East Texas is a distinct cultural and geographical region roughly the size of the state of Indiana. It is bounded on the east by the Sabine River and the state line, on the north by the Red River, and on the south by the Gulf of Mexico. The remaining boundary line is open to conjecture but is generally considered to represent the dispersed western limits of the Southern Pine Best. Those who have lived and worked in East Texas share a common sense of place that has provided some of the state's more colourful characters and most enduring landmarks, as well as a richly-layered cultural history. The region has also produced a large number of historians and storytellers who have successfully drawn upon their diverse and unique heritage to chronicle the past. Just Between Us will be at one level the inside story of a large community, where all residents comfortably share somewhat familiar stories about home. It is also, however, a regional record for others to enjoy, analyse, and celebrate. The stories are firsthand accounts by those who know the region best, and they serve as glimpses onto life in the Pine Belt that to this point have not been recorded or widely shared.
They are, for the most part, small stories that might not be found in general histories but that nevertheless collectively make a profound statement about the unique character of an important region.
Milton S. Jordan is a native Texan, born in Waco and reared in East Texas and Houston. He graduated from Southwestern University with a BA in history and received a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Methodist University. He is author of a chapbook of poetry, Better Things To Do (Bottom Dog Press), and numerous reviews and essays in literary and historical journals. A past president of the East Texas Historical Association, he is retired and lives in Georgetown. Dan K. Utley , a native of Lufkin who grew up in Woodville, served for many years on the staff of the Texas Historical Commission. Now an adjunct professor and the chief historian of the Centre for Texas Public History at Texas State University-San Marcos, he is the co-author of several books on Texas topics, including History Ahead: Stories beyond the Texas Roadside Markers (with Cynthia J. Beeman). A fellow of the Texas State Historical Association, he is a past president of the East Texas Historical Association.
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