Blog 155 Who Have We Here, What Have We Here?
Happy New Year! It’s another year in with fresh opportunity to excel, maintain, plod along, or resign and head downhill. When visiting my internist, in the past, the nurse taking vitals has always asked whether I have feelings of depression. Last week, she asked “Do you have feelings of depression or homicide?” I asked if she meant homicide or suicide, and she affirmed homicide. Now that is a downer if that is the 2023 question to be asked. Who is likely to say yes?
Who Have We Here?
Eschewing depression and homicide, let’s go back to 1949. Below is the sixth-grade mid-termer class photo from Travis Elementary. Whom can you identify?
First row: Left #1 Jack Stutts
#2 Nancy Cummings
#3 Jill Rudolph, class of ’55 #7 Jimmy Meek, class of ’55
Third row: Left #1 Paul Medley; #2 Charles Llevinson
; #3 Carole Hunnicutt #6 Marcia Pittman
Row 4 Far right Louis Holst
Travis Elementary is now a small high school that partners with San Antonio College.. Graduating students finish high school with an Associate of Arts degree.
What Have We Here?
I was looking through our yearbooks and noticed that each year, I asked three or four teachers to sign. They were usually those who were teaching current classes. While most just signed their name, Mrs. Davis signed C6H5COOH +CH3OH followed by an arrow pointing at her. I asked a chemical engineer friend to translate the formula. The formula is for benzoic acid and acetic acid (aka vinegar). I wonder what she meant by that—probably her sense of humor. PS. If the formula looks strange without subscripts, blame it on the company that posts the blog.
Can you recall the long curved sidewalk leading from Donaldson to the front doors at Jeff? Across from the foot of the walk is a triangular scrap of land named Thespian Island. When we were students, the island was two traffic lanes across the street from the foot of the walk. The perimeter had a hedge, maybe 4-5 feet high, and that is all I remember about the island. To my knowledge, no one was aware of its name, nor was anyone aware that hidden by the hedges was a dormant fountain. The fountain was a gift to the school by the drama department, hence the name Thespian Island.
A city bond issue passed in 2017 dedicated $35 million to preserving Jefferson (the great bulk was required for foundation work under the cafeteria, the gym, and the admin/Spanish wing.) Included was the restoration of Thespian Island and getting the fountain operational. Part of that restoration was expanding the footprint—now there is only one traffic lane separating the island and the schoolground proper.
This is the fountain in Thespian Island as it is today. The small dots running parallel to the fountain are a fledgling hedge at the edge of the island. The one lane street is not visible. Thespian Island was where busses waited to load after school was out.
Kids today would be amazed to learn that city schools did not have a transportation fleet of ugly yellow school buses. Those of us who could not walk to school rode city buses, which we paid to ride. A book of tickets was available in the school office. Each ticket cost 5 cents!!!
Suzie Terrell Hessong
Another class member recently died. I did not know Susie at Jeff, but she was active member of the reunion committee for the last several reunions. Her contributions were valuable and greatly appreciated.
Suzanna “Suzie” Terrell Hessong
Suzanna (Suzie) Terrell Hessong of San Antonio, TX died December 10, 2022 at the age of 86.
Suzie was born on March 31, 1936 in San Antonio to the late Gordon (Bill) Terrell and Paula Koepke. Her husband, Earl Hessong, her younger sister, Linda Terrell, her oldest daughter, Terri Hessong, her grandson, Andrew Droke, and her brothers-in-law Richard Hessong and Curtis Cates, also preceded her in death. Suzie graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She earned her Master’s degree at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.
Suzie always wanted twelve children but made do with four and all her students! In 1963, she began teaching at the ACCD San Antonio College campus on San Pedro. She served as a Math Professor for 42 years. The proudest achievement of her career was becoming Coordinator of Developmental Mathematics and establishing a Math Lab on campus. Suzie spent many extra hours helping students understand math concepts and believe they could be good at math.
In retirement, Suzie enjoyed traveling with her husband, reading, and spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Southwestern art was a passion of Suzie’s.
She collected pottery, paintings, and sculptures during their many trips to New Mexico.
Suzie is survived by one son, Steven Hessong; two daughters, Sharon Hessong (Peter), and Donna Hessong (Travis); three granddaughters, Jennifer Droke (Paul), Paulamarie Kemp (Samuel), and Sydney Hessong-Nedrich; two grandsons, Kenneth Gonzales (Alexandria), and Tallon Hessong; three sisters-in-law, Mary Wood (Robert), Marilyn Cates, and Annette Hessong; 8 great-grandchildren; 5 nephews, 3 nieces, and 8 great-nieces and nephews. Her latest great-grandchild, Noralynn Suzanna Kemp, was born on October 11, 2022.
Memorial service will be held at 10:30AM, Thursday December 29, 2022 at University United Methodist Church, 5084 De Zavala Rd, San Antonio, TX 78249.