Published in the Rains County Leader on September 1, 2020:
I was supposed to meet Harold G. “Tex” Midkiff at Reka’s at 9:30, but as usual, I was running about five minutes late. Hoping I’d recognized him from the author photo in the back of his newly published book, I rushed in the door. I needn’t have worried. Sitting on the sofa was a gentleman dressed in neatly pressed jeans, a long-sleeved starched button-down shirt, boots, and a black cowboy hat with a unique metal headband. He was indeed, as his media package had described, the consummate Texas man.
Midkiff is a native Texan, born in Houston and raised in Palestine. Although his career in homeland security has taken him all over the country, he has always returned to East Texas. He and his wife LaJuana now live on Lake Fork near Yantis in a house they built twenty-four years ago in anticipation of their golden years. Ultimate withdrawal from the work force was slow in coming as Midkiff retired in 2005, again in 2009 and finally in 2017. Several situations contributed to his various returns to work including the stock market crash in 2008, but the main reason was that he enjoyed his work and he was very good at it.
After graduating from high school, Midkiff’s intention was to study physics at the University of Texas. He said that when he walked into his first physics class, instead of 500 students like there were in most of his classes, there were seven including him – and they all had slide rules clipped onto their belts and pocket protectors in their shirt pockets. He had a pretty good idea then that he was in the wrong field, and his grade at the end of the semester confirmed it. In the meantime, he had become a married man and needed to find a way to support his family, so he went into the family business.