Based in Texas, Words is a blog by Kari Lynn Collins. Her posts explore life, mostly through laughter.


Coming home, going home

Coming home, going home

This will be the first time in 49 years I will not be home for homecoming. 

I would like to extend, though, a big “Welcome Home” to everyone in town for Homecoming. 

They say home is where the heart is, and I’m lucky because my heart tells me I have several homes.

 Iowa Park is my home, for sure, but my heart lives wherever my kids live, and at the moment that includes Las Vegas and Wisconsin. So I’ll spend homecoming this weekend with more Elvis impersonators than Hawk mascots.

Homecoming is good for the heart, y’all.

Everything feels so urgent these days – everything. So if you’re in Iowa Park from out of town in true homecoming fashion, I hope you slow down and enjoy the memories and the new stuff. 

Even if Iowa Park is home and you are Homestaying, enjoy the old-fashioned hoopla, the tradition and time spent with old friends.

The most urgent things I’m going to do in Las Vegas is see Donny Osmond at the Flamingo and chase my grandboy. Don’t judge me. The only bets I’ll be making are that it will be a great homecoming in Iowa Park.

There will be so much going on that will make it clear “Tradition Never Graduates.” 

As always, there will be a bonfire, homecoming parade, homecoming queen crowning, the game, the annual Whoop-T-Do  with the world-renowned Turtle Trot (Thank you, Dutton Funeral Home for this slice of hometown America) and the annual alumni luncheon.

A lot of work and pride goes into all of this every year, mostly by volunteers and students.

While tradition is a central theme, there will be some new and very exciting things happening this year. And I’m going to miss it. 

A street dance, which I was practically born to attend and wildly participate, is the first thing that comes to mind. Alas, I will not be there, but you should. Hosted by Doorway to Gourmet, this event is a wonderful addition to our traditions and I’m excited it’s happening and sad I’m missing it. I also heard there will be some celebrity pie eating contest. Again, WHY am I missing what I was born to attend?

Enjoy Iowa Park this weekend, residents and comers-home alike. Eat the roasted corn the FFA sells at the football game and get a bucket of popcorn. Eat the Sweet Tarts hurled at you from a four-year-old on a float in her first year of soccer. Don’t be afraid to ask somebody’s name or give them a second chance. We’ve all changed.

Go by the Iowa Park Historical Display on Cash St. Friday and also during Whoop-T-Do - I’m beyond sad I’m going to miss that one. Iowa Park has some fascinating history, and we are lucky to have so many residents throughout our generations who are committed to preserving it. 

But in the same breath, I am beyond excited to be with my kids. Kids win, as they should.


I was going to take out an ad in the paper, but we ran out of room. While this is a good problem to have, I want to dedicate a few short lines at the end here that my recent book with Kevin Slimp, Haunted Places and Ghost Sightings Across Texas - stories from Texas Newspapers and paranormal experts - will be for sale here at the Leader, if you want a book full of pretty cool, scary and historical stories. They make great Halloween gifts - if you’re into that sort of thing - or a perfect stocking stuffer for every member of your family this Christmas.

If you want one signed, I can sure do that when I return and shipping can be arranged. 

By buying this book, you aren’t only supporting Kevin and me, but also Texas Newspapers. 

More notes:

After a wildly fun book signing Thursday night at Tom Burnett Memorial Library  -  despite the torrential downpour that began just as I arrived and stopped about the time I left - I have two more book signings scheduled for October. More about that later.

First, I want to thank Amie Shultz, librarian extraordinaire, who put the book signing together and went above and beyond. Thank you, Amie. 

And, I would be remiss in not mentioning that my next door neighbor growing up here in Iowa Park surprised me by driving to the book signing from Fort Worth, then driving back home. I know next time DeLayne will wear a red flamenco dress.

 Thanks, too, for every single person who came out in the monsoon. I had a blast and I am deeply grateful. 


Whatever you do, be Uber about it

Whatever you do, be Uber about it

Mayhem on paper

Mayhem on paper