• Samantha Alcaraz

Carol Downs from Pennington Gardens


Carol Downs - Carol Graduates Teaching School

Carol: I was born and raised in Tombstone and I loved the childhood I had. And then I went on to Bisby and graduated from Bisby High School. And then when I graduated from there I went to Arizona State teachers college and I was so depressed the day that I went to get my certificate for teaching. And I said to myself I don’t want to teach. I don’t want to. I don’t wanna graduate. I like going to college. So anyway the next day I went over to join the Navy.


Interviewer: Oh you didn’t graduate?


Carol: Oh I graduated



Carol Downs - Carol in the Navy

“Oh the reason why I joined the Navy was I liked the uniforms and the recruitment station was in New York. And I thought that would be a great way to see the country because for a small town Tombstone, Arizona kid it was a big country. So I went to New York and I got processed there and then I get sent to Stillwater and then I get sent to Washington DC in the weapons department. One day I remember I was sent on an errand to get some prototype guns on Sixth Street. So, I went over to Sixth Street I get this package of prototype guns and I brought it back and the Marines couldn’t believe it. The marine guard standing at the door looked at my box and thought “guns oh yuck.””



Carol Downs - Movin On Up!

“Well then I decided well you know I’m a college graduate. Why don’t I take the exam for the officer? So I did. And I passed. And then I got sent to North Hampton, Massachusetts. And I became an officer and then I got sent to a naval air station in Melbourne, Florida. Melbourne was where the fighter pilots were trained to land on deck ships and submarines were also based there. So I was there going through the manual of the flyers to see if there was any weak spots. Then all of a sudden I got transferred to Jacksonville and I got on the Admiral’s staff. I was a coordinator in the General Admiral’s and I loved that job because that job was I was introducing all the applicants who wanted to join the Navy and I would introduce them to the commanders and captains and all that.”



Carol Downs - Carol Goes Home


Carol: So I went back to Arizona and my brother had already gotten me a job teaching!


Interviewer: Full circle!


Carol: Teaching sixth graders. So I took all the sixth grade books home for the summer and I poured my soul into the books. And then the first day of school I met all those kids and I looked at all those sun shining faces and I thought to myself, “God what am I gonna do with them? How am I going to teach them?” Well I did. I taught them. And then the next year I taught the eighth grade and five years later I still was teaching the eighth grade and then I got my masters degree and then I went to play in high school.



Transcription and Audio Edit by Ileana Chavez.

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