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PJC audience enlightened with historic forts facts, photos

Beautiful photographs of Texas frontier forts were presented Monday by historian Derrick Birdsall in the Paris Junior College Rheudasil Learning Center. PJC’s two-year college honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, sponsored the program.

Birdsall traveled around the state to ten historic forts and sites to provide photographs for the book The Texas Forts Trail. The book celebrates the Texas Forts Trail, which includes eight forts and a Spanish presidio, representing some of the best-preserved frontier military posts in the West.

“I hope that people would get the urge to go see these places, listen to the wind and hear coyotes yapping,” said Birdsall, who is also the Farmer’s Branch Historical Parks Superintendent. “In my talk, I’m using my pictures to encourage people to drive along the trail and see those forts. History gets threatened all the time by funding cuts, progress, anything. This is part of our shared culture and if people don’t care about it, we lose it. If they have seen it and it means something, places have more value and they might do something if they are threatened.”

He explained that living history, or reenactments, bring history alive for people and make a connection with them. Birdsall also shared photography tips on landscape and lighting.

“The love for the history of our country and our state that he shared with everybody was phenomenal,” said PTK historian/recorder Paula Vaughan.

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