A Texas Tragedy: Orphaned by Bootleggers




On a Spring Night in May 1951, a car, loaded with bootleg whiskey and traveling without lights, ran a stop sign and collided with an ordinary cotton farming family. Five adults died that night. In the first car, a mother, a father, and a maternal grandmother were killed. In the other, a couple who left 10 children at home. The man who was driving that vehicle suffered injuries that plagued him all his life. The only survivors of the car that was broadsided; two little girls; a four-year old and a 19-month old. I know, because I was that 19-month old.

I never knew the real story about what happened that tragic night until I read an article written by an Associated Press writer. I was 40 years old. This book is not only about my being orphaned and being raised by my grandparents on a farm in West Texas, it’s about the driver of the other car and the man who worked. A man by the name of “Pinkie” Roden whose power over liquor was felt all the way to the halls of the state capital.

Now, five decades later, comes the truth about what really happened in “A Texas Tragedy: Orphaned by Bootleggers.” Three fascinating trials, the emotional devastation of the author’s Tahoka, Texas farm family, outlaw money and corruption involving the highest levels of state government form the focal point of this shocking true story.

This book is about my healing, understanding and getting on with my life. I think you’ll find it rewarding.