Monday, April 22, 2013

A Woman “Like No Other”

“Jane Sibley is indeed like no other. Nor is this memoir. It is hopefully a work of literature, but it is also a significant history of times and places and people too little recorded or remembered in a Texas that has changed within her lifetime from a rural state to a crowded urban one.”—from the Foreword, Jane’s Window: My Spirited Life in West Texas and Austin

Jane Dunn Sibley tells her fascinating life story in her new book, Jane’s Window. Growing up in the Great Depression in a rural community, Sibley went on to the University of Texas where she delved into her passion of the arts, philanthropy, and fashion. After returning to Fort Stockton, she met and married the love of her life, the local doctor D.J. Sibley, and raised a family together.

Sibley’s life stories are fascinating, intriguing, and oftentimes humorous. In Chapter 2, she tells of growing up in Fort Stockton: “Aside from an occasional smoke, my friends and I led a wonderfully unsophisticated life. One of my favorite childhood memories involved playing in an old-style retail establishment…To a girl like me, who was certain she was born with a love of fashion, it was like landing in paradise.” 
After graduating from UT, Sibley’s love for fashion became a reality when she moved to Dallas and was hired by Sanger’s in their advertising department. Sibley writes in Chapter 5, “For the first time in my life I had a real job. I really like writing ads and quickly began to realize the more practical value of my UT education…the best thing about that first job was seeing the veterans I knew from Fort Stockton and UT coming back home after the war ended.”

After working in the oil industry, marrying local doctor D. J. Sibley, raising a family, and now having grandchildren, Jane Dunn Sibley has quite a story to tell. In her last chapter, she offers advice to her grandchildren, telling them the secrets of success to a happy life. She writes, “Now that I am eighty-eight, I feel I have earned the right to offer some advice…I mean to answer this question: What are the ingredients of a meaningful, productive, and happy life?”
For more exciting tales on Jane Sibley’s incredible life, check out our websiteor purchase your own copy of the book from Texas A&M University Press at 979-845-0147.
                                    --Madeline Loving