Wow! It’s been 50 years………………….
I was in the third grade; and my family was moving to a new town. It’s amazing to realize that it has been 50 years since we made that move to Sherman in 1968. It was a year of upheaval in our country, but to my eight year old mind all that mattered was this huge change; this new town.
It’s a classic story; the father has a chance to transfer with a job to better himself (in whatever ways he envisions). He talks it over with wife and mother of the children; they decide to make the momentous change; and they inform the kids of the move. My parents were great with things like this—we were involved as the children. Once my father knew which city, we made trips there to find a place to live and to familiarize ourselves with Sherman.
I remember one such trip on a Saturday the summer before we moved. We came into town on US 75 (which had only opened three years earlier I learned later); stopped at KAM Korners and bought a newspaper to see what houses were available for rent.
NOTE: KAM Korners is the shopping center at the corner of US 75 and Travis Street. Kroger used to be the anchor store, but it hasn’t been there since the early 1980s. Awards Unlimited is probably the oldest tenant now; I don’t remember a time when it hasn’t been there.
We had an old station wagon; the five of us kids were situated where we could see the paper over the front seat where Mom and Dad had it opened to the classifieds. (NOTE for Millennials: This is an old way to find things for sale/rent in your community; no, it doesn’t go all over the world, but it did work. All you had to do was call on the phone…)
I remember we discussed each possibility and Mom circled the ones we liked. Dad used a nearby payphone (Yes, this is a time WAY before cell phones.) to call a couple of them. Most were busts, but one stood out and just felt right—price, size and situation. It was north on US 75 (now Texoma Parkway) almost to Denison.
We went to see it and all instantly fell in love with it. No, it wasn’t the most incredible place, but it would suffice for a rental situation. It would give Dad the chance to get started with his new location and job. It would give Mom a place to call her own; and most importantly for us kids, it would give us a place to belong in a new city. My parents signed all the papers and we made plans to move in the fall.
Of course, we started school knowing we would be changing schools, but that was the way it had to be done. We moved in late October – on my Mother’s birthday no less – to Sherman and began this great adventure; one that still goes on now all these years later.
We rented a moving truck and had to make two trips from Carrollton in the metroplex to Sherman that day. Being the eldest child, I was the only one who got to go back for that second trip with Dad. We loaded up what was left in our house of three years-the first house my parents actually owned and made the hour or so trip back to Sherman. I remember it was late when we arrived—way past dark, so I went straight to bed not even allowed to help unload.
But we were here………in Sherman………and before I knew it, I was in school at Jefferson Intermediate with the incredible Donnie Boyd as my first teacher in my new town. My sister, Hope, had Miss Moody at Jefferson Elementary (the old school building now owned by 903 Brewery ironically, by KAM Korners!) and we as a family were on our way.
Dad went on to retire at the State Comptroller’s Office after 30 years in 1992. He also served a ministry beginning in 1970 for the United Methodist Church where he spent more than 45 years as pastor to countless people: The Reverend Billy W. Wilder. Mom stayed with us at home until the youngest was school age; then, she entered the workforce. She worked at Sears for a couple of years before settling into a position at CableCom/Post Newsweek Cable/CableOne for 25 years: Mrs. Patricia Toldan Wilder.
All of us children finished school at Sherman High School and all graduated from college as a testament to our parents and their love of education. We all moved away from home and began careers/lives on our own. I’m the only one still in the area as I live in neighboring Denison…right off the highway that can take me to KAM Korners in minutes.
Now, in the blink of an eye, it is 2018 and the anniversary of our move on that fateful day, Oct. 30, 1968. We lived the best lives we could and did the things we desired and the things we had to. And all along the way, there was this city in the background – one I had never heard of in third grade – to act as a base – a neighborhood – a home for us to venture into the world in our own way and in our own time.
Here’s to 50 more years, Sherman! May you ever shine on people and families who come to start anew regardless of time, of situation or condition. Thank you!