Some people think we are making things up when we talk about how wonderful things were in the 50s and early 60s. I have never talked to anyone who grew up during that time that ever said anything bad about it. So as I scan the paper, and watch TV News, and see what a terrible shape the world is in today, I thought I would write a little about what it was like growing up in the 40s, 50s and 60s and how different it was then than it is today. Some things are better now, Women’s Rights, race relations, medicine-we have nicer houses, and bigger and better “things”. However the essence, the quality, the honesty and the simple pleasure of our life during the 50s is so hard to explain…but I will try.
Growing up in a small West Texas town may not seem very exciting; however, I had such wonderful memories of my childhood that I just had to write them down, before they are forgotten. Midland was a small town then and we knew most everyone. Many of the friends I made then are the friends I have today.
I went to North Elementary and remember it fondly. We used to walk to school every day gathering a little group of friends as we walked along. I still remember those kids and can recognize them in our 3rd grade Rhythm Band photo. When I was in the 5th grade, I was playing Deep Roving Right Field, hoping no one would hit a ball my way, when I met a little girl, Emily Stall, who had just transferred from West Elementary. She was to become my best friend and still is today. She lived on the corner of A Street and Club House Drive, just across from the Country Club, then the Elks Club, now the park with the lake. Most of our calls ended with “Meet me at the corner I have something to tell you” and I would run down the alley and we would meet halfway. She introduced me to the world of bossy big sisters and snoopy little brothers.
I went to Cowden in Jr. High. The “cut off” for Cowden and the new school, San Jacinto, was Cuthbert, the street behind Storey. All my friends went to San Jacinto and I went to Cowden. I didn’t really enjoy Cowden, since I didn’t know that many people. Thank goodness there was High School.
I always loved horses and was so excited every year when World Championship Rodeo would come to town. The Rodeo parade was a highlight. We would sit on the fence on A Street and watch all the cowboys and floats go by. Some of the MHS band played at the rodeo, and my boyfriend played the base drum in the band. Fortunately, it was a large instrument, because I would sneak in every night, under the drum, so I would get in for free. I would sit on the rail and watch the whole rodeo –up close and personal. One time, it got a little too personal. One of the grand entry people came up and asked if I could ride, and I said yes. First of all, I had read every horse book and rented horses every year in Ruidoso, and, in my head, I thought I could ride. It became apparent, immediately, that thinking and reading and dreaming about horses does not make a good rider. I did get through the whole grand entry, probably with a look of sheer terror on my face, while galloping around in the arena. Fortunately I didn’t fall off and learned a very valuable lesson. DO NOT volunteer to do something unless you are VERY sure you know how to do it.
Right after graduation, Floyd joined the Navy and spent 10 years as a Photographer’s Mate. I went off to Baylor University where I graduated in 1963 with a teaching degree. I taught in Lubbock for one year.
In the meantime, Floyd had re-enlisted, and in the fall of 1963, we got back together (we had dated a few times in high school), got engaged and in June of 1964 married here in Midland. Hewas stationed in San Diego, Calif., so we went there immediately after our wedding. We lived there for 6- l/2 years, and moved back to Midland in January 1971. Our son, Jason, had been born in California in 1970, and our daughter, Claudine, was born in Midland in 1971. We stayed in Midland for a little over 3 years – Floyd working in photography and me teaching atMHS and Austin Freshman School. We moved to Houston in 1974. Floyd worked at a variety of positions – mostly related to photography or graphics, and I taught in Spring I.S.D. north ofHouston.
After I retired in 2004, we moved back to Midland, into the house that Floyd’s stepfather and mother had lived in here on Shanks Drive. His Mother passed away in 2000, and his stepfather in 2002. One of the reasons for moving home was to be close to my father and stepmother, but my Dad passed away in 2003 before we could complete the move. Now, we keep in close touch with my stepmother who still lives in the Mills family home on W. Kentucky Street.
After forty years of teaching, I still can’t stay out of the classroom, so I’m now in my fifth year as a substitute in Midland ISD. I teach anywhere from 2-4 days a week, which keeps me pretty busy.
Our daughter, who teaches in Garland ISD, is married with two sons, and she and her family live in Sachse, north of Dallas. Our son is a First Sgt. in the Army, stationed currently at FortMcCoy, Wisconsin, as a medic instructor.
This past summer, we took on a new venture which is a little unusual for someone of our age – we opened a bar! It’ s called the Star Lite Saloon and is located on Garden City Highway about halfway between Lamesa Road and Fairgrounds Road. Floyd spends most of his time there, of course, and I’m there as often as possible. Come and see us sometime!
My life has not been too exciting but it damn sure has not been boring.
I married Preston Bridgewater after attending TCU and Abilene Christian College. ACC was a horrific experience ….. ! never was too good at being a “nice Church of Christ girl.”
Preston and I had two children – Bret 47, and Kamala would have been 45. Kamala died of cancer a year and a half ago. Bret lives in Dallas and currently is not married and has no children. Kamala had two children, one 15, who lives in Memphis, TN with his dad and a daughter 6 who lives with another dad in Katy, TX.
After 13 years with Preston and probably too much partying …… we divorced and I married a really nice Jewish guy from New Mexico.
He had custody of his two girls and so we became a family 33 years ago and it has been a great marriage.
We moved to Austin 20 years ago and love it here. There are four grandchildren here in Austin and it has been wonderful going to their school events and sports activities. My Mother is still living and is 90 and doing wonderful. She lives in Austin now at a retirement facility and she is having a blast …. she actually plays the drums in a band at the facility and they have another “gig” coming up next weekend. She is in better shape than I am.
We have not traveled too much except to Israel several times and just enjoy all that there is to do here in Austin.
Sharron Caruso, age 77, of Bolton, CT, answered God’s call on November 7, 2018, at Manchester Memorial Hospital, in Manchester, CT. She was born on June 21, 1941 in Midland, TX to the late Edward and Jean (Wolcott) Watts.
She was very active with St. Maurice church in Bolton where she and her husband moved to in 1978. She also spent time as a member of the Tallwood Womens Golf Club, but above all it was caring for her family that she took true pride in. She would often boast that she was “a kept woman, and proud of it”. She and her husband lived in Connecticut for 40 years.
Sadly, since this writing, Marvin passed away October 28, 2021
CAN YOU SEE IT??? A BRIGHT STAR THAT APPEARED JUST OVER THE CREST OF THE DA VIS MOUNTAINS ON 5 MARCH 1941 IN BREWSTER COUNTY, ALPINE, TEXAS. THERE WAS 4 WITNESSES AND ONE PARTICIPANT IN THE BIRTH OF THIS STAR.
GEORGE D. WILLIAMS, (FATHER), NORA A. WILLIAMS, (MOTHER), DESMA Y. WILLIAMS, (SISTER), GEORGE V. WILLIAMS, (BROTHER), AND DR. D.O. JETER. I WAS TOLD MUCH LATER THAT EVERY ONE WAS ELATED TO SEE SUCH A PRETTY BABY (with big ears).SEE ABOVE PHOTO.
MOTHER AND DAD DECIDED TO MOVE TO STAMFORD, HOWEVER OUR STAY THEIR WAS SHORT. WE THEN MADE THE MOVE TO MIDLAND. I CAN’T REMEMBER THE DATE. WE LIVED IN A TRAILER HOUSE ON NEW YORK ST. WHICH WAS VERY CLOSE TO SOUTH ELEMENTARY . I REMEMBER DURING MY 1 sT & 2ND GRADE, I WOULD RUN HOME, JUST SO I COULD SUCK MY THUMB. (Don’t laugh) I HAD SOME GOOD FRIENDS, WHICH ALL OF YOU SHOULD REMEMBER,.DONALD HERRING, MIKE JONES, DOYLE HARDIN, DWAYNE LIESKE, RAY WHITLEY JUST TO NAME A FEW.
IF MY MEMORY DOESN’T FAIL ME, HENRY HARDING WAS THE ALL TIME JOCK DURING OUR 6rn & 7rn GRADE. I DID PARTICIPATE ON THE TRACK AND FIELD TEAM. I WON A COUPLE OF RIBBONS IN THE PULL UP COMPETITION. I DON’T THINK I WEIGHED 100 LBS IN THOSE DAYS. I ALSO REMEMBER DON, MIKE, AND I WAS MESSING AROUND ONE DAY AND DON TALKED ME INTO TAKING MY ONE AND ONLY CHEW OF “DAYS WORK”. I GOT SO SICK, I COULD HARDLY WALK HOME.
SOMETIME LATER, WE MOVED TO KANSAS ST. WHICH WAS IN WALKING DISTANCE TO THE STADIUM. I WENT TO SAN JACINTO, JHS. WHERE I COMPLETED MY 8TH & 9TH YEAR. THEN I WENT TO THE ONE AND ONLY “MHS.” I REMEMBER SO MANY GOOD THINGS DURING THE NEXT THREE YRS. THE YOUTH CENTER, CLUB 15, THE DRIVE IN MOVIES, (we would put 2 or 3 friends in the trunk so only one would pay to get in, pull to the rear of the parking
area, unload the trunk and enjoy the movie), THE BLUE STAR INN RESTAURANT, RENDEZVOUS DRIVE- IN, (we pulled in one night just in time to watch a few jocks pick up a VW and put it on the walkway). FOOTBALL GAMES (Go Bulldogs) JR & SR PROMS, AND SO MANY OTHER MEMORIES. WHEN I GRADUATED I GOT A JOB WITH THE SOUTHWESTERN DRUG CORP. BEFORE LONG I GOT ITCHY FEET, AND WHAT I DID NEXT, CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER.
IN 1960 I JOINED THE ARMY AND FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. IN 1963 I MARRIED MY FIRST WIFE, CYNTHIA JOHNSON, THE DAUGHTER OF DR. HOMER B JOHNSON OF MIDLAND . SHE AND I HAD 3 CHILDREN, TWO BOYS AND ONE GIRL.
THE MILITARY TOOK ME FROM THE WEST COAST TO THE EAST COAST, GERMANY X2, ALASKA, HAWAII, KOREA, AND VIET NAM X2. IN 1994 I DEPLOYED TO VIET NAM. AFTER MY RETURN FROM VIET NAM, I ATTENDED THE DRILL INSTRUCTORS SCHOOL. I WAS THEN ASSIGNED TO FT LEONARD WOOD, MO AS A DRILL INSTRUCTOR. BESIDES TRAINING NEW RECRUITS TO BECOME SOLDIERS, I COACHED T-BALL FOR 3YRS. FLAG FOOTBALL FOR 2YRS. FOR THE DEPENDENT YOUTH ACTIVITIES ON BASE. I BECAME A DEN FATHER FOR THE CUB SCOUTS. I STAYED ON DRILL INSTRUCTORS STATUS FOR 7 YRS, HOWEVER THOSE 7 YRS WAS INTERRUPTED BY MY SECOND TOUR IN VIET NAM IN 1969. MY IDGHEST POSITION HELD WAS WITH THE AVIATION BRIGADE, SECOND ARMORED DIVISION, FORT HOOD TEXAS. I RETIRED ON THE 301’H OF NOVEMBER 1988 . AFTER MY RETIREMENT I WAS ELECTED, THE VERY FIRST CIVILIAN, AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE H.O.W. “HELL ON WHEELS” ASSOCIATION SECOND ARMORED DIVISION, WHICH DIDN’T LAST LONG. (another story)
AFTER MY RETIREMENT I WENT TO WORK FOR THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. A WHOLE BUNCH OF STORIES COULD BE TOLD DURING MY 10 YRS WITH THEM. HOWEVER I DON’T THINK THE LADIES WOULD APPRECIATE THEM
CYNTHIA AND I GOT DIVORCED AFTER 28 YRS. OF MARRIAGE. I STAYED A BACHLOR FOR 9YRS. IN 1996 I MET MY CURRENT WIFE, FERN, AT A DANCE AND FELL IN LOVE AGAIN. WE LOVED TO DANCE TO C&W MUSIC. AS A MATTER OF FACT, FRED ASTAIRE AND GINGER ROGERS DIDN’T HA VE A THING ON US. OUR DANCING DAYS ARE OVER WITH, DUE TO ME HAVING 3 MAJOR BACK SURGERIES, ONE KNEE REPLACEMENT AND FERN HAS HAD. BOTH FEET OPERATED ON. LIFE IS AB—- BLESSING.
WE LIVE IN JARRELL, TX. WITH OUR TWO VERY HAIRY LITTLE BOYS OSCAR & AXEL (POMERANIANS). BETWEEN US WE HA VE FIVE CHILDREN, FOUR GRANDCHILDREN AND ONE GREAT GRANDCHILD. PRIOR TO OUR MARRIAGE FERN LOST HER HOME, AS MANY OF HER NEIGHBORS DID IN THE FS TORNADO IN 1997. IT TOOK 27 LIVES IN ABOUT FIVE MINUTES. THANK THE “LORD” THAT BOTH SHE AND HER DAUGHTER WERE AT WORK. WE INSTALLED A STORM SHELTER SHORTLY AFTER WE WERE MARRIED IN M. ARCH OF 2000. W.E NOW LIKE TO THINK WE ARE AS HAPPY AS A “BUG IN A RUG” EVEN IF WE CAN ‘T GO BOOT SCOOTIN ANY MORE. THIS IS WHAT I DO SINCE MY RETIREMENT. “I don’t think so”
After MHS, I attended Our Lady of the Lake University and the University of Dallas. Never got a degree, worked at a variety of jobs until I found myself in a medical office, and realized that the world of medicine was my cup of tea
Pictures and Clippings from the Personal Scrapbook of Jerry Callaway
Bruce Monroe was Davieann Monroe’s big brother. He went on to play for TCU, then law school at UT. He met his wife Lee, at TCU. After law school he went to Alaska to work in the governor’s office. He spent many years in Alaska, and his family loved the outdoor life there. He retired to north Texas and passed away several years ago.
There was a beautiful blonde young lady named Diane (or Diana) David
I grew up at 608 West Louisiana. It was a neat neighborhood with Allen Hitchcock (with the finest comic book collection on the planet) across the alley from my backyard, and Hope Russell across the alley from my front yard. Hope taught me how to play jacks which came in real handy later on. The highlight of my first several years in school happened in the second grade when Mrs. White summoned my mother to school to say “Mrs. Giesey, Charles is the laziest white boy I’ve ever seen.” Well as most of you know things didn’t change much after that. I really didn’t agree with her but Coach Glen Selbo must have when I was a junior as he said “those Giesey kids (my sister Mary played tennis) don’t have enough energy between them to blow someone’s nose.”