126th Summer Convention, Friday, June 17, 2005, Las Colinas
Patrick Martin is a fixture at not only The Normangee Star, but in the community itself. The 68-year-old Martin was born in Galveston, but moved to Normangee as a young child. He has moved away several times, but always manages to find his way back to his hometown.
Martin began working in newspaper and journalism-related fields in 1952 when, as a sophomore at Normangee High School, he began writing a weekly column and covering sports for Bill and Billie Moss at The Normangee Star. He graduated from Normangee High in 1955, and began attending Sam Houston State Teacher’s College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism there in 1958.
While at Sam Houston, Martin was a charter member of Sigma Delta Chi/Society of Professional Journalists’ student chapter. And, during his final semester, Martin served as editor of the school’s publication, The Houstonian.
After graduation, Martin worked as a journalism teacher for one year at Huntsville High School. In November 1959 he joined the U.S. Navy Reserves, but went directly into active duty, until November 1961. While serving in the U.S. Navy, Martin worked for the public information office for the commander of the First Fleet.
After being discharged, Martin returned to Huntsville High to teach for one semester, until May 1962. The following school year, he moved to Tyler, and worked three years as a journalism teacher at Tyler Robert E. Lee High School.
While at Tyler Lee, Martin was one of 12 journalism teachers chosen nationwide in 1963 to receive a Wall Street Journal fellowship, and studied for the summer at Columbia University.
In 1965 Martin moved on to Grayson College in Sherman/Denison, where he taught journalism and served as director of public relations until 1970.
In 1966 Martin received a master’s degree in school/community relations from Texas A&M University. His was the first master’s degree ever awarded by the university in the field.
During this time, Martin didn’t forget Normangee. While attending Sam Houston and Texas A&M, he returned to Normangee during the summer months to work for The Normangee Star. And it was while doing this that he knew a career in journalism was for him, as he loved to run the Linotype machine and hand-set front page headlines for the Mosses.
In 1970 Martin moved to Dallas, where he taught three years at Eastfield College. He then took advanced journalism courses at North Texas State University for a semester, before accepting a post in 1974 with the Texas Education Agency in Austin, serving as program director in dissemination.
He was responsible for identifying effective classroom programs, preparing publications about them, and distributing them through the state’s 20 Education Service Centers to various school districts.
In 1980 Martin moved to Washington, D.C., where he was hired for a two-year tenure to manage the federally-funded Council of Chief State School Officers, the professional association for heads of department of education for all 50 states and U.S. territories. In 1982 he was named as assistant executive director of the same organization, and was responsible for preparing the board’s publications, writing the newsletter and maintaining the organization’s Web site.
While in Washington, D.C., Martin also served as director of the National Teacher of the Year Program. And, his final year there, Martin’s procedures for choosing the National Teacher of the Year were modified by him for NASA for use in the Teacher in Space Program, which eventually chose Christa McAuliffe to become the first teacher in space.
In 1985 Martin moved to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and owned and operated a bar and restaurant. He said he was “blown back home” to Normangee in 1989 by Hurricane Hugo.
Martin took over as editor of The Normangee Star in 1989, hired by old friend Billie Moss Bouldin. He continued to work full time for The Star until October 2004, when he chose to semi-retire.
He continues to periodically write columns and stories for The Star. During his tenure with the newspaper, it won numerous regional and state writing awards.
Martin is a past president of the Texas Junior College Teachers Association, and a past president of the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association. He currently is involved in the Normangee Area Chamber of Commerce and the Hilltop Lakes Lions Club.
Charlotte Thurman plans to retire this summer after 50 years with the Plainview Daily Herald.
Although her title is secretary to the editor, she performs a variety of duties including writing obituaries, scanning and filing copy, pinch-hitting with writing lifestyles, church copy and an occasional feature and — her favorite task — dealing with the public.
Raised on a farm about 20 miles from Plainview, she was told about a job opening at the paper in June 1955 by a girlfriend, who was dating the sports editor at the time. She started out “punching tape” for the Linotype machines, which she also learned to operate.
As it turned out, she could punch type at 110 words a minute, recalling that she knocked out a Bible-sized legal from the city in an hour and a half to make the day’s mid-afternoon deadline
She remembers The Herald getting a paper out with the help of a generator after a tornado knocked out power to downtown Plainview in April 1970 with reporters writing stories by the light of kerosene and Coleman lanterns.
Over her 50-year career — exclusively with the Plainview Daily Herald — she has worked with just three editors — the late Herb Hilburn, Jim Servatius (retired editor of the Midland Reporter-Telegram) and Danny Andrews (since 1978).
But she has worked with probably a thousand other employees and has been the “photo historian,” noting with a laugh that “I have boxes full of pictures but I don’t know who all the people who are in the pictures.
“I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve dealt with and the people I’ve worked with. We’ve always had such a good camaraderie at The Herald. I cry when people bring in obituaries and we have fun when they have good news. I’m a weeper and keep a box of tissues handy.”
She commiserates with those who have suffered tragedy, being a cancer survivor and having lost her husband of 48 years, E.E. “Buddy” Thurman, to a heart attack in 2000.
Owner of two palomino quarter horses, she has been a member of the Bar-None Rodeo Drill Team since 1979; is a ham radio operator (WA5MIQ); collects horse memorabilia; and enjoys her family — a son and daughter and their spouses, two grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
She plans to travel (she’s been to Europe twice), take care of her acreage and animals and to continue playing cards with friends.
Norman S. “Scottie” White Jr. was almost literally “born in the back shop.” Nedra Allein White, his mother, set type for the newspaper all night, walked half a block home in an ice storm and gave birth to a baby son the next day.
Newspapers ran in the White family. Norman S. Sr. and Nedra Allein White both received Golden 50 Awards from TPA, in 1979 and 1983 respectively.
“I started working at the family newspaper, The Riesel Rustler, as soon as I could, throwing in type and band-setting titles for movie theater ads. I began learning the Linotype at about 12 years old and worked at The Rustler until I graduated from high school,” White said.
White went to Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos as a journalism major and was on the staff of the College Star for the two years he attended the college. The last semester of his sophomore year White became the college’s sports information director after the person who held the post left. He also played basketball for two years.
White then transferred to Baylor University where he graduated in 1953 with a bachelor of arts in journalism.
During his two years at Baylor he worked full time for Sam Pyland at the Falls County Record then for Bonner McMillion at the Brazos Valley Times in Marlin as Linotype operator, pressman and sports writer.
After graduation, White entered the Army and was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., where he spent two years in the Army field printing plant as a Linotype operator, pressman and proof reader.
After discharge from the Army, he returned to Texas and went to back to work at The Rustler, where the family also published The Lou Post.
“In 1968, my dad was appointed postmaster and I became editor until 1985, when the paper was sold to Roger Jones of Waco,” White recalled. “I then became editor of Hometown News, a total-market-coverage newspaper in suburban Waco and southwest McLennan County, and continued as editor of The Rustler. I retired in 1999, but have continued part-time on both newspapers.”
The Rustler has won first-place awards from Texas Press Association and North and East Texas Press Association, as well as numerous second and third place awards. White has received several individual awards from various local and state organizations.
On Dec. 13, 1953, he married Patsy Bryant of Marlin and started “the best 51 years of my life.” The couple has four children plus an international daughter in California, and 13 grandchildren.