Shirley Baker bloomed in Tiny Town Devine

Class of ‘82: L-R: Clarice Wood, Jennifer DuBose, Debbie Bush, and sitting, Shirley Baker at the FBC Hobo Party.

As told by Shirley Baker Humberson:
Ode to Seniors 82
Now that summer time is near
Anticipation grows.
Graduation brings new worlds
Of fun for you to sow.
Details you may not recall
But surely you will deign
To know Shakespeare or Macbeth’s lines
You won’t have learned in vain.
Meanwhile let us reminisce
Once more of student’s ways—
Things you’ve done throughout the year
In time will muse your days,
Journalism, paper staff—
You labored under fire.
Deadlines kept you working hard
To lessen B.G.’s ire.
Other courses bring to mind
Debates with Coach Malone.
Worries over chemistry 
Exams brought mournful groans.
Football taught new strategies;
Each year we struggled through.
Basketball brought some success—
The Warhorse spirit grew.
Honors came to special ones;
Our Queen was Mary Lou.
Shirley was the favorite girl of 1982.
Malefactors used free time
To mow and paint and clean.
Student council worked to start a campus-pride campaign.
Silly things somehow remain
Like glasses someone smeared —
Sacrifice our dignity
To pass the stress-filled year!
Seems so many things
Would surely bring us doom.
Later on we’ll understand
that here our lives have bloomed.


I found this poem written by Kathleene Runnels, our senior English teacher, to be a perfect fit for remembering the class of 1982 – the happiness, the details, and even disappointments of our years in high school. Lots of laughs and silliness ensued, from the annual green hand inductees for F.F.A. to the Halloween water balloons!
The stories I can recount, too many to mention. One in particular came just after the “Around the World” party. We had finished up with the country of Australia at the Baker’s house, where everyone ended up being thrown into the pool. Fun times, except not everyone knew how to swim, a brief yikes!
Once cleared from any harm the party ended and several friends headed to the DQ for the infamous drive around to see who was there. My friend Debi Crouch (prior to Campsey) and I devised a plan that we would tell our mothers that each one of us would be spending the night at each other’s homes. To this day I have no idea what we thought we would do! The town shut down and the lights began to blink at 10:00pm. At the time I was driving Paul Haas’ old 1959 Chief Apache pickup. I proudly purchased that from him with the money I saved from working for $2.25/hour all summer long at Devine Nuts.
In our cruise around the DQ, we happened upon Kenny Lessing. He, too, had a very old blue truck he called Bessie. I pulled up next to him and asked if he would like to race out at the quarter on 2200. He gladly accepted the challenge, and off we went, neither truck having the ability to break 60 miles per hour (laugh laugh).
Just when we were to turn off 173 to 2200, we began to pass my mother’s car. With a stern face and in her night gown, she pointed a finger right at us and commanded we get home right away. My mother looked directly at me and stated that my father wished to speak with me. Instant tears began to flood my face for fear of my father’s wrath. Debi Crouch assured me that “WB” would not be that angry.
Once we arrived, my dad was sitting in his recliner, calmly reading the Devine News. He lowered the paper and grimly stated that “stupid people do stupid things. Don’t be stupid. Now go to bed.” I was shocked and relieved by his response, and promptly grabbed Debi’s hand and headed to my room. Of course, Debi had to tease me for crying so much.
She said, see “WB” wasn’t that mad.
I never did get to race that quarter of the highway, and I believe that Kenny Lessing would have blown me away. This didn’t stop me from blooming, as we all did in this sweet tiny town of Devine!

Shirley and mom Theresa Baker.