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Author writes of simple days in Pelham

Terry Powell, has finished the second of three books relating his early days in Pelham.

Terry Powell, has finished the second of three books relating his early days in Pelham.

THOMASVILLE -- Terry Powell spent his grown-up life as a coach and educator in a number of places. His childhood was in Pelham and his memories there have overflowed and made two books -- so far.

His second and most recent, "My Mama Likes My Cowlick," picks up from his first, "Come Out, Come Out, Yo House is on Fire," and is Powell's account of life radiating from Butler Street through his days at Pelham Elementary School and early high school.

"It takes you through my first 13 or 14 years," Powell said, "but isn't always chronological."

Much of "Cowlick" centers on what Powell refers to as his "cowboy years." The author finds an early closeness with horses and spends much of his time at the local livery stable "doing the things little boys like to do." His penchant for finding words to suit his horses shows clear in this passage, where Powell has an opportunity to "test drive" a Tennessee Walking Horse:

None of her complicated movements affected what was going on in the saddle. You could have set a cold drink on the horn and never spilled a drop. This little puny and pathetic lady had just transformed herself into a majestic Tennessee Walking Horse right before my unbelieving eyes. She was no longer Sophie, she was Sofia.

"There was hardly a day went by when I didn't ride a horse somewhere," Powell said.

According to Powell, his late passion for writing started just a couple of years ago, springing from the stories he regularly tells his family.

"I told my kids I was going to put something down on paper so they could 'see' the faces I'd been talking about," Powell said. "I'm not a trained writer, but I thought I had kind of a knack for it."

Powell said his writing project is less than half finished and will ultimately portray his Pelham experiences though high school, at least. Further, this late-blooming author has no intention of slowing down.

"I'd like to spend the rest of my life on earth writing and putting my thoughts on paper," Powell said.

"He's my hero and my role model," said his son, Cal, a former journalist and a teacher of journalism in Macon. "He's probably the most well-read man I've ever met. When I was growing up he was always writing. He wrote poetry, too. A lot of his stuff could bring a tear to my eye. Right now, I think his best work is in front of him."

Powell never set out to become rich as a writer, he said, or even to make a real profit. He's commissioned a small self-publishing company to create his books in small batches as called for by demand.

"It was just 150 paperbacks, to begin with," Powell said, "but those are just about gone. We have a few places around Thomasville selling them. They're printed by a company called Xlibris we found on the net."

When he's finished writing about his early Pelham years, Powell wants to work on things some would consider "more serious," such as "how I came to think and act the way I do," said the former high school coach.

"I think I might like to pursue that," he said.