This item originally appeared in the December 9, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By Sallie Rose Hollis
Special to The Tech Talk
Journalism department head and News Bureau director Wiley W. Hilburn Jr. has assembled a 15-year retrospective of his newspaper columns in a book titled "New Seasons."
He will introduce the volume to Lincoln Parish residents with two book signings this month Ð in Choudrant at Ken's Mini-Mart from 8-11 a.m. Dec. 18 and in Ruston at the Lincoln Parish Library from 2-5 p.m. Dec. 19.
"New Seasons" follows the sold-out "Fragments," Hilburn's first book. His wife, Kate Sartor Hilburn, a photographer, edited the book as well as providing both cover and inside art. Six chapters spotlight approximately 100 columns and 12 duotone photos.
"The column is me," Hilburn said. "From stealing women's cars and escape from New York City to episodes of addiction and depression."
Indeed, chapter titles and topics run the gamut: "Changing Times," a salute to bygone days; "Living the Life of Wiley," a collection of Wiley-esque experiences; "North Louisiana People," word portraits of both Hilburn's and the region's favorite folks; "In the Doghouse," a menagerie of dog tales; "New Seasons," a tribute to the months in North Louisiana; and "Family Album," a compilation that pays homage to kin.
Hilburn, of Choudrant, has served as chair of the journalism department for the past 37 years. For the past 25 years he has written a popular weekly column that appears in The (Shreveport) Times and, more recently, also in The (Monroe) News-Star. He is one of only two journalists who have been inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.
The chapter "Lost in New York" gives a glimpse into the Wiley Hilburn persona:
"It will come as no surprise to the regular reader of this column, but in the course of a recent visit to New York City -- my first, at age 60 -- I got as lost as a southern goose. What's worse, I got lost [in Manhattan] at 1 a.m. I had not bothered, unaccountably, to learn the name or location of our hotel or even written it down anywhere. That's being lost...
"After searching for two hours, Kate decided it was time to call the police.
"'Is he mentally unstable?' was the first question the desk policeman asked.
"It was recorded by the entire group that it took Kate a very long moment to respond to this simple question."
Additional book signings are scheduled from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 11 at Tower Book Shop, 724 Azalea Drive, Shreveport; and 2-4 p.m. Dec. 12 at Windows, a bookshop, 609 Park Ave., Monroe. The book will also be available at Lewis & Co., 108 Park Ave., Ruston; the Townsend House, 410 N. Bonner St., Ruston; and The Book Merchant, 512 Front St., Natchitoches.
"New Seasons," printed by Jack Dog Press in Shreveport, retails for $24.95 and contains 224 pages in a hardbound edition. For more information, visit jackdogpress.com, call Kate Hilburn at (318) 768-2518 or e-mail her at email@example.com.