non-stop since 1993, except for one school year, 1996-1997, when I was a visiting professor at the University of Akron.

Like most Texans, I’d never heard of Towson until shortly before I got a job there and didn’t even know how to pronounce the word. In case you’re wondering, the ‘Tow’ in Towson rhymes with ‘cow,’ and it’s not a small private institution as you might suspect, but a pretty large state school with over 21,000 students. When I first started working there, it was Towson State University, and up until the 1960s it was Towson State Teachers College, but, as has been the trend with schools all over the country, the official name changed as it grew and expanded its offerings.

Anyway, since leaving Roscoe over forty years ago, I've lived in Maryland longer than in any other place. I spent about five years in Lubbock, five more overseas, eleven in Austin, two in northern California, seven in Beaumont, and shorter periods of time in other places. I’ve been married twice, divorced twice, and have three grown daughters and a granddaughter. Over the years I’ve had so many different jobs, I doubt that I could name them all. My favorite—and the one I’ve stuck with the longest—is college professor. For the past few years I’ve spent more time as an administrator than in the classroom, but teaching has been my calling, and it’s always been the most rewarding.

Even so, I’ve been looking forward to retirement and the opportunity to get out of the big city rat race and return to my hometown roots, where I can enjoy life at a more leisurely pace. Or at least, that’s the plan. As I’ve done in the past, I may once again be deluding myself—but I hope not. We’ll see.

Anyway, I hope to keep people posted on what's happening in Roscoe, so if you know of anything that's going on that I should be mentioning here, please let me know. My e-mail address is

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