Grass Roots - 80 Years in Bailey County is a collection of family stories, photos and genealogy covering the first 91 years of the life of Frances Gaddy Stegall. Born on August 3, 1911, Stegall moved to Bailey County, Texas in 1922. Although she had a summer home in Ruidoso, New Mexico, she has never left Bailey County.
This book was originally published at age 91. At age 94 she published her first romance novel, Meggie. Her second romance novel should be out shortly after her 95th birthday and she is currently working on a third.
Ms. Stegall is sharp, witty and determined. She wants the book published in her words - not in the polished words of an editor. She uses words such as kinda, gotta, and wanna to clearly show that these are rural stories. Amusing stories of her childhood in east Texas include details of the hardships of life in the early 1900's and explanations of farming and ranching practices such as cattle dipping and cotton pulling are plentiful. Stegall is candid and forthright as she shares the joys and sorrows of her entire life. From having a child with Downs Syndrome, the excitement of eloping at 16 years of age, the heartbreak of watching her husband slip into Alzheimer's, and her commitment to her faith she tells it like it is - in her own words.