I have added information about recording individual and family oral histories. This will be a cooperative effort between myself, families and county museums and/or historical societies. Recordings may be submitted to the Library of Congress and regional repositories such as the Research Center at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University for heritage preservation and research.
Category: Oral History
| Last Updated: 14 December 2016
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Mary Tom was born Aug. 27, 1918, in Vernon to Verna Johnson and Sal Morgan,a prominent oil and gas attorney. The last of three children, she moved to Amarillo at age 7 and never wanted to leave.
Mary Tom graduated from Amarillo High School and Stephens College. She attended the University of Texas and graduated from the University of Wisconsin. She married David Rasco, in 1941; he preceded her in death in 1955. After his death, she worked as a journalist at the Amarillo Globe-News, where she wrote an advice column and a health and science column.
She was a very active community volunteer with the Girl Scouts and Park & Recreation Commission and was named Woman of Year in 1957 for her service in the PTA. She also served as the president of the Junior League.
She married Sam Crain, an electrical engineer, in 1974, and was widowed for the second time in 1980.
Mary Tom devoted the last 30 years of her life to the arts and culture in Amarillo including the opera, ballet, Amarillo College Art Center, symphony, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and the Texas Panhandle War Memorial. She was an 80-year member of Polk Street United Methodist Church and a member of the Sandie Hall of Fame.
I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with Mary Tom courtesy of our mutual friend, Dorothy Puckett. It was Dorothy who encouraged Mary Tom to let me video record her life story. We set a date of January 21, 2005, and although Dorothy and I were suffering from our bouts of winter colds, Mary Tom amazed us with two hours of fascinating stories about her life and experiences.
Mary Tom was agreeable to record more details about her experience writing for the newspaper and other life experiences but fate deterred me from doing so and she passed away Feb. 27, 2009 before I got another opportunity to follow up.