Full Name: Bette McFarren
Job Position: Freelance Reporter and Photographer
I was born in the same hospital as Willie Nelson, in Waco, Texas. I was lucky to have great parents and grandparents, who fostered every bit of talent I ever exhibited. I was writing down jokes my grandaddy told before I was old enough to go to school. He taught me to read from the comic strips. It was a great revelation. From that time on, my ambitions were to be an artist and/or a writer.
Now, through many teaching jobs, I am finally a writer by profession. It started in earnest when I retired from teaching, more or less by accident. The Tribune-Democrat hired me in 2010 from my job at the library, which involved writing stories about kids’ activities. Jerre Church showed me how to put my story and pictures in the same folder on a computer. I was also helped along in computer skills, however painfully, by the corporation which originally bought that newspaper and put it out of local hands.
I have a couple of degrees from Baylor University, which is located in my home town of Waco. I earned my way through graduate school by teaching freshman English. My family lived for seven years in Santa Fe, which I love. A couple of other degrees were earned at Adams State in Alamosa, where I learned to teach special education.
Throughout my adult life, words and education have been my living, supporting my family. I have happily married children, Valerie and David. Valerie and Stephan’s children, Jeryl and Steven Sandoval, attained their engineering degrees at the School of Mines in Golden. Steven is still working as an engineer and Jeryl is married to an engineer and teaching seventh grade math in Denver. David is a technical manager at Fort Lewis College in Durango. David and Karel’s daughter, Lily Sue, is in her second year at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Leland is a senior at Durango High School.
Thanks to Adrian Hart for allowing me to write for what has rapidly become a primary way of conveying information, the internet. And thanks to J.R. and Laura Thompson and Joe Zemba for using my pictures and stories. I still love a newspaper in my hands.