San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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Living in a small European town is a dream of many Americans, but most will never get the opportunity.

“That’s why I wrote Letters from Boerdonk. Boerdonk is the village every American dreams of living in, but never will,” said Gary Layne Smith, author.

Boerdonk has one bike shop, one church, one cafe and one cemetery. “There were only 180 families living there at that time,” added Smith.

Smith is the minister of the Christ Redeemer Church in San Marcos, but his book reflects the time he served overseas in the military. Stationed in at Volkel Air Base in the small Dutch town of Boerdonk he worked as a chaplain to the community churches.

“We were the only Americans in the village,” said Smith, “The culture is so different, sometimes it was hard!”

He said the differences in language and cultural norms always made for a fascinating story. Smith began to tell the tales of his life Boerdonk to his churches every week. The popularity of his the tales were so loved, he decided to put them together for others to read.

Smith said he also did it for his son. ” As a sixth grader, he asked why are the Dutch kids so happy? This entire book is the answer to his question.”

Letters From Boerdonk contains a collections of 32 weekly stories and art work done by Larry Westin, a local artist. It is filled with humor, relational, family, and most of all true stories. “I wanted to tell them in a non-preachy way, so I just told stories,” said Smith.

The book can be purchased for $17.99 at Hastings, Conley Car Wash, or can be ordered online from High Point Publishing Company, and Amazon.

For more information on Gary Layne Smith, go to his website at www.garylaynesmith.com.

By Amanda Oskey

Staff photo

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