Friday, June 02, 2006

My great-grandmother

Here's an article from the Houston Chronicle about my 104-year-old great-grandmother, Mora Boone, and our family's devotion to education in Texas. I also found this brief story from one of her former students as part of the Great Teachers feature in the American Profile in 2002.

Stay in school

As a boy, I worked with my father on Model Ts, Model As, bicycles, tractors--anything that required a wrench--in his blacksmith shop and garage. In the eighth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Mora Boone, stood in front of the class and announced, "If I ever took a trip around the world, I would take (Henry) with me as my mechanic."

My father died when I was 15, and I, being the oldest boy, was about to quit school in Beasley, Texas, and go to work in the gas station to help support my mother and the younger children. Mrs. Boone and her husband, the school principal and superintendent, gave me a maintenance job at the school, so I stayed to graduate.

Mrs. Boone's faith in me influenced my joining the Air Force and completing 33 missions in a B24 bomber as a flight engineer and top turret gunner during World War II. Back in the United States, I continued on in my own business--I had a diesel service and gas station, garage, and towing service in Arizona and Texas.

Mr. and Mrs. Boone both influenced many lives during their years at Beasley.

Henry W. Ellison
Camp Verde, Ariz.