My mother,
Zorene (Todd) Thompson was the largest influence in my life. She was an outgoing and gregarious woman who appreciated and shared her Todd heritage with her children. She was a wife, a mother, a housewife, and a business woman. For her day, she was assertive when it came to her gender, believing she was as capable as any man but never in a domineering way. She was educated, beginning her adult life as a school teacher. She was an excellent speller and grammarian and tried to pass these skills to her children. Mother was ever bit as much of a bread winner for the family as dad. In our family farming business, mother ran the office and dad ran the farm; they were always equal partners... Mother’s Todd roots are in Upshur County, East Texas. However, when she was about 8, her family moved to New Mexico Territory and homesteaded there. Later the Todd’s moved to Pecos, Texas, where mother and her brother Judson finished high school.

My dad,
Neil Sydney Thompson was a kid who grew up working on cars, and mechanical skills became his life’s work. He was truly a “jack of all trades,” which stood him in good stead when our family moved from the city to the farm where he also became a farmer, a welder, a veterinarian, an engineer, a craftsman, a builder, a salesman and... in his spare time, a watchmaker. Dad was not as well educated as mother, but he tried to teach me all he knew, although he sometime he despaired at my ineptness. He most remembered remonstration to me was, “Ray Mack main strength and awkwardness are NOT the way to solve a problem! Use your head!” Dad grew up in Bonham, Texas, but his family moved to Lubbock when he was a young man and that is where he and mother met, and where my sister and I were adopted.