We moved to Midland when we were all in the 1st grade to a neighborhood with the
Scobeys, Shirley and Sharon Watts, the Erskines, Pat Whitaker and Suzanne Martin
who lived around the corner on Club Drive. Wade Parks was a late arrival, about the 4thgrade as I recall.
I attended North Elementary with many of those already
mentioned and Hope Russell, Charlie Giesey, Bill Hudson, Allen Hitchcock,
Pris Nichols, MaryAnn Breedlove, Tommy Craver, Pete Lekisch, and many more.
On to San Jacinto in the 7th grade and more people and teammates that became
life long friends. Next came MHS our Sophomore year. Many good, lasting
friendships began here that have lasted a lifetime. Wonderful memories too many
and vivid to share here. Like the rest of you I’m sure. 18 and bulletproof!
What a great time to be alive.
After MHS I attended Texas A & M College with Andy Fasken, Berry Ferrell, and
later Larry Stanley. Adjusting to an all male, military environment
where you wore a uniform all day and marched to every meal was quite an adjustment, coming from
the kind and gentle “Ozzie and Harriett world” of MHS. After four years at A & M and
a brief career at tu B School while adjusting to civilian life ( no
uniforms, no marching and lots of pretty girls) I returned to Midland in 1964 with a less
than remarkable academic record and a very soft job market. Fortunately, Andy Fasken’s dad took
pity on me and hired me at the Midland National Bank which launched what was to
be a very enjoyable 40 year career in banking. Yep, back in uniform again, dark suit,
white shirt, stripe tie and black wingtips, but no marching to meals and girls.
After four good years in Midland I decided to move to Houston and continue my
banking career more for social reasons than professional ones. While banking in
Houston I met my late wife who was from Houston. After 3 years in Houston we
decided the town was too big and being a country banker at heart, Barbara and I
moved to Austin in 1972 where I continued to bank until 2000 when I
retired after surviving 5 mergers, numerous name changes and the 80s. Getting through the 80s
in Texas banking without going to jail or having to write any large
checks to the FDIC was a career success in its self.
While I was banking Barbara was busy raising 2 girls, numbers of dogs,
cats, etc. and doing all of the other duties common to raising a family. A job we
both found rewarding and she was ideally suited for when I look at the current crop of
grandchildren – four, 3 boys and one little girl ranging from 6 to two in age.
Retirement in 2000 lasted for six months. Having been on the board of the Fasken
Foundation for a number of years, Andy Fasken offered me the job of running the
Fasken Foundation, which I could do from Austin and travel to Midland
After six months of being under foot Barbara was definitely ready for
me to get out of the house on a regular basis. Running the Foundation was a great experience and
allowed me to see Midland from a different prospective. I retired at
the end of last year, but am still involved.
Here we are 50 years later, longer in the tooth and grayer in the
muzzle, too soon old and too late smart and blessed with wonderful memories many still
too vivid to be tarnished by time and great friendships many born in our childhood and nurtured
through the years. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking too it.
Andy thanks and tell us what you became. Tom was in your class. John McEllgott
Ace, great story, a life well lived! Thanks for sharing. If Andy would permit a T-sip to work on the Foundation I might find that work rewarding as you indicated that you had. Bob Ittner
WoW. That’s impressive. BoB Ittner and my oldest son started as Bankers together. Both zoomed to the top but stayed at different banks and made me feel that being a doctor was not near as much fun as banking. Send us some pictures. John
John, you have been busy saving lives. In the 80’s the only lives we were trying to save were our own! Bob