Page 6 - Amarillo Senior Link Magazine Winter 2020- Online Magazine
P. 6

So Happy


          for     77 77               Years

          Berry and Thelma Cox

                                        By Jane Bromley

               efore the love story began,   better than
               the small Panhandle town of   others during
         BLefors and the even smaller        the Great
          settlement of Lonestar (basically   Depression,
          a one-room schoolhouse) were       and Berry
          the birthplaces of two remarkable   thrived.
          individuals. Berry Cox, Jr. was the
          only child of a young prosperous   Just a few
          couple. Berry, Sr. was a property   miles away,
          manager for the Bivins Company.    in the town
          They even lived in a big home in   of Sunray,
          Amarillo on NE 24th Street, where   little Thelma
          they had two maids, and “Junior”   Popplewell
          was chauffeured to school in a     grew up. She                        But one of the bright spots in her
          Cadillac limousine.                had a “wonderful” childhood, but it   life was a young man she had met
                                             was cut short when her father passed
          His life changed dramatically at   away. Thelma was 13. Barely over    at the movie theater when she was
          age 7, when his parents divorced,   that loss, her mother died just two   14. Berry Cox was a “real nice” farm
          and little Berry was shipped off to   years later. WWII was raging, and   boy, and the teenagers hit it off right
          live with his maternal grandparents   Thelma’s only brother was serving   away. Thelma enjoyed visits to the
          on their farm near Sunray. The     his country in Iwo Jima. He wasn’t   Dooley farm where Berry taught her
          boy adapted                                            able to come    to drive the tractor. Berry thought
          to farm life                                           home for the    “Thelma was the most beautiful girl
          and found he                                           funeral.        I’d ever seen in my life. I still do.”
          enjoyed it.  His                                                       “My mother just loved him,” Thelma
          grandparents                                           With no         remembers. Dates to the movies, the
          had 12 children                                        family nearby,   skating rink, and the soda fountain
          of their own,                                          15-year-old     solidified their feelings for each
          the youngest                                           Thelma was      other. On Feb. 21, 1944, when Thelma
          just a little older                                    forced to get a   was just 16, and Berry was 18, they
          than Berry.                                            job and move    tied the knot. “But Berry had to work
          Farm families                                          into a small    that night at the Diamond Shamrock
          seemed to fare                                         apartment.      Oil Refinery.”

       6   Amarillo Senior Link
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