Billy Bardin and the Witness Tree
6 x 9, 146 pp.
Pub Date: 02/24/2004
Chaparral Books
  paper
Price:        $11.95

978-0-87565-283-2

Published by Texas Christian University Press

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Billy Bardin and the Witness Tree

By Mary Penson

Billy Bardin and the Witness Tree is the account of a boy’s quest to save an important piece of Arlington, Texas, history and in the process convince his recently widowed grandfather how important he really is.

The novel is based on the real efforts to save the Witness Tree in 1991. Billy Bardin’s quest begins when K-Mart plans to develop a shopping center at the site of the five-hundred-year-old tree. As Billy studies the tree’s history for a school assignment, his grandfather tells him about his career laying out roads and racetracks as a surveyor. Grandpa shows Billy his beautiful old brass transit, the instrument he used to survey land, and explains how the Witness Tree was the point from which all property in Arlington was measured. Billy’s mother inadvertently gives the transit to a church rummage sale, and Billy sets off to recover it, save the tree, and restore Grandpa’s dignity.

A retired creative writing teacher, Mary E. Penson makes her home in Arlington, Texas. She taught writing in Illinois high schools for seventeen years. Penson is the author of Youre an Orphan, Mollie Brown and has published a number of short stories.

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