Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

June 17, 2013

Book on faith has a strong PV tie

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat — A love of her faith is at the center of a Pauls Valley native deciding to put her thoughts down on scripture for all to see in a brand new book.

Mary Baird no longer lives in PV but she knows the town well. She was born here, grew up here and continued living and working around Pauls Valley until she and her husband moved to Dallas, Texas around eight years ago.

Now retired she’s hit that next big moment in her life by authoring a brand new book, “Come, Let Us Reason Together: Connecting with God through the Word.”

“It’s about my journey through the scripture and things I gleaned from the Word on living life to the fullest,” Baird said.

“I wrote the book from my Christian faith, from my years and years of scripture,” she said. “They are short narratives on portions of the Old and New Testaments.

“This is something I had longed to do deep in my heart.”

Baird still has a strong connection to Pauls Valley.

During her childhood days here she still remembers the “beautiful valley” trees, skipping to town for a Saturday afternoon movie, stopping by a small diner across from the courthouse for an ice cream and even as a teenager cruising up and down Paul Avenue where they would “shoot a U at the depot.”

Also close to her heart are her father, J.S. Swinney, who was an optometrist in PV, and her mother, Jennie Mae Swinney, who taught fifth grade at the local Jackson Elementary. Both are buried at the local Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Later she got married and had two sons right here in Pauls Valley.

Baird was even working at the nearby Whitebead School before making the move to Texas.

Along with that strong connection to her hometown Mary also had a love of both her faith and writing. The two came together when she arrived in Texas.

Once there she started writing for the Upper Room magazine, a publication for the United Methodist Church.

“When I retired I had the time for my love of writing.”

Along with the magazine, Baird started a series of writings about her faith and portions of the Bible.

She eventually put those writings into this new book, which was published by a New York company just a few weeks ago.

“I still have a lot of people in and around Pauls Valley that are my friends,” Mary said.

“I felt they might have an interest in this project I’ve been working on since I retired.”

The book is available in most book stores and in E-book form online through Amazon.

Baird’s love of writing could take her even further as she could have yet another book coming later.

This next one could put her love of PV at the center.

“I’ve got another book in the works that tells about my Pauls Valley experiences.”