During a commissioned work of sketching the Great Room in Virginia’s former home in Highland Park, Texas, she told Kyle of her years-long effort in writing a book. Kyle asked her to read aloud from her work in progress as he drew details of the room to turn into a copper etching of her home… a gift from her daughter.

As Kyle learned Virginia’s story and the ordeals of her past unfurled, he began to see her world depicted from the 1940s. The cotton farm story was the lynchpin connecting Kyle’s life on his grandfather’s West Texas cotton farm to Virginia’s Oklahoma past.

After hearing her story, an idea sparked. Kyle and his pup, Pinto Bean, drove to Virginia’s farm in Crescent, Oklahoma, and toured the small town, observing and sketching while soaking up the images and the people he met.

Once Kyle presented some early sketches to Virginia, it was clear this author and illustrator had a connection bringing this work to fruition.