Turtle on a Post: Memoir of Texas State Senator Carl Parker

Turtle on a Post

by Carl Parker and Jim Sanderson

Turtle on a Post is a collection of memoirs that tells the story of the life and legacy of Senator Carl Parker as told to Jim Sanderson. Parker was a Texas State Senator and served in the House of Representatives. His long career in politics lasted from 1962 to 1995. In these pages, the reader gets a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the inner workings of the Texas political machine and the man behind the legend: a father, husband, and world traveler who lived a full and fascinating life. This book is perfect for history buffs, political enthusiasts, and those who just want to read a well-told tale.

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About the Authors

Carl Parker

Carl Parker (1934-2024) served as a Democratic member in the Texas House of Representatives from 1962 to 1977 and in the State Senate from 1977 to 1995. His tenure included time as House Speaker Pro Tempore and State Senate President Pro Tempore. Bills he signed which were enacted into law included the establishment of then-named Lamar University-Port Arthur (now LSC-PA, Go Seahawks!); the Consumer Protection Act; Texas' First Industrial Safety Bill; the Education Reform Bill of 1984; the creation of the Texas Housing Agency; the establishment of the Port of Port Arthur; the Insurance Reform Bill of 1991; and the School Finance Reform Bill. In 1979, Parker was a member of the Killer Bees, the group of twelve quorum-busting Democratic senators that hid out in an Austin garage apartment for more than 4 days. He died in Port Arthur, Texas, at the age of 89.


Jim Sanderson
Jim Sanderson has previously published about eighty short stories, essays, or scholarly articles. He won the 2012 Kay Cattarulla Award from the Texas Institute of Letters for best short story by a Texan or about a Texan for his short story "Bankers," published by Descant. He was a finalist for the same award in 2023 with "Southsiders." He holds a Ph.D. in fiction writing from Oklahoma State University. For a living, he teaches fiction writing and American literature and film at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. After serving LU as Writing Director for six years and then as Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages for eleven years, he has been promoted to Writer in Residence. Sanderson was born in San Antonio, and much of his work is set in Texas, particularly West Texas and border spaces.