In January of 1956, I got a call from the Division office in San Antonio to come in for a visit. Everything was going great. The District was running on autopilot. There were no Union Grievances, all offices at the top of the chart as far as service results were concerned. Everyone was pretty happy.
I had been more active with community service at the company’s request. I was on the board of the Chamber of Commerce and the incoming President of the Jaycees. I was heading up the effort to make John Nance Garner’s home a museum. I had just been elected the first vice president of Kiwanis and I was on the executive board planning the centennial anniversary of the founding of Uvalde. I had asked Dale Evans, a native of Uvalde, to come and ride in our grand parade. At First Presbyterian, I was Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday school. I was also chairman of the support of churches committee at Kiwanis, and we were coordinating some joint efforts for helping the poor in Uvalde.
Well, the powers that be had decided that all Traffic men needed to go through engineering training and help get the rest of the exchanges in Texas converted to dial. My time had come, and they wanted me to move to Dallas. I said I did not want to go!
I am giving you more detail than you probably want to hear to explain why I was dead set against leaving Uvalde in February of 1956. I did not have an option, for everyone had to go through this engineering cycle. The Uvalde Leader News did a two-column article on me when we left thanking me for my contributions to the city during our six years there. I did appreciate the recognition and really hated to leave. Uvalde was a wonderful little town of some 8500 friendly, salt-of-the-earth people. I had grown to love the town and our many friends there and leaving was really difficult. We had purchased 5 acres near the airport and had plans drawn for a new house in the country at the edge of town but that was not to be. We were literally ripped up by the roots and sent off to big D to start a new life there.
I reluctantly reported on February 1st to the Headquarters for Texas, which was located at 308 S. Akard Street in Dallas. I was assigned to a senior Engineer and my new title was Senior Staff Engineer.
Photo of Garner Museum found here.
Photo of Dale Evans found here.
Photo of SW Bell Dallas office circa 1956 found here.