Miner, pastor and now author

Published 5:09 pm Friday, September 18, 2009

Doug West of Jemison remembers when country was cool. This was in the ’40s and ’50s, growing up in the little community of Lowerytown in rural Bibb County.

West hits plenty of highs and lows in his new book, “The Life and Times of a Country Boy: From Hell’s Gate to Heaven’s Portal.”

As a retired coal miner and church pastor, West has plenty of stories to tell. But in the end, he realizes that it’s hope in the Lord — and a little humor along the way — that makes life worth living.

“It’s not a tell-all book, but I tried to highlight some of the humorous things,” he said. “I think humor played a role in my survival.”

West started writing his book about two years ago; before, he had written only newspaper articles. He was prompted by his children and grandchildren.

“They said, ‘Paw Paw, you ought to write a book about all those things you experienced,” he recalled.

The 72 short chapters in “Life and Times” are like little windows that allow the reader glimpses into different stages of West’s life. They range from lighthearted anecdotes of childhood pranks to more personal accounts such as growing up with an abusive stepfather, and a year in Vietnam.

While the book was written with family members in mind, it rises above mere family background to universal truths for any reader. West also includes a sampler of poems and proverbs in the back.

“I enjoy writing,” he said.

West is currently working on a children’s book called “The Rooster that Couldn’t Crow.” Copies of “Life and Times of a Country Boy” are available at amazon.com.

West lives in the Oak Grove community of Jemison with his wife, Barbara. He has three sons, two adopted daughters and four grandchildren. He has served as pastor of several area churches.