T. J. Jarrett
Class of 1955
To our knowledge, we have two Wildcat Alumni who are writers, John Keyes Finegan and T. J. Jarrett.
Submitted by Margaret (Weatherman) ClemAs I look back over the last 40+ years, I can hardly believe that it is my life that I am des- cribing. It is hard to imagine that it's been more than 40 years sine I was in Del Rio High School looking forward to my adult life and all of the things I was going to enjoy. Those memories are vivid it seems like they were just a few years ago or even yesterday. Some of the times I remember fondly are:Being at Garner State Park with a group of us on paddle boats. I remember thinking that tree was 3 - 4 stories tall, but it probably wasn't half that!The parties at Lake Walk….trying to water ski(more on my butt than my feet). I think that the longest I ever stayed up was about 500 yards, but it felt like miles. As I watched them build the dam and saw Lake Walk disappear under deep water, it seemed impossible.The socks hops in both junior high and high school. As my husband and I now listen to the 60's channel on satellite radio, I can still relive some of those times in the cafeteria and the gym.The pep rallies down Main Street. As I went off to college and then had a child of my own, I learned that people who grew up in the larger cities didn't have pep rallies in the main street of town. Some of the schools where I've worked don't have pep rallies at all except for homecoming, and those are usually at the school during the last period and not an event celebrated by the entire town.I'm so glad I grew up in the place and times that Mr. Dickinson was one of my favorite teachers. He had such a kind heart and genuinely cared for his students. I had Mrs. Mary Barker for Spanish. Many years later Mary and Bill (he coached at DRHS) moved to Orlando where she taught Spanish across the hall from my ex-husband. We became friends and also reunited with Johanna Young who lived in a little town outside Orlando at the time. The Barkers moved from Orlando to Lake City, Florida after a few years, and we lost touch again. It was really strange to be friends with one of your previous teachers as adults.There were many teachers who made an impression on me. Some I have used as models of what a good teacher should do and some I have said, "I'll never do that with my class". I graduated from Del Rio High School in May, 1965 and started at Baylor University in Waco the following September. At that point in my life, I was not planning on a career other than being a house-wife and mother, but my parents insisted that I go to college, so I chose one that I had visited and "would do". I had not been at Baylor more than 6 weeks when my life took a drastic change. I decided that I was not ready for marriage and that a career was in my future. I also decided that I enjoyed the college life (although it may not have been the wildest at Baylor). I finished my degree in Elememtary Education in 3 years and 9 weeks and came back to Del Rio to plan a wedding and move to Florida.I started my teaching career on January 3, 1969, and have been in education ever since. I missed my graduation ceremony from Baylor because they only had spring graduation which was held in May and school was still in session in Florida, so I was teaching on my graduation day. Oh, well, you have to make a living!During my career, I've taught every grade except 1st grade. I spent 16 years in elementary school, then taught in junior high, 9th grade, and middle school. I then became an administrative dean, assistant principal, and recently, interim prinicipal. I am currently in my last year before retirement. I am looking forward to June, 2008 when I will retire from Orange County Public Schools and do something different. Alan and I are currently trying to decide where we want to locate when we retire, but we are not in any hurry. We will see what life brings. I have learned to "never say never" or to be closed to possibilities.During this time, I returned to college and got my Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida. I then went on to obtain my Specialists and my Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Florida. Each time I would get a new degree, people would say "So when are you going to get the …..?" Each time I would respond with, "No, this is the last one for me." Since I received my Doctorate more than 11 years ago, I really do think that it is the last one for me.In 1987, I married a Alan, whom I met in the Singles' group at church. We will be celebrating out 20th wedding anniversary this November. He has been very supportive of me and my career including tolerating the long hours and late night meetings at school. He owns a landscaping company and builds ponds, water features, patios, and hardscape.I have one daughter, M'Liss, who lives here in Orlando and works for one of the major hospitals. She has 3 sons who range in age from 4 - 9 years. They are very energetic, and I am getting to know what it is like to raise boys. My daughter constantly accuses me of putting a curse on her so that her sons would pay her back for being such a strong-willed child. I am not sure that I did that, but it brings a smile to my face when she says some of the same things to her sons that I said to her.During the last several years I have been fortunate enough to reunite with several of the girls from my high school class. I have been able to visit with them at their homes for short periods of time and some of us had a great get-together during the summer of 2006 for a few days in San Antonio. My husband accompanied me and enjoyed being the only man in a harem of women. It was also wonderful catching up on old times, looking at pictures we had not seen in years and just rekindling the old friendships.The above photo is related to a "kids Day" for 1965 Seniors. Their names were hand written on the back and are noted below: Since my parents have moved from Del Rio and live north of Brady now, I do not get back to Del Rio as often as I used to. When I come back to Texas, the closest I usually get is San Antonio where my sister lives.I was involved in the Del Rio High School Reunion committee for the 2005 all class reunion and I really enjoyed becoming acquainted and reacquainted with the many ex-Wildcats.There are so many memories of Del Rio High School that I have not even touched on, but I am sure that many of you have similar thoughts of these great times. These are the things that make us who we are today, and I feel sorry for people who did not share the closeness of the school, town, and times that we shared.I am really pleased that we now have a Wildcat web site in order to keep in touch and I hope that this will continue to grow and serve as a link between all former Wildcats or Wildcats at heart!Margaret (Weatherman) Clem
"A wonderful time to be young". My classmates and I have often said this in
recalling our carefree days and classmates we grew up with in Del Rio,
The 1953-54 Wildcats Basketball Team
Recent Wildcat Forum posts, by three Alumni,
under School Memories, conveys how warm the
weather was and the softness of the field at the
1956 (55) El Paso football game.