People that Influenced My Life

Written by Bill Wood

Many people in Midland influenced my life.

To begin with, my parents, Buddy and Margaret Wood were the most dedicated, selfless parents I have known. My sisters Pat and Ann and I were so lucky to have been loved, cared for, and raised by them. Many of our Midland friends had my mother for English at San Jacinto Junior High. President George Bush told me at the White House that my mother was a big influence on him. Of course, that made me very proud. Buddy and Margaret attended all of the activities, and I mean ALL of them. My father Buddy Wood came to every one of my practices in high school football, basketball and baseball. Of course both of them were at all the games, no matter where they were. In college, my Dad would often drive many hours to be near enough to a place that would pickup the game broadcasts on his car radio.They befriended all of my friends and were often substitute parents for several. I’m sure the examples they set influenced other parents and kids as well. 
     Doc Dodson, our beloved high school trainer, influenced my life with his ever positive attitude. I don’t think he really ever learned to say “no.”

I love that. Mr. Mashburn was a serious school principal who taught me and many others the value of planning and preparation. He respected others and he was highly respected.

Miss Miller taught Spanish and taught many of us that being able to speak and understand Spanish was an important tool for everyone living in Texas to have.

Coaches Harold King, Stan Cobb (who later became my brother in law), Sam Cox, and other high school football coaches helped develop boys into men. To mention a few, Dick Kimbrough, Ross Montgomery, Mack Lawrence, Cubby Rice, Eldon Shirey, Jimmy Neuman, Solon Young, Bill Murray and many others including me. Coach Spears had a much different way of inspiring boys into becoming men on and off the basketball court. Once again, to name just a few, I know he positively inspired many of us including but certainly not limited to Randy Kerth, Steve Meltzer, Dick Creasy, Clyde Jones, Mack Lawrence, Ross Montgomery, Doug Russell, Eddie Shirley and my old Saturday morning hunting partner Barnes. 


     Midland was blessed with a very high per capita rate of people who were positive influences on youth. Maybe that was just luck. Or, maybe it really WAS “in the water.” At any rate, I think that history helps us realize we share a common bond of gratitude for those many influencers.

3 thoughts on “People that Influenced My Life

  1. Admin May 12, 2020 / 11:20 pm

    Betty Melzer Moore

    Response to Bill Wood
    Bill, what happened to your sister Ann? We, the class of 1962 were never able to reach out to her. Also, the first year I taught at San Jacinto I encountered your mom there and she was actually my supervisor since I taught English that year along with Spanish. Needless to say she was quite a mentor. Also thanks for mentioning my brother, Steve Melzer. He was recognized last Friday at the Permian Basin Museum for his technology in CO2 and the oil business. Our parents were also great supporters and that is one of the things Steve mentioned in his speech Friday along with praising the exceptional teachers we had in the Midland schools. Betty Melzer Moore

  2. John McElligott May 13, 2020 / 4:54 am

    Bill, again thank you so much for your participation in the book. The people you mentioned and your life experience are unbelievable and impressive. Hope you’re doing well stay in touch. John

  3. Bob ITTNER May 13, 2020 / 9:45 am

    Great remembrances Bill!

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