From the age of five, music has been my life. I started performing at five in my county fair production of “Tom Thumb Wedding”. I must have done it annually since I have a photo of me a bit older. My first choral directing job was at First Baptist Mt. Pleasant and the Adult Choir performance of a Christmas Cantata. I led revival services all over East Texas from high school through college. I began a scholarship playing my cornet in 1949 at East Texas Baptist College, Marshall and completed my Bachelor’s in 1953 at SHSTC, Huntsville, where I was given opportunity to direct the College Choir on tour of Texas The high school ools for two years. My first teachIng job was at Willis, a few miles of from Huntsville. I was allowed to teach for pay instead of a semester of student teaching. I taught at Cedar Bayou, 53-54, while Marilyn completed her degree in Physical Education. She, Martha and I drove to Pampa up in the Texas Panhandle and joined the faculty at Pampa Junior high. There I decided to apply for part-time at KPDN. Surprised by a phone call that afternoon, I began on-air that same night. I had been promised the high school job by the Superintendent upon hire, but the Principal turned me down. “ Mr.Austin looks younger than the senior boys. They would chase him off, he said. I resigned and took a radio job in Amarillo. We eventually moved to Bryan and back to school-teaching. Carl Best left me a very fine choir. I coasted in with a great year. The choir earned respect from everyone, including Roger Wagner. We closed that first year with a June trip for Texas Rotary as special guests at the International convention. They also appeared live on NBC. My first duties were at Jones Junior High, SFA high and Lamar Junior High. Unfortunately, the Principal at Jones didn’t care for me, so my next year included morning Study Hall, a girls choir and A Capella choir at SFA and two afternoon choirs at Lamar. I got to know my Lamar students very well since most stayed in choir for 6 years. School politics and I didn’t mix, so after 14 great years, I left my first love off Teaching for other endeavors, including broadcasting. I can honestly say that my time in the choral classroom was the best time of my life!
And that’s what I get from My box of chocolates. AMEN