- A Decade of Beach Walks (2009)
- Scenes from the Beach (2003)
- Beach Walks II (November 2000)
- Beach Walks (November 1998)
by Krystel Chandler (SHS) 2001, Updated
George Thatcher, an only child, was born on September 18, 1922, in Austin, Pennsylvania, to Walter and Roberta Thatcher. He and his family moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, when he was less than one year old. Both Walter and Roberta Thatcher are now deceased. Thatcher attended high school in Gulfport and has been living there for (in 2015) ninety-three years (Thatcher).
George Thatcher says that he was a mediocre student in high school, but he did much better in college. In high school he was more interested in tennis, volleyball, and social life than in academics, but all through school he was an avid reader. He graduated from Gulfport High School and attended the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), where he received his bachelor’s degree. He also attended Indiana University where he went to graduate school in order to become a banker. George Thatcher is an infantry veteran of World War II and the Korean War (Thatcher).
Today George Thatcher leads an active live of beach walking, writing, tennis, chess, volleyball, civic work and social activities. Years ago he was a part owner of a monthly newspaper, printing company, and partner in an advertising agency. Thatcher writes a weekly column on his beach walks for The Sun Herald, the Knight-Ridder newspaper for the Mississippi Coast . He also has served as a chairman of the Mississippi Arts Commission. He married Mary Annie Jenkins Thatcher, who is the mother of his three children, Georgia Annie, Janie, and Walter Thatcher. After his first wife died, he married Mary Elizabeth Sutter, who is also now deceased (Thatcher).
Beach Walks; George Thatcher’s first book, was published in November 1998. Beach Walks II, Thatcher’s second book came out in November 2000. Both books are accounts of his daily beach walks and they contain about 220 essays each. He says, “I have no plans for another book now. That will be up to my publisher, Quail Ridge Press, to judge the market for a new book.” He also says, “The first two have done well; the first book sold out in sixty days and is now in its second printing. The second book, which came out in November 2000, is doing well too.”
George Thatcher has received many awards and honors during his lifetime. These include civic, church, and other honors. His areas of civic activities include chairman of the Mississippi Arts Commission; Gulfport Rotary Club, Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce, The Century Club, Harrison County Library Board for 20 years, Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, and several others. In church activities, he has been in Honorary Canon, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Likoma Island, Malawi, East Africa; Anglican Diocese of Northern Malawi, Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief, and other activities. Finally, some other honors he has received are Outstanding Citizen of the Year, in Gulfport, in 1953, 1995, and 1998. He was listed in Who’s Who in America in 1997, and a few others.
In conclusion, he is or has been a member of the following organizations: Great Southern Club, Gulfport Yacht Club, Bayou Bluff Tennis Club, Gulfport Rotary Club, Mississippi Coast Chamber of Commerce, Economic Council, and Newcomen Society of the U.S. George Thatcher has been involved in many activities; and he continues to write his column Scenes from the Beach for the Sun Herald in Gulfport-Biloxi and to remain active in the community and his writings.
A Review of Beach Walks
by Krystel Chandler (SHS)
Beach Walks, a book of daily journal entries faithfully recorded by George Thatcher, is a great devotional guide. George Thatcher writes these daily thoughts from his beach walks in Gulfport where he is able to see nature, the open sea, and other people. In other words, Beach Walks is divided into the four seasons; fall, winter, spring, and summer. “Throughout the seasons, sometimes at sunrise, sometimes at sunset, his sensitive eye acute consciousness enable us to experience the special joys of the beach and all its wonders.” In addition, he regularly records his daily beach walks, for a newspaper column in The Sun Herald, published in Biloxi, Mississippi, six days a week.
Beach Walks is more than a collection of thoughts inspired by years of beach walking the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The thoughts are often lyrical and enhanced with various quotations from Psalms to Mae West and Stalin. George Thatcher himself says, “A beach walk offers a bit of peace in a busy world.” In the book, he allows us to see nature, the beach, and the wind through his eyes. George Thatcher’s entries are brief- only a few sentences. The book, Beach Walks, is hardbound with illustrations that show you what Thatcher has seen during his walks each day.
In conclusion, I enjoyed reading this book. It allowed me to be able to relax after a busy day at school. This book also allowed me to picture myself on the beach feeling the cool breeze of the wind, enjoying the beautiful sunshine, and watching the tides and waves roll on and off the shore. I recommend that everyone who is just coming home from a busy day at work, find the book, stop for a minute and read and enjoy.
by Krystel Chandler (SHS)
When and where were you born?
I was born on September 18, 1922, in Austin Pennsylvania, but I moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, when I was less than one year old.
What were your parents’ names?
My father’s name is Walter Robert Thatcher. My mother’s name is Roberta Bernard Thatcher, both deceased. They lived in Lake Providence, Louisiana, just across the Mississippi River from Vicksburg.
What high school and college did you go to?
I graduated from Gulfport High School. I received my bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi; my graduate degree at the Institute of Financial Education, in Chicago, Illinois; and I received graduate studies at Indiana University.
Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is Graham Greene. He wrote wonderful, serious books like The Power and the Glory and also funny ones like Our Man in Havana.
What author influences your writing the most?
Thomas Merton. His book, The Seven Storey Mountain and all the others have been influential in my life.
When did you become interested in writing? Was there something in particular that got you interested in writing?
Years ago I was part owner of a monthly newspaper, printing company, and partner in an advertising agency, doing some writing then. Earlier I had written a weekly column for the Ole Miss newspaper. About 40 years ago, I became a banker and did little writing until my retirement, when I began writing a daily column on my beach walks for The Sun Herald, the Knight-Ridder newspaper for the Mississippi Coast.
What kind of student were you in high school?
I was a mediocre student in high school but did much better in college. In high school I was more interested in tennis, volleyball, and social life than in academics. But all through school I was an avid reader.
How long did it take you to write Beach Walks and Beach Walks II?
Since the two books are accounts of daily beach walks and the books contain about 220 weeks each, the total time would be about 440 days or about a year and a half.
Are you working on a new book right now?
I still write the daily newspaper column, but have no plans for another book now. That will be up to my publisher, Quail Ridge Press, to judge the market for a new book. The first two have done well though. The first book sold out in 60 days and is now in its second printing. The second book, which came out in November 2000, is doing well too.
Do you have advice for future writers?
In my opinion, authors should write about things that they know intimately. For example, I have taken beach walks as a hobby for many years and know the beach and its creatures pretty well. I have a comfortable relationship with things, which I write.
Do you have any advice for students today?
If a student is interested in writing, he should major in English courses and should read insatiably. Read, read, and read!
- This web site gives brief summary on both of George Thatcher’s books, Beach Walks and Beach Walks II.
- You may find prices and reviews on both of Thatcher’s books here.
- There is some biographical information on George Thatcher found here.
- Qual Ridge press page about George Thatcher
- Articles by George Thatcher at the Sun Herald
- “Amazon.com: buying info: Beach Walks.” 5 April 2001 <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0…81/sr=1-3/ref=sc_b_4/104-3388414-9684712
- Chandler, Krystel. “George Thatcher.” The Mississippi Writers and Musicians Webpage. Mississippi: Starkville High School. <http://www.SHS.Starkville.K12.MS.US/mswm/MS Writers and Musicians/writers/Thatcher.html (26 April 2001)
- Harris, Marie. “Take a daily peek into a beachwalker’s diary.” Sun Herald Online- Article 22 Sept. 1997. 26 March 2001 <http://www.sunherald.com/editorial/docs/thatcher.htm
- Lucas, Sherry. “‘Beach Walks II’ shores up spiritual side of solo strolls.” “The Clarion- Ledger”. 26 Nov. 2000. 1F
- PressBW. “Life’s A Beach.” Quail Ridge Press. <http://www.quailridge.com/Media/PressBW.htm
- Thatcher, George. “Re: Thank you!!” [Online] Available email: [email protected] from [email protected] 18 April 2001
- Thatcher, George. “Re: MSWriters and Musicians.” Available e-mail: [email protected] from [email protected] 18 April 2001
- “Thatcher, George.” Beach Walks. Brandon: Quail Ridge Press, 1998.
- “Thatcher, George.” SouthernStories.com. Online. Internet. 26 March 2001. Available <Http://www.southernstories.com/ArtistResults.CFM? Artist_ID=GT01
- Thatcher, George. “Fwd: Internet.” 29 March 2001 Available e-mail: [email protected]
- “Thatcher, George.” 25 March 2001 <http://www.quailridge.com/Authors/Thatcher.htm