Written by John McElligott
First of all, the bus ride from Terminal was an hour trip since Mr. Harris, the bus driver, had to drop off the high school students first at MHS. Then, we were taken to the far side of town to Austin Junior High. The population was 50% Hispanic, 10% Terminal Termites, and 40% mixture of Marylander’s and Ranch kids. The latter came from as far away as Pegasus Road some 50+ miles away. Now these Ranch Kids were the best, but there were also the kids of oil field workers and supervisors.
One I remember was Paul Shepard, and of course Billops (named after the Gas Station his parents ran just past the Texan Drive In Theater). Just to put is simply, it was a haul to get there and back every day. My saving grace was I went out for football and my parents picked me up after practice. If interested, look for the details under Jimmy McClendon RIP story I wrote so that I don’t repeat myself and I can rest my short little fingers.
I did play in the band and was 1st chair trumpet for a few days. I quickly lost my concentration after the clarinet section was all girls, and I sat straight across from them. I had a really good view of everything from the feet up especially when they crossed their legs. Of course Ellen from the 6th grade played clarinet , and I as you can imagine I soon ended up 3rd chair.
Ellen and I would meet in the practice rooms upstairs and practice puckering up so we could play our instruments better. “It worked”, but unfortunately, I never advanced passed 3rd chair trumpet after that!
Now football was discussed in the Jimmy Mac RIP, but I must talk about the boys at Austin who moved on to MHS and made a big splash. Eddie Shirley, Bill Cumbie, Bill Countiss, and Harvey Kennedy. Now among the girls only one sticks out and that is Ann Phillips. I would like to find out what happened to her. Ann was always the perfect student and it showed even more in high school.
Gang fights were a stretch since many of the male Hispanic students became my friends later in the year. This happened once they learned us gringo’s were not all passive as we looked especially us Terminal Termites. Our girls from Terminal were tougher that the boys by a long stretch. Now the Hispanic Females were nothing but good looking and I sometimes wished I could have stayed another year. Plus I would have hooked up with George McBride in the 8th Grade. Had to wait on George until the 10 grade when WG blew out his knee and George came out for the swimming team. More about George later.