Mary Parker talks about her childhood and being one of the three largest families in Texas City. She tells how her father was a World War I veteran and much older than her mother. She talks of her time going to Wharton in the summer and how her brothers picked cotton. She discusses the neighborhood and her religious affiliation to First Baptist Church and the BYPU program. She explains how health issues forced her to attend school in Lubbock, but she returns to Texas City to start the sixth grade at Booker T. Washington School. Parker describes her participation in the Interscholastic League for typing, spelling, and choir in addition to band and cheerleading. Parker describes her relationship with a teacher, Ora Lee Carter, who she considered a mother figure. She also talks about special restaurants she enjoyed such as Perkins Barbecue Pit and Craddock’s Place. Parker details her experience during the 1947 Texas City Disaster, where while staying at Camp Wallace, a surplus naval base, her mother found a piece of metal lodged in her head, of which she was unaware. She tells of how her home was flooded during Hurricane Carla in 1961 and how it brought much destruction to the city. Parker talks about segregation in the city, and about a gang of boys called “The Red Coats” that her brothers fought with. She also explains that their small community had everything they needed which minimized racial interactions and issues.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
“Mary Parker,” The Oral History Archive at Moore Memorial Public Library, accessed December 5, 2023, https://texascitylibrary-oralhistory.org/items/show/40.