Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day: Irma Hurley Bates

Before Mom lost everything to Alzheimer's disease, she was an excellent mother, a respectable singer and a damned fine English teacher. Anything I know about grammar and spelling, I owe to her. Anything I misspell or botch grammatically, the errors are most certainly my own; Mom would have known the proper spelling or grammatical construct.

Mom (1922-1990) grew up on a family farm in the red clay part of East Texas. Her entire family put the lie to the stereotype of farmers lacking in education or erudition. Some of them even had Master's degrees; Mom had "only" a Bachelor's, but used it to good effect, teaching English in parts of Texas in which Spanish was frequently the language spoken at home by her students. Of course she spoke Spanish.

Oh, yes, Mom was a Democrat for many of the same reasons I am today; she lived in an era in which "Democrat" was more or less synonymous with "liberal." I was a very lucky child.

(Much of this post is excerpted from a post on my original blog in 2007. The picture is a snapshot of a studio photo which I have only on paper, and I don't have a working scanner at the moment. Yes, Mom really was that strikingly beautiful... it's easy to see how as a college student she attracted the attention of the football star who later became her husband and my father!)


  1. Exquisite, beautiful, accomplished and you, her greatest achievement.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Michael! Thanks, Enfant!

      My Mom was very cool indeed, and no, I was far from her greatest achievement. Even by the standards of her day, the "stand by your man" view of women's value to society, she exceeded all expectations... but her intellectual side, before her tragic demise, was an inspiration to Dad, to me and apparently to many of her students when she was teaching. Anyone might do well to follow her path!

  3. She was gorgeous, too!

    1. She was indeed, c, with a soft-focused, rounded, gentle sort of beauty, rather like someone else I can think of... ;-)



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