My Friend & Classmate Gary

I wrote one time about the summer before I was going on to the 4th grade and losing a friend/classmate to a train crash at US 183 where MOPAC now intersects. There were nothing but warning lights and some said even they weren’t working.

He and his father was going into Austin, from Jollyville where we lived and went to school. It was early on a Saturday morning. We were out for summer vacation, but word reached us soon.

We had just finished 3rd grade. It was strange returning to school when summer was over. It was our first time to lose a classmate that I can remember.

While researching the names for the Military Memorial, I ran across the dad, then linked over to the son.

It’s been 60 years and I still remember exactly what that young boy looked like. I can still play over in my head playing on the playground together and saying goodbye on that last day of school in May, 1961. We had planned to get together sometime over the summer.

I never realized we had something in common. Our family’s had each left Burnet County seeking a life and work for our dad’s closer to Austin. His family had lived in Oakalla.

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