**** PARALLEL LIVES ****
This is a story of two sisters, two principals, and two women who
made a difference. Pretty and talented, both were majorettes at
Ranger High School where both were honor graduates almost half a
century ago, Linda in 1960 and Donna in 1962. They both took
teaching certificates at North Texas State University and in due
time both became school principals; Linda at Evant Elementary
school in Evant and Donna at Mary Orr Intermediate School in
Mansfield. From the beginning, neither were just another teacher
or just another principal; they were special in some way that
everybody, students and parents alike, felt but few could put
into words. Often thought that if people were still known for
some salient feature of their lives such as Richard the Lion
heart or William the Conqueror, Linda would be remembered as
Linda the Good. I don't think any of us realized until both
were gone how often statements about either could be applied
to the other.
Both died of cancer. Neither gave in to the disease, but stayed
at her post almost until the last hour, uncomplaining.
Both are now legends at the Evant School, having the playground
named in her honor memorializes Linda. A bronze plaque baring her
image is mounted on her mini-gym she had built for her children,
who called her "Nana" just as her grandchildren did so they could
have a place to play in bad weather. A tree was planted along the
walkway leading from the school building to the gym and a granite
marker at its foot bears her name. In the school office, a huge
photograph of her looks out from the wall of honor.
At Donna's school, they plan to build an outdoor pavilion in her
honor. They each had a memorial though not permitted, would have
been their favorite. In Evant the children fashioned a funeral
wreath with such material they had to work with construction paper
and glue, and fastened it on her office door. After a few days,
a child laboriously printed across it in pencil. "I love you
Nana, and I will never forget you."
At Donna's school, a sixth grader remembered, "When she wasn't so
sick she could come to school, she would be all happy and perked
up, and she would come into the classes to see how we were doing...
she tried as hard as she could to be at school."
Linda & Donna Drennan, subjects of this article, were daughters of
J.D. & Evangeline Drennan. Evangeline was librarian at Ranger
High School and J.D. worked for the Railroad. They lived on Sue
St. at the foot of Hospital Hill. I was married to Linda for 35
years. C.L. Yarbrough (Ranger Times 10/99)