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The Story of My Life - Page 9
(by Loma (Groom) Harrison)

One family invited me to spend the week end with them in their hotel suite in San Angelo to see the German people from Oberamergau, give the "Passion Play". It was the only year that they came to the United States to perform. It was by far the best production I had ever seen, very beautifully and artistically done. I could not believe it when I heard the throngs of people on the stage chanting or screaming in harmony or in dissonance. Another family invited me to be their guest in San Antonia for a week to hear the Metropolitan Opera. How I would have loved it! But since at that time there was no such thing as substitute teachers, I would have had to resign in order to go.

There was no school cafeteria, so about ten of us teachers ate lunch across the street in the home of a well educated, cultured family. At the suggestion of someone, we decided that instead of discussing school at the dinner table, we would each take our turn leading the conversation into some topic of current interest. I remember that one day I told of a child prodigy who had just made his debut as a concert violin soloist with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. The child's name was Yehudi Menuhin, who became one of the world's great artists on the violin.

Wylie Trainer, a rancher who could play the guitar beautifully and had a good tenor voice, became my best boy friend. Since there was so little entertainment in Sonora, two couples of us spent many long, happy evenings riding around in the car, singing in harmony, with Wylie accompanying on the guitar. Those were delightful years and for the first time, I learned how to enjoy living. Up to that time, I had known little except hard work. I incidentally learned how to teach Public School Music.

In the summer of 1986, my sisters, Lorena and Geneva, and I , stopped by the Sonora School building where I had taught almost sixty years before. The beautiful old two-story building made of white native stone, sitting on top of a small hill, is still in good repair and is still used as classrooms. Now it is sitting in a big school campus , surrounded by many school buildings.

With the help of my dear, dear friends, Dr. and Mrs. Clinton Lancaster, I was able to get a job teaching Public School Music at Horace Mann Elementary School in Pampa, in the Panhandle of Texas, where I taught for seven years. Dr. Lancaster was pastor of the First Baptist Church and I lived in their home that first year.

These were depression years when most teachers received only vouchers (no cash) which they had to sell at the bank at a great discount, in order to have living expenses. My salary was cut from $105.00 per month to $100.00 per month and we were always paid in cash. The Pampa area was blest with oil, cattle, and wheat, so we suffered less than most of the country.

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