The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Church hosts book review performer

Carol Smith Headrick tells of Mary Roberts Rinehart from ‘My Story.’


May 4, 2018

CLOVIS — Carol Smith Headrick will bring history to life in Clovis on Monday with a book review of “My Story” by Mary Roberts Rinehart.

For the past 33 years Smith Headrick of Stillwater, Oklahoma, has traveled around the Southwest, giving reviews of a biography or autobiography of an individual who has overcome a challenge in their life to contribute something to society.

These aren’t your typical book reviews though, and certainly not something you can read in a magazine or newspaper.

For these book reviews, Smith Headrick assumes the life of the subject and presents a 45-minute first-person telling of the individual’s life story.

“It’s just fascinating how she can stand up and uses no notes and just tells this story of this person and she just kind of transforms into this person,” Martha Sumners of Clovis said. “You just think that really is that person telling you the story of their life.”

Each year from March to June, Smith Headrick traditionally travels around Oklahoma, west Texas and New Mexico giving performances; then in the summer months, she reads books to try to find her next subject, which she said is the most difficult part.

“Almost everyone I’ve done has overcome something whether it’s a physical handicap or a poor childhood, poverty, a bad marriage — they have overcome something and really done something well with their life,” Smith Headrick said.

This year’s book review will cover the story of Mary Roberts Rinehart, a popular American writer and reporter during the early- to mid-1900s.

Past book reviews have covered the lives of Julia Child and Florence Nightingale.

This time, Smith Headrick said she wanted to explore somebody who wasn’t celebrated as much today.

“Last year I did Shirley Temple who the world knows and this year I’m doing Mary Roberts Rinehart who I’ve never heard of before doing this.”

Smith Headrick and Sumners are lifelong friends, which sparked Smith Headrick to bring her book reviews to Clovis over 10 years ago. After covering 53 books in 33 years and now 76 years old, Smith Headrick said this year’s tour will be her final year giving the reviews.

“I just think it’s a good time,” Smith Headrick said. “I’ve loved it and I’ve loved meeting people. It was just a really good experience.”

The event is hosted by Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) Chapter AY, the local branch of an international organization that encourages educational opportunities for women.

The book review is free to attend while voluntary donations will be accepted and go toward scholarships for women.


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