Your VFD Might Need You
In my lifetime, I’ve been a member of five volunteer fire departments [Putting Others First, October 2019]. More than once, I’ve been the only firefighter responding to a fire or wreck in our district, having to rely on manpower and equipment from a neighboring community to assist.
Chances are good your local volunteer fire department needs you. Check it out—you might be glad you did.
Doug Earnest | Chandler
Trinity Valley EC
Fateful Connection to REA
My father, Walter Smith, joined the Rural Electrification Administration in 1949 as a young electrical engineer [Our Fearless Forefather, August 2019]. By 1951, he was running electric service into the Missouri Ozarks for the REA. Family folklore says that Dad attended an REA conference in Salt Lake City in June 1951 and was scheduled to return home on a flight with his REA co-workers.
However, I was born in Missouri while Dad was at the conference, so when a seat opened up on an earlier flight, the REA group nominated Dad to return home early to greet his newborn son. As a result, Dad was not on United Airlines Flight 610 when it crashed, killing six REA employees, including George Haggard.
I suspect that Mr. Haggard, as a top REA administrator at the conference, probably had a hand in getting Dad on that earlier flight.
Rod Smith | New Braunfels
Before He Went Uptown
The lanky, bespectacled, rather shy young man strumming a cheap guitar in my Grandmother “Honey” Elliott’s rooming house in Pecos in the early 1950s was known to us only as Uncle Joe’s helper. Uncle Joe was an entomologist sent by the Texas ag department to inspect the insect population. The easygoing musician was tasked with catching and counting bugs.
Every evening after supper, we would gather in the kitchen for an impromptu concert. I was about 8, and this was just a normal grandparent visit for me.
A few years later, when he topped the charts, I realized I had spent the summer with Roy Orbison [Wink’s Spectacle, September 2019]. Ain’t Texas grand?
Bruce Breen | McLean
Childhood in the Big Bend
As a young kid who grew up in Coleman, we had many wonderful trips to Alpine, Marfa and the Big Bend—great folks and amazing scenery for sure [Big Bend’s Golden Triangle, September 2019]. My father was a dentist in Coleman for many years and, in the early 1980s, even opened up a small dental office in Alpine for a couple days a week.
Tommy White | Allen
Fit to a Tee
By the Numbers [Currents item about the odds of a hole-in-one, September 2019] had an extra special meaning to me. My 16-year-old grandson Clayton had just gotten a hole-in-one in his Farmington, Arkansas, high school golf tournament.
Helen McCamey | Wills Point
Trinity Valley EC