Dad was born on November 8, 1899 in Calvert, Texas. He lived there until graduating from High School.
There are so many stories I could tell you about my Dad. When he was a boy, about 15 in Calvert, he had an English Bull dog. Tom Townsend, his boyhood friend and first cousin, said it was a big dog and whenever Dad started his motorcycle, an old four cylinder Henderson, you could hear it all over that side of town. This Bull dog would come running around the house and jump up on a carrier over the back fender, as he loved to ride around town with Dad on the motorcycle. Tom said the funniest thing was watching them leave, and as they went around the corner, Dad would be leaning the motorcycle over, and that Dog would be leaning over the same way right with him.
Dad went to Texas A&M for one year and then worked in the Beaumont shipyards during WW I. He returned to college at the University of Texas in Austin. A lot of his boyhood friends were there, where he joined the S A E fraternity.
My mother was Mary Marley. Her father (Forrest Mathew Marley) was a man of few words, so he named Mom “Mary” and her sister “Helen”, no middle names. Her mother was Bertie Waller Watson and she was a quiet person as well. I was told that when Mom was little she liked to be called Mary Jane. She was born in Taylor, Texas August 26, 1902. I have a diary she kept in the 1907-1912 period. She practiced shooting basketball shots every afternoon after school, and later was on the woman’s varsity basketball team at the University of Texas.
She was also an artist. I have a picture of flowers she painted when she was eleven which she signed and dated June 1915. As her family moved, she attended schools in Taylor, Houston and finally San Antonio. She graduated from Old Main High School in San Antonio. Before graduating from U of Texas in Austin, she taught one year in the public school in Austin, and after graduation she taught at a country school in Manor, Texas. She then went back to the Public School in Austin and taught for three years at Pease Elementary School (1922-1924) in Austin.
When she was at the University of Texas, she was quite an athlete, not only in basketball but also in golf and
swimming. One day, she and two of her boyfriends decided to swim across Lake Austin, right down by the dam. This was a long way to swim and a real no-no. When they reach the other side, a policeman was waiting. He only warned them but they did, however, get their name in the newspaper about swimming across Lake Austin, which was quite shocking, and a provoked a severe lecture from her Dad.
Mom and Dad eloped and were married in San Antonio at St Mark’s Episcopal Church on the north side of Travis Park on March 1, 1924.
Her Sister Helen was maid of honor, and Dad’s friend and cousin from the SAE Fraternity, Tom Townsend, was best man. Dad worked for the Texas Highway Department and had been hired in 1922 as an Equipment Engineer. Mom was a schoolteacher in Austin at Peas School in the Austin Public School District.