Fifty years really sounds like a long time but it has passed quickly. After graduation I attended Baylor and then Baylor Law School. I was awarded my law degree on a Saturday in November of 1972 and started working for the Ellis County Attorney’s office on the following Monday. Living and working in Waxahachie has been good for my career and for me. In 1974, the Courthouse had some turnover and I was elected Ellis County Judge. That election started me on a career path of service to Ellis County and allowed me the opportunity over the years to additionally serve as County Court at Law Judge, Mayor, County and District Attorney, and 378th Judicial District Judge, the office that I currently hold.
My wife of 43 years, Jo Beth, and I have lived in our present home for the last 40 years. We have three children: Paige, Amber, and Austin. Paige is disabled, works in a workshop in Keene, and lives in Cleburne.
Amber, the mother of our three grandsons, is an engineer, a TX A&M grad and lives in Columbia, South Carolina where her husband is a professor for the University of SC. Austin, an A&M graduate with a degree in Construction Science, and his wife live in Dripping Springs and is a construction manager for Beck Construction.
This is a fairly recent picture of the twins, Benjamin and Lucas, and their little brother Owen that was taken after wearing out their Papaw in their front yard. The second grandson picture was taken at an opening game of the Fireflies, Columbia’s minor league baseball team.
Jo Beth and I love to travel. We try to have a major trip at least once a year. The first photo was taken earlier this year in Tiberius on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
The 2nd photo was from our trip to Venice.
This is my family: Jo Beth, Paige, Austin and his wife Nicole, Amber and her husband Juan, my three GRAND boys, Benjamin, Lucas and Owen and my 96 yr. old mother-in-law.
The last book that I read was The Boys in a Boat by Daniel James Brown. I highly recommend it. My last audio book was Whitethorn by Bryce Courtenay.
My hobbies seem a bit contradictory. In my Odessa days singing was a fairly significant part of my life. My involvement was even greater in my college years. I have continued to remain active in singing over the years, saying yes to many opportunities. Currently I sing in my church choir every Sunday (we still do four-part choral music) and I belong to an organization called “Old Fashioned Singers” that performs three weekends each year at our local Chautauqua Auditorium. I also work on construction projects in the community and on mission trips. I have taken evening classes and learned welding. It is amazing how many things need to be welded. You can find many of my projects in my backyard and around the community.
I have been a member of First Baptist Waxahachie for over 40 years and have taught couples Sunday School department for 35+ years.
Where do I see myself in the next five years? I see myself retired and busy with my construction projects. I also plan to be busy watching my grandsons in South Carolina playing baseball or supporting whatever activity in which they are involved.
I have been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time by landing in Waxahachie when I did. I’ve been blessed with a great church and good friends, good employees and co-workers, and more opportunities than I ever thought possible.
There is one sad note as I prepare to attend the reunion. Don Young, who graduated with us and who was an attorney who frequently appeared in my court, died within the last year. He and I spoke many times of Odessa and our alma mater.
Looking forward to seeing all of you.