Saturday, Nov. 23, was not a particularly good weather day in Brown County. Freezing temperatures and drizzle made it uncomfortable. It is said that one's funeral turn-out is largely determined by the weather... except for John N. King, former Early ISD School Administrator. Friends and family packed into the Early High Gym for his services. Johnny King was a friend of mine. My wife Jo, and I have been part-time neighbors to Johnny and Monette for for around 40 years. Johnny and I visited when we could... when I was in town. We had Early in common, so we talked about Early. Long before Johnny came to Early I was an Early student for 12 years. He was there at a later time for twice as long. I can remember that on more than one occasion he would get teary-eyed talking about Early. He loved the Early School that much. After his 13 years of being a principal, Johnny served another 13 years as the Early ISD Superintendent. He was there for all programs... academics, athletics, fine arts, new constructions and the cafeteria ladies. All these things, along with others, affect kids and Johnny was all about positively affecting kids.

Johnny believed in discipline, morals, values, hard work and learning life's lessons as one grows up. Johnny was “old school” (A vanishing breed) which his teachers loved as did the kids... eventually. I am sure he may have been tempted to leave many times for a larger school district for more money. But Johnny loved the Early ISD and the Early community. I am glad he stayed because I have always wanted what was good fo Early and Johnny King was good for Early.

We slid down from the South Plains in inclement weather for Johnny's visitation on Nov. 22. As I viewed Johnny in that beautiful piece of underground furniture, I noticed the gold wedding band on his finger. For whatever reason, I thought of Sam Houston's gold ring on display at the San Jacinto Monument. Inside General Houston's ring is the simple inscription, “Honor.” I don't know if Johnny's ring had that same inscription or not. But it could have and it would have been appropriate. Both men had tow dominant passions. General Houston's were family and Texas. Johnny King's passions were family and the Early ISD. Sam Houston would have liked Johnny King because Johnny helped make better Texans out of young people. General Houston was a visionary and a man of honor. I believe Johnny King had a vision for the Early School... and I know he was a man of honor.

Bill Shive


Early High School

Class of 1961