Familial love inspires writer

Published 11:54 am Saturday, April 7, 2018

Anyone fortunate to have loving parents knows the feeling of wanting to express the gratitude that arises from that experience. James Edward Howell Jr. certainly does, and he’s put that appreciation of his mother, the late Emily Vaughan Howell (July 22, 1905-Aug. 29, 1994,) in the form of a book, “Meet My Momma! A Tribute to an Extraordinary Lady.”

James E. Howell Jr. holds a copy of the book he wrote as a tribute to his late mother, Emily V. Howell. — Stephen H. Cowles | The Tidewater News

Howell, who lives in Franklin, confirmed that was indeed his motivation.

“Love for my mother. I realized how good a person she really was. As a child I took it for granted,” he said. “That’s probably true of most people and their parents.

“It’s my way of honoring her,”

He began writing about her two years ago, which included visits to the courthouse and looking through family Bibles. The manuscript was completed this past winter.

This book is not the first that Howell has authored about his life. He wrote “And the Sun Rose on Another Day,” which was published in early 2016. That, said Howell, was largely about his father, who was a farmer and merchant. He died at age 50. The son was 10 at the time, and his sisters were 16 and 2. Their mother, a housewife, was 39.

“She had a lot dumped on her,” Howell recalled. “She was faithful to her family. She made a blanket for each one of the children and many of the grandchildren.

He continued, “She was so completely selfless, compassionate and loving. She would go out of her way to help other people.”

As an example of her goodness, even hobos were treated with respect by her during the Great Depression.

Howell recalled that while she practiced reasonable caution, she didn’t turn away the men who had lost their jobs and were seeking work and a meal. Some he would see wearing worn-down business suits. She would give them chores to do such, as splitting wood.

“Both my parents were compassionate people,” added Howell.

In between those two memoirs, he published last year’s “Destination Intrigue,” which is about the time an airplane brought in 22,500 pounds of marijuana to the city airport in late December 1981.

To order your copy of this tribute or the other two books, visit www.amazon.com/books, or contact Howell at either 562-3289 or jimmy9298@charter.net.