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The Grahams’ of Cochran County – Chapter 10

My Brother Bob and School

I have just attended my 70th High School Reunion at Morton, Texas. Out of 50 classmates who graduated in 1947, there were only 2 who made it. Bob was one who missed it.

Bob couldn’t make it because he died of prostate cancer on December 5, 2007 just 15 days shy of his 80th birthday. He enjoyed reunion!

He resented being in the same grade with me. I don’t think he failed the first grade. He was too smart for that. I think it was political. Let me explain that.

Morton had a 11 grade system. The State of Texas was trying to standardize the school systems. At what point do you tack an extra year in there? Those in the school don’t want you to suddenly put that 12th grade up there. Put an extra year between elementary and Junior High and again you have rebellion.

My theory was that the school board decided to take the first grade students and promote the upper half of the class to third grade and the lower half to second grade. That wouldn’t hurt too many feelings. Bob’s dad was County Judge at time and Laura Taylor’s dad was the school principal. Those two dads seemed to be in agreement but many others weren’t.

When the plan fell through at least Laura was kept back to be in the same grade with her sister Patsy. Bob was kept back to be in the same grade with me.

I know Bob resented this and I suspect Laura did as well. Eventually that was the system used to go to a 12 year program. The school board promoted the slow learners to the second grade and put the fast learners in the 3rd grade.

Bob was interested in athletics and excelled. He was small and fast. In our senior year he finished the football season. He then joined the Marines after his 18th birthday. He didn’t graduate with our class but later got his GED.

I miss Bob and wonder what would have happened had they promoted him to the second grade. We will never know.

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