By Laura Oles
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey tore through the heart of Port Aransas, hitting with such force that several longstanding homes and businesses ceased to exist. Harvey scattered boats like leaves—in front a beloved coffee shop, in a nearby neighborhood, beached on a random patch of grass. The town has been left to rebuild without the benefit of ongoing media attention. This community takes care of its own, and people from other cities have rallied with physical and financial support in an effort to help this island town regain its rightful claim as one of the most beloved vacation spots in Texas. However, one important landmark that has yet to return to proper service is the Ellis Memorial Library. Despite the diligent work of assistant Library Director Toby De La Rosa, volunteers and Port Aransas local officials, the library is still closed to the public and unable to provide important services to its community.
Port Aransas needs its library back.
Austin Mystery Writers has committed to supporting the Ellis Memorial Library by choosing to donate proceeds from its latest anthology, Lone Star Lawless, to this important cause. In addition to featuring stories from award-winning Austin Mystery Writers Gale Albright (who passed away unexpectedly before the anthology’s release) VP Chandler, Kaye George, Laura Oles and Kathy Waller, it includes submissions from some of today’s top talent in crime fiction. Gripping tales from Alexandra Burt, Janice Hamrick, Scott Montgomery, Mark Pryor, Terry Shames, Larry D. Sweazy, George Wier and Manning Wolfe are sure to keep you turning the pages. You’ll find compelling tales about cons gone wrong, cowboys and criminals, grifters and girlfriends, morticians and motel clerks… And best of all, each copy purchased benefits the Ellis Memorial public library. It’s our small way of showing support for this important and much-beloved island institution.
Those of us who love our local libraries know how much they bring to our communities. We understand the powerful ways a good book touches us, stays with us, invites us to share it with others. Libraries serve this need in a way that no other entity can.
If you’d like to make a donation to the Port Aransas Library, you may do so by sending check to: Friends of the Ellis Memorial Library, PO Box 11, Port Aransas, Texas 78373. In addition to these efforts, I have been working with some wonderful neighbors who have been collecting quality books to donate to Ellis, and we will be delivering them once they are in a position to receive them. It’s a big delivery, and special recognition goes to Trisha Taylor, who spearheaded an incredible book donation drive.
Also, you can pick up a copy of Lone Star Lawless from your favorite independent bookstore (such as BookPeople in Austin) or online. You can find it here: https://amzn.to/2YTbhpD
For those who know and love Port Aransas, you know it is returning better and stronger than ever. Showing your support through donations, vacations and other methods of bringing people and commerce to its businesses and community are so very appreciated. And when packing for your next trip, remember to bring a book for the beach. It’s beautiful this time of year.