By John McElligott
There were several families in Terminal, Texas that influenced my brother, Tom and me. This is the one that influenced me the most.
The Fisher Family
(John, Joe, Tom, Jim, Jerry, Gene, Mike, Pat, Frank, and Susie)
We all grew up within walking distance of my family’s one story barracks (see pictures) and then later, our two story barrack which housed the Terminal Texas Post office.
Since we went to St Ann’s with most of the kids in the Fisher family, we spent a lot of time with them. Tom, my older brother and John Fisher were in the same grade and together they graduated from 8th grade at St. Ann’s. John and my brother Tom went to MHS together until graduation in 1958. John received a scholarship for Texas A&M, and later Joe, Tom and a few other Fisher kids followed him to Texas A&M. Let’s put it this way, the Fisher family became one of the first families (to my knowledge), to populate Texas A&M .
Now lunch at the Fisher house, with all the kids, was my favorite part of the day. The mother, Alice Fisher, would lay out lunch meat and bread with mustard and jalapeno peppers (with the dragon on the jar). I never missed a day eating lunch, and enjoyed woofing down those peppers that would smoke your poop shoot for days. This is why I have never had hemorrhoids! Thanks, Alice Fisher!
Clyde Fisher would eat peppers by the jar. He was a different and yet amazing father. Mr Fisher was an electrician by trade and the first person I ever met who was in a Union. He got the union to sponsor our Boy Scout Troop.
Speaking of Boy Scouts, I was one merit badge away from making Eagle Scout. (You will see the reason later in the book and it had to do with a trip I took at the age of 13.) Since we had the best scout troop ever, we entered all kinds of competitions like starting a fire to tying knots. Roy Vaughn, MHS 63, was also a member of the troop, and coincidentally, my first trauma case on my way to becoming a medical professional. Mr. Fisher made the camping trips something special and really made you want to be an outdoors person. I can say the trips actually made being in the military much easier for me, in comparison to those who came from families that did not have the Fishers (and the other scouts) that taught us how to suck it up.
Now my second trauma case with the scout troop was me! We were out camping in the dead of winter in the middle of West Texas and I stabbed a can of beans with my pocket knife. The blade folded up and cut my finger half off at the joint of my little finger on my right hand. Scout Master Clyde Fisher washed out my wound with a canteen of water, and put my finger in a cloth glove. The glove soaked up the blood and the winter cold froze the finger. I left the glove on night and day. Upon arriving home three days later, my mother soaked the glove off my finger and, to my surprise, my finger was in one piece! To this day, that finger functions normally. While in the military, serving with the Marines, I used the same technique on many occasions. I tell people that growing up in Terminal and being a boy scout with Clyde Fisher made the boot camp in the military seem like nothing!
The McElligott’s, Tom, Bruce and myself, spent over half of our Terminal lives with the Fisher’s. My time was ages 3 until 17 y/o. Clyde died shortly after I came home from the military. I don’t think Clyde, Alice and the kids ever realized how much they impacted our family, as well as, many others. Seeing a family of 12 living in an old army barracks (designed to hold men) was impressive. They made sure all of their kids had the opportunities of attending Catholic School, MHS and Texas A&M. John Fisher graduated from MHS in 1958 and received a full scholarship to A&M. He graduated A&M in 1964 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Eight out of the ten children were Aggie’s and Alice Fisher was selected as “Aggie Mother of the Year” in 1968.
The Fisher family flourished in Terminal, and lived in the same house until forced to move to Midland. There they located on the south side. My last contact was with Frank Fisher, who rented my mother’s house on Country Club Drive. By then, I was finishing college somewhere and did not see Alice before she died.
I do regret not keeping up with someone in the family. So if you know one of the Fisher family let them know I would like to talk to them.
The Hammock Family
For me, the Hammock Family was also super impactful. Don (aka Butch), and Allen (aka Peanut) were the most influential. I remember Peanut being a very tall, fast and smart kid. My brother, Tom, knew more about him than I did. Now Butch was a different story and to make a long story short,I never missed any of his MHS home football games (see pictures).
I met their father once when he was working in the oil fields around Midland and Odessa. I never met their mother, but looking at the success of their boys, they must have been very attentive to their boys.