Randy Willis #randywillis

Randy Willis is as much at home in the saddle as he is in front of the computer where he composes his family sagas. Drawing on his family heritage of explorers, settlers, soldiers, cowboys, and pastors, Randy carries on the tradition of loving the outdoors and sharing it in the adventures he creates for readers of his novels.

He is the author of Destiny, Beckoning Candle, Twice a  Slave, Three Winds BlowingCarolinas Wind,  Louisiana   Wind,   The Apostle to the Opelousas, The Story of Joseph Willis, and many articles.

Twice a Slave has been chosen as a Jerry B. Jenkins Select Book, along with four bestselling authors. Jerry Jenkins is the author of more than 180 books with sales of more than 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series.

Twice a Slave has been adapted into a   dramatic play at  Louisiana College,  by  Dr.  D. “Pete” Richardson (Associate Professor of Theater with Louisiana College).

Randy   Willis owns   Randy    Willis    Music Publishing    (an ASCAP-affiliated music publishing company)  and  Town Lake Music  Publishing,  LLC  (a  BMI-affiliated music publishing company). He is an ASCAP-affiliated songwriter. He was an artist manager.

He is the founder of Operation Warm Heart, which feeds and clothes the homeless. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Our Mission Possible (empowering at-risk teens to discover their greatness) in Austin, Texas. 

He was a charter member of the Board of Trustees of the Joseph Willis Institute for Great Awakening Studies at Louisiana College.

Randy Willis was born in Oakdale, Louisiana, and lived as a boy near Longleaf, Louisiana, and Barber Creek.  He currently resides in the Texas Hill Country near his three sons and their families.

He graduated from Angleton High School in Angleton, Texas, and Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He was a graduate student at Texas State University for six years. He is the father of three sons and has five grandchildren.

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#randywillis

Randy Willis

“Gatsby hesitated, then added cooly: “He’s the man who fixed the World Series back in 1919.” FScott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby 
 
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Seven weeks before 1919 began, World War I ended. 
 
In 1919, Norman Saurage discovered the secret of making my all-time favorite coffee in Baton Rouge. He named it Community Coffee. 
 
In 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment was ratified, authorizing the prohibition of alcoholic beverages. 
 
In 1919, an influenza pandemic carried on, killing 675,000 people in the United States.
 
In 1919, Congress approved the 19th amendment to legalize women’s suffrage. The next year my seven-year-old mother received the right to vote when she came of age.  
 
In 1919, Arnold Rothstein paid members of the Chicago White Sox to lose the World Series deliberately 
 
In 1919 my all-time favorite sport’s hero, a baseball player, was born, Jackie Robinson.
 
And in 1919, my all-time hero was born, my father, Julian “Jake” Willis.
His biography—Fall, 2021. 
 
Randy Willis
 
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Nick tells Gatsby, “You can’t repeat the past,” Gatsby replies, “Why of course you can.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby 
 
http://www.threewindsblowing.com 
http://amazon.com/author/randywillis

#randywillis

Randy Willis

The last time I saw Lady Bird Johnson was at the Headliners Club in Austin, Texas. This inscription is on the inside cover of her book, Wildflowers Across America. She had it hand-delivered to me at my home in Austin. The Texas bluebonnets in bloom this month remind me of her.

Note to Randy Willis from three generations of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s family: Lady Bird Johnson, Luci Baines Johnson, and Nicole Nugent Covert.

Randy Willis #randywillis

http://threewindsblowing.com

The Spanish Flu 1918 / Randy Willis

The Ole Willis Place

She was beautiful, charming, and graceful.

That would all fade within hours after exposure to the 1918 flu pandemic.

She was my Great-Aunt Eulah Rosalie Hilburn Willis. She died from the 1918 flu pandemic, aka The Spanish flu, on February 6, 1919. She was only 34.

Her daughter, Flossie Willis (the baby in the wagon photo), was my cousin and friend until her death in 1985. She told me her father and mother’s story, and I included in my book Destiny last year.

The plague lasted from January 1918 to December 1920.

It emerged in two phases. In the late spring of 1918, the first phase, known as the “three-day fever,” appeared without warning. Few deaths were reported. Victims recovered after a few days. When the disease surfaced again that fall, people had lost their fear of it, but this time it was devastating!

It is estimated that 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with the influenza virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be between 50 and 100 million worldwide, with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. Nearly 200,000 Americans died from the “Spanish Flu” in October 1918 alone.

In the United States, about 28% of the population of 105 million became infected. Today, that percentage could even be higher since social distancing is far more complicated.

The United States had been caught unprepared in 1918 for the outbreak partly because advances in bacteriology made many Americans believe they could control infectious diseases. At least that’s what the experts told the people.

The influenza epidemic of 1918 has been overlooked in the teaching of American history—until now.

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Photo: The Ole Willis Home Place, August 5, 1906, located near Amiable Baptist Church (near present-day Longleaf, Louisiana), on Barber Creek.

My Great-Uncle Robert Kenneth Willis Sr. (1877-1951) has the reins in his hands. Robert’s first wife Eulah Hilburn Willis (1884-1919), is in the backseat. She died in the influenza pandemic of 1918/19.

My Greatgrandmother Julia Ann Graham Willis (1845-1936) is holding a catfish and is standing next to the wagon. Robert and Eulah’s baby girl Flossie Litton Willis (August 5, 1905 – September 1985) is held by an unknown lady. Flossie told me before her death that this photo was taken on her first birthday.

The story of Eulah Hilburn Willis may be found in my novel Destiny https://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Randy-Willis/dp/1792724470

Eulah Hilburn Willis is buried in the Lecompte Cemetery in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Be safe…

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Randy Willis
www.ThreeWindsBlowing.com

Robert Kenneth Willis

Randy Willis #randywillis randywillis