Written by Fred Underwood
During the summer between my Junior and Senior year, two events of note happened. First, we moved from Terminal to a house we rented at 1100 West Illinois. When I walked out the front door and kept on walking across the street, I found myself on the walkway to the main entrance to Midland High School. Across the street to the right of our house was the Youth Center. To me, it was an ideal location. I enjoyed school so much that I was the first one to school almost every day. The second event was that I became sweet on a young lady who could sing like a diva. To spend more time with her, I joined the Youth Choir at the First Medothist Church. The Minister of Music insisted that I sing tenor instead of the melody. When I got it right, I fell in love with harmony. A song was put in my heart, and I didn’t care which one it was. Just so you know my status, when I sang, I perceived that I sounded like Jim Neighbors. When I heard my voice recorded, I realized that everyone else was hearing Gomer Pyle.
Football season started immediately. Our ineligibility year was over, so Gus Baker, David Laverty, Guy Vanderpool, and Fred Underwood became members of the practice team preparing the Varsity for the games. Coach Tugboat Jones and his single-wing offense did very well. In District play, we lost to Odessa and soundly beat Lubbock Lubbock then beat Odessa. We were all set to be in a three-way tie for District Champions. All we had to do was to earn a win over little Lamesa (the district doormat). Alas, we lost 14 to 12. As I recall it, after the end of football season, the sweet young thing that put a song in my heart dumped me for a basketball player. I still thank her for putting that song in my heart. She now lives in Albuquerque
I took every math course the school offered and all the science courses except biology. I thoroughly enjoyed my two years living in Midland. After graduation, I went to the U.S. Naval Academy and retired 32 years later. By that time, I had no connections left in Midland. So we retired in Appomattox, Va.
Well Fred now you have contacts in Midland and readers in most states and 15 countries. Can you tell us about life at the Academy and life in the Navy. I spent 7 1/2 yrs active and reserve mostly with the USMC. Corpsman was job and changed my life.
Captain Underwood is now a fellow resident with myself and my wife at the Army Residence Community in San Antonio. He is quite a storyteller and has never met a puzzle he cannot conquer. Fred graduated after my oldest brother and before my next oldest brother. All three had Ms. Phillipusas as a teacher.
What year did you graduate from MHS?
Fred, you are quite a story teller! I look forward to the continuing saga.