I moved to Fort Worth at the beginning of the 10th grade and remember my first day in the new environment. I signed up for band but did not know about the orchestra. On the second day I dropped study hall and joined the orchestra but also stayed in the band. I must admit that I liked the orchestra better than band. I was always very impressed with Ms. Lois Ruth Mitchell. I was also fortunate to be a student in several of Mrs. Margaret Mitchell’s classes. Somewhere during the first week of school I was walking down the hall with Hershel Payne. Coach Turner spotted Hershel and really chewed him out about something (I don’t remember what). At this time Hershel was the only person I knew as he also played French horn in the orchestra. After my indirect encounter with Coach Turner, I was in Mrs. Mitchell’s algebra class with an alphabetic seating order. The person sitting next to me asked about the encounter I had just observed. I said that the coach was a big blowhard who was trying to scare Hershel. A day or so later Coach Turner appeared in front of me as I was walking down the hall and said “so I am a big blowhard am I” and really appeared to be mad. At this time I had no idea who anyone was but quickly found out. It turned out the person I made the unfortunate comment to was Tommy Turner and he passed this “confidential” item on to Coach Turner. Fortunately I survived all this. Coach Turner said I had another chance since my name had the good fortune to also be “Turner”. I had nothing but respect and admiration for Coach Turner during the remainder of my Paschal years. I expect that Coach Turner (and Tommy) always got a good laugh out of this “one of a kind” encounter.
I had the good fortune to visit with Coach Turner in 1975 (at Paschal during school time) as I was visiting in Fort Worth at that time. Coach Turner said he was the only teacher still at Paschal who was also there at the time of the class of 1956. He was teaching History full time and not coaching at that time. He said that coaching had changed. The techniques were vastly superior in 1975 relative to 1956 but the coaches did not provide the leadership as before. The coaches (1975) were turning out better athletes but not necessarily better people. The coaches in 1956 dealt with everyone and certainly had a very positive impact throughout the whole school.
After leaving Paschal I went to Texas Tech and received a BS in math in 1960 and a MS in math in 1962. I met Dorcas Pettigrew (Paschal class of 1959) during my senior year at Tech and we were married in December 1960. I taught as a full time instructor in the Texas Tech math department for a year after completing my masters and then worked for Douglas Aircraft Company in Los Angeles for two years. I then went to SMU and received my doctorate in economics four years later. After that I taught at Oklahoma State University for three years and then spent five years in the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury in Washington DC. I returned to Oklahoma State University in 1977 and have been here ever since. Perhaps I will retire in a year or so but who really knows the future.
Dorcas and I have been married for 42 years; have four children and four grandchildren. I am certainly a very fortunate person.
The teachers, coaches and music directors at Paschal gave me an excellent start in life and I am certainly appreciative of all their contribution. I particularly remember Ms. Florence Ann Pearson and her singing of the Marseille during the unit on the French Revolution. I should always remember to include in my blessings that I survived my first direct encounter with Coach Turner.