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Authors with ACU ties step into the spotlight

Karen Witemeyer signs copies of her book at the festival
The last full week of September is a time to celebrate authors. While the 10th annual National Book Festival was being held Sept. 25, 2010, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the second largest book festival in Texas was wrapping up back in Abilene, with an Abilene Christian University flavor to it.
The six-day-long West Texas Book and Music Festival – biggest in the state, next to the Texas Book Festival in Austin each October – wrapped up its six-day run Saturday with book signings, the annual Boots and Books Luncheon, and gospel music singing in the Abilene Civic Center.
Among authors with ACU ties who were honored in the Hall of Texas Authors exhibit were Dr. Willa Finley (’74), Dr. B.P. Gallaway (’49), Doug Mendenhall (’82) and Karen (Gaskin ’93) Witemeyer.
Finley co-authored Lone Star Wildflowers: A Guide to Texas Flowering Plants, Gallaway wrote Ragged Rebel: A Common Soldier in W.H. Parson’s Texas Calvary, 1861-1865, Mendenhall wrote How Jesus Ended Up in the Food Court, and Witemeyer authored Tailor-Made Bride.
Gallaway is professor emeritus of history, Mendenhall is instructor of journalism and mass communications, and Witemeyer is testing coordinator in the University Testing Center.
Another author was on campus Friday, Sept. 24, when Peggy Nelson, widow of former ACU trustee Byron Nelson, was honored at a luncheon and book signing for Life With Lord Byron, her new book about her marriage to the legendary PGA pro, whose career records may never be equaled.
Byron was the first golfer awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for his contributions to the game of golf as a player, teacher and TV commentator. The luncheon and book signing were sponsored by Women for ACU and ACU Athletics.