By Coyalita Linville B.H.R.S
In the winter of 1933 the snow was falling as quickly as one could blink their eyes in large full fluffy crystals that glittered like diamonds when looked upon. The temperature was 30 degrees and like a small speck in the scene of winter stood a five year old boy on the street with a bundle in his arms and calling “get the News Here – hot off the press!”
Warren was only five but he was brilliant, curious and was taking his family out of the poverty they lived in. His father had lost his job due to illness in the summer and Warren and his brother had to find employment to just put food on the table and help to pay bills. What seemed like an impossible task did not deter him – It did not matter he had a crippled arm due to birth defect – nor that he had a cleft mouth – he was a determined little boy that not only would he help his parents but many others too throughout his life.
Warren had just got his job at the local Shawnee News Star Paper in Shawnee, Oklahoma all he did was go in and talk to the owner and tell him he wanted a job and the man hired him right off he could hardly believe it until the next morning when he left out of the newspaper office and was standing there all bundled up and calling for people as they passed by to buy a paper.
He did not care if it was snowing or cold all he cared about was the joy he was feeling inside and how it made his lips curl in that big smile on his face. The third person that trudged by out of the local post office purchased Warren’s first newspaper; from that day on he was unstoppable.
Warren continued to work for the Shawnee News Star until he was twenty-five and he married. No, he did not sell papers standing on the corner that entire time, even though he sold more papers than any other. As stated earlier he was a curious boy, so every spare minute he was not selling the papers he was watching what each person did what and how they did it in the print shop. By age fifteen he was hired to run the printing machines and by age sixteen he was not only running the print machines, he was saving all the money he made to one day open his own newspaper, a childish dream? Perhaps but later he became a millionaire.
Warren moved to Alpine, Texas and opened up his own print shop and having many Hispanic people in the area he not only printed his newspaper in English but Hispanic as well. He also sold office supplies and some food items but predominantly it was all about the newspaper. He went to college and furthered his writing degree and studies and became one of the most well- known men in many areas of news writing and business.
He did get his arm fixed and his mouth although it would not have truly mattered to anyone for Warren was a special person, kind, considerate and he had a spirit that just made one feel good being in the man’s presence.
In the year 2005 I had the pleasure of meeting Warren – the impression that man had on me has been everlasting. It is funny how the world and time works around us – most certainly in this experience I could not believe it but knew it to be true- “you never know where destiny will take you.”
My father died in 1995 leaving my mother a widow and after many years she joined a pen pal list and she wrote Warren a letter. Now mind you that she did not know Warren at all even though they had both lived in Shawnee, Oklahoma and grew up there. They became fast friends through letters and of course my mother had absolutely no idea that Warren had any money other than his social security and a pension. Which made no difference to her she was looking for companionship not money.
Finally, Warren asked her to come to Alpine on a visit and she agreed. He fell in love with my mother at first sight as he told me often and they married. It did not last long because my mother is not one to tolerate disrespect from anyone and had many toe to toe experiences with Warren’s daughter Cathy. Finally mother left and came to live with me back in Oklahoma, keep in mind that still my mother did not know Warren had money and lots of it. This later explained why his daughter was having feelings and hated my mother more than likely believing she was just a “gold digger.”
Furthermore, we found out that Warren had lived a block away around the corner from my mother when they were growing up and they had never met –now is that not ironic?
A few months went by and Warren would call and mother would refuse to talk to him – in between moving home with me and separating from Warren along with divorce. She had traveled to her Sister’s house in Illinois and met another man called “Ernie”, who she married. And although he was decent to her, his children caused them many problems and when she found out I was coming home to Oklahoma she made plans to live with me and left him.
I being a Criminal Justice major and having worked many years in law I drew up her divorce papers and filed them at the local county court. The divorce was finalized and crazy as it sounds it was almost as if Warren had ESP because he called two days later.
He convinced my mother to come back to him he now lived in Austin, Texas and she decided to go, yet rather than she ride a bus I volunteered to drive her down there. I must say I was a little anxious about going to meet her ex but thought “what the heck, lets’ do this.” I can honestly say that I will never regret that day when I met Warren nor all the times we spent talking, laughing and intellectual conversations in to the late hours of the night.
Warren’s life had not been easy by a long shot – he had worked since he was five years old and supported those he loved as well as his wife and children until she died. Yet the man had become one of greatness in his own right – it did not matter he had been crippled or that he had a disfigured mouth as a child – all that mattered is that he had overcome all the obstacles that said: “you can’t do it!”
Warren did it and so can you it just takes courage and determination to fulfill your dreams – and when someone tells you that “you can’t do it” remember this story to find that you can.