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South Texas Living

How Eddie’s brother became a teacher

How Eddie’s brother became a teacher

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Rainy Days and Starry Nights
April 10, 2013
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I went to a family wedding recently where I visited with my sister-in-law, Lessie Sawyer Wauson, and other members of my family. I told her I had written a story about her and Richard’s courtship and their early marriage years, and that it was going to be in the Wilson County News soon.

I asked her how Richard happened to take up teaching as a career. Remember, I wrote about his teaching at Kasper School and before that, Johnson School. She said when the war was over and he got out of the service, about 1946 or 1947, they moved back to Floresville to live with her parents, the Sawyers. They began to look for jobs. She got a job first -- at Smith Drug Store. Richard still hadn’t found a job. They saw an ad in the Floresville Chronicle-Journal for a schoolteacher job at Johnson School.

Of course Richard only had a high school diploma and he had never taught school. Mr. Rohr, the druggist, said he knew the superintendent and introduced Lessie to him when he came into the drugstore one day. Lessie told him about Richard just getting out of the Coast Guard and looking for a job. She asked if they would hire him even though he didn’t have a college degree. He said to tell Richard to come to the courthouse where his office was and he would talk to him.

Well, he got the job at Johnson School. But on the condition that Richard would start college and work on a degree in education. Richard went to San Antonio and signed for fall courses in a college, and began his teaching career at Johnson School. He taught there for a year, and then Kasper School needed a teacher/principal, and so he was hired for that job. It had a house with it too.

Lessie and Richard moved in with their little boy, Dickie, and that was their first home. He taught there several years. During the summers he would go to school. He went to college for years, and got his master’s degree from Trinity University. He wound up his teaching career as superintendent of the Southside School District where he retired.

And that is how I met the Wauson family. I always tell Lessie that she and Richard were the reason Eddie and I met and got married. And my sister Margaret married his brother Johnny. We lived down the lane from the school and Mother and Daddy became their good friends.

Also, Daddy was on the school board and had been one of the three board members that had hired Richard to teach. If Daddy had had his way, Richard would not have been hired. Bob told me that story yesterday! It was Otto Raabe, Daddy, and Johnny Harris on the school board. Bob said Otto and Daddy didn’t want to hire Richard, maybe because he was so young, and didn’t have a degree, but Mr. Harris did. They went round and round at the interview with Richard. Mr. Raabe and Daddy were stubborn in their opinion.

Finally, Mr. Raabe sat there and thought for awhile, then asked Richard, “Wauson ... isn’t that a German name? Are you German?”

Richard said he didn’t know where the name came from and he didn’t know if it was German. But Mr. Raabe kept saying he thought that was German, and then Daddy went along with him, nodding his head that he thought that it was a German name, too.

Then Mr. Raabe said, “Yeah, I know you are German, and we can’t go wrong with hiring a good German boy like you!”

So, then Daddy and Mr. Raabe changed their vote to “yes” along with Mr. Harris -- and Richard was hired!

For a number of years Richard was known as that “Good Old German Boy” while he was at Kasper School, and Richard didn’t tell them any different. Actually, he found out years later that the name is from Scotland or England, where the Wauson family came from.

I had a good time reminiscing about Kasper School with Bob and Lessie. Bob said Richard became good friends with Otto Raabe and while he was at Kasper he would always go to Mr. Raabe when they needed transportation to an event like baseball games with other schools and any school outing, like picnics. Mr. Raabe had a truck that he loaned to Richard to haul the kids around. Bob remembers those days at Kasper School as good times.

Those German men, Mr. Raabe and Mr. Wauson, became very good friends!

Lois Zook Wauson is the oldest of eight children who grew up on a farm in Wilson County in the mid-20th century. After many years living in other parts of Texas, she now lives and writes in Floresville. Her two books are available from the Wilson County News office. Email her at loiswauson@yahoo.com.

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