John Crocker Autobiography

This is a short autobiography of myself. I was searching around on the Internet the other night, and I found a lot of information about my hometown, Port Arthur, Texas. It made me start thinking of the good old days. I had the opportunity to visit Port Arthur again a couple of years ago, and I was very saddened by what I saw. The town has really went downhill. From the remarks I read on a few pages, I am not the only one shocked by the degradation of a once great city.

I was born in Jacksonville, Texas on March 19, 1966 in Nan Travis Hospital. I was adopted and moved to Port Arthur when I was only a few weeks old. My parents owned their own business (Crocker Exterminating), and my dad also worked at Gulf Refinery (Chevron now). My mom handled the business end (making appointments, public relations, etc.), and my dad and another employee did the physical work. They eventually sold the exterminating business and started a bait and tackle business (Johnny's Bait and Tackle Shop). They owned that until the time they both retired and moved to Bronson, Texas.

I attended elementary school at Trinity Lutheran Church. It was a small school and I made several good friends while there: Kevin Malke, Troy Wolford, Jose Gonzales, Joe Johnson, and Bobby Higgins, to name just a few. I have a lot of fond memories of attending school there. One in particular was listening to my KISS 8-track tapes(!) during recess with Troy Wolford. He was a huge KISS fan, too! If you are one of the aforementioned people reading this, give me a yell! It would be great hearing from you guys again.

UPDATE: I got home a couple of weeks ago, and there was a message from Bobby on my machine. I called him, and it was like 30 years disappeared in a couple of seconds! We talked for about two hours, and promised to meet, with our respective families, soon.

After Junior High at Trinity Lutheran I started at Bishop Byrne High School. For a variety of reasons, I decided that this was not the school for me. I then transferred to Central Baptist Church. I also met a lot of good friends there as well: John DeYoung, Paula Rashall, Rusty Benoit, Scooter Thibodeaux, Fahra Harris and Marcus Stinson to again, name a few. I decided during the summer before my senior year not to return to school. I can tell anyone contemplating this to not do it! It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life. It would be 10 years before I took my GED and started college. I wasted a lot of years wandering through life without any direction.

During my teen years I also met a great friend by the name of Paul Yancey. He started working for my parents in their bait shop on weekends, and we got to be great friends. He was my on-call mechanic when I owned a '79 Trans Am, and I didn't know an oil pan from a dust pan! I haven't seen Paul in probably 25 years or so. If you are reading this Paul, email me! We have a lot of catching up to do! Another good friend from this era was Alan Henderson. Same goes for you Alan, email me!