Friday, February 13, 2009

By Sherrie McLeRoy and Roy Renfro

This is a fascinating book. It is the first biography of Thomas Volney Munson (1893-1913). Munson is an internationally recognized inventor, viticulturist and horticulturist who developed over 300 new varieties of grapes.

He is best known for his work in fighting the phylloxera epidemic in the late nineteenth century that almost wiped out the wine industry in France. Munson's solution was grafting vinifera onto certain resistant native root stocks from Texas. He was honored with the Chevalier du Merite Agricote in the French Legion of Honor.

The book is the story of an amazing Texas-based genius. I found myself transported back to a time when individuals were on a voyage of discovery. Munson is an enigmatic and interesting persona. As I read his story, I had to remind myself at times that he wasn't a fictional character, he was a real person doing extraordinary things. This is truly a book worth reading.

You can see his house in Grayson County. It has recently been turned into a museum.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sherrie McLeRoy for a profile in the magazine PARKER COUNTY TODAY. If you click on the link below you can hear the interview. If you go to the PARKER COUNTY TODAY website, you can read the profile.

hear the interview

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