‘Footprints in the Mud’ will leave footprints on the heart

Tommie Newsom Brewster

By Paige Nash

“Myrtle Newsom’s father, Tom, followed the ‘Footprints in the Mud,’ left by his daughter as she struggled to reach help – leaving a ‘Pathway of Evidence’ straight to the guard station. 

This is a harrowing true story about a young mother from Webster Parish, Louisiana trapped in an abusive marriage. Myrtle Newsom was violently and suddenly taken from her two daughters, eight sisters and parents way too soon. This story recounts her childhood, her abusive marriage and the long, four days she spent in the hospital suffering from life-threatening injuries. Will the family see justice prevail by hands of the law or by the hands of God, Himself?” 

This is a summary of a new book titled, “Footprints in the Mud: A Pathway of Evidence,” authored and self- published by Minden local, Tommie Newsom Brewster. This book has been the #1 New Release in the American Drama and Plays category on Amazon over the last week.  

Brewster felt it was her heart’s desire and responsibility to share this story – a true story about her late sister, Myrtle, but she never expected it to have already reached so many, resonating with them on a deeply personal level.  

“At first, I only wrote this story for the family. I planned to write it and print out 8 copies – one for each of my sisters – and they could share them with their families if they wanted. A lot of the younger family members did not know anything about it and what exactly went on. Then it turned into me really wanting to find justice for her because she didn’t get justice,” said Brewster. “Right before the book was to be published, I began having second thoughts, but then I realized this book could possibly help someone else out. They might read it and relate to the situations, and it may be reason enough for them to leave, so they don’t end up like my sister.” 

Brewster grew up with her sisters right here in Minden on Germantown Road. After she married her husband, James Brewster, they moved around quite a bit before finally making Waskom, Texas their home. No matter how far or often she traveled, Myrtle’s memory never left her. She began gathering information, making phone calls and setting up appointments for meetings. Brewster called on all her sisters to share their accounts and memories, then she started putting pen to paper. 

When her husband, whom everyone knew as B.B., passed away from a rare lung disease in September 2014, Brewster decided to make the move back to her hometown in Minden to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. After her last move, the book might have been on the back of a shelf in the closet for a while, but it always remained in the forefront of her mind.  

Over the years, three of the nine sisters have gone on to be with the Lord. Two of those three, Mary and Margie, are mentioned in the book often since they were the eldest of the bunch. Margie passed away in 2018 at the age of 84. Mary passed away just this year at the age of 92. They both lived exceptionally long and overall happy lives surrounded by many loved ones, but the same cannot be said of their other sister, Myrtle. She was the first of the sisters to pass away just a couple of months shy of turning 19.  

Much like her sisters, Myrtle lived out a great early life attending school and spending her spare time with her cousins, daydreaming about her future. Her life was changed drastically upon meeting her soon-to-be husband, Jake, at a nearby park in town.  

It was not long after that initial meeting that they quickly and secretly decided to marry. This was a decision that would cost her peace, relationships with her two daughters, memories with her sisters and ultimately her life. 

“Footprints in the Mud: A Pathway of Evidence” is told from the perspective of Myrtle’s eldest sisters and her parents, Pauline and Thomas, who spent the long four days by Myrtle’s bedside as she fought for her life. It speaks on the corruption of the justice system and how her death had a ripple effect throughout the entire family, changing their lives forever.  

“After losing Myrtle, it really changed our dad, but he would always preach to us the importance of education, so if we ever got ourselves into a hard situation, we would have a way to get out, a way to provide for ourselves,” said Brewster.  

For that reason, all proceeds raised from book sales will go toward the “Myrtle Newsom Scholarship Foundation.” This scholarship will be awarded to a local, young female from a low-income household or first-generation college student who has hopes and plans to continue her education. The scholarship will be given in remembrance of Myrtle Newsom, but also their father, Thomas Newsom. 

(“Footprints in the Mud: A Pathway of Evidence” is now available on Amazon in digital, paperback and hardcover versions.)


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