I am Dorothy Cannon and I played for the Flying Queens from 1954-57.
Life began for me on December 19, 1935 when I was born into a family of eleven children. I was number nine, between two sets of twins. We lived in a rural area on a farm about 20 miles from Plainview Texas. We grew crops on our farm and depended on animals and gardens for most of our food. My father passed away from a massive stroke in 1942. It was a devastating time for us. My four oldest brothers were serving our country in World War II. The oldest child at home was sixteen. I remember life was difficult but somehow, we managed to work hard and survive. My brothers all came home from the war completely healthy. They all settled life in the area before getting married and having children. We had much support from family as well as from community, church, and school
We all attended school in Cotton Center. Not only was this the beginning of our education, but also our basketball careers as well. Since basketball was the only sport offered to girls, my sisters and I all started playing at an early age. My brothers placed a basketball goal in our front yard and the Cotton Center coaches gave us all the old basketballs when they were replaced with new ones.
We had coaches who were ahead of their times. When I was in eighth grade our coach let me and a friend play on the high school team. There were no rules at that time against age. He took us on a bus trip during the Christmas holidays. Most of our community, faculty, and friends went on this bus trip. It was my first trip out of the state, first time to see a street car and stay in a hotel. We never thought playing basketball would take us to places we never heard of or dreamed about. We also had success in winning and got to attend several state playoffs in Waco, Texas on the Baylor campus.
Since we lived so close to Plainview, we knew about the Flying Queens and were privileged to see them play. That was when we began to dream that going to college and think that it might actually be a possibility if we worked hard enough. Our coaches gave us the keys to the gym. We would work all day in the cotton fields and then go to the gym to practice and meet friends.
After the twins graduated from high school, they tried out for the Flying Queens. They were accepted and helped start the Queens’ famous winning streak. Ruth was probably one of the best players ever. Her hook shot was impossible to guard. Her sister Ruby was responsible for getting the ball to her. Sister Ruby had her own over-the-head shot that was unique and impossible to guard. Getting scholarships was the only way for us to attend college. I also tried out after graduation and was excepted.
As I recall we were the most fortunate team ever. Claude and Wilda Hutcherson spent time, effort, and resources on our winning team. They made sure we were well taken care of. I always felt that they started the women’s movement. They had vision ahead of anything we could imagine. They made sure we stayed in nice hotels and ate in the best restaurants. Claude wanted us to always look our best.
Life at Wayland was a great experience. The college was so small that we knew everyone as well as the faculty. Having a wonderful caring faculty made me realize teaching was the career I wanted. We were allowed to observe in the public schools and from that, I knew elementary school education was my love. I enjoyed a teaching for 34 years. One year was spent in Gruver, Texas the rest of my time as a teacher was in Arlington, Texas.
While at Wayland one of my faculty members shared her family experience of adopting two children from the Edna Gladney home in Fort Worth Texas. I even did a research paper about the Gladney home and adoption.
My husband and I had been married several years and had difficulty having natural born children. Adopting was the first thing we began to dream and pray about. Our first child was a healthy, beautiful boy. Two years later we adopted a girl, the light of our lives. Barry, our son, served in the Coast Guard, later attended UT Austin. Now lives in California and works for Triple A.
Our sweet daughter, XX, attended Texas Wesleyan and began became an elementary teacher. She married Glenn Rainwater, who attended several universities eventually graduating from SMU with a law degree. They blessed us with two beautiful grandchildren, Madison and Brooks. Madison graduated with a nursing degree and works in a hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. Brooks is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. They are the love of my life. Their mother passed away with breast cancer when they were four and six. We suffered much, but we’re also blessed so much. My husband was retired by and had many health issues, he passed away a year later
I’ve been able to have a close relationship with the grandchildren. We have shared many family trips to Alaska, Cape Cod, San Diego, good beaches in South Carolina, Florida, and the mountains of Colorado and South Dakota.
The most disappointing year of college was 1958 when we lost the last game of the AAU tournament. Coach Redin had taught us to win with dignity but this one taught us how to lose. That was never in our vocabulary
I like to think the Cannon kids left their imprint on many family and friends I just now are footprints are still in the sandy soil of our family farm. we were indeed blessed.
My story was written with loving memories