You Meet Such Interesting People
Texas History - Women's Studies
5.5 x 8.5, 208 pp.
19 b&w photos.
Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University
  paper
Price:        $17.95

978-1-60344-075-2
  cloth
Price:        $18.95

978-0-89096-404-0

Published by Texas A&M University Press

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You Meet Such Interesting People

By Bess Whitehead Scott

"It wasn't easy in those days for a woman to get her foot in the city room door. Bess made it because she understood one of the basic principles of the newspaper business--everyone has a story. You have only to discover it and tell it well.

"She will tell you in this book about meeting interesting people. You will learn that there are few more interesting than Bess Scott herself."—William P. Hobby

At the age of twenty-five, Bess Whitehead Scott became the first woman reporter for the city desk of the Houston Post. The year was 1915.

The author's memoir of the first ninety-seven years of her life illustrates how determination, courage, hard work, and caring family and friends propelled her past enormous obstacles, including poverty and a hearing impairment. Born near Blanket, Texas, in 1890, she grew up on a small farm held together by her widowed mother and eight brothers and sisters. Scott graduated from Baylor University and taught school briefly before she persuaded the Post editors to give her a chance. Her success led to other jobs in the then-unnamed field of public relations. Then, even before the filming of the silent movie classic, Birth of a Nation, she went to the little film colony called Hollywood, to try her hand at writing "scenarios."

Fame and fortune kept their distance from Bess Scott, but she did encounter many individuals whose fame, or infamy, whose friendship or failures made a deep impression on her. Clark Gable and Lyndon Johnson were her friends; her best friend, Lila Danforth, was always there during rough times when her marriage failed and she had to support her two small children by double moonlighting to supplement her meager earnings as a reporter. The opportunities and rights of women, the handicapped, and single, working mothers that are today taken for granted did not exist for Bess Whitehead Scott's mother or for her. Their talents and stamina in fighting rural and urban hardships exemplify a century of women's progress and highlight the roles played by the "interesting" people strung along the thread of their lives.

Bess Whitehead Scott has been a teacher, reporter, publicist, ad agency executive, freelance writer, and lecturer in her seventy-five-year career. She lives in Austin and has no plans to retire.

What Readers Are Saying:

"It wasn't easy in 1915 for a woman to get her foot in the city room door. Bess Scott made it because she understood one of the basic priniciples of the newspaper business--everyone has a story. You have only to discover it and tell it well. . . . She will tell you in this book about meeting interesting people, but you will also learn that there are few more interesting people than Bess Scott. The only thing better than reading the book is hearing Bess tell these stories herself. Enjoy."--William P. Hobby

"It wasn't easy in 1915 for a woman to get her foot in the city room door. Bess Scott made it because she understood one of the basic priniciples of the newspaper business--everyone has a story. You have only to discover it and tell it well. . . . She will tell you in this book about meeting interesting people, but you will also learn that there are few more interesting people than Bess Scott. The only thing better than reading the book is hearing Bess tell these stories herself. Enjoy." --William P. Hobby

"Bess Scott's memoirs serve as a record of more than 90 years of social change in Texas." --Beaumont Enterprise

"Scott's memoir is only the latest accomplishment of an extraordinary woman who never let convention or fear of the unknown stand in her way." --The Houston Post

" . . . Scott has lived a solid, interesting life and made a contribution to the progress of women at a time when women's opportunities were few and restricted." --Booklist

" . . . a perfect example of the best of the (memoir) genre. . . . Other reviewers will say this, I'm sure, but while the reader will meet a lot in interesting people on the pages of this memoir, the most interesting of all is Bess Whitehead Scott herself." --Judyth Rigler

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