William Thomas

Tom’s first horseback ride on Blue Ribbon. Big brother Chip doesn’t need to be held because he “is a cowboy. With boots.” Tom is hanging on to Teddy.

Soon, we were blessed with another little boy. Tom arrived on October 5, 1952, and what a joy he was. He, too, was born at Nix Hospital in San Antonio, as Chip was. He came late one afternoon before we expected him. Charlotte’s brother, Charles, drove us to the Nix hospital with horn blaring, running right through red lights. We raced in the exit of the Nix garage. The attendant came running out saying we couldn’t do that, but before he finished, he took one look at Charlotte and ran for a wheel chair. We hurried Charlotte up to delivery, and the nurse took one look at her and said,” The Doctor is not going to make it in time.” Thank goodness he did, and Tom arrived weighing 8lbs 3oz.

Chip and Tom, 1953

Our favorite entertainment was to go down to the Dairy Queen after supper, and get an ice cream. The boys always ordered “Lime Green” ice cream. Then we would go up to the north end of town at the train depot, and wait for the passenger train from California on its way to San Antonio to come through. It would come through about 50 miles an hour and it was always a thrill for the boys. We saw our first TV about this time. We all stood outside a department store one evening and watched it through the store windows after the store had closed.

Of course this was before air conditioning in automobiles. My friend Pierce, who owned the Pontiac place, called me one day and said, “come on down here I want to show you something.” I got down there, and he had a Pontiac sedan with Air Conditioning. It was the first air-conditioned automobile in Uvalde County. The A/C took up the whole trunk, and fed cold air through two plastic tubes coming from behind the back seat. We rode up and down Main Street with all the windows rolled up, just to show off.

Spring fed pool at Ft. Clark

When my Dad was with Brown and Root his friend, Slim Dalstrum, was President of Texas Railway Equipment Co. This subsidiary of Brown and Root acquired property by bid from the Government. Ft Clark, located in Brackettville, Texas, was refurbished. Dad acquired a two story Officer’s home on the west side of the parade grounds to use as he wished. These homes were built in the 1850’s with wide covered front porches and they had 12-inch thick rock walls and 12-foot ceilings.

1952 Pontiac sedan

They were amazingly cool in the hot summer afternoons. It was easy to take a little nap on that front porch. During our days in Uvalde, we went out to spend weekends there every once in a while. There was a huge swimming pool fed with constant 68 degree water out of Los Moras Springs that the boys enjoyed. They also loved to fish in Los Moras Creek. We would sleep in each day and after a big breakfast go to the pool. Then back for a light lunch and a siesta. About 4 PM we would leave for Mexico and go across the river at Eagle Pass or Del Rio for supper, returning to Ft Clark for a good night’s sleep and then the following day we would repeat the whole process. These were always very relaxing times.

Photo of 1952 Pontiac found here.

Photo of Fort Clark pool found here.