The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996 Page: 18
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On May 21, 1964, seventy-eight graduates of Duncanville High School dressed in gray
caps and gowns walked across the stage on Panther Field to collect their high school
diplomas. The valedictorian concluded her Farewell address with the following words:
We turn to happier thoughts of our future and the challenge it
holds for each of us. Our diploma is a recognition that we have
completed one phase of learning successfully. One phase has
ended, but another is beginning ... Reluctant to break the ties
with our past yet determined to meet the challenge of the
future, the 1964 Senior Class of Duncanville High School bids
Olive told me that the young woman in the painting is Elizabeth "Betsy" Waterman, born
1795. Betsy would be my great-great-great grandmother. How I marvel at this picture,
wondering about this lovely woman. I try to imagine what she might have been like, what she
might have thought about, how her life must have been. Betsy seems to be so calm and
reserved in her portrait. She has a small white crocheted cap on her head and a black shawl
over her shoulders. But what draws me to her are the pale blond hair showing slightly from
under the cap, the blue of her eyes, and the red plaid of her dress, peeking out from under the
shawl I feel as if I've known this woman all my life.
Our class had its thirtieth high school reunion in 1994. Our reunion committee had many
meetings to prepare for the event. The meetings became mini-reunions of their own. We
would get together to plan and end up talking about our high school days and what had
happened to us since then. Over the months it took to organize the reunion, I found myself
looking through my senior annual more than once. And, more than once, I saw old pictures of
me. On one page it was Senior Day, and there I was in my beige hat and blue dress, reciting
the Senior Will. (The pictures are in black and white, but my mind sees the colors.) On
another page I found a picture of the drill team, and there I was again in the blue uniform and
red hat. Finally, there I was at graduation, giving the farewell address. I looked so poised, so
confident, so happy. Funny, I don't remember feeling that way. Maybe my mind is adding
DGS Journal18 1996.
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996, periodical, December 1996; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186855/m1/24/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.