I Remember Parent Teacher Conference, Oh My!

My parents, Kenneth and Oneta Brandon, with their children Dennis, David, Carl, and Alta. I believe the year was 1962.

My parents, Kenneth and Oneta Brandon, with their children Dennis, David, Carl, and Alta. I believe the year was 1962.

The following was submitted by Alta Brandon about the night her parents, Kenneth and Oneta Brandon, attended Parent Teacher Conference Night with their four children. Before the night was over, she wasn’t sure if her dad was going to sit down and cry or break into hysterical laughter!

By the time I heard the story years later, it was the hysterical laughter that I heard every time we talked about that crazy night.

What Are We Gonna Do, Oneta?
by Alta Brandon

When I started the 1st grade in Comanche, I was the 4th child to be enrolled in the Comanche School system. I had a brother, Carl, who was in 3rd grade. I had a brother, David, who was in the 9th. I also had a brother, Dennis, who was a Senior that year. Anyone that has 4 kids in school knows how hectic Parent Teacher Conference night can be!!

The night started out by my parents going to the Senior High School first. The teacher talking about Dennis to my parents brought up that they thought Dennis was having a hard time seeing and thought a visit to an optometrist would be a good idea. My Dad (who was trying to pastor and work on the side and never seemed to have enough money to go around) was down in the dumps about that due to the financial burden it would cause.

What are we gonna do Oneta? God would provide in some way though.

David’s class was the next stop. After some discussion about David and his work in class, the teacher brought up the idea that she thought David was having a hard time seeing and maybe an optometrist visit would be welcomed. My dear old Dad was just about ready to cry by that time thinking about not 1 but 2 visits and possibly glasses on his measly salaries.

What are we gonna do Oneta? God would provide in some way though.

Next stop was the Comanche grade school for Carl and Alta’s classes. Mom and Dad went into my room first. My teacher was telling my parents all about my progress, but, she thought maybe I was having a hard time seeing the blackboard and maybe I should have my eyes checked! By the time my Dad left my classroom, he was really shook up thinking about 3 visits to an optometrist and possibly 3 pair of glasses on his measly salary.

What are we gonna do Oneta? God would provide in some way though.

Well, one kid left to check up on and that was Carl. Things seemed to be going pretty good. The teacher was telling my parents all about Carl’s progress and how well he was doing in class. Then that is when she dropped the bomb! She said, “Mr. Brandon, Carl is really doing well on his work and is a bright young man, BUT, I don’t think he “hears” very well. I think my Dad was pretty close to fainting at this time. He left the school in a daze.

All he could say was, “What are we gonna do Oneta?” We have 3 kids that can’t see and one that can’t hear. How in the world are we gonna be able to buy 3 pair of glasses and a set of hearing aids!!! God would provide in some way though.

Those were some pretty tough years for my parents. Daddy spent his years taking on churches that couldn’t pay the best of salaries and he usually did a little mechanic work on the side to help out. Sometimes he would have to work at other full time jobs besides being a full time pastor. God always provided all our needs. Thankfully there was always Dr.’s and optometrist willing to take payments, because for years, we kids had to change our glasses every 6 months!!!!

My parents may not have been able to give us kids everything we wanted, but, we always seemed to have everything we needed. I think I am a better person because of it.

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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