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Here's a brief synopsis of my formal education through the years since 1941 in the following sequence:
- Walnut Hill Elementary School, Dallas TX - 9-1941 to 6-1945. Some
of my strongest memories of school are of Mrs. Engold my first grade teacher. Every afternoon we would lay down on our little rugs and she would tell us to be quiet and see if we could hear the pin she dropped on her desk. I have no idea whether she actually did drop a pin, but I assure you most of us thought we could hear it. She was a master
at teaching and I learned much under
her tutelage. Our principal Shirley Welch was a friend of the family, having been hired by Dad when he was President of the School Board. She ran that school with a firm hand and no one ever, ever wanted to go to the principals office. WWII began during my first December in school and we were always having bond drives, scrap drives and the like to support the war effort. After the third grade we moved into
University Park and I then went to...
- University Park Elementary School, Dallas TX, 9-1945 to 6-1947 - my strongest memory of this school is the PE instructor we had following WWII. He was an ex-marine and thought 4th through 5th graders could do the same thing adults could in the way of exercise. I was a hefty little kid and thought for sure that I would die every time he made us run laps around that playground, a distance of approximately 15 miles I think.
Wow was he tough but I still made it through to go on to......
- Highland Park Junior High School, Dallas TX, 9-1947 to 6-1949 - the high point of Junior High was finally having my eyes checked and finding out that I was legally blind (without glasses). Those magic pieces of glass changed my life completely. No wonder I couldn't play baseball - I never even saw the ball. I also found out that building things was not my forte. I still have a bookcase that I built in 7th grade
woodshop and it still wobbles. 8th grade brought on metal shop and I never, ever got my spatula to shine up or not wiggle on the handle. My first real experience with music began here when we sang in a choir in the Highlander Music Festival with
Fred Waring conducting. That was quite an experience, especially the visits to
McFarlin Auditorium on the SMU campus. After two years we moved to the ranch at Rio Vista and so.......
- Rio Vista High School, Rio Vista TX, 9-1949 to 6-1950 - this was a one year experience and one which I will always remember fondly. I made some good friends here and excelled at every class. Then we moved back to University Park and ...........
- Highland Park High School, Dallas, TX, 9-1950 to 6-1953 - one of the best high schools in the country at the time, I was blessed with talented and dedicated teachers. If I had ever learned to study I probably would have been placed much higher in my class. This is where I really got introduced to music through the marching band and then the orchestra. This was in the days of the Highlander Music Festival which
was held each year. Graduation finally came in 1953 in the final march down the aisles of McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of SMU. After a summer working in the oil fields for the second year it was on to......
- Texas Technological College, Lubbock TX, 9-1953 to 6-1955. College was great fun (too much of it actually). I pledged and was initiated into Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity which just added to my social life. Finally failing a five hour calculus course for the second time resulted in the end of my formal education. I learned a lot though - especially about what not to do with ones life. Anyway the Engineering dean
told me that I would have to wait a year before coming back. That of
course meant that my student draft deferment would end. On to the
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