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Adair County authors: Miss Noma Dix Winston

She was an unforgettable teacher - a top notch professor of history and political science at Lindsey Wilson College, the author says. Few locally knew of of her literary skills. Even the college has only two of her works in its archives. But JIM has delved deeper, and has produced an extensive, maybe complete bibliography for Miss Winston


Miss Noma Dix Winston, a native of Sturgis, Kentucky and a graduate of Vanderbilt University, came to Lindsey Wilson (Junior) College in the 1930s and remained there about half a century. Several decades after her retirement and twenty-plus years after her passing, Miss Winston remains one of the best remembered and most loved teachers in the storied history of the school.

Some years ago, an unnamed source (who on occasion goes by the title of "Ye Olde Editor" of ColumbiaMagazine) quipped of Miss Winston, "She was a unique professor who was the bane of the college bookstore: Students were instructed not to buy a book. Just take notes. An unreconstructed Southerner, she told the Civil War in a way that, right up to Appomattox, there was hope for the CSA."

In addition to being a top notch professor of history and political science, Miss Winston was an author who had several humor and fiction pieces published in such prestigious magazines as The Saturday Evening Post and American Magazine. Additional research turned up mention of another work, George D. Prentice and Secession in Kentucky, this possibly being on the order of a senior research project or her Master's thesis. (George D. Prentice, a firebrand journalist, co-founded the Louisville Journal newspaper in the early 1840s. In the 1850s, he became an outspoken proponent of the American Party -- better known at the time as the Know-Nothings -- and later, staunchly supported Kentucky remaining neutral during the Civil War.)

Curiously, very few mentions of Miss Winston's writings are to be found in the pages of the Adair County News, and in a brief article posted on ColumbiaMagazine in November, 2005, Ms. Eleveta Sparks noted that the LWC archives had copies of but two her works, "Know It All" and "Sky Rider."

The following article appeared in the January 8, 1941 Adair County News. Miss Winston (under a male pseudonym) and Jim Crang co-authored five (known) stories.

"Lindsey Instructor Publishes Sixth Story in American Magazine
Miss Noma Dix Winston, History and French Instructor at Lindsey Wilson, published with the collaboration of Jim Crang, who is a Pan-American pilot, her sixth story in the February American Magazine. The story is published under the pen name of Jim Crang and Winston Norman, and is titled 'Flying Orders.'

"The setting is in the wilds of the frozen back country of Canada. The plot revolves around the struggles of Bill Brown, owner of a one-airplane Company called Arctic Airways, when he runs up against competition with the Great Northern Airways."

A few years later, the November 30, 1949 edition of the News carried this article, revealing yet another facet of Miss Winston's creative abilities:

"Woman's Club Meets At Meadow Hill Inn

The Columbia Woman's Club observed 'Guest Night' at the November meeting which was held at Meadow Hill Inn with Mesdames W.H. Walker, R.H. Walker, Barksdale Hamlett, W.I. Fraser, H.C. Randall, A.P. White, Curt Yarberry and Miss Elva Goodhue, hostesses. The members and guests enjoyed the dramatic skit, 'Nobody Sleeps,' which was directed by Miss Noma Dix Winston..."

The FictonMags Index lists the following fiction and humor pieces works by Miss Winston, all written under the name Winston Norman, along with the name and cover date of the magazine in which the piece appeared: Fiction
- Dog Biscuit, The American Boy, Oct 1929
- Mystery Underground, The American Boy, May 1934
- The Handsome One, The American Magazine, March 1940
- 44 Votes for Love, Liberty July 13, 1940
- The Boss's Daughter, Liberty Nov 9, 1940
- Venganza, The American Magazine Oct 1941
- Man from Missouri, The Country Gentleman, Feb 1942
Fiction (co-authored with Jim Crang)
- Sky Rider, The American Magazine, Dec 1938
- Young Lady Luck, The American Magazine, Feb 1939
- A Kiss for Santa Claus, The American Magazine, Jan 1940
- Know-It-All, The American Magazine, Dec 1941
- Flying Orders, The American Magazine, Feb 1941
- A Dictionary of the New Deal, The Saturday Evening Post, May 18 1935
- Grunt-by-Grunt Broadcast, The Saturday Evening Post, Jan 15 1938
- The Housewife's Revenge, The Saturday Evening Post, Feb 5 1938
- Simple Facts About Income Tax, The Saturday Evening Post, March 12 1938
In addition, she penned under her own name the previously mentioned non-fiction George D. Prentice and Secession in Kentucky (University of Chicago, 1930).

Miss Winston passed on October 30, 1992, the day before her 88th birthday.

(Parts of this article are based on an earlier CM article by Cyrus and are adapted and used with permission.) - JIM

This story was posted on 2013-05-17 04:35:13
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