The University of Houston-Victoria will host its second Community of Readers forum from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday with former journalists Henry Wolff Jr. and his wife, Linda, reviewing the hurricane history of the Texas Coastal Bend.
The couple will give the presentation in the Multi-Purpose Room in UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The public is invited to attend the free event.
The Wolffs, who chronicled the Coastal Bend area through stories and columns during their newspaper careers, will talk about hurricanes that destroyed the coastal town of Indianola and other storms that have damaged the region.
Henry is a longtime Texas journalist whose career spanned half a century. Before retiring from the Victoria Advocate, his column, “Henry’s Journal,” appeared for three decades. He penned more than 6,000 columns about residents of the Texas coastal plains. Henry is the former president of the Texas Folklore Society and the South Texas Historical Association.
“I will touch on major storms that had an effect on the area,” he said. “Some of it involves my coverage for the Advocate. Since I am from West Texas, I’ll also discuss how moving to the coast after the drought-stricken 1950s and experiencing the storms here have affected my concept of weather.”
Linda was a former staff writer and bureau chief for the Victoria Advocate in Port Lavaca. In 1993, she left the newspaper and became a consultant to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, where she provided support for nature tourism efforts. She was an employee of the Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission and is former chairwoman of the Victoria County Historical Commission. She is author of “Indianola and Matagorda Island, 1837 to 1887,” a local history guide to the historic seaport.
“My wife will talk about two major Indianola storms, in 1875 and 1886, that very nearly destroyed what was a thriving entry point on Matagorda Bay in Calhoun County,” Henry said. “Indianola rivaled Galveston as a port, where much of the 19th century immigration and supplies for the western forts came through. It was virtually wiped off the map again by Hurricane Carla in 1961.”
Community of Readers is a series of events this school year to connect readers and the academic community and to promote the importance of books to students in the digital age. The first program in October featured representatives from the Galveston County Historical Museum.
“Isaac’s Storm” by Erik Larson is the book chosen for the Community of Readers program this school year. The book is available for purchase at local and online retailers, and copies are available to check out at the Victoria College/UHV Library and the Victoria Public Library.
“The book is relevant since Galveston is so close to us, and we experience many of the same storm-related issues,” said Elizabeth “Libby” Rhoades, chairwoman of the Community of Readers committee. “The book has science, sociology, psychology, weather and more. We can learn a lot more than just the history of the storm’s occurrence.”
Rhoades said all UHV freshmen received the book and are expected to read it.
For more information, visit uhv.edu/communityofreaders or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Other committee members are UHV faculty and staff members Charles Alcorn III, Dmitri Sobolev, Alireza Tavakkoli and Casey Akins.