Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 26, 2012

Man inspires tales, carries on wife’s legacy

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Every story from one’s life can be something shared with the next generation and given the opportunity, the tales themselves take on a life that continues on as long as imagination allows.

When Garvin County resident Floyd Brobst would share memories of his own childhood growing up in rural Oklahoma, he never thought anything more of it than to just share something amusing with his own children.

However, it was his late wife Sydney who had a much grander idea in mind and while he knew she took notes during a telling or two, early on he didn’t know how well those recollections would travel.

“She heard the different things I told the kids when they were growing up and decided to record them and make a story,” said Brobst, who said much of Sydney’s interest came from being a career school teacher.

“It would amuse them and it would amuse me... It was all true enough I didn’t have to make things up.”

Storing the stories eventually on the family computer, Sydney never got a chance to have the stories distributed in print before she passed away in 2010.

However, the stories that she had started compiling about the time she retired from teaching in 1996 would not have to wait to be shared too long as Floyd was determined to carry out her wish.

“After her death I decided to basically honor her with it,” said Brobst, who has lived in between Pauls Valley and Paoli since 1978.

“It was after that I hunted some of them up and had them published.”

It was later when Brobst called a printing operation run through the University of Oklahoma that he was told about Tate Publishing, who were eager to latch onto the humorous tales.

The book itself, titled “Floyd’s Short Tales of a Country Life,” was eventually published back in the summer with the three tales based on things that really happened to him and the lessons he learned.

Almost as amusing as the stories that include “Battin’ the Bees,” “The Last Ride” and “The Coon Hunt” is how his kids and younger children are amazed at how simple life was back then. He always gets a kick out of their amazement that there was a time before there was a television and electricity in every home.

“The stories came from things I did to amuse myself,” said Brobst, noting that in the stories it mentions how he had to find ways to have fun and keep busy since he was isolated out on a farm in places like Cleo Springs or Ringwood near Enid.

“Kids couldn’t believe people actually lived without power or water running in the house.”

Since being printed, Brobst has actually given quite a few of them away to schools she taught at over 30 years, like the former Walker school and Wynnewood.

He is already arranging her next book to be published, which will be called “Edgar Allen Pony and the Race Track Cat.” It will be a 50-page novella based on when they owned horses.

The book is for sale on the Tate Web site or other places like

“Tate told me they only publish 10 percent of the things brought in,” said Brobst, who added how he is honored by being in select company. “I’ve handed out quite a few like at the library and schools she taught at.”