I Wuz Just Thinking: What Nearly Was

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I desperately needed a job and had two opportunities confronting me. I wondered what would happen if I chose the wrong position.

A smile comes to my face when I think back to what nearly was.

It was 1984.  I had given my resignation notice to Dean Campbell and to Joe Webb ending my secretarial duties as the Spring semester ended at Kilgore College, and my children and I would be moving from Kilgore.

Several months earlier, Jimmy and I had married.  My two sons and I remained in Kilgore until classes ended for them and my job duties also ended at Kilgore College.  Jimmy and his four sons continued living in College Station.   We were already packing our belonging to make the move to College Station to merge our families.

I began my new job search in the College Station and Bryan areas.  One of the first places I visited was A&M Consolidated High school where some of our sons would be attending.  I applied for a substitute teaching or an assistant teaching position since I did not have a degree to teach.

Betty Mahurin Baker

Even though I was searching the news ads and employment agencies, I also dropped into different businesses.  One had an empty desk in the front area.  A man came into the room when he heard the bell on the door ding.  He asked if he could help me. I told him I saw an empty desk, and I was looking for a secretarial job.  He said he did not need anyone but told me of another company that was looking for a district clerk.

I immediately drove to Bryan and applied for the position of district clerk with B.J. Hughes oilfield company and was hired on the spot.

I enjoyed my job and getting to know the men employees.

Just a few weeks later, a phone call came from A&M Consolidated High School, inquiring if I would be interested in a position at the print shop, producing the school newspaper, yearbook, programs for plays and concerts, and anything else that required printing.  They had read in my resume about my work experience at the Kilgore News Herald and also at a local print shop.

I told them I did not have a teaching degree, but they said they needed someone desperately and would wave the certificate if I would continue my education in the summer times.  I agreed and about one hour later a person came to my office with the paperwork I needed to complete before he could hand-deliver my signed papers to  Austin that afternoon.

The next day, I received a telephone call.  Just at the last minute, he said, another person had applied for the high school job, someone who had a teaching degree and years of experience in the print business. A&M Consolidated would not be needing my services.

I had been excited about the offer of the position of working with the school newspaper and print shop but was truly relieved since I had very little experience in the field.  It would have been very stressful for me to learn about the school, the faculty, the students, and the printing equipment.  After all, I had just become a wife and mother of six sons.

Even though I was not hired, I was happy because of what nearly was.…as I wuz just thinking.

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