Dr. Gwen Smith is the subject of the latest Hays County Historical Commission (HCHC)video. Photo from the HCHC.
The subject is the memories of Dr. Gwen Smith when the Hays County Historical Commission (HCHC) debuts the fourth video in its series “Voices of Hays County History” at the Price Seniors Center, 220 West San Antonio Street, on Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m.
Th 94-year-old Smith shares her stories of growing up in San Marcos on the film for this ongoing Historical Commission project. The event is free and open to the public.
In addition to being a life-long educator, Smith is an indefatigable community volunteer who has been honored as a living legend by the Price Seniors Center, given the Spirit of San Marcos Award by San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz and was acclaimed the 2009 Community Volunteer of the Year Award by the Heritage Association of San Marcos.
Smith relates the many changes she has seen in San Marcos through the years and reflects on her days at Southwest Texas State Normal School (now Texas State), where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She describes her days teaching physical education in the San Marcos public schools.
Her father had a cotton gin business in town in 1909 and she talks about that, as well as reminisces about San Marcos during World War II. She shares her thoughts on her days at San Marcos High School, from which she graduated in 1933.
She also speaks of some of her community involvements, and they were many. Smith helped develop the Sights and Sounds of San Marcos, Summer in the Park, the San Marcos River Foundation, the Main Street program, the Wetlands Walk at Aquarena and the reading room at the San Marcos Public Library.
Smith has served on a host of committees and boards, including the San Marcos Education Foundation, the Greater San Marcos Area Seniors Association and even the Hays County Historical Commission.
Never shy of expressing her educated viewpoint, Smith shares some of her opinions in the film. Narvaiz said of Smith, “She is one tough lady to whom many of us look when we need an example of courage, grace, and an opinion. She will give it to you whether you want it or not!”
This fourth “Voices” video was filmed and edited by Richard Kidd, the director of the HCHC documentary film unit. The sound technician and transcriber was Oral History Committee chair Bonnie Eissler. Smith was interviewed by Shelley Henry.
Eight other Hays County residents have been interviewed as part of the “Voices” project. Screenings of these videos, which include residents from San Marcos, Driftwood, Wimberley and Dripping Springs, are planned for the coming months.
Copies of all the oral histories are being provided to local libraries, and the DVDs are also available for purchase at both the public showings and at the HCHC website, www.hayshistoricalcommission.com/.Email | Print