All posts by Elizabeth Crook
On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman barricaded himself on the twenty-eighth-floor observation deck of the University of Texas’s Main Building and began shooting people below, ending eleven lives and altering countless others. An exclusive excerpt from Monday, Monday, Elizabeth Crook’s new novel about that terrible day’s events and their haunting aftermath.
On a sweltering Monday in August 1966, Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the University of Texas Tower and began shooting pedestrians below, killing eleven people and forever altering the lives of many others. In this excerpt from her new novel, Elizabeth Crook reimagines the day that changed everything.
It occupied almost an entire block in San Marcos, a sprawling historical structure that my parents named Crookwood. And when I think of my hometown, it is this home—more than the town—that comes to mind.
Sometimes a home is more important than a hometown.
When I was in the sixth grade in San Marcos, my rabble- rousing father fought the rules that dictated what I could wear to school. My hip-huggers survived, but I almost didn't.
In 1971 I wore hip-huggers and other clothes appropriate to the times. This did not please the superintendent of the San Marcos public schools, and his displeasure did not please my father.
Cantankerous and independent, sharp-tongued and opinionated, Rosita Holdsworth Hollar was a frontier woman who loved teaching children and acquiring land, a terrible cook who had no use for housekeeping or fashion, a loner who was self-sufficient well into her nineties. In other words, she was the best role model a girl could ask for.
There was a lot about Rosita Holdsworth Hollar that pegged her as the least likely role model in my family: She was cantankerous and sharp-tongued, something of a loner, and a terrible cook and housekeeper. But there have been many times when her example has been a comfort to me.