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The Story of My Life - Page 12
(by Loma (Groom) Harrison)

In a Progressive School, everything had to be taught in units, One for Social Studies and one for Science. No textbooks were used, as such. Book cases along all the walls were filled with books. Objectives for each unit were filled out by students, written on the board, each student chose the project that he wanted to work on, and they worked in committees. The math problems and English work had to be on one of the social studies or science subjects in the unit of work. For example, The Colonial period of history, or electricity in the science unit, had to be carried out in art, music, math, English and spelling.

We were required to type all units in advance, not in triplicate, but three separate outlines for each of the three Supervisors. In addition, our Principal required each of us to prepare a professional paper, with bibliography, on an assigned topic to be graded by the Principal and entered on our professional rating. With all the typing and art work that I had to do, I would never have made it through the year without the help of my sister Geneva and her husband George, who lived in Ft. Worth that year.

At the end of the school year in Ft. Worth, On June 7, 1937, Joe Harrison and I were married in Bartlesville, Oklahoma , so that his grandmother, Maggie McClintock, could attend the wedding. I chose this, rather than accept the offer of the Lancasters for a church wedding at the First Baptist Church in Pampa where he was still pastor and where I had taught so long. Joe's grandmother was not well enough to make the trip to Pampa so we were married in the home of a friend of grandmother McClintock in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. My father, Rev. M. S. Groom performed the ceremony, my sister, Geneva's husband George Wilson sang "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life", and Joe's step-mother sang "Always". After a brief honeymoon in Fayetteville, Arkansas, we moved to Barnsdall, Oklahoma, where Joe was employed as a mortician at the Henderson Funeral Home. In a few months, we moved to Drumright, Oklahoma, where we lost our first child, a beautiful little boy, whom we named Mason Clinton Harrison. He was still-born, March 27, 1938. We buried him in Memorial Park Cemetery in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, next to Joe's mother's grave, Mae (McClintock) Harrison.

Later in 1938, we moved back to Barnsdall to open our own funeral Home. Our daughter Jeanie (we called her Jo Jean) was born on November 13, 1940 in St. John's Hospital in Tulsa. Our marriage ended in divorce, but I have the greatest Blessing of my life, a beautiful, charming, intelligent, gifted daughter. Jeanie is a musician, an artist, a creative writer, and a poet, and has the greatest gift of all, a heart of gold.

It happened to be Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, when Jeanie and I arrived in Borger to make our home with my sister, Lorena and her husband Floyd Spence and their three children, Bill, Doris, and Sandra. Lorena took care of her daughter Sandra and Jeanie and treated them both with love and fairness, while I taught school in Borger. She not only gave Jeanie the best of care, she kept her little spirits warm with her deep love for her. They remained very close till Lorena's death in 1987.

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