Helping a Couple Keep in Touch
By Robert Cowser
When Miss Annie Jo Russell came to teach us as we began the fifth grade, we knew she was young. Today, sixty-seven years later, I learned that she was twenty years of age. That year at the Saltillo School, the only year she taught there, must have been her first teaching experience. I remember that Miss Russell often wore a plaid suit. The colors in the pattern were green, yellow, and brown. She wore her brown hair in the page boy style.
Sometimes, after I had finished the work assigned, Miss Russell would ask me to mail a letter for her. The post office was no more than five hundred yards from the school. Apparently, the superintendent did not object to a teacher sending a student on an errand during classes. Since each letter I took was addressed to the same man, I assumed that the person my teacher wrote was her boyfriend. On December 8 that year every student and every teacher in the school went to the lunch room in the basement in order to hear President Roosevelt’s response to the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan. Our superintendent brought his console radio to the lunchroom so we could hear the President’s address to Congress. In the following months Miss Russell asked me more often than ever to mail letters for her. After the declaration of war against Germany and Japan, I assumed that her boy friend was in the Army. Using a marvelous search engine, I learned today that the man Annie Jo Russell married a few months later was a senior cadet at Texas A & M University. It was not until after his graduation that the boyfriend, Lelon T. Camp, Jr., entered the Army. Thanks to the search engine, I learned that in July, 1942, Annie Jo Russell and Lelon T. Camp, Jr., were married in Daingerfield, Texas, their hometown. Their family had increased by one daughter. After more than sixty years of marriage, Mrs. Camp died in 2003. Her husband died in 2006. Both are buried in the Daingerfield City Cemetery. I like to think in my role as a courier I helped this couple maintain a relationship that led to a permanent one.