Click “Happy Days Theme Song” while reading.
by Linda Mills Wofford
Bobby Garst sent this to me several years before he passed away. Billy Wayne, Bill Wood, Betty Clarkson Conkling and I sat together at Bobby’s memorial service.
I asked Billy Wayne to get up and read this at Bobby’s service. He did a fantastic job – Bobby would have been proud! RIP Bobby.
LHS/MHS CLASS OF 64Yee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Class Mates, Friends and Friends I didn’t know I had, here is my story, probably short but It’s my story and I am sticking to it! First and foremost! MIDLAND TEXAS ALLOWED ME TO BE FREE. I walked to Sam Houston Elementary School, proudly served on the safety patrol, and later got to ride my Bicycle to school. Gee! No busses. And of course during September for the World Series we were allowed to bring our TV to school to see the game. All American! We played games in the school yard, if we got hurt we got over it! We had reading and writing and “a rat in the house might eat the ice cream” arithmetic. We said the pledge of allegiance and sang God Bless America every morning. We had the opportunity to buy stamps for savings bonds, something to encourage saving and helping America. Thank you Mrs. Clements 6th grade Sam Houston. And thank you Ms. Jones. 6th grade Sam Houston. I really really really did want to be in you class Ms. Jones. You were so neat (pretty) and of course Virginia was in your class. Well back to Freedom! I walked, rode my bicycle and had P.E. in the school yard, but better still, I was allowed to dig a hole under the fence around the Midland High School football field and slip in to watch the big guys play ball. I watched Wahoo McDaniel every day! I helped put up the blocking pads everyday and I even got a ride home (most days) on Wahoo’s Harley. God he scared me too death going (only 60 mph) down Cuthbert to Lanham. Next to Susan and Sharon White’s home. Oh! Oh! Anyone remember Pete the Ice Cream driver? What a fine person he was. He would allow young people to pledge that they would pay for their Ice Cream the next day or so, it was on credit, WE PAID. Where is Pete? Little League Baseball was a tryout situation, not a your on the team deal. We earned it, but not now. Everyone gets a Prize now. I was lucky to get on Spud Levens’ team during the 1958 All Star Baseball season. I have my baseball signed by all of the team players including George Bush. I was honored to be able to get the original 1958 Baseball signed again by George in 2005 in the Oval Office. Lily MaNally arranged the meeting and I adore her for the achievement. Of course it was followed by a presentation of the State Dog Of Texas Certificate naming the “Blue Lacy Game Dog” as the State Dog Of Texas. About Midland, like I said, we learned to be free, to hunt when we were 10 or less, to drive a motor scooter at 12 years old, do my first solo flight at 16. That’s me. We had respect for everyone and still do. Midland was a great place to learn about nature and critters. I would catch Horny Toads, Red Tailed Lizzards, Jack Rabbits, put Black Ants in Red Ant beds and watch em’ fight. We got out of the house! We did things out doorsand our grandkids need to get out of the house and do things out doors. But will that happen? Here is what I wrote while drinking wine. Glad I wrote it and glad I tried to figure out what I wrote. Here we go: What dawns on me — is that our High School days are those where we were ALL close to one another more than we realized. We knew each other and we cared for one another. We all grieved if we lost one of our class mates, (Mike Douglas) first comes to my mind. If anyone remembers, Mike had the Cannon that I would use at the football games. I sort of exploded my mega phone one night with one firing, Wow. Anyway, what a special person he was in our class. There are more, but lets remember William Stall who died in Vietnam. He was in my United States Marine Corp Booth Camp Platoon 322 in San Diego. He is missed. And of course Kim Hammon is gone. And others. Sara Shands attented the Washington D. C. Reunion in honor of her late husband Bill Shands USMC. She is a blessing to us all as was Bill. He has always been my hero. Simper Fi Bill, Simper Fi!!! My Happiest Day in High School (I did not know it at the time) was when Linda Mills asked me to run for cheerleader with her. WOW! Linda Mills! But big problem! My grades were not up to par as far as Trig went. Trig. Trig, Trig. “F” “F” “F” but! I got help. Tutor help and I ended up with a “C” in the class. My Tutor, Linda Mills and my being tested helped me make it in life. My profession requires that I understand surveying and my Tutor and Linda helped me in my life to achieve a “98” (I think it means a 4.0 +) in college in surveying and Trig. I’m not smart, but it is because someone wanted “me” to do something with them that I have been so successful in life.. I am so lucky! Thank you Linda Mills, Candy, John Fisher and Eric God Rest your Soul. And of course, my Class of 64. I’ll go on just because I want to: Trina Niements: Thank you for the drive to my greatest heights, 14.7 feet as I recall. My broken Pole Vaulting Pole given to you was actually a sign of THANKS for your support. I will always Love You. One thing that very few, if anyone, knows. Summer of 1963 I learned to fly a airplane and got my Solo License. Well, I met a girl, Judy Upchurch, in Banff Canada at an AAPL Convention and wanted to impress her by flying into Houston and taking her out to dinner. Well She stood me up and decided to go on a Chisim Trail Cattle Drive. Well! What the heck. But! I almost died. Believe it or not I forgot to top off my gas tank on the plane. I flew to Austin and when I got there I was like zero on fuel. Zero on fuel. So lucky to be alive. So I cherish all of you so much. Remember Chris Sales? He was in Houston when I landed. Thanks Chris. And I do thank all my Class Mates. REMEMBER: Remember Billy Godwin and his group? I guess I personally did not think of it as a Gang. But it could have been. Anyway, I really did like Billy for some reason. Even at San Jacinto. I guess I thought he stood up to a lot of things in life. Not that he was right, but he just stood up. Long hair, They shaved it all off and got expelled. Figure That Now! Fights did happen. Too Bad. Remember the Jack Edens fight? Wish I could have stepped in, but not brave enough to step in. Shame on me. I want to thank everyone in my class at LHS and MHS for helping me to be what I am. You are the core of my soul. I thank you.
Dec 4, 2019
I remember Bobby very fondly. We had big fun on our cheerleading excursions. Big guys like Bobby who were cheerleaders gave the position credence. And he was so cute!
Dec 4, 2019
I agree, Carole! I was so fortunate to have Bobby as a cheerleading partner. He was soooooo strong, and I never had to worry about falling😂 Plus, he was easy on the eyes❤️
Ron Peavy, 1961
Dec 4, 2019
I did not know Bobby personally but do remember several of the people mentioned in his story. Well written—Bobby must have been quite an individual.
Shirley Dorff Sloan
Dec 4, 2019
Linda, that was wonderful! Why had he written that? I don’t know how he died; had he been ill for awhile? He was a great guy..plus really good looking!! Carole and I were jealous of you… but I’m sure Rex and Steve were really jealous of him🤗🤗. Such a great time to grow up inMidland!! Shirley
Dec 4, 2019
Hey Shirley, Bobby emailed this to me March 2011. He passed away October 2015. It sounds so prolific, doesn’t it? It was as if he was trying to say all this before he left this world😢 He chose to leave this world in 2015. I can see why all the guys were jealous of Bobby!!!! He was “buff” before the word was invented!!! Plus, he was such a really, really nice man. Betty Clarkson and I went to visit him at his home in Burnett TX. He literally rolled out the red carpet for us❤️ He would also drive to Dallas and take Betty and I to dinner. Such a sweet, precious man.
W Godwin, The Rev Buck Necked
Dec 4, 2019
Yep. He was one of a kind. When I was going to school in Toronto his senior he called to say hi and check on me a couple times a month. I never forgot that
I did not know you but after reading your note above I now know why everyone thinks you hung the moon. This story will be put as a forward in the book to inspire all contributors to get off their butts and write something like Bobby Garst did for his friends. Rest in peace Bobby and I promise you, you will never be forgotten. Your friends have attested to your ability to love and be loved by all that I’ve read here. I just wish I had known you. I hope The Rev. Buck out lives me so he can speak at my memorial party at Rum Point (Grand Cayman Island). You and I can drink MudSlides and watch the Rev ( WG) slobber. J
I pole vaulted with Bobby every day during track season for 2 years. He was a great tutor and I have vivid memories of Bobby sailing over that bar. I caught his pole hundreds if not thousands of times. Once, in San Angelo, his new “Therma-Flex pole shattered in 5 pieces during his ascent. He did a back flip into the sawdust pit with no problem! It still amazes me that we achieved such heights with a sand pit at Lee H.S. Another day, Bobby got so frustrated with the prevailing Westerly wind, he threw his Sky Pole over the fence onto the parallel street! That pole cost $60 plus tax at Taylor Sporting Goods! (The school didn’t buy our poles) I admired so many upper classmen at Lee, I just revered them as athletic Gods, and Bobby was one of them. The fact that he got to embrace Linda Mills only made him more legendary.
Hi Gregg, how are you? I just read your post – it’s great! And thank you so much for your sweet comments❤️ Linda
Linda, I’m doing great. Thank you. We live on Galveston Island and I spend most of my time at the beach. Yay!
Wow..since I have wanted to hug Linda myself. Bobby was a keeper. Thanks.
Thank you, Dr John! So sweet❤️