Thursday, May 20, 2010

Goodbye, Andy

Andy Woods Elementary in Tyler, TX is scheduled for demolition in mid June. The school was built in 1956 and named in honor of Thomas Andrew Woods. According to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Woods, born in Panola County in 1913, was "a longtime physical education teacher and coach at Tyler's Hogg Junior High." He was "a leader, a positive influence to young men and a notorious practical joker. He ran the Tyler Little League Summer Baseball program for eight years before he died in 1954 at age 42."

What many educators and newspaper publishers probably do not know is that Thomas Andrew Woods was a Sacred Harp singer and served as secretary of the oldest singing convention in Texas -- the East Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention, organized 1855. He was secretary 1940-41. His widow is, I think, still living in Athens, Texas. After his death she married Jackson Owen, also a Sacred Harp singer.

When I saw the Tyler paper article, I decided to put up this little post to honor Mr. Woods. Probably most of the students who had such fond memories of the campus never knew him. (Neither did I; he died 3 years before I was born.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize the connection. It is unfortunate when we lose old landmarks such as this. I am sure Mr. Woods was a solid man.

I could not help but think of these thoughts regarding Mrs. Woods and her second marriage to Mr. Owen. It probably goes without saying that he also was a solid man. Of course we are talking about a different time when people viewed and took marriage in an entirely different light. People were led of God more so, and treated one another in the same light. A far cry from the brouhaha which we call marriage today, which destroys many and denies those who seek to reach out.