Memories of Doc

By: Glenn Whittington ‘ 61

My first memories of Doc were in 1959, my Sophomore year at MHS. He had taken the job as the head athletic trainer at MHS.  He also taught Social Studies, more on that later.  After football season ended he became the trainer for Coach Bob Todd for the basketball program.  At this time I had moved to the B team after being a star on the C team under one of the great basketball minds Ralph Schultz who also taught shop.  I truly think he knew more about shop than basketball.  Some of the outstanding players making the move to the B team were Ron Peavy, Bob Speed, Jody Black and Charles Dishman more on each of them in future chapters.  Back to Doc Dodson.Doc ‘s first home as you may know by now was “three trash cans West of the Press Box” .  Many hours were spent in that palace as Doc not only served as a trainer, teacher but he really excelled in counseling young athletes in their pursuit of stardom in athletics and our failed love lives. He loved TCU and his Phi Delt brothers back in Fort Worth.  His pursuit of being back in Ft. Worth with his Phi Delta brothers almost got me in big trouble.  He once gave me his car keys (I was underage to drive at the time) and told me to go to this particular corner where there was a pay phone (remember those?). I was to get this wire coat hanger that was bent a certain way, dial the assigned number and tell the frat brother he would be in that weekend. After dialing the number, drop the coin in the slot, place the coat hanger up the slot and the coin would come back down. Then I was to repeat the process until the cost of the call would allow it go through.  I did as directed –but an operator came on and said there seemed to a problem and I was to remain in that location until someone would be there to discuss the problem.  NOT ME!  I returned to Doc and explained he needed someone with more experience than me!   My athletic career did not progress  as I expected. Dishman became all-state, Black became gunner-junior after Dishman, and Peavy learned to dribble with both hands. Coach Todd and Doc got together and decided to offer me the assistant trainers job.  I would be able to be with my buddies and travel with the team.  Not a bad gig.I will be forever grateful to these 2 great men, Doc and Coach Todd.  Doc even taught me how to tape and got me an interview with Elmer Brown at TCU.  I was provided a scholarship for my first 2 years until I found it interfered with my fraternity life.Doc became such a member of my family that when he was stationed in Fort Polk in 1961 he called my aunt and uncle in Shreveport on Thanksgiving and asked if he could come to Shreveport as he was lonely.  He was welcomed with open arms.  Doc was a man who meant so much to me and is one of the memories of Midland that I will always cherish.

RIP- Doc Dodson (1936-2018)

Doc was born in Ft. Worth, TX in 1936.  He was known as Jimmy to friends and family there, Hambone by his TCU family, and “Doc” by his Midland family.  He attended Poly High School in Ft.Worth, graduated and became a student trainer at TCU.  During those years he took care of some of the greatest athletes: Jim Swink, Bob Lily, Marvin Lasater and Bob Schieffer. Graduating from TCU in 1958, he became the MHS Trainer in1959 and retired in 1990.  He married Gayle McMullan in1963 and had two daughters, Kelly and Jamie.Doc received more honors during his career than we can list here.  Some that stand out are: The Certificate of Merit presented by President Johnson in 1965 for saving a young girls life In 1972 he was the 1st High School Trainer selected to be the Trainer for the World Olympics in Munich, Germany. Outstanding Trainer in the United States for the years of 1977, 80, and 91SWATA Hall of Fame Charter Member and NATA Hall of Fame Member 1985The above information came from his funeral, which Glenn and I were unable to attend.  We were told that the family entered the service to the Midland High Fight Song which was played by the MHS High School Band. Doc was a unique person that touched many lives in Midland and elsewhere.  He played a prominent role our lives.  We would never have found each other if he had not convinced us both to attend TCU.  He had no idea what he was setting in motion—and neither did we.  He was in and out of our lives for almost 60 years. We were fortunate to visit with Gayle and Doc when he came to Arlington for a convention in 2018.  His body was somewhat frail and he was in a wheelchair, but the sparkle in his eyes and his smile at greeting us never left his face.  We had come to say “hello” once more and knew that it would also probably be “good-bye” but those words were never mentioned. Memories, laughter, and hugs were everywhere.  It was a great afternoon of visiting and remembering our times together in Midland.           Doc did not grow up on Midland Water but he got there as soon as he could, drank the water, and never left.                                                               

Midland Fight
On ye, Bulldogs, On ye, Bulldogs, Fight right through that lineEver onward, ever forward, We will win or die.Ra-Ra-RaOn ye, Bulldogs, On ye, Bulldogs Fight for VictoryFight Bulldogs, Fight Fight, Fight and Win this game.Yay Purple, Yay Gold, Yay Bulldogs, Go Go GoMidland Fight, Midland Fight, Yay Midland FightMidland Fight, Midland Fight, Yay Midland Fight