College Days

I was never much of a ‘student’. I rocked along, relying on acumen. More interested in ‘performance’, I let preparation take care of its self. I did manage to average in the upper ten percent until college. My cavalier attitude and involvement in ‘other activities’ cost my grade-point average, yet I was selected to “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities – 1953”. Later I was honored with a Scholarship Grant in my name at Sam Houston State. I sent two SFA choir members there on scholarship, but one determined to be a rodeo star and dropped out of music. Sam Houston found that to be most unacceptable and cancelled my grant. I still came out a winner. My first selection went on to an exemplary career in music education and the other is active as a music director in his church. Had I to do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing. I was fortunate to be selected as Student Director of my college choir by Charles Lindsay. Mr. Lindsay had only one lung and was susceptible to breathing difficulties. When our high school tour of East Texas came up, he couldn’t accompany us, so I was given the challenge of leading the group in the concerts. I must admit to be ‘hooked’. The choir co-operated brilliantly and the tour came off as one of our best. I knew right then that my calling was in choral music. Had I been able to handle the frustration of educational politics, I probably would have never left the field, yet had that been the case I never would have enjoyed some success in broadcasting and theater, also. Now, back to the original subject: I was fortunate to be fairly good on a cornet(trumpet), and was offered scholarships to both Baylor and Texas, but opted to attend East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, instead. I was awarded a full scholarship to play in ETBC’s new college band. The director was a mistake. He couldn’t control the 24 mismatched band members and suddenly disappeared at mid-term. Two of us had full rides, so it became necessary for something to happen for us to continue our degrees. Both of us were accepted in the ‘exclusive’ East Texas Baptist College A Cappella Choir, made up of Seniors and Graduate Students. They didn’t mind the other freshman since she was pretty, but my participation was unacceptable. The choir did everything they could to discourage me, but GOD intervened and things changed. (I’ve related that story in a previous blog) My first residence was Frank Davis Hall at ETBC and it was dismal. I moved into a rooming house with two buddies and completed my freshman year at ETBC. It was there that I inhaled for the first time and that was a huge mistake. One of my roomies was from Conroe and was homesick. He convinced us to transfer closer to his home, so we chose Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville. That’s what I get from My  Box of Chocolates, this time. The matriculation continues with SHSTC, coming up.

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