by N. Ray Maxie
the Speeding School Teacher
wanted to tell you about this for a long time.
As a young preteen country lad, I grew up with my two older sisters
in NE Texas, near McLeod
in Cass County. The family nickname for me during those years was
My Dad always kept pets for us and for a few short years, I had a
big black dog named "Coalie". He was three or four years old and must
have weighed 50 to 60 pounds; a real loyal and playful pet. I rolled
and tumbled and wrestled with him, playing in the grass for hours
on end. Coalie would chase stray cats and wild rabbits frequently.
When we grew tired of playing, I could lay my head on him and take
a nap or maybe just daydream, watching giant clouds go by for awhile.
Coalie and I were best buddies about the time I was in second and
third grade at McLeod Elementary School. He was my companion and my
protector. Coalie took it upon himself to go everywhere I went and
seemed distress whenever I was out of his sight. Memory has dimmed
on many things, but there was a certain "dog smell" about Coalie I'll
in a remote rural area near the Rambo Community, we were several miles
from our school. My sisters and I would walk about half a mile each
morning, to the school bus stop over on the main county road. There
we boarded the bus to school each day. We waited at the pasture gate
and a large metal cattle guard entering the road to our house. Coalie
always tagged along and waited with us until the bus had come and
gone. Often, wanting very badly to get on the bus with us, he didn't
understand why it wasn't allowed. The bus usually arrived about 7:30
each school-day morning and brought us back about 3:45 in the afternoon.
Southward, over the hill about a mile and around a curve in the dusty
gravel road, was a rural "black" elementary school. It was the Rambo
Community neighborhood school. We lived nearby on the Rambo Oil
Lease where my Dad worked for many years. It was while living there,
I had a great, laid back, country upbringing. When I was about 12,
we moved two miles north; up on the main state highway where my Dad
had bought a few acres that he could call all his own.
morning as we three waited there for our school bus, a fast and speeding
car would zoom down the gravel road passed us. It was very annoying,
scary and often startled my sisters and me. The car would stir up
a big cloud of dust and was usually the only car to pass while we
waited. The dust always took several minutes to settle and we kids
were breathing a lot of it and going to school with dusty clothes,
lunch pails and books. My Dad had cautioned us, that on occasion,
he had seen the car speeding along the road. He wasn't very pleased
about it either.
On this particular crisp fall morning in 1948, as we waited for the
bus, Coalie just happened to be crossing the road when the speeding
car came by. The driver never even slowed down or tried to avoid striking
my dog. Never blowing his horn, swerving or nothing! The car was too
fast for Coalie. It hit him and rolled him up under the car and he
slid out across the road. Coalie came to rest, lifeless, near the
feet of three very frightened and screaming schoolchildren, each one
in severe emotional shock. The speeding car never stopped and we three
siblings stood there mourning the death of our one and only beloved
pet. It was a pitifully sad sight, beside that lonely dusty country
Since my Dad worked about the oil field in the immediate area, he
soon came by and saw what had happened. He loaded the dead dog into
his pickup truck, tried to comfort us kids and then put us on the
bus for school. He later told us he buried the dog and went down the
road looking for the speeding car.
evening at suppertime, Dad reported to the family that he had found
the offending car and its driver. It turned out the driver was a schoolteacher
at the Rambo Elementary School and passed our location each morning,
hurrying on his way to work.
My Dad reported to the school principal what had happened that morning
and registered an official complaint about the speeding car. In the
following days, we never saw the speeding car pass our location again.
We could only assume the driver had been relieved of his teaching
duty or better still, had found another route to the schoolhouse.
Over the years since, I have had several pets, but none other like
Ole Coalie. No others ever met the violent death he did. I often recall
many hours spent with him in joyful childhood play and remember how
he could romp, run and fetch. When need be, Coalie became "big time"
vicious toward strangers, intruders or stray animals while protecting
us children. I truly missed Coalie for many, many years afterwards
and greatly lamented his demise. Family and friends around our area
would often affectionately refer to he and I as "Noley and Coalie".