I was born in Dallas in 1931. All four of my grandparents had careers in public education. Both grandfathers wrote autobiographies. All their ancestors were somewhere in the United States before 1776; one ancestor, Rebecca Nurse, was executed as a witch when a medical expert testified to finding evidence that she had been suckling the Devil. The only other one anyone has heard of was Pocahontas. For descendants, I made an illustrated history about some of the mothers. Mothers I Never Knew. Most remarkable was the fact that all four of my grandparents were public school teachers.
My father, Paul (1894-1988) grew up in Jefferson City and Springfield, Missouri, and retained a strong memory of the World’s Fair held in Saint Louis in 1904 that I have recorded. Growing Up . Political. His dad was at that time State Superintendent of Public Education, and moved on to become the founding president of the teachers' college that has become Missouri State University. My dad was a graduate of the University of Missouri and the Harvard Law School. In 1917-1919, he was a military aviator. As a lawyer, he enjoyed one of the largest practices in Dallas. He was also a leader in many community organizations and in the organized bar. In 1951, I went with friends to play handball at the Houston YMCA. I went to the counter to pay a dollar to play. The manager looked at my card and asked if I was related to a Dallas lawyer by the same name. I allowed as how I was. He said, “Son, with him for a dad. you can play handball in this Y every day for the rest of your life and we wouldn’t think of charging you for it.” My dad had been pro bono attorney for the Texas Y for forty years, and he had served in the same way his church, the Boy Scouts of Texas, and the Baylor Hospital (when it was a charity). He wrote an account of his 63 years at the bar; it abides in the SMU library. At the age of 79, he commenced an academic career at SMU, serving that law school for 8 years. They awarded him an honorary degree.
My mother, Frances Dewitt Carrington (1896-1992) was a graduate of Wellesley; she had a long and happy life, enjoying family and many friends, and devoting time and effort to diverse community causes. I was privileged to know her parents very well; they live in Dallas and as a child I saw them weekly. Her dad was a partner in Ginn & Company, a Boston publisher of school books that he sold to the public schools of Texas.Her brother Roscoe was a Dallas architect. Her two sisters were quite close to her; they were married but without children. Ireline was married to Charles McCormick who had a distinguished career as a law professor at Northwestern University and the University of Texas. Imogene married Don Hicks, who was a college athlete, heir to a family printing business, and a buddy of mine. My sister Frances born in 1923. She was a distinguished student at the University of Texas, married and had four children. She remained most of her life in Dallas, where she died in 2007. Her husband of 62 years, Dan Henry Lee, Jr., died a few weeks later. Her four children all reside in Dallas, as do many of their descendants. I see them all from time to time and remain close to her oldest, Dan Henry Lee III, who just returned to Dallas after living iin Arlington, Virginia for forty years. He, his wife, and son-in-law are all lawyers. Hank IV is a Navy seal.