Hugh Robert and Lucy May Etter
Hugh and Lucy Etter, true humanitarians and longtime Plainview residents, worked quietly
behind the scenes to help people in need, even taking some into their home. They reached out to unfortunates ranging from struggling young couples and families lacking shelter to alcohol abusers seeking a way to overcome addiction. The Etters helped found the local Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon and supported those programs for many years. One of the countless men they helped wrote, “No one has helped so many, never refusing to answer a call of help, regardless of the hour of the day or night and never complaining of the verbal and sometimes physical abuse you take while helping those sick of drink.” Hugh Etter was born in 1907 in Phoenix, Arizona, and moved with his father and brother to Mason County, Texas in 1918, then to Plainview in 1921. Young Hugh worked as a cowboy in Castro County but returned to Plainview in 1925 and took employment with the John Burt Electric Company. His first job was wiring the Harvest Queen Mill. Later, he wired the Harvester Building on Fourth and Broadway and many other buildings in town. Hugh also helped a friend do carpentry on the weekends. Lucy May Hopkins was born in 1910 in Denton County, Texas. Her grandparents had been among the earliest settlers in Hale County. In 1918 the family moved back to Plainview, which they considered their home. Lucy married Hugh Etter in 1928. The couple had two daughters and also raised the two children of Hugh’s brother. They were members of the First Methodist Church. In 1939 the Etters bought a local commercial refrigeration business and operated it as Hugh R. Etter Electric. In 1948 Hugh had a hunting accident in New Mexico, almost froze to death, and lost both legs and some of his fingers. The Etters had to sell the business, and Lucy worked for Sears. After he recovered, Hugh built a shop next to their home and ran an electrical business from it. Later, both worked for the Welfare Department, and Hugh was the predatory animal control officer in Hale County for the federal government for many years. Hugh Etter died in 1991 and Lucy Etter in 1996. 2008 Centennial Circle of Honor, Plainview Texas
This text is from the City of Plainview's Centennial Circle of Honor that reminds us of many who impacted our community. My grandparents are those people.
Today I bought a sweet friend's One Day at a Time in Al-Anon book at a sale. It reminds me of my grandparents and their sacrifices to help others who found themselves on an addiction walk; because they had been there and had firsthand experience. It truly was a ministry for them.
I grew up knowing about AA and Al-Anon. I remember mostly men, but a few women sleeping it off and battling the rage inside them in the little house behind my grandparent's home. I never knew my grandfather as a drunk, but I heard a few wild stories. What I remember from hearing the stories is how strong my grandmother was.
Inside this Al-Anon book is a list of the group members with phone numbers. How precious that they had each other's support. The list of ladies I have considered friends throughout my life. How blessed I am!!!
Also in the book are the words to "Just for Today," the Al-Anon quick help.
JUST FOR TODAY
I will try to live through this day
only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do
something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt
that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today, I will be happy. This assumes to be true
what Abraham Lincoln said, that “Most folks are as
happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is, and not
try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take
my “luck” as it comes, and fit myself to it.
Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind. I will
study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a
mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort,
thought, and concentration.
Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three ways:
I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out;
if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at
least two things I don’t want to do—just for exercise.
I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they
may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well
as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice, low, be
courteous, criticize not one bit. I won’t find fault with
anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but
Just for today, I will have a program. I may not follow
it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from
two pests: hurry and indecision.
Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by
myself and relax. During this half-hour, sometime, I
will try to get a better perspective of my life.
Just for today, I will be unafraid. Especially I will not
be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that
as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.
And the prayer...
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury; pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light, and where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
These are such wise words to anyone struggling.