Tahlequah Daily Press

April 29, 2013

Rawls' Red Fern memories

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Though he’s visited Tahlequah only twice in his lifetime, Jay Berry calls the City of Firsts his home. Berry, who is a building construction contractor in Albuquerque, N.M., is the nephew of “Where the Red Fern Grows” author Wilson Rawls. He’s the last living surname relative of Rawls, whose brother is Berry’s dad, or Jay Berry King Rawls.

Berry was invited to participate in the 7th annual Red Fern Festival to talk about his late uncle, whom he knew by the nickname “Doc,” and share a few of the stories he heard while growing up.

“I was invited two years ago for the dedication of the statue, but I was ill at that time. So I wasn’t able to come,” he said. “This is home. I heard about Tahlequah all the time. I get this – it’s like an energy."

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