Earl "Bull" Durham (also often called "Coach") grew up in Rotan, TX. He was an outstanding athlete. During World War II, he was stationed at Great Lakes Illinois at the Naval Training Academy where he trained officers and played football for their team, the Bluejackets. The next year he was transferred to the Officer Training School at Columbia University in New York City. He coached the Navy basketball team that went undefeated and was invited to the national tournament. After the War, he returned to West Texas and Abilene Christian University. There he joined the ACC Football Team and played four years. He was listed as G/C (guard/center) and weighed in at 178 lbs. in the Fall of 1938.
In college, he met Elsie L. Straley and they were married and had a daughter, Reba. Earl immediately joined the Navy and was sent North. Elsie and daughter Reba missed their "Bully" badly, so Elsie and Reba left the Texas ranch and boldly moved to New York to reunite the young family. Luckily Earl was never sent overseas. He did lose his youngest brother, Victor, a Marine, killed in action in Guam.
When the war ended, they returned to Texas. Earl worked on the family farm. He also coached at Lohn, a nearby Texas rural community. In 1947, they had their second child, Tommy Dean. Earl eventually gave up farming and decided on a new career as a TV repairman. Via mail order, he taught himself the new profession. He began to work in Abilene at TV shops. In 1962, James Britton was born.
Five years later, in 1968, Earl and Elsie were divorced and Earl moved to nearby Abilene, Texas. That same year, Earl married Willie Deane Carson, and they made Abilene their home. They loved to fish and had a trailer at Lake Brownwood. They also loved to square-dance! In Abilene, they loved to spend time with Deane's sons Randy and David, and their grandchildren Angie and Cody. You can also bet that the Dallas Cowboys were on the TV every Sunday in the Fall. He lived in Abilene until his death in 2003.
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