Joe Deason

Joe Deason displays a copy of his book, “Legacy.”

Lufkin local Joe Deason has published his first book, titled “Legacy.”

“Legacy” is the story of Deason’s life, his time as an educator at Lufkin ISD, his time in the military, the people he met and the lessons he learned along the way.

“I really wrote it for my grandkids and kids; that was my original purpose,” Deason said. “I thought it would be not only important but extremely helpful for them to understand the pawpaw and the daddy they had seen through the years.”

He said he wanted them to understand that life is made up of many changes, lots of joy, ups and downs, but through it all, the Lord always puts people there who made it manageable.

“I wanted them to be assured that the same thing would work for them if they just stuck with it,” Deason said.

Many young people look at adults and think they have it all together, Deason said. But he wanted to show them that was not the case.

“I had to put some things in there that I probably would not have liked to put in there,” he said. “But I knew for it to be a real picture, I had to put real things from my life. And some of them were not beautiful.”

Deason grew up in Nigton, a predominantly black community, but his grandfather made sure that he got exposure to a diverse group of people, he said. That prepared him for his first job in teaching at a white school after attending a black college.

“We went all over, so I was very comfortable in whatever situation I was in as far as diversity with people, and I had no idea that he was intentionally doing that,” Deason said.

While this book is meant for his family, it is also applicable to many people, Deason said. Already, locals who have read it have recognized people in the book from their own lives. Deason said he hopes it will touch other people from all walks of life beyond Lufkin.

“I think it’ll be a great benefit in showing that it’s not really where you begin; it’s how willing are you to No. 1: diversify your abilities … and No. 2: realizing that one of the greatest challenges we have is the fear of failure.”

In every situation, there will be some failure, but it teaches you how to be successful, he said.

“At each level of this book, there was something in it that gave me more of the ability to understand that life is to be lived,” Deason said. “We quite often sit around and come to a point and say, ‘This is where I’m going to live.’

“Human beings are designed to continue to be changed. It’s even difficult for those who are good at it because there’s a picture in our head that, when I get right here, this is where I live. Well, if you wait to get there, you won’t ever live.”

"Legacy" can be purchased on Amazon.

Grace Juarez’s email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.

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