Carol A. Leake Grimes- Class of 1959

In the spring of 1948, our family “blew” into Midland with a sandstorm and rolling tumbling tumbleweeds. Houses were scarce, we were thankful to find one, the First Baptist Church parsonage built in the early 1900’s with 10 foot ceilings and large wooden beams in the living room.

The house had been moved to North Whitaker several years before my parents purchased it. Our house was much taller than the others in the neighborhood. We enjoyed climbing the Chinaberry tree, in order to reach the peak of the steep roof, to see all over town. Bored was not in our vocabulary. We were too busy having fun. I especially liked skating on the large wrap around front porch. For me, I thought it was exciting to live in a house that had housed many preachers and was no doubt a house of faithful prayer. Our family attended First Baptist Church when it was located across the street from First Methodist. Once a week after school, I walked to First Baptist to attend a program called “Sunbeams” for grades 1-3. I still remember the theme song: “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam”.

North Elementary was my school from the first through the sixth grade. Mr. Ladd was the principal. Each day was started with a devotion and prayer.

North Elementary

After S0+years the names and face of each one of my elementary teachers stand out in memory:

1st grade- Miss Robinson – I played in the rhythm band. I wanted to play the triangles but I was given the sticks. We wore capes lined with white satin. Our end of school rhythm band ceremony was east of town at Clover Dale (Cole Park).

2ND-grade – Miss McQuistin – I remember that she was young and pretty. She didn’t last the year.

3rd grade – Miss Pierce – My favorite teacher-That year our class met at Midland High. Miss Pierce taught a unit in Spanish. Her teaching inspired my love of the language.

4th grade – Ms. Yo – At last I had moved to higher ground; upstairs to the second floor, a memorable experience for me.

5th grade – Mrs. Gaines – My parents bought a set of encyclopedias from her. She lived a block from us. Mrs. Gaines invited me to her house many times.

6th grade – Mr. Milam – I remember winning, blue, red, and white ribbons for different races on Field Day.

Through my elementary years I remember going to Susan Jones’ house for a Halloween party, playing with Hope Russell, going to Ruth Ann Erskine’s house and swinging on the neighbor’s swing. It was tied to a tall tree. We tried to swing as high as we could to touch the leaves. I still remember Ruth Ann’s birthday is March 17. I recall that she had an older brother and sister. From the first grade through high school, I walked home almost daily on Marienfeld Street. It’s as if my footprints are still there.

Cowden Junior High – 7th, 8th and 9th grades – Mr. Carter was my History teacher. I worked in the

Library with Ms. Jackson for two years.

In the 8th grade I made some new friends, some of them from South Elementary.

In one classroom I could look out the window and see the old two story South Elementary school where my cousins and I would slide down the long fire escape. In the 9th grade I met my dear friend Mary Barrett who baked and decorated a cake for my 60th birthday party.

Midland High School

Ms. Klapproth was my homeroom teacher for three years. For Spanish I and II, Miss Shirley was

my teacher. By my junior year I was tired of school and wanted to quit. Dad said no. Dating seemed more important to me than school. My grades dropped. During my senior year I made a hard but futile effort to bring up my grades; however, I did manage to graduate and was elated.

My life since graduation

After high school I was hired at the courthouse to issue license plates. Working at this job for several months, I decided this was not the career for me. My dream was to be a teacher. This was a big decision for someone who had not developed good study habits and had barely graduated. I applied and was accepted at Howard Payne University. I graduated with a major in Elementary Education and a Minor in Spanish. It wasn’t easy but I accomplished the first milestone of my dream.

After graduation, I married Wayne Grimes on June 5, 1965. Life was great. We lived in Midland. I taught third grade and Wayne worked for Northern Natural Gas. After two years, we were transferred to Liberal Kansas. I taught the second grade in Liberal. After a year we were transferred to Omaha, Nebraska. In Omaha I was surprised to see Mrs. Gaines again. It was good to know her as a friend rather than my 5th grade teacher at North Elementary. Our husbands worked together.

In Omaha we began our sweet family. Our daughter, Amy was born in 1969. She graduated from Midland Lee High and Baylor University. Amy and her husband Andy live in Redmond, WA. Andy works for Microsoft and Amy works for T-Mobil as a new products research specialist. She has given us two adorable grandchildren. Austin will be three in August. Ally is 5 months. After living in Omaha for four years we were transferred back to Midland. Three months later our son, Daryl was born in 1972. He and his wife live in North Richland Hills, Texas. He has given us two beautiful granddaughters. Alexia, now 16, lives in Midland with her mother and will be a – junior at Midland Christian. Marissa is 14 and will be a freshman at North Richland High. Daryl works for Smart Start in Irving, Texas as a product manager.

I was fortunate to be a stay at home morn, while Wayne worked for Northern Natural Gas and attended UTPB at night. He received his B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Math and a M.A. in Behavioral Science. After 25 years he left the company, to teach school and we relocated to Euless, Texas where we have lived for twenty two years

To teach Kindergarten, I had to take fourteen hours beyond my elementary certification. This would be my first time to sit in a college classroom in twenty years. I received my Early Childhood endorsement with a 4.0 GPA. – Another amazing milestone.

My professors encouraged me to continue my education for a Ph.D. and work with them. More sitting in a classroom studying was not what I wanted. My dream was to teach. When I was 47 I resumed teaching. My last school required ESL certification, another hurdle accomplished! I immersed myself in my career. On district and state tests my students scored high. I received many accolades. I was teacher of the month and then I was teacher of the year. Leap Frog invited me to give a presentation at the annual KTOT (Kindergarten teachers of Texas) Convention Center in Arlington. My accomplishments are more than I could have ever imagined.-Amazing grace- Now retired from teaching my beloved Kindergarteners, I have more time to devote to my family and to intercessory prayer. Teaching will always be a part of my life. I am dreaming to teach a group of adults wanting to memorize scriptures. I am not retired. I am just retired.

For someone who wanted to quit school, barely graduated, it took a lot of struggling and persevering to fulfill my seemingly impossible dream.

I want to leave with you this excerpt from one of my many simple songs, given to me at a moment of inspiration.

God can take anything and use it.

He can take my mistakes and use them

He can take my disappointments

My grief and my loss

God can take anything and use it

(Contact me for the tune)

May you always be a dreamer!

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