Sarah Hudson-Pierce

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Sarah Rachel Hudson-Pierce
Sarah Hudson-Pierce of Shreveport, LA IMG 5120.JPG
Sarah Hudson-Pierce (2011)
Born (1948-02-22) February 22, 1948 (age 66)
Sulphur Springs
Benton County
Arkansas, USA
Residence Louisiana Shreveport
Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater Harding University
Occupation Book publisher, author, journalist
Spouse(s) Charles Edwin Pierce (born 1941, married 1967,)
Children

Robin Lynette Pierce (born 1969) of Shreveport
Perry Loyce Pierce (born 1970) of Boston

Jeremy Winter Pierce (born 1976) of Searcy, Arkansas
Notes
Her difficult childhood strengthened her for the challenges of future success as an author and publisher.

Sarah Rachel Hudson-Pierce (born February 22, 1948) is an author of inspirational books, a publisher, a journalist, and a former cable television host in Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish and the largest city in North Louisiana.

Early years, family lineage, tragedy, and education[edit]

She was born to Roy Earnest Hudson (1895–1958) and the former Marcella May Morris (1906–1986)[1] near Sulphur Springs, a small community in Benton County in far northwestern Arkansas near the Missouri border. Her girlhood home, still in existence, was a house constructed in the 1840s.[2]

Hudson-Pierce's mother, Marcella Morris (c. 1907)
Hudson-Pierce's great-grandparents, William Henry and Mary Barter Morris, settled in the Oklahoma land rush. This picture was taken prior to his death in 1901.
Hudson-Pierce's maternal grandparents, James and Myrtle Morris, c. 1900
Sarah Hudson-Pierce is a descendant of Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence from New York

Sarah's mother, Marcella, was born in an underground American Indian sod dwelling near tiny Fairvalley in Woods County in north central Oklahoma. Marcella's grandparents, William Henry Morris (1833-1901) and the former Mary J. Barter (born 1838), had been among the pioneers who staked out 160 acres (0.65 km2) in the Oklahoma Land Rush. W. H. Morris was born in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Prior to the American Civil War, he came to Linn County Iowa, where in 1855, he married the 16-year-old Mary Barter. He then attended medical school in Keokuk, Iowa, having completed his instruction in 1864. The couple later moved to Oklahoma; three years after his death, Mary B. Morris was still living in Alva in Woods County.[1]

Hudson-Pierce traces her ancestry in the future United States to Lewis Morris (1671-1746), the British governor of New Jersey from 1738 until his death. Previously Lewis Morris had been royal governor of the New York colony, which included New Jersey prior to the separation in 1738. This Lewis Morris' grandson, also Lewis Morris (1719-1798), was a landowner and developer who in 1776 signed the Declaration of Independence as a representative at the Second Continental Congress from New York. Lewis Morris was a half-brother of Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816), the New York City native who was editor-in-chief of the United States Constitution and author of its preamble.[1]

Before her third birthday, Marcella Morris was playing on the soft dirt roof of her dwelling. She slipped, fell through the roof, sustained brain damage, and lapsed into a coma. Marcella's mother, meanwhile, was dying of typhoid fever when this accident occurred. Marcella's six-year-old brother, Jimmy, had died of the fever some six weeks earlier. Marcella's father left his two daughters in the care of a kindly neighbor, Clara Knox, who became Marcella's foster mother. In 1914, Marcella's father remarried, and Marcella, at the age of eight, left the security of life with Clara. Marcella did not marry until she was in her late thirties and then only after her father, Sarah's grandfather, had died. Having lived into her nineties, Clara thereafter told Sarah of the tragic circumstances of Marcella's life.[2]

Roy Hudson died, and Sarah lived with Marcella for four years. Marcella subsisted by taking odd jobs but became unable to care for Sarah.[2] Hence, at the age of fourteen, Sarah began living in the foster home of the late Cullen and Martha Adair of Grove in Delaware County in northeastern Oklahoma.[1] Sarah was later placed in an orphanage, the Turley Children's Home, now known as Hope Harbor, in Claremore near Tulsa. She resided at Turley from 1962–1966.[2]

Hudson-Pierce graduated in 1966 from McLain High School in Tulsa. Marcella lived for another three decades, having died in the nursing home in Grove. While she was in the eleventh grade at McLain, Sarah turned to creative writing and public speaking.[2] From 1966-1967, she attended the conservative Church of Christ-affiliated Harding University (then College) in Searcy in White County north of Little Rock.[3]

Hudson-Pierce the author[edit]

Her interest in creative writing paid off; over the years, Hudson-Pierce has written five books, three being free verse poetry:

Friendship Is A Journey (1987)

The Warming of Winter (1989)

To Soar Again! (1994)

Two others are inspirational pieces:

Southern Vignettes (1995)[4]

Turning Points (1996), semi-autobiographical[5]

Columnist Erma Bombeck dedicated her February 26, 1986, column to her friend Hudson-Pierce.[6]

One of Hudson-Pierce's articles, "The Old Steamer Trunk", was published in Guideposts magazine in January 1998.[7] Richard "Dick" Schneider, a senior staff editor at Guideposts, said that Hudson-Pierce's selection was particularly poignant and fitting for the publication. Stories about the article were written in numerous newspapers across the nation.[8][9]

From 1995-2008, Hudson-Pierce hosted her own television program in Shreveport through Time Warner. She interviewed artists, authors, political figures, or anyone else of interest. She writes an occasional column for the Shreveport Times, one of which is on the difficulties of moving.[10] Another is her autobiographical recollection of Christmas 1957.[11] She has also written for the Bossier Tribune newspaper in Bossier City.

In 2002, Tanya Brasher Alexander, who resides near Shreveport, wrote a biographical poem of Hudson-Pierce's life.[12]

Ritz Publications of Shreveport[edit]

In 2002, Hudson-Pierce launched, on a shoestring budget, Ritz Publications, named for her maternal great grandfather Nicholas Ritz, who came to the United States in 1851 from Bern, Switzerland.[1] Her first selection was the rejuvenation of a rare out-of-print book titled Poems by Julia Pleasants Creswell, the great-grandmother of the late Shreveport Mayor James C. Gardner. Ritz also released two more of Julia Creswell's books: Aphelia and Other Poems and Callamura.[13] Hudson-Pierce has also published two volumes of Jim Gardner's memoirs entitled Jim Gardner and Shreveport.

Successful Ritz books have included: Stone Justice (2001) by Debi King McMartin and Lyn Morgan, which details the tragic life of Toni Jo Henry of Shreveport, who on November 28, 1942, became the only woman ever to have been executed in Louisiana's electric chair. Henry's story has been compared to that of Karla Faye Tucker in Texas, executed in 1998. The motion picture The Pardon, filmed in Shreveport, is adapted from Stone Justice.[14]

Still another Ritz publication, Will Somebody Call the Coroner?, is an autobiography of Caddo Parish Coroner Dr. Willis P. Butler (1888–1963), with the preface by the Shreveport historian Eric John Brock (1966-2011).[15][16] Ritz Publications also offers Sarah Dorsey's Recollections of Henry Watkins Allen, a study of Louisiana's Confederate States of America governor. Dorsey owned the Biloxi estate Beauvoir and was a benefactor of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.[17]

Another Ritz release is Tinkerbelle, the story of Robert Manry (1918–1971), a Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) copy editor who in 1965 solo-navigated the smallest sailboat ever across the Atlantic. Ritz offers a rare book, Our Baby's History (1898), by the American artist Frances Brundage (1854–1937), who was particularly known for her depictions of wide-eyed Victorian children.

In 2009, Ritz published Jerry Wray: Pioneer Artist Of The South by Shreveport artist Jerry Wray. That same year, Ritz published Mama's Boys, a novel by Matt Whitehead, a journalist and a former child protective services worker. Another 2009 publication is Investing Without A Net a collection of short vignettes by Shreveport author Larry LaBorde, the owner of a silver trading company and a local family-owned oil business.

In 2010, Ritz published an autobiography of Virginia Shehee, the businesswoman from Shreveport who served in the Louisiana State Senate from 1976 to 1980. The book has a coffee-table format with an introduction by former Mayor James Gardner, one of Shehee's classmates at Alexander Elementary School and C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport. The book is titled Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee: First Lady of Shreveport.

In 2012, Ritz published the autobiography of George Dement, the former mayor of Bossier City, entitled George Dement: I will, If you will, Saith the Lord. The introduction is written by former Governor Edwin Edwards.[18]

Ritz Publications is acting as publicist for the inspirational book, Valerie, Jasmine Morelock-Field's biography of her daughter, Valerie Morelock, who was murdered in 1973 on the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge. Morelock-Field turns a tragedy into a story of hope by placing all of her trust in God. She was interviewed in 2012 by Donna LaFleur on Louisiana Public Broadcasting's "Authors in Shreveport" feature at the Louisiana State Exhibit Building Museum.[19] Jasmine Morelock-Field was also interviewed on Rick Rowe's Promise of Hope by KTBS-TV, the ABC outlet in Shreveport.[20]

Ritz is the publisher for Home to Holly Grove: Cherishing Our Rich Heritage, by Frances Swayzer Conley,[21] an English professor at Bossier Parish Community College. The book is a pictorial family history of the Holly Grove Colored Baptist Church in Wisner in Franklin Parish in northeastern Louisiana. The church was established after the American Civil War by one of Swayzer's ancestors.[22]

Another book available throuth Ritz is Gardening to Attract Butterflies: The Beauty and the Beast by Loice Kendrick-Lacy of Haynesville in northern Claiborne Parish. The book begins with Kendrick-Lacy as a young girl introduced to butterflies by her grandmother.[23]

Ritz is also the publicist for James Robertson's biography of his brother, Phil Alexander Robertson, from the Arts and Entertainment Network television series, Duck Dynasty. The book is entitled The Legend Of The Duck Commander. In 2012, James Robertson was interviewed on LPB's "Authors in Shreveport" feature at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum.[24]

In 2013, Ritz is publishing the World War II memoir, A Time to Remember by Ken Cochran.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Sarah left college in 1967 to marry Charles Edwin Pierce (born 1941), a minister in the Church of Christ, originally from Falcon in Nevada County near Magnolia in south Arkansas. The couple has three children: Robin Lynette Pierce (born 1969) of Shreveport, Perry Loyce Pierce (born 1970) of Boston, Massachusetts, and Jeremy Winter Pierce (born 1976) of Searcy, Arkansas. There are two grandchildren. Hudson-Pierce has an older sister, Alice H. Roberts of Bastrop, Texas.[2]

Quoting M. Scott Peck, psychiatrist and author of The Road Less Traveled, Hudson-Pierce says that "Life is difficult. . . . It is in the attaining of goals that we blossom and grow. . . . I know that God is the source of my strength and that without Him, I am nothing. . . ."[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Genealogy of Lewis Morris, Sr. (born 1575 in Wales)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Statement of Sarah Hudson-Pierce, 2006
  3. ^ "Dedication to writing brings success", Harding College Alumni News, Spring 1998
  4. ^ Lenora Nazworth, "Women's Days Marked with Celebration and Challenge", Shreveport Times, March 8, 2002
  5. ^ Turning Points. angelfire.com. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ Erma Bombeck, "Slim $5 check is worth a million", syndicated column, February 25, 1986
  7. ^ "The Old Steamer Trunk". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on October 26, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ Dave Morris, Sr., Review of "The Old Steamer Trunk", Cedar Rapids Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 1998
  9. ^ Tim Morris, Review of "The Old Steamer Trunk" in Guideposts, Morganville, New Jersey News Transcript, March 27, 1998
  10. ^ Sarah Hudson-Pierce, "Moves are a physical hassle, emotional drain," Shreveport Times, May 26, 2007
  11. ^ Sarah Hudson Pierce, "My greatest Christmas gift," Shreveport Times, December 23, 2010
  12. ^ "Sarah Hudson-Pierce". sarahhudsonpierce.net. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Callamura". ritzpublications.com. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  14. ^ Alexandyr Kent, "'The Pardon', a locally produced feature, begins shooting May 15", Shreveport Times, April 28, 2007
  15. ^ Eric John Brock, Shreveport historian, The Forum magazine, November 10, 2004
  16. ^ Eric J. Brock obituary, Shreveport Times, December 3, 2011
  17. ^ "Beauvoir". beauvoir.org. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Former Bossier City Mayor holds book signing, July 7, 2011". KTBS-TV. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  19. ^ The link to the LaFleur interview of Jasmine Morelock-Field is http://media.lpb.org/LNWMK0447_iPod.mp4
  20. ^ "A Promise of Hope". KTBS-TV in Shreveport. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Interview of Frances Conley by Gary Calligas". thebestoftimesnews.com. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Book signing at LA State Museum on July 7". northshreveport.ksla.com. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Loice Kendrick-Lacy". media.lpb.org. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  24. ^ "James Robertson". media.lpb.org. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  25. ^ "A Time to Remember by Ken Cochran". KTBS-TV (ABC in Shreveport). Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  26. ^ M. Scott Peck (1978). "The Road Less Traveled: New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth". New York City: Simon & Schuster. Retrieved February 9, 2011.