South Elementary Memories

By: Bekki Maier Welch

After the 3rd grade we were bused into town. I think we went to South elementary. I think that’s where I knew Bill  Bearden from. Bill you will have to help me on this one. The only thing I remember about that year is there was some kind of contest. And I was running for queen of something. I think we had to sell something. Some kind of tickets. Whoever sold the most was named “queen”. I got runner up. I remember hearing my mom and her friends saying I should have won  but the girl that won, her mother cheated by buying her daughter’s tickets. I had to pick an escort and I couldn’t decide between James Hubbard and Davis Ellis. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. Like they cared! Lol I think we had a man teacher but I don’t remember his name. Maybe Bill does. Hope you have more memories about that year Bill.

Response: []
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2019 12:01 PM

I did go to South my entire elementary school years. The first grade we were in a Bible Study class in a church across the street. There were other first graders in other rooms in the church as well. In the third grade I went in an old (probably 100 years old) red brick building that was probably the original building. The remainder of the time I went to the new building. I do know the kids from Terminal started to school with us in the 4th grade. I think the teacher was Mr. Anderson. There were a number of kids in my class from Terminal that year. I rode my bike to school starting in the third grade … it was probably five or six miles. Hard to believe. And I do remember that you were in the class.

Bill Bearden (RIP) and Tinkerbelle

Click below and listen to “Paradise by The Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf

Tinkerbelle?…. first thought, “the Peter Pan fairy”.  But not in Midland, Texas.  In Midland Tinkerbelle is the beloved puke-green Ford Falcon piloted by Bill Bearden.  There is no telling how many things happened between the doors of that well-exercised car, but I know some of them.  

 That Ford Falcon was driven all hours of the days and nights for a variety of purposes; from carrying Bill to work on weekends with his dad’s floor refinishing company; to an epic cross-country trip with Nugent Brasher and me.  Three young and not so smart teenage boys, starting out I think over some holiday period (I don’t remember the timing), with a trunk full of cold drinks and frozen TV dinners.  A trip of the century, financed with cash from deposit returns on collected empty Ozarka water and soft drink bottles. 

 An ambitious undertaking that included Carlsbad Caverns, Roswell, (NMMI), Ruidoso, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, El Paso, Garner State Park and Monahans before cruising back into Midland.  At least that’s my memory of the itinerary.  Go Tinkerbelle.

 Bill was the master of the highway, although he allowed Nugent and me to “spell” him in irregular shifts.  We didn’t have enough money for motel nights, so we slept in the car, or just stayed up all night…. except for an extravagant and luxurious evening or two when we checked-in for showers and a soft bed.  We saw a lot of real estate, but that Falcon brought most of it by pretty quickly as we slowed down only enough for the towns with major attractions where we spent a few hours.  A major attraction could be defined as cruising the main street, and cool-looking drive-ins trolling for girls.

 Safely back in Midland, with lifelong secrets in each of our minds, Bill resumed his romance with Carole Scrivner, Nugent kept on cheerleading, and I returned to the swim team. Speaking of that Scrivner romance, it turned into real love and a permanent marriage for Bill which he parlayed into a remarkably successful sales and management career, two wonderful kids, and a happy retirement in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  

 Since that trip and MHS graduation, Bill and I shared time at Texas Tech, one MHS reunion, a couple of group retired-guy trips for “fishing” (spelled d-r-i-n-k-i-n-g)  and a brief visit near Mountain Home, Arkansas where he and Carole with friends over the years had enjoyed Gaston’s Fishing Resort on the White River.  In total, my time with Bill was relatively short, but the connection was genuine and spanned these almost 60 years. 

I learned from Carole today that Bill passed away this month, leaving us all with the memories we shared.  I don’t know what ever happened to Tinkerbelle, but I am proud to have known Bill, admired his relationship with Carole, and am lucky to have shared the adventures we lived.  I will miss him, but will enjoy the memories.  Thank you, Bill.                   

Glory Days


 Great time wish we could do it again!

This is the trip that Bill Sallee spiked Joe Hurley‘s drink. Joe immediately or shortly there after disappeared.

WG and John McElligott were ordered to catch crabs and make crab cakes. There were no crabs to catch, so they went and bought some at the store. They told everyone that they were out fishing all day and caught the crabs. They have never told the gang that the crab cakes were made with store-bought crabs. All of the fishing team raved about the crab cakes and Billy Godwin and John McElligott just sat back and laughed and of course drank more tequila.

John Franklin was there and for the first time ever we noticed that he was losing his mobility and hearing. Harry Miller was asked to check him out but Harry was deaf and febrile, too, so it didn’t work out.

Anyway everyone at the fishing extravaganza can now fill in the blanks of what turned out to be a very low level catch if the memory is correct. But, a lot of fun.