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Melody of memories
by Bill Clough
Dec 27, 2013 | 96 views | 1 1 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Sunday, Sue and Everett McAulay will be the guests of honor at a reception at First Presbyterian Church where Everett has been the organist for more than 30 years. The couple will soon be moving to Paris, Texas. This photo was taken 11 years ago at his 70th birthday party in Austin.
On Sunday, Sue and Everett McAulay will be the guests of honor at a reception at First Presbyterian Church where Everett has been the organist for more than 30 years. The couple will soon be moving to Paris, Texas. This photo was taken 11 years ago at his 70th birthday party in Austin.
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Sue and Everett McAulay, shown here at the time of their wedding in 1954 in Amarillo, will be leaving Beeville soon. They moved here in 1967.
Sue and Everett McAulay, shown here at the time of their wedding in 1954 in Amarillo, will be leaving Beeville soon. They moved here in 1967.
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BEEVILLE — When Sue and Everett McAulay moved to Beeville in 1967, he turned to his wife and said, “we’ll be here about five years.”

He was only off by a factor of 10.

In the next 46 years, Everett — a musician, and Sue, a science teacher, would influence countless students and their children, and made so many friendships that Everett agrees it’s easier to list those who don’t know them than those who do.

This Monday, the couple are leaving Beeville to move to Paris.

Not France, but Texas.

When they came to Beeville they were in their mid-30s. Now, Everett is 81; Sue is 80.

“My son, Doug, lives in Paris, he explains. “About five years ago, he bought us a house.”

Also, Sue is having to cope with declining mobility and eyesight. “It’s just time for us to be closer.”

They sold their home on East Huntington Street in three weeks.

Everett is pretty certain he has a job waiting for him in Paris.

At a time when people his age are hired to work in grocery or department stores, Everett is looking at another musician job.

“I’ve been talking with the First Christian Church there,” he says. “They have an opening for an organist.”

That he still will be working in his profession is an extension of a lifetime spent in music, playing in the Army Band and teaching in Lamesa, Eagle Pass, Kerrville, Kingsville and Beeville.

He earned a bachelor of music and master of education degree from Sul Ross University in Alpine and took additional graduate work from the University of Texas, University of Virginia and Southern Methodist University.

Also on his resume, he notes that he was a dishwasher at Big Bend National Park and a local tennis instructor.

“I helped open up Bee County College (now Coastal Bend College),” he recalls. “I was the fine arts director and the music director.”

Sue taught seventh-grade science at various schools here for 30 years. Both agree that it’s the people of Beeville they will miss the most.

Tomorrow, they are the guests of honor at a reception at First Presbyterian Church where Everett has been the organist for more than 30 years.

Earlier, aware that one of life’s chief pleasures for Sue to attend every movie that hits the screens, the choir gave her a packet of movie tickets.

“She’s set up,” Everett smiles.

From his perspective of having taken school choirs on tours to Mexico City, Puebla and Guanajuato, directing countless bands and choirs, producing two musicals that sold out, and holding memberships in nine professional music organizations, he doesn’t like what he sees is happening in the school systems today.

“Music programs are being abolished, fine arts programs are being abolished.

“The thing is, kids love music. You look at first, second and third-graders. They love it. It’s an expression a lot of kids miss.”

His concern is not limited to the elementary level.

In the early 2000s, Coastal Bend College, he says, got rid of its collection of theatrical costumes.

“They could have given them to the high school, Instead, they just threw them away. Today, their enrollment keeps dropping,” he shakes his head. “I’m not sure CBC is going to survive.”

Today, he laments, the schools pay too much attention to sports. “They have,” he says, “gone overboard.”

In communities as in choirs, music is derived from the strength of individual voices.

After Monday, the tunes will continue, but those who have known and sang and laughed and lived with the McAulays know the crescendos will be a little weaker, the melodies a little quieter.

Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.
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December 28, 2013
we will miss both of you