Page 10 - Amarillo Senior Link Magazine Fall 2019- Online Magazine
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Lynwood Pirtle                        Lynwood Pirtle – A Sailor

                                                               and a Gentleman

                                                               By Kenneth Pirtle

                                                        Without brothers          no romance at first; they were
                                                        or sisters, my dad        simply barefoot “buddies”. Dad
                                                        had uncles, Brian         returned to Hail every fall to
                                                        and Wilson Pirtle, to     attend school.
                                                        play with during his
                                                        childhood. He has         The tough years of the
                                                        fond memories of          Depression were easier on his
                                                        catching crawdads         family because they lived on
                                                        in the Red River and      a 45-acre farm with a large
                                                        nearby creeks. He said    vegetable garden, a milk-cow,
                                                        they did not eat the      a hog or two and a horse. The
                                                        crawdads, but some        horse was harnessed to a two-
                                                        of the children of the    wheel cart to transport my dad
                                                        poor tenant farmers       and his dad, the teacher, to
                                                        happily ate all they      school, about three miles away.
                                                        could catch.              Dad recalls, “The roads were
                                                                                  rough and often muddy, which
                                                        My grandfather Farris     made it difficult to cross the
                                                        remarried in 1933. He     brushy creek bottoms.”
                                                        and his new bride,
                                                        Addie Lou, had four       Lynwood was a bright student
                                                        children. My dad          and did very well in school.
                     y dad, Lynwood Pirtle,             lived with the new        Upon graduation, he enrolled
                     was born in 1921 in       young family on and off over       in East Texas State University
            MHail, a small town                the next decade and served as a    and majored in English. The
            in East Texas near Bonham.         big brother to his younger half    international news of Hitler’s
            His father, Farris Pirtle, was     siblings.                          aggression was heating up,
            an educator, teacher, principal                                       and my Dad lived with the
            and superintendent. Dad’s          Lynwood would visit his            likelihood of being drafted into
            mom, Luna Clark, had been a        maternal grandparents’ farm        the service. In 1941, after two
            student of Farris’, and when she   near Lubbock during the            years at ETSU, he decided to
            graduated from high school,        summer months. Here, too, he       suspend his college pursuits and
            they married. Sadly, when my       had uncles who were only a         move to California to work for
            Dad was seven years old, his       few years older, and they found    Lockheed Aircraft Company.
            mother died from complications     farm tanks to swim in when         The ramp up to WWII had
            with another pregnancy, and        they were not hoeing cotton.       begun. It was at this time that
            young Lynwood was sent to          It was at a neighboring farm       the long-distance relationship
            live with an uncle and aunt in     near the community of Acuff        between my future mom and
            a nearby community. My dad         that my dad, age 14, met a         Dad began to accelerate as well.
            recollects that his father paid    pretty 12-year-old girl, Juanita   She followed him to California
            them $20 per month for his room    Collett. She began to occupy his   and got a job with Douglas
            and board.                         attentions during those summer     Aircraft. They married on
                                               visits. He claims that there was   January 27, 1942.

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