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Embarking on a Sesquicentennial Project

A commemorative plate hangs in our house, from Longview’s centennial celebration in 1970. It features a half-dozen scenes from the city’s history, such as the Lathrop Discovery Well in 1931 that ushered in the East Texas oil boom, and the Dalton Gang bank robbery of 1894, which is reenacted on the brick streets of downtown Longview every spring. My dad was a 37-year-old commercial artist in 1970. We had moved to Longview 18 months earlier from New Hampshire to escape the harsh winters and sluggish economy. He quickly secured a job working as a sign painter for a company that held the contract...

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