Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
By Peggy McCracken
Ex-teacher stays young
while working with kids
Elizabeth Schmidt wields a telephone like soldiers of old wielded the sword.
She calls in the troops when something needs to be done, or someone needs
Over the 30+ years I have been in the news business, Elizabeth has called
me numerous times with story tips or suggestions on news coverage. Her
ideas are always fresh and forward-looking, though she is now in her 84th
This past year, Elizabeth was the spark that kept God's Army meeting
every week. They say an Army travels on its stomach, and Elizabeth saw
to it that the soldiers had food in their stomachs as they marched and
memorized Bible verses. She was always at the unity prayer meeting to support
and encourage the Army and other projects of local churches.
Not only did Elizabeth and Birdie Slack provide refreshments, they helped
the children with their memory work and encouraged other workers in the
unique program. Both are retired teachers, and their help and advice was
invaluable. Elizabeth is already planning next year's program.
Last week, Elizabeth was still in harness, working with preschoolers
in Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church. Like any good teacher,
she scouted out visual aids to make the lessons come to life. I believe
she also teaches preschoolers in Sunday school, and helps with Mission
Friends on Wednesday nights. Anytime the church meets, Elizabeth is there,
doing her part to liven up the proceedings.
Church is not her only interest, though. She is active in the retired
teachers' association and women's clubs. I haven't caught her playing cards
at the Senior Center, but I'll bet she livens up that place, too.
I knew her twin brothers, Charles and James Titus, long before I knew
Elizabeth. And of course, their father, Ira Titus, worked for the Texas
Highway Department for years. He was the Pecos resident engineer, and is
best known for the "Titus Triangle" at the intersection of Texas Highway
17 and old Highway 80. The late Alton Hughes described Titus in his book,
"Pecos: a History of the Pioneer West," as a great practical engineer.
When Titus was unable to design the needed traffic island on paper, he
sacked up some sand and set the sacks out on the intersection to make a
pattern on the ground. Then he transferred the pattern to paper. There
still is a triangle at that intersection, and I think of Mr. Titus every
time I make a turn there.
Elizabeth and her family are the type of people who build a community
and keep it vigorous. And if you are listed in the phone book, she may
enlist you to help.
"You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey your words." Psalm
EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is Enterprise business manager
and webmaster. Contact her at email@example.com.
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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