My corner of the ‘curtain is Homer, Texas, an unincorporated community about twelve miles outside of Lufkin, Texas off of Highway 69-S, on the edge of the Big Thicket National Preserve. Homer is an interesting place. It was once the Angelina County seat, and was thriving and poised for growth until a major railway chose Lufkin for its main route in the 1800s.
Its history includes brawls and bloody feuds, at least one of which is said to have left haunted energy on the land my family still lives on. Even further back in history, there were “panther tales” and “wampus cat” stories of wild animals that roamed the thickets, hollers and ponds. Homer, at least my part of it, is still wild and on our land alone, there are still wailing big cats, sly foxes and an army of feral pigs. (And yes, all of our pets are indoor pets!) There are woods on our land that no one goes too far into.
This print is based on a photo of my grandmother, probably in the 1940s, and probably when Homer was a little more energetic than it was when I was growing up. But even in my time, it had a busy little shop strip offering candy/soda/BBQ, a hair salon and other sundries. It was torn down in the last decade or so, and the operating family replaced it with a big space to sell their handmade woodcarvings, stained glass and other beautiful art. The matriarch passed, and then the eldest grandson, and now all of that is gone, too.
It’s a place the contains multitudes in ghost stories and love stories, church hymns and redemption songs. When I write or create art about my home, no matter where I am, this is home to me. And while it’s not perfect, neither am I.