I graduated from Texas City High School in 1962 and after 11 years in New Orleans returned in 1978 to teach at the high school for 20 years.

Since weather has been major news lately I wanted to tell you about my interesting senior year of 1961-1962.

In early September 1961 Hurricane Carla hit the Texas coast. Long before our levee system or pumps Texas City was completely flooded. Almost every house and building had water damage.

The high school had 2 to 3 feet of water. It would be more than three weeks before schools reopened.

Our senior year was off to an exciting start.

In January 1962 a severe cold front hit town. Temperatures dropped into the teens. We were in class midmorning when it was announced that classes were dismissed for the day. The pipes had frozen and the restrooms were unusable.

I met my carpool friends Otis Carrell Sherry Edwards and Linda Loafman at Otis’ car and we immediately went to the Texas City Dike to see that the water along the shore had frozen over several feet out. Not something you see every day in Texas City.

But we’re not finished. It was the last Friday in May — graduation night 1962. Torrential rains arrived late in the afternoon. Water on Sixth Street and elsewhere flowed over the curbs and covered sidewalks. Graduation was held inside the high school auditorium.

Since the current high school was built in 1959 my class is still one of the very few to graduate inside. The seniors didn’t mind. It was one of the few parts of the school that had air-conditioning in 1962.

Is global warming causing crazy weather? If so it must have already started by my senior year of 1961-1962.

Bill Johnson

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