Member Stories

From Archeologist to Storyist

Emily C began her UFCU journey in 1976 with a modest loan for a used VW bug that would put her on the road from Austin to Dallas to help with a family emergency. Since then, she’s traveled great distances, as not only an archeologist, but also as a journalist, playwright, screenwriter and magazine editor. She uses the term “storyist” to cover the range of her published work.

“When my father in Dallas fell terminally ill, I was well-established in Austin, a UT graduate student working as managing editor of the Texas Archeological Research Report series. But my mother and sister back home needed help. I intensely wanted to be in Dallas and to stay in Austin. I needed a car.

Even though approaching UFCU for my very first car loan felt risky, they made it simple and easy. Loan approved, I bought a ‘new,’ used Volkswagen Bug that didn’t even have air conditioning. Just the basics!

I quit classes, converted the editing job to full-time, and drove home every Friday. Those last four hectic months, lending a hand and being with my father, made me miss him all the more when I graduated the next year.

Master’s Degree in hand, professionally paid job secured in Michigan, it was back to the credit union for financing: a sparkling new Subaru.

I count 11 years altogether as a student archeologist/editor at UT and a professional archeologist working out of Michigan. Returning to Austin, I landed at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and was delighted to discover that some of the historic archeological sites where I had authored major reports were now parks, like Ft McKavette and LBJ State Historical Parks.

Writing for state parks became my new career focus. I penned “Independence,” a script for the agency’s PBS-TV program. The docu-drama told how, during the siege of the Alamo, patriots at the raw frontier town of Washington-on-the-Brazos composed the Texas Declaration of Independence.

And as manager of the Texas Conservation Passport Program, I edited and wrote for the multi-award winning Passport Journal, a travel magazine for state park pass holders. Now, in retirement, I am freelancing, teaching writing, and working on a novel.

Out-and-about in the publishing world, I found a new word in circulation: Storyist. I like it. None of my published work fits a single category, but all of it tells a story — my story — so call me a “storyist.” And a remarkable aspect of my story: for nearly 45 years, all of my vehicles have been financed through UFCU. The next one will be too.”

Member Emily C
Member Since 1976
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