• Danny Prater, One Man’s Story Of Success

    DANNY PRATERAnytime a man admits up front that his wife and children are the rocks of his life, I’m a fan because in this crazy world in which we live, I don’t hear that nearly enough. However, that is exactly what Danny Prater of Dublin, Texas did recently in an interview with Patty Hirst.

    Yes, according to Danny, it is the love of his wife Debbie and children, Darren and Monica, that brings daily joy to his life, and after hearing his story, I’d have to say that if anyone deserves joy, Danny Prater does.

    Today, Danny is retired, but he can well remember those early years, the years that probably unknown to him, were molding him into the man he is today because instead of letting the hard years beat him down, Danny Prater allowed them to make him stronger, something that we greatly admire here at Texansunited.com.

    I don’t know the particulars, but at the age of eight, Danny began his life with his aunt and uncle in the Purvis community. As was common in our small Texas communities of the mid-twentieth century, the couple farmed their land, and Danny helped.

    The young boy’s workload increased dramatically upon the death of his uncle when Danny was in the seventh grade. In addition to keeping up with his schoolwork, he and his aunt continued to raise cattle, hay, a garden, and they even slaughtered their own animals.

    If you’ve lived in rural Texas for any length of time, you have heard of the drought of the 1950s, especially in light of this year’s horrible drought. However, against all odds, Danny and his aunt survived, but it was not easy. I assume they made it simply on guts and determination because there were many times that Danny Prater came home after school, climbed into the seat of the tractor, and stayed there until midnight, only to get himself to school again the next morning.

    As an aside here, I have to insert that it seems to me that this work ethic is exactly what so many have lost today. As a teacher of high school students for many years, I taught some wonderful young people. However, I also saw how easy it became for students to make all kinds of excuses as to why they could not succeed.

    I have to wonder if just maybe we’ve strayed so far from the tractor seat that we have weakened our young people until they no longer really understand what hard work is and how much can be achieved when we work as hard as we possibly can toward the goals we set for ourselves.

    Danny, however, was not a product of the twenty-first century. He knew how to work and that in that work were the keys to his future. Believe it or not, he became a student athlete and he worked as many hours as possible at the newly opened Texaco station on Patrick Street.

    Danny Prater was a fine athlete and won all types of acclaim on the football field as well as on the track. However, because of a late birthday and the fact that too many absences his sixth-grade year caused him to be retained, Danny was a nineteen-year-old senior and ineligible to participate in sports.

    It was also during his senior year that Danny lost the anchor in his young life, his Aunt Essie. As tempted as most of us would have been to just sit down and give up, Danny did not do that. He lived on his own in a garage apartment for his senior year, continuing to plan for his future.

    As I’ve said, Danny was ineligible to play football his senior year, but he understood that football could be his key to the future. He suited up and practiced with the team every day, staying in shape physically and praying for the scholarship that would get him into college.

    Once again, hard work and determination paid off, and Ranger Junior College offered the young athlete a full ride. Danny was an outstanding athlete for Ranger where he also worked at a gas station and even did babysitting to earn the money he needed.

    After completing his two years at Ranger, Danny moved back to Dublin. He entered Tarleton State University, worked forty hours a week in Mineral Wells, and worked weekends at the Texaco station in Dublin…all while carrying fifteen college hours.

    In 1971, Danny Prater was hired by Dublin ISD, and the rest is history. People like Mr. Prater make the best teachers known to education because they know what can be done with hard work and they are not as willing to accept excuses from their kiddos.

    From what I have been told, this was certainly true with Danny Prater whose “Tell me the truth!” and “Be on time!” and “WORK HARD!” will be remembered by generations of Dublin ISD students who were fortunate enough to be influenced by Mr. Prater, the once young Danny who often carried the weight of the world on his young shoulders.

    **********************

    Here at Texansunited.com we salute Danny Prater for standing and turning a tough situation into a success story as well as Patty Hirst for bringing Danny’s story to us!

    About Patty Hirst

    It doesn’t take long to discover that Patty Hirst loves Dublin, Texas, and the people who live in Dublin. She is also one of the reasons that Texansunited.com has been able to show the world just how special this Irish Texas town actually is. Quite often here on Texans United, you will find Patty in our News section, weighing in on what is happening in Dublin. But Patty Hirst is also a thinker, maybe even a dreamer,if you will. She sees the beauty in things that others never see...whether it be a rock, a single rose, or the stranger sitting on the park bench. Yes, Patty thinks good thoughts, and we've asked her to share thosse thoughts with all of us.
    This entry was posted in Fellow Texans, Just Texas! Presenting Bloggers From Texansunited.com and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    16 Responses to Danny Prater, One Man’s Story Of Success

    1. Richard Couch says:

      I knew Danny will, he was a great man. I remembered when Danny started at Dublin ISD. He was loved by many people at Dublin and you can see why by his story here. May God bless you and your family Danny and have some fun because you have worked hard and deserve it.

      Pastor Richard Couch
      Brownwood, Texas

    2. Stacey Yates Johnston says:

      Thank you Danny for your influence in my life. You’re work ethic and Christian morals have influenced my life greatly.

    3. Lisa Tatum Walker says:

      Thank you for printing this story. Danny Prater also had a huge influence on my life. He reinforced the strong values that I was raised with. His confidence and trust in me continue to influence me today. Thank you Mr. Prater for the role you have played in my life.

    4. Jimmy Tatum says:

      I would like to thank Danny Prater for his great ability to motivate and teach us how to be respectful, hard working, honest, and trustworthy citizens of the community. He is a hard man but a fair and caring one. You always knew where you stood with him. He is respected and loved by me and was probably the most influential teacher, in my life, aside from my father. He and his family used to come and visit at our farm in Purvis, Tx, we would make ice cream and have just good old fashioned fun times. He will never be forgotten and will always be the best in my book. Thank you Mr. Prater, for all you have done, touching my life, to make me the man I am today.

    5. Michelle Morton says:

      Mr.Prater was a huge influence during my high school years and I still light up with memories when I see him. I have passed stories about him on to my children and wished several times that my children could have enjoyed his classes. We need more men like him in our schools and churches!!!! With fondest memories and love Thank You Mr. Prayer for all you did!!

    6. Bret Martin says:

      Growing up in Dublin would not have been the same without Danny. Like the others he had a huge impact on my life.He give me so much more than an education.God Bless you Danny!!

    7. Vicky Stone says:

      Thanks for your example and positive role model as my class sponsor, fellow teacher, and super employee. You have influenced many of us. Thanks.

    8. Darren Turley says:

      A great story about a great man. I and many others were fortunate to have him teach us so much more than just Ag.

    9. Linda Maxwell Cheney says:

      Danny, it’s wonderful you are being recognized! All your hard work paid off, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps was hard but you did it! Enjoy your retirement, if y’all make it to WA we’d love to see you!

    10. Linda Tatu Murphey says:

      What a great article. Danny’s story is a great one, he was an amazing kid. His Uncle Pete and Aunt Essie’ farm was next to ours in Purvis and in the fifties many did not have television, but we did and many nights after dark and after Danny had done farm work,we would hear Danny running up the hill to our house coming to watch TV with my father. Guess that was also, his track workout, it was a rather steep hill! Thanks.

    11. Vickie Eoff says:

      A great tribute to a GREAT gentleman. I remember Mr. Prater taking the time to teach us square-dancing when we were in high school. We had sooo much fun!! So many wonderful memories….

    12. Christie Sharp says:

      Mr Prater is a woderful man and a great influence. This story is 100% correct, he is a blessing to us all! Thank you for pressing in through the rough times because you do make a difference and I am glad that I had the opportunity to be in your company.

    13. Tom Ellis says:

      Thanks for the story. Just another great teacher from Dublin. How many kids did he influence? Hard to say because those kids passed his lessons to their kids….. Thanks Mr Prater for never waivering from your beliefs.

    14. William Higgins says:

      Danny Is a master mentor with many personnel leasons taught Proud to have been taught by him.. Miss his innovation , my buddy Darren and the next project to build or fix. Best wishes from mine to yours

    15. Karen Hooper says:

      Hi Mr. Prater! It was great seeing you honored. Nik and Shon really enjoyed you as a teacher and dear friend! YOU are a great man and truly deserved this recognition. Nik and Shon loved helping you inAg and learned so much from you. They will never forget those fishing trips that were so much fun. I want to Thank You for being in their lives at a difficult time. And for all the great examples you set for them! Again Thanks So Much! Karen Hooper, Nik Rogers and Shon Rogers

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