Well-Known Texas Historian Carole Goble Tells All About Burnet and the Hill Country

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There is a story about the conception of Roy Orbison’s song “Pretty Woman” that goes like this… Roy’s wife was leaving the house one day to go shopping and when she was asked by her husband if she needed any money, she quipped “Pretty women don’t need money”. The rest is lyrical history.

Those that know Texas Historian Carole Goble (seen center of photo) say the same about her; it seems no matter where she chooses to dine locally, very often her meal is anonymously paid for by her admirers. She is a beautiful woman with an infectious smile and sweet spirit who brightens everyone’s day with her presence. Sitting down with this historian is like having a private tutorial with your favorite teacher. Not only is the author of Burnet, Texas; Images of America Series, a wealth of Texas History information, but she’s also an expert narrator of history in general. But, given her lineage, that’s only natural.



Carole’s parents were educators to their core; her father, Charles Berkeley Normann was a renowned sculptor, painter, and teacher who had migrated to the U.S. from Norway, eventually meeting and marrying Carole’s mother Fanny Harris Normann; Fanny was a noted artist in her own right; she is best known for her portraits; many that hang in museums in Texas. Then there is the famous collaboration of the husband and wife with “The Reading of the Texas Declaration of Independence” that depicts our states first Congress; the painting now hangs in The Star of the Republic Museum. In addition to her parents’ influence, her grandfather was the community historian in his day, well over 100 years ago, obviously passing down a love of the past to many future generations.



With ease, Carole tells of growing up outside of Bertram, attending Bertram schools, and meeting friends on Saturdays at the movies in the original Globe Theater. Her family traveled into town, as would many families in the area, in order to barter and sell goods, visiting with others for hours before making their way back to their farm. Carole remembers these times fondly as it was here she first laid eyes on her future husband, Billie Joe Goble. Neither child could know, as they ran up and down playing on the sidewalks in Bertram, that years later they would meet again on those same streets. After only one afternoon together, they would become engaged! Carole and Billie Joe would eventually have eight children, four boys and four girls. After several years of living in other places, they made their way back to the Burnet County area, and we are all the richer for it. This family is amazingly talented and civic-minded.


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