A Way With Words: The Banta Legacy by Mary Maurer



My grandmother, Della Mae Banta Springer, was a columnist for a variety of newspapers in Bryan and Atoka counties. Her work also appeared frequently in the Sunday edition of the Daily Oklahoman. These comments she made in the Durant Weekly news in 1965 were the inspiration for this book:

Writing Can Really Get in Family Blood, By Della Springer

Once more my typewriter is loaned out, but for a very worthy cause, and here comes another article in hen scratching. My daughter, Colleen Simmons, has the writing fever, and it can be very chronic. When it gets in a family, it can be very hard to get rid of. It’s like a virus, but it never comes to run its course and let up.  It goes on down through several generations In my case, even tranquilizers don’t help. A constant stream of rejection slips cool the fever for a spell, but it comes right back!

This book includes samples of writing collected from Banta descendants past and present. Their words in personal journals, newspapers, books, magazines, and court records include interesting bits of family and local history. They wrote about the Liberty Hill School, early days in Caney and Caddo, the Atoka County courthouse, Texas Rangers, and of course, neighbors and friends. Even if you aren’t related, you’ll enjoy reading their stories, articles, and poems. Loyal readers of Della Springer’s column will love reading some of her early thoughts.