by Bartee Haile
At the peak of the "Old Yeller" craze, the Palace Theater in Dallas invited dogs and their human companions to a special showing of the film version of the best-selling book on Jan. 11, 1958. Frederick Benjamin Gipson was born on a farm near Mason in 1908. Life on the western edge of the Hill Country was more hardscrabble than idyllic, but to the young boy it was a rustic paradise that made a deep and lasting impression. Gipson was in the tenth grade, when he saw his written words in print for the first time. A short story about two lads, who tracked down a cattle rustler, was the sophomore's modest contribution to "The Branding Iron," the Mason High yearbook. He did not consider it a particularly noteworthy achievement, but his classmates and teachers sure did.
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