Fort Smith High School
Mary Jane White

Forty-nine years have certainly gone by in a hurry. My life after Fort Smith High School has been fairly normal or like most everyone else – some great joys and some great bumps and burses.

After graduation, I enrolled in Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas. In August 1961, I married Loy Frazier (Class of 1956) and we moved to Grand Prairie, Texas (in the Dallas/Fort Worth area). I was doing my student teaching at Grand Prairie High School and Loy was working in a medical lab.

Two months after we married, Loy was called to active duty (U.S. Air Force) for the Berlin Crisis. Would you believe he was sent to Tulsa, Oklahoma and remained there during the duration of his service? I stayed in Grand Prairie and finished my student teaching and received my B.S. in Business Education in December 1961. Then, I joined Loy in Tulsa and worked for a CPA firm.

October 1962, we returned to Grand Prairie, Texas -- Loy to the same job before active military duty in Tulsa and me working as a bookkeeper for a construction firm.

In September 1963, I started teaching at Grand Prairie High School and remained there for 32 years. I truly enjoyed my years of teaching at GPHS. My early years of teaching were in the business department and then into computer science and finally I only taught a couple of classes and served at system administrator for GPHS’s electronic grade books etc.

Many teachers had responsibilities outside their teaching duties. I served as senior class sponsor for 25 years at GPHS. My responsibilities included planning all senior activities including graduation ceremonies. Graduation, of course, was outside in the football stadium. Let me say, football stadiums are not designed to heave microphones on the 50-yard line or 500 to 600 folding chairs on the astro turf.

My most exciting graduation (for the students – not the faculty) was the one where we had a stripper. I did learn that Velcro could allow one to become naked in less than 5 seconds except for the shoes. However, no one seems to be looking at his feet. Our graduation ceremony was reported in several national newspapers – not the kind of fame one is usually looking to receive.

May 1966, I received my Master of Arts in Business Administration from TWU. During my 32 years of teaching, Loy returned to school (on my finances) and ultimately eared a PhD in physiology.

August 1969 our son, Loy, III, was born and January 1972 a daughter, Jennifer was born.

You will recall that I certainly was not elected the “smartest” person in our class. During all my years of teaching and raising children, the husband had his girlfriends (affairs) and “stupid” me would always forgive him and take him back for the children’s’ sake.

Finally, I decided that 32 years of public education was enough so I retired in May 1995 and we moved to Holly Lake Ranch, Texas. Holly Lake Ranch is a beautiful gated community located in the piney woods of east Texas. We are truly in the country with our nearest town is 10 miles from our house (Hawkins – population 1331).

Soon after moving to Holly Lake Ranch, I started teaching at Jarvis Christian College. JCC is a small historically black, four-year liberal arts college. This was a dream come true job -- small classes – neat students and no parents involved in the process. After teaching 4 years at Jarvis, I became the Director of Admissions. I served in that position for 15 months and truly enjoyed a different side of education.

Well, as I taught at Jarvis, the husband was playing golf. I soon learned that he never played beyond the 12th hole because his new girlfriend lived on the 13th fairway. So I finally made the best decision of my life – hired an attorney and divorced the sorry RAT!

After almost 3 years of single life, in December 2001 I married Robert E. Young and what a joy life has been for us. Bob is a retired United Methodist minister. We enjoy traveling, grandchildren, fishing and just reading a good book. By the time we had been married only 2 years, we had visited 31 states and 2 foreign countries.

Our real travel joy now is going to Razorback games. We have a small RV and are members of the Arkansas Razorback Road Hogs. We make all the in state games (Fayetteville and Little Rock) and try to make a couple of out-of-state games. Our RV site at RoadHog Park in Fayetteville is one site from Johnny and Lynda Bennett (both class of 1958) and on the other side about 3 sites from Bill and Jimmie Reid (Bill – class of 1958) and Jimmie (class of 1959).

One of the true joys of trips to Fayetteville is to see my two grandchildren who live in Harrison, Arkansas. Also, I became a grandmother for the third time on December 13, 2005 when my daughter, Jennifer, had a son. They live in Tyler, Texas which only about 40 miles from Holly Lake Ranch.

Retirement is great!! Let me sum up the past 49 years by using a poem written by a dear friend on June 12, 1986 as her physical suffering had intensified and her long days of hospitalization were beginning. This was her theology: “I’VE KNOWN A WHOLE LOT OF GRAVY”

“I’ve known a whole lot of Gravy in my life,
Notwithstanding some turmoil and strife —
When all is said and done,
In the long, long run,
I’ve known a whole lot of Gravy in my life!”

“I’ve known a whole lot Chocolate Sauce and Nuts.
Notwithstanding some “ifs”, “ands” and “buts” —
When all is said and done,
In the long, long run,
I’ve known a whole lot of Chocolate Sauce and Nuts!”

"I’ve known a whole lot of Icing on the Cake.
Notwithstanding one or two heartbreaks —
When all is said and done,
In the long, long run,
I’ve known a whole lot of Icing on the Cake."

“I’ve known a whole lot of Rainbows in my Skies,
Notwithstanding one or two good cries —
When all is said and done,
I’ve known a whole lot of Rainbows in my Skies!”

Mary Jane "White" Young - 2007