Above picture on the left: Pat Taylor, Charles Graham and Laura Taylor as pep squad leaders. Picture on the right is the annual staff of the Lohah working hard. Charles Graham, editor standing on the left.
I missed Bob a lot. He joined the Marines in December and it was nice for awhile just having a room to myself for the first time in my life at age 16. There was a time in the Spring semester of my senior year at Morton High School that I was late. You usually got demerits for getting to school late but I avoided that by selecting athletics for my first hour. This was a relaxed part of the day for just going into the gym and shooting baskets etc. Coach was usually in his or her office getting the day started with hard subjects that he/she was teaching in classroom settings.
What broke up my routine of getting to school a little late was Ruby Burns, my overseer of my editorship of the school annual “The Lohah”. Her first hour was free and she wanted to work on and get the staff organized to work on the Lohah. I liked the comradery. This book needed to be assembled and into the hands of those who bought the book by the end of the year. We had been doing some of this work in the fall semester but we had been procrastinating. We shifted into high gear.
I was getting involved with the church youth group as well. Brother Foutz saw some potential in me as a preacher and was encouraging me to think about attending Freed- Hardeman College in Tennessee. It was a two year college where they were training preachers for the Churches of Christ. He had two children in high school and I enjoyed being associated with Barbara and Bobby Foutz at school and at church. Brother Foutz was a very good preacher and some other congregation hired him away from the Morton Church of Christ. I was disappointed about that but it was not long before our elders hired a Brother Brown from California. He was from the Brea area.
Brother and Sister Brown brought with them a younger sister of Sister Brown’s and her name – Barbara Odum. Brother Brown also encouraged me to become a preacher but he was not too strong in a college education. He thought that I would be fine starting to preach at smaller congregation and get started that way. I am not sure today if I got more interested in preaching or Barbara Odum.
I did start preaching at smaller congregations and was fortunate to have a friend, Tommy Abbott who had a car. He had a girlfriend by the name of Wynelle Prather. He would transport me and Barbara and Wynelle to these preaching engagements. I was getting pretty interested in Barbara but she seemed a little distant to me. It seems that she had her eye on Billy Watts. My intuition was right in that they later married and went to New Zealand as missionaries.
My relationship or lack of relationship with Barbara came to a head one Sunday Night when the youth group from Morton went to Lubbock to hear a sermon by Norvel Young. The girls sat together and the boys sat together in spite of the fact that I ask Barbara to sit by me in church. Going back to Morton that night she sat closer to Billy Watts than she had ever sat with me.
School was ending and I was getting ready to get out of Morton. My interest in preaching seemed genuine and I kept taking engagements at smaller congregation as long as I could find a reliable transport. My eye was still set on Freed-Hardeman College.