I was born Wilma Josephine West in Princeton, Texas, Dec.12 1915. My parents were Wm. Edwin West and Mary Willcoxson West. After being the Valedictorian in High School, I attended North Texas State Teachers College. It was at the end of the depression years and I can remember having the luxury of owning a small radio, a six-inch fan and an old second-hand Remington typewriter. In this period before dormitories were available at NTSTC, the boarding houses had no air conditioning.
I met my husband, Guy E. Bush, while working on my Bachelor’s degree. He was a violinist with the North Texas Stage Band and Orchestra. I sang blues songs on some of their programs. After World War II, Guy became the director of Base Education at Amarillo Air Force Base, and I had the opportunity to complete my Masters Degree at West Texas State University. It was also at WTSU after teaching in special education at the Amarillo ISD, that I started my university teaching career.
While continuing my teaching, I attended four summers at Denver University working on a Ph.D., and accreditation required for a Clinical Psychologist. Because of a change in the University’s doctoral program to include only long-term students, I later accepted a grant program for an Ed. D. in Special Education and Counseling from Texas Tech, and was fortunate in being able to do so. Finally at the age of 57, I got the “gold star” placed on my forward. In addition to my teaching career at WTSU, I was, for a seven-year period, the acting psychologist on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the Children’s Psychiatric Center in Amarillo.
During my later years at WTSU I began to be invited to speak at numerous conferences on Learning Disabilities and Counseling. Two of these conferences were in Europe (Nyborg, Denmark and Sterling, Scotland.) Also, during this period, I co-authored three books and wrote many articles which were published by the scholarly press.
My immediate family includes my daughter, Jo Betsy, who is Director of Secondary Special Education, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District; her husband, Dr. Wm. Loyd Smith; my grandson, Jason V. Huber and his wife, Dr. Mary Spencer Huber, and their daughter, Maya; all of whom, like myself, live in and around Dallas.
I am fortunate and at ninety-one years of age I am doing quite well. I often still feel the exhilaration that I remember feeling after I walked across the stage at WTSU with my diploma in my hand. I wonder if that tree is still there that I wanted to dance around.
Jan 16, 2007