By Donna Parker
One thing you can say about Jacqueline Collier Howell ’46 and her sister Charlotte Collier Grizzle ’48 — they haven’t lost their sense of fun! Constantly joking and laughing, these two sisters remember their Trinity days as a place of camaraderie and freedom. Jacqueline and a few friends who sang together were invited in 1944 by Hoytt Boles, then executive secretary of Trinity’s Alumni Association, to travel as the Trinity Trio and help raise money for the new (current Skyline) campus.
“We called it our monkey and pony act. Papa Boles, as we called him, would give his blurb and then we’d sing popular songs, like ‘Look for the Silver Lining’ to the crowd.”
It was a pretty successful act and when Jacqueline married her boyfriend, her sister Charlotte took her place, singing for a year and a half to the Kiwanis, Lions and any clubs available to raise money.
“We also performed in churches and at summer camps,” remembers Charlotte. “That defined us and influenced many kids to come to Trinity.”
Laughingly, Jacqueline told how they “rode along in the back of the car with a pitch pipe and windows open – our hair in rollers! We always did our own arrangements. We even had a benefactor who furnished auto and gas ration stamps. That’s how we were even able to travel in the middle of World War II.”
Charlotte and Jacqueline are Trinity legacy – their grandfather “lived for Trinity all his life.” His name was L.C. Collier and he taught on the Tehuacana campus from 1889-1891.
As young women, the sisters attended class on the Woodlawn campus and tell stories of practicing music in the administration building with windows wide open and bats flying in and out.
“There were rickety old stairs and we kept our fingers crossed we wouldn’t fall through!”
They both agree that Trinity instilled confidence and taught them to associate with people from all different backgrounds. Jacqueline was secretary to then Dean Maude Davis, dean of women, and “got to see her side of dealing with students.”
“She was more fun than a barrel of monkeys and had a beautiful sense of humor!”
“Also, I had an English professor,” says Jacqueline, “who encouraged us to write and understand we could express ourselves without being perfect.”
Charlotte remembers music teachers Joseph Burger and Mary Beth Mewborn.
“I just enjoyed them both and they made me feel confident about my abilities.”
“My sister and I were sheltered Presbyterian children who had never been out in the world,” says Charlotte.
“We were 16 years old and thrown into San Antonio with all these cute soldier boys! We got quite the education!”
Both sisters have celebrated happy marriages and between them enjoy seven children, 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Currently, Charlotte lives in a Fort Worth retirement center and Jacqueline in her own San Saba home. Neither smoke, but share a glass of wine, “depending on which of my children I’m with!”
Overall, both say, “It was a fabulous period and we’re thankful we were alive then!”