By Mary Creighton/Special to the Index
George Smith was a junior in 1943 at Mineral Wells High School when news of World War II broke out. George was a member of the Mineral Wells football team as a running back. He enjoyed school life but world conditions made it necessary for young men to serve their country in the military instead.
George and several of his classmates were able to complete their junior year before being drafted or volunteering to go into the military. George went to the Navy and served until he was released at the end of the war.
George married a New York lady named Mary Ann and they made Mineral Wells their home from that point forward. In 1948, George and Mary Ann began to buy season tickets to Mineral Wells High School football games. Through all the years that George was alive, he attended the games. Mary Ann was supportive but often closed up George’s Men’s Shop, so George would either invite a friend or go by himself to cheer on the team.
Along the way, George and Mary Ann had a son. Ronald George Smith also attended Mineral Wells High School, graduating in 1966. He played football at MWHS for three years.
Ronald George went on to graduate, attended TCU and received a degree. From there then go into the movie business becoming a producer. This is his job today in Hollywood, Calif. As a side note, when cell phones became popular, George would call his son, Ron, during Rams games and give him highlights and scores of the games. Ron was also a big fan of Mineral Wells football.
George died in 2004 but Mary Ann and Ronald George Smith wanted to continue supporting the team.
They continued to purchase their reserved tickets. This season marked the 64th year.
Here is another interesting story about this hometown fellow George Smith. He was not able to graduate from high school with his classmates because of WWII. In fact there were about 12 or 13 from that class in the same situation. This group was even from a still larger group around the United States.
Gov. Rick Perry proclaimed that Texas veterans who had to leave school to serve in the military during WWII could be given their high school diplomas by their respective schools. Mineral Wells High School made application for this honor for those who notified the school. As a result, most of the former students received their diplomas while still alive. There were a few who were located and given their diploms individually. Later there was a group of seven or eight. It was decided to hold a special graduation ceremony at the high school.
These veterans were so proud to put on their graduation gowns and hats and receive that diploma. George Smith was one of them.