After 94 years in Hockley County, she has seen the county go from a desolate land to a prosperous community.
“You have to become older before the past means more to you,” said Bill Thomman, this year’s parade marshal at Early Settlers’ Day.
Thomman was named the parade marshal by the Early Settlers’ Day committee. Thomman was born in 1925 in Whitharral and attended the first-ever Early Settlers’ Day in 1961.
At that time, she said everyone who attended Early Settlers’ Day would register at tables set up along the north side of the square.
Everyone would enter their age, where they were born, where they came from, how many in their family, and other details.
She said there were awards given for the oldest native-born citizen, who came the furthest, and whose family had been around the longest.
Also, someone read a list of people who had died in Hockley County that year. There was a prayer and lots of live music.
“You would wear a name tag and someone you graduated with wouldn’t recognize you if they didn’t see your name,” Thomman said.
She said Early Settlers’ Day is different now than it was as she remembers it.
“There aren’t any old settlers left!” Thomman said.
She said she is honored to have been chosen as the parade marshal for the 58th annual Early Settlers’ Day celebration to be held this Saturday.
‘I feel very honored, but I wonder how in the world they picked me,” Thomman said.
She is likely the oldest living native resident of Hockley County at 94 years old. However, Thomman said this often makes her miss friends that have passed and memories that have passed with them.
“There are less of the memories that come up at Early Settlers’ Day and that’s because the people have passed away and the memories with them,” Thomman said.
Thomman will lead the parade Saturday, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Avenue H. The parade will continue north down Avenue H, turning eastbound on Houston Street and ending at the First Baptist Church.
Read the full story in the Wednesday edition of the News Press.