By Betty Clarkson Conkling
My family moved to Midland between semesters in 1956. My father, Charles M. Clarkson, had been promoted to District Superintendent of
Amerada Petroleum Corporation. The district was the Permian Basin. The Clarkson family men were all employed by Amerada. My grandfather, father, and 2 uncles each worked between 37 – 42 years for Amerada. We had previously lived in Amerada Oil Camps in Texas since 1945 when Paula was born.
We lived in a camp about 10 miles north of Vernon and I came along the next year. We moved to a camp in Coke, Tx, south of Winnsboro, Texas where Charlotte, 1948 and Richard, 1950 were born.
In 1951 we moved to our last camp west of Seminole, Texas.
We all started school in Seminole Elementary And we attended dance classes in Seminole until we moved to Midland.
Our first real home at 4317 Mercedes was not completed and we stayed in a motel. The “new” Jane Long Elementary was so modern compared to Seminole. Jane Long had a Cafetorium!! We started school, unfortunately, in the middle of the year. The 4th grade curriculum for math was mostly completed the first semester. I missed out on basic math. Paula was in 5th, 4th for me, and 2nd for Charlotte. Our neighborhood was so being built so fast and so many kids. Paula, Charlotte and I all attended Bingham Dance Studio and continued through our graduation. Two programs are included in 1958 and 1963.
I started 7th grade at another new school, Alamo Junior High, “Scouts”. I made cheerleader in 7th and 8th grade. Always a year head, Carole and Shirley Dorff were cheerleaders from Alamo to Lee High School.
Everyone was in band and Paula played the flute and was a “twirler” along with Sondra Griffith and Sally Wright. In 7th grade I was to attend the Alamo Football Banquet but no one ask me, and I
had to go alone.
The next year, I did have a date, Bruce Smith! I have included some pics of the Amerada camp girls during 1948-1952. I included a funny pic of the family minus my dad, doing the “oil field squat”. Except Paula, and she not squatting!
Robert E. Lee High School was finished and ready for my sophomore year. What a glorious time we all had the year we mixed with San Jacinto! More and more new people to meet! My years at Lee are full of memories of pep rally’s on Friday, Lee Youth Center, 100 Club, and all the sports and high school activities.
In my sophomore year at Tech, my dad was transferred to Tioga, North Dakota at the beginning of the Hess/Amerada merger.