George Day Didn’t Start Out To Be a Lawyer
By HARRIETTE GRAVES
Brownwood Bulletin Staff Writer
Motivation, determination, and dedication-
These three words describe George Day of Brownwood.
Today at 55 years of age, he sits behind the desk at his law office at 308 North Broadway, efficiently handling, one after the other, the hundreds of cases that cross his desk every month.
A lawyer, district attorney, county attorney, and even a city attorney at one time, should be indication that law practice and politics have been this man’s whole life.
But some of Day’s closest friends would be the first to say that Day in his early years never intended to be an attorney. His mind was on a different wave length all through his high school and college years. Actually, he wanted to become a coach, and followed the coaching dream for many years before making a rather sudden decision.
The change in his plans came abruptly. He had achieved his goal and had been hired as an assistant coach and teacher at Bangs. The salary then in 1954 was $2,800 a year. This was April and he would not start until the fall. In May he had gotten a job painting the old Brownwood Junior High School.
“While I was painting the stairwell I decided then and there to go to Austin the next morning and enroll at law school”.
The door closed on a career he had planned since high school days and with the closing of this door, another one was opened.
Day has always been ambitious and was never a stranger to hard work. He and his three brothers received encouragement and help from their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Day of Brownwood. But, Bill Day expected his sons to pitch in and help with their own educations.
George Day’s first entrance into the business world was as a “paper boy” for the Brownwood Bulletin. He sold newspapers on every street comer, every store, barber shop and business he could get to. After two years of selling papers on the street, he graduated to his own regular route which he kept for three years. “I helped support myself with the money I earned,” he said.
It was during his sophomore year at Brownwood High School while on the B football team that he thought he knew what he wanted for a lifetime career. George Day wanted to be a high school football coach.
He recalls putting everything he could into athletics. He lettered in all
Brownwood High School sports including football, basketball and track.
Not content with schoolboy sports, he played on the First Baptist Church of Brownwood’s softball team as pitcher. “We won the state championship much to the chagrin of Ben Doyle Sudderth, who was the pitcher for the Early Baptist Church team,” he chuckled. Sudderth now is also a lawyer in Central Texas.
Day reminisced of the old Camp Bowie days when there were big softball games every night. “We had crowds up to 5,000 every night. We sure packed them in,” he said. The games were played in an area that is now the west end of the Austin Avenue Church of Christ.
Day was also very active in Boy Scouting and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He remembers a swimming meet at Camp Billy Gibbons during the summer when he won the, 100 yard free style championship. There were teams there from Stephenville, Eastland, Breckenridge, and Cisco. “I won it two years in a row until I got too fat,” he lamented.
Becoming a coach continued to be George Day’s goal and he enrolled on a football scholarship at Daniel Baker College. During his freshman year he lettered in football and basketball, While at Daniel Baker he fell in love with a young beauty that led him to drop college to get married.
So, George Day, college student, became George Day, truck owner. He borrowed enough money from the bank to make a down payment on a truck and Day began hauling fuel from an Abilene refinery to Goldthwaite, San Saba, Mullin, Lampasas, Brady and Llano. “I went broke in five months,” he said. Schools that had been on contract for the purchase of fuel from the previous owner had cancelled their contracts and switched to natural gas.
“My truck was repossessed and at 19 years of age, I faced my first major disappointment, my lady jilted me suddenly and without warning,” he said. “I wound up owing the bank $500. My dad knew a house builder who agreed to hire me at $1 an hour and working 44 hours a week, I would be a carpenter’s helper.”
Until his debt was paid, Day paid the bank $42 a week. “Dad let me move back to the family home and I went nowhere and spent no money until I had paid the bank back what I owed,” he said. “It took about 12 ‘weeks.”
Day learned his lesson. He determined to get that college degree, that teaching certificate, and after he paid his debt, he started over. “I got 60 bucks together and with an old tin suit case held together with a leather belt, hitch hiked, to John Tarleton Agricultural College in Stephenville with the hopes I could get on the football team and earn a scholarship,” he said.
“The real reason I decided to get a higher education was because of two teachers from elementary school in Brownwood who had instilled in me the need to get as much education as I could.” But misfortune struck again and on the third football practice day, he injured his knee which ultimately required an operation. In the mean-time, he wore a brace and was on crutches for three weeks.
But Day’s determination “to make it” surfaced again and five days
after he had injured his knee, he college roommate, Dale Biggs from Comanche took him to college dining hall and told the supervisor of his plight.
The dining hall supervisors apparently realizing just how badly this young man wanted to go to school, arranged for him to mop the floors at night. “I was able to do this work at my own pace,” he said.
“I kept that job for a whole year. It paid for my board.” But he had another small income. Day had previously joined headquarters and headquarters, company of the First Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division in 1948. A. C. Garvin, who was his company commander, had recruited and sold him on a military career.
And he had clothes. By joining the Reserve Officers Training School “ROTC”, he was issued a soldiers uniform. As an ROTC member, he was required to wear the uniform daily which worked well because no one knew he was poor. He looked just like another ROTC student.
Day said, “So while in Stephenville going to school, I attended drill with Co. D of the same battalion and received $3 a night. Three times four is 12 … and that was my rent. I could not afford to miss a single meeting.”
At Tarleton he earned a distinguished military certificate. He was on the Tarleton golden glove boxing team and won the college heavyweight division. He lost in Brownwood in the regional finals twice on split decisions.
During his second year at Tarleton, Day’s knee healed and he made the college basketball team. In that same year he was promoted in the ROTC to cadet major and assistant battalion commander.
Day graduated from Tarleton Junior College in 1950 and then enrolled at Texas A&M. “While I was at Tarleton my English teacher had recommended that I change my major from physical education to either English or mathematics. She said I was good in both of them and should not waste that talent.
“There were times when I wanted to quit school but I would remember the admonition of those two teachers (from elementary school) and keep going,” he recalls. “Lots of times a person wants to quit but there has to be something that motivates a person to keep going. These teachers were my motivation,” Day stressed.
When it came time to attend Tarleton graduation services, Day had no dress coat he had never had one. Yet coats were required. Not to worry, George’s mother Gladys Day, went to Shorty B at his clothing store on the Court House square, told him of the families plight. Shorty pulled off the rack a new white dress coat that he was unable to sell saying, “This one may do. I’ll give it to George as a graduation present.”
The coat was ill fitting too large. Mother worked on it and George wore it. Looked bad but he received his Associate Degree, then beat it out of town.
At Tarleton, George was Military Editor for the 1949 – 1950 annual. He was furloughed to North Texas State Teachers College for a short course in journalism. At Tarleton, Day put to good use his Texas National Guard training, learning the ways of an army officer, performing as a squad leader in the Wainwright Rifle Drill Team, Rising to the rank of Cadet Major as a Battalion Adjutant. The fall of 1950 found him undergoing the rigors of a Texas A&M frog a person lower than an Aggie Fish. That’s really low.
His company commander in the Guard, A. C. Garvin, served as a quartermaster officer in World War II. Garvin recommended the Quartermaster Corps at A & M. Day enrolled as a cadet in the advanced Quartermaster ROTC Corps, majoring in mathematics.
The summer of 1951 was a delight. The six-week ROTC Camp at Ft. Lee, Virginia, beckoned. Ernest Noack ‘52, had a new Oldsmobile. Day, Howard Kruze, and Shelby Newman were invited to travel leisurely with him through the south, then up the Atlantic coast to Ft. Lee, Virginia for the six weeks of summer camp at the Army Quartermaster School. Kruse obviously mastered his craft, as anyone who eats Blue Bell Ice Cream knows. Meeting the Minnesota, Chicago and Brooklyn cadets at the camp was an experience. They talked funny. They thought we talked funny!
B Quartermaster Company in Dorm 10 in the “New Area” housed Day in the fall of 1951. The National Guard gave Corporal Day an honorable discharge on October 11, 1951, as he entered his senior ROTC year. He achieved the rank of Cadet Major, again on a staff, this time regimental, earning a Distinguished Military Graduate Certificate. On May 30, 1952, the 5’11″, 202 pound, black eyed, brown haired graduate was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps of the U. S. Army Reserve. On July 10th of that year, he was ordered to active duty, at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, which led to combat service in the Korean War. At Ft. Sam, his duty involved government purchase contracts and selling government surplus. He was assigned to the Far East Command on June 6, 1953, and to the 45th Infantry Division on line in Korea on the Northeastern Front. He participated in two battles and was present on line the night of July 27, 1953, when the Armistice ending the “police action”, took effect. Rockets bursting in air, then total silence and darkness created an eerie atmosphere.
July, 27th 1953
Major General P. D. Ginder promoted him to First Lieutenant on January 10, 1954. He offered Day a Regular Army Commission, the type West Point gives. Day declined. No hero, he was awarded the Korean Service Medal with two battle stars, the United Nations Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Republic of Korea Presidential United Citation, the Commendation Ribbon with a Metal Pendant, prior to being released from active duty at Ft. Bliss, Texas, on April 9, 1954, after 21 months of service. None of the above medals are for bravery, just courage and doing your job.
He elected to stay in the Army Ready Reserve because he liked the military way of doing things. He liked the pomp and ceremony. Marching to the music of the Texas Aggie Band was fulfilling. He hoped never to again feel the sting of the Korean cold or observe the killing.
He elected to use the G.I. Bill to attend the Texas University Law School at Austin, Texas.
While attending law school at the University of Texas, this First Lieutenant joined a Quartermaster Spare Parts Company for reserve duty. While in Austin, he attended training (summer) camps at South Ft. Hood, Texas, and the Armored School at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. His PMOS sais “Property Officer”.
After completing law school in January 1957, he moved to Glen Rose, Texas. He attached himself to the 915th Field Artillery Battalion in Cleburne, Texas, training at the Ft. Worth, Texas Reserve Center, attended Summer Camp at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas one year and Ft. Sill’s Artillery School, the next.
His promotion to Captain in the Quartermaster arrived on May 29, 1958, six years after being commissioned. On December 24, 1959, he returned to Brownwood, Texas, his hometown. He joined an Engineer Group, the 4233 USAR, meeting in an old army barrack at deactivated WWII Camp Bowie. He returned to Ft. Lee, Virginia, during the summer of 1960, studying the economy of motion.
In 1961, President Kennedy’s army noticed the law degree. With consent, the Captain was enrolled in the Army Company Grade Judge Advocate General Corps program, taught at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL CORP
The years 1961 through 1966 were fun filled years. The Judge Advocate General Corps started Day in the Company Grade Officers Course, then continued him in the Field Grade Officers Course. Correspondence courses, then a trip to Virginia to get in some classroom schooling became the norm. We bought a 1948 – 22 foot edition
of an Airstream travel trailer from our friend. Earl Home of plumbing fame. We hulled it out, rebuilt the inside, and proceeded to travel ever which way to Virginia.
Daughters Diann, age 9-13, and Gloria Jan, age 7 – 11, took to traveling like ducks to water. We traveled the Gulf Coast, upper Florida and up the Atlantic Ocean Coast. Shreveport, Natchez, Atlanta and up North Carolina. Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, and Ashville. The Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, the Cherokee Nation (where some relatives still lived), then up the Skyline Drive to Front Royal and on to Washington, D.C. Side trips to the Amish Country in Pennsylvania, Independence Hall, Annapolis and the Pentagon. President L. B. Johnson, Congressmen Jim Wright and Jake Pickle, Senator Ralph Yarborough all gave us personal tours or passes to dodge the lines. VIP heady stuff. Catch the Metroliner to New York City, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and Broadway. Jefferson’s Monticello.
Charlottesville had the nicest travel trailer park. The weather was nice. The ice cream parlor sold Butter Brickie, Diann’s favorite.
Burma Shave signs were in vogue. We counted them. Stucky Stores were strategically spaced. The children only wanted to stop at every one. Holiday Inns were new, cheap and good.
Captain Day attended classes in the Virginia law school building learning law the army way. All other students were brand new lawyers. Just as soon as the Company Grade Course was passed by test, the Quartermaster Captain was transferred to JAG. On May 29, 1964, his promotion, to Major in the JAG arrived. No ceremony, just promoted by paper. His new Primary Military Occupation Specialty, 8101, said he was a “legal officer”.
In 1966, he was certified as a Field Grade Judge Advocate when he graduated from the Staff Judge Advocate Course in a tiny ceremony at Charlottesville. The sad part – he would never be assigned to the University again, but it was a good ride.
The Intelligence School at Ft. Holibird, Baltimore, Maryland, was the next stop, between the giant soap factories of America – Proctor and Gamble. The June 1967 school took the Major into new worlds of intelligence and security.
Abilene, Texas, became his home for weekly drills with the 9815 Air Reserve Squadron, on January 4, 1967. Serious illness in 1968 and 1969 nearly ended his army reserve career. He survived, joining the 98301 Air Squadron at Goodfellow Field in San Angelo, Texas.
Assignments from 1971 through 1980, to the U.S. Army Claims Service at Ft. George Meade in Laurel, Maryland, became his home base for active duty. His duty was like a civilian insurance adjuster, settling tort claims filed against the Army. New Jersey, New York, Honolulu, Texarkana and El Paso were all stops. His settlements were submitted to the U. S. Justice Department for approval, then to Congress for payment.
He had the run of the doctors at Walter Reed Hospital for experts on personal injuries. The U.S. Institute of Forensic Science was at his call. His expertise in his private law practice was solicited by the Departments of the Army and Air Force on “Structured Settlements.” He authored the Army Regulation used today.
A structured settlement allows the government to escrow, say three million dollars, in an interest bearing account to support, in the first case, a mother giving birth to a child at the Tripler Hospital in Honolulu, placed on a respirator plugged into an ungrounded wall socket. Her brain fried but she didn’t die. She would in time. Her army husband had remarried. We paid him Two Hundred Thousand Dollars, placed One Hundred Thousand Dollars into a trust account for each of the two children, and then put up Three Million Dollars for her. The interest on the deposit supported her. She died in 1980. The Three Million Dollars went back into the treasury.
The Lt. Colonel promotion came on May 27, 1972. The time had come to test him at the court martial table adjacent to Ft. Leavenworth Prison. Kansas is hot in June and September of any year. The Lt. Colonel had just finished sixteen years as an elected state prosecutor, so the task involving court martial’s was easy to do.
This Aggie had been caught up in the Korean War. He escaped the Vietnam War because he was an elected public official, an exempt category. This Aggie never considered resigning in order to not be called to active duty. He had courage, but not much bravery.
THE ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE
In 1973, he was selected to attend the Army Command General Staff College. Some studies were by correspondence and some by classroom. At the same time, he left public office at the age of forty-five. Though now eligible for the draft, the Nixon White House had elected to stop the draft and end the Vietnam War. He was enrolled in the Command and General Staff Course. He traveled.
Early phases of the C&GSC were taught at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, Ft. Knox, Kentucky, Ft. Smith, Arkansas and Ft. Sheridan, Illinois.
The big event, the finals, were scheduled for July 1, 1975, at St. Norbet College in De Pere, Wisconsin, just south of Green Bay. The Catholic College assigned us to very nice furnished apartments for the stay. A final review and testing was scheduled. This Aggie had become an expert on testing. The testing was severe, hard. Playtime was over.
As a distraction, the Green Bay Packer Football Team, 1975 edition, was quartered in adjacent apartments and worked out on the small college’s athletic area, all in private. As a Dallas Cowboy season tickets holder, the Lt. Colonel had serious interest. On a weekend, he visited Green Bay, walked the distance of the Packer’s Lambeau Field. Green Bay was small, had a lot of paper mills, making toilet paper and meat packing factories, the most blue-collar town he had ever visited.
The class of one hundred (actually ninety-eight, two were no-shows) gathered on the first day in the finest teaching studio he had ever occupied.
Surprisingly, one of the instructors, Colonel Hetch McBride, was a Texas Aggie (’41) from May, Texas, a hamlet in north Brown County.
The subjects were far ranging and difficult. The last day of testing, a Thursday was packed with pressure – a test no one should be able to finish.
Lt. Colonel Day maxed that portion of the test on tactics, an expected result of a Texas Aggie math (logic) major, the only perfect score in the crowd. The rest were not so laudatory. His average grade of eighty-seven put him over the top, but back in the pack, as several exceeded that. Like the grade a young lawyer makes on the Texas Bar exam, the grade didn’t matter, so long as one passed.
On Friday, we had a very nice graduation ceremony for seventy-one. The rent car returned Day to Chicago’s O’Hare airport for the flight to the new D/FW airport.
FT. GEORGE MEADE, MARYLAND
A new assignment awaited him, one to the 4159th USAR School in Abilene, enjoying the ride from Brownwood to the Abilene Armory for classes peculiar to a Civil Affair’s Company. The Judge Advocate General returned him to Ft. Meade in 1976 with special work with the Central Intelligence Agency. His last assignment as a Lt. Colonel concerned the WAR College. After the 1975 C&GSC graduation, he enrolled in the studies sponsored by the WAR College at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania. These studies concerned a mixture of politics, business and national interests. The most concise, orderly studies he can remember. These led to final tests at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, in March 1977, during the worst ice storm this Texas boy ever experienced. However, the classroom was large, comfortable and warm. Driving to it daily was reminiscent of Korea and a favorite family resort. Red River, New Mexico. His vehicle was not equipped, nor were ninety-nine percent of the San Antonio cars. Few traveled as everybody “stayed home” for the five days it lasted. Still travel was hazardous – “take a chance.”
On May 19, 1977, two months after completing the WAR College regimen, his Primary Military Occupation Specialty was advanced to “55A Judge Advocate”, the top of the line. Now he could give advice, civil or military, to all, even generals if they asked. In the same time period, Congress approved his promotion to Colonel for May 26, 1977, twenty-five years after being commission.
As a Reserve Officer and his mandatory retirement age was fast approaching, unless he secured a promotion to Brigadier General (one star).
His first assignment with the high rank was to Ft. McCoy, near Sparta, Wisconsin. Colonels were treated a lot better that Lt. Colonels, he noticed. He quartered at the Downtown Hotel, Room thirteen, in Sparta. The June 1977 weather was mighty cool for a Texan. The officer ate his first real, genuine, fresh Roquefort dressing. Urn-good.
His 1978 special duty involved serving as a Judge at Ft. Leavenworth. His duty in a “Special Officer Division” was part of the effort to finish the last of the Vietnam War court martials. This was a sad duty. Drug use could be detected in nearly every case. That fall, he returned to Meade, became ill, had a bad camp.
THE FINAL YEARS
The Colonel completed the National Security Management Course at the National Defense University, located in Ft. Holibird, Maryland in May 1979.
The spring of 1980 found him before a promotion board to fill one slot for promotion to Brigadier General. Four were considered. The Colonel was a finalist but lost out to a St. Louis Colonel by one vote. He was too fat. The slim guy won. On March 24, 1980, the powers that be awarded him his last medal. The Meritorious Service Medal for service from January 17, 1969 through June 1, 1980. He could have screwed up in April and May, but he didn’t do this well. This medal too, was not for bravery. The end was near. He was forcible retired on June 1, 1980, nearly thirty-three years after joining the Texas National Guard.
Placed in the Nearly Ready Reserve, he was schooled briefly twice, once in 1983, again in 1985 as President Reagan rattled the swords. The schooling involved quick mobilization. Us old guys would man the desks, shepherd the paperwork. The fifty-two year old soldier didn’t feel used up. He loved his uniform. But it was over at the end of 1985. After thirty-seven years, he was let out to pasture. On June 30, 1988, he began drawing his military pension.
Major General Harold Parker evaluating Col. Day’s performance issued a rating of 28 on a 0 to 30 scale. The Generals narrative evaluation read as follows:
Rated officer is ideally equipped to perform in this Service in the investigation, evaluation and negotiation of large tort claims. He has considerable experience and background and uses both very well. He is “into a problem” very quickly and “plays his hand” very well. He is intelligent, clever and adaptable. He lends himself well in ticklish situations during delicate negotiations. He is an extremely valuable asset.
This officer has demonstrated exceptional legal skill and ability in the processing and settlement of various types of tort claims. Recognition and research of factual and legal problems is performed in true professional manner. In the event of mobilization he will be extremely valuable to this Service.
So at Texas A&M, he changed his major to math but kept his physical program up and his team won the intramural football and softball championships out of 52 teams.
Day was also a distinguished military student at A&M attaining again the rank of cadet major. He had attained that same rank at Tarleton.
“I had a chance to go to work at the White Sands Missile Proving Ground in New Mexico which at that time was the beginning of the missile program. But the United States Army called me to active duty as a second lieutenant and that changed all of my plans,” he said.
Day vividly recalls his experiences in the 45th Infantry in Korea. He was commander of 220 men driving 82 trucks carrying ammunition from the division supply, dump to the front lines. ”
“My trench mate was a Philadelphia lawyer and I noticed that while I went up with my rifle to the front lines, he would go to the rear to be with the general.”
A tiny seed was planted in Day’s mind as he noticed all this. He had never before thought of anything else except to be a football coach. Was he really following the right profession for him? Was coaching and sports what he wanted to do? Or was he maybe on the wrong track? It was food for thought
After the armistice in Korea, he took a correspondence business law course, and by the time he got back to the United States, he started investigating the possibility of a law degree.
He didn’t make up his mind right away and even accepted a coaching position at Bangs. After his sudden decision to chuck his career in the coaching field, without even telling his wife, he visited the University of Texas Law School in Austin, asking about admission, and G.I. education benefits. He stopped at the math department of the university and was offered a job as an assistant to the math professor grading test papers. He also scored a position that would influence his activities for the remainder of his life ever how long that might be. W.R. “Bill” Chambers was a long time friend of the Day family. He was also a long time member of the Texas House of Representatives in Austin. George’s father told George to visit him at the Capital. At the end of the visit, House Speaker Jim Lindsey from Texarkana hired George to be one of his 5 Assistant Sergeants of Arms working under Dole Cureton a Texas Ranger, Now Sergeant of Arms.
Day met and became friends with Jake Pickle, chairman of the Texas Democratic Committee, Senator Price Daniel, Senator Lyndon Johnson, and US House Speaker Sam Rayburn. Even today, this conservative Democrat is considered an activist and an expert on politics and government, serving 16 years in elective offices. He sponsored the creation of the first Political Action Committee (PAC) in the United States in 1962, working as a lobbyist for the Texas Trail Lawyers Association for 20 years.
Day recalls with a smile that before he had gone to Korea, he had built a one bedroom house during his 30-day leave. So bag and baggage, house and all, he moved his family to Austin. “I just got C. F. Coffee (of Brownwood) to move my house and away we went,” he said.
The man who had wanted to be a coach was admitted to the bar on Dec. 7, 1956. But actually he graduated from law school in January 1957.
“I went ahead and started practicing law as a court-appointed attorney in Austin before I graduated,” he said.
“I remember a law book salesman speaking to our class at law school told me that a district judge in Cleburne was looking-for a young lawyer who wanted to go to the country. Since I was not interested in going to the big city, I called the judge just before Christmas and made an appointment to see him on “Jan.2nd,” he said.
Day kept his appointment and after a short conversation with the judge, he was told “you will do.” A hasty ride with the judge in his car to Glen Rose where he met with the Somervell County Commissioner’s Court followed “I was hired on the spot by the court.” Day said.
“On Jan. 30,1956 after graduation. I moved to Glen Rose, hung out a sign that Si Blackstock had painted for me and started looking for my first client,” he said.
“I was the only lawyer in Glen Rose,” he laughed. “A guy came in on my second day at work, hired me to do a mechanics lien and I have been busy ever since,” he said.
In addition to his list of duties in Glen Rose, Day was appointed city attorney.
Day remembers well the occasion that brought him back to Brownwood. He had been in Glen Rose three years when the late Levie Old, a well-known Brownwood attorney, informed Day that the post of Brown County attorney was soon to become vacant because William O. Breedlove, then county attorney, was planning to resign to run for another office. Old suggested that Day apply for the appointment. “He said it was my ‘duty’ to apply.”
So since Day was coming home for Christmas anyway, he decided to apply. “I met with Judge Loudermilk and the commissioners court and on Jan. 2, 1960, I was appointed Brown County attorney. He resigned his post in Glen Rose and George Day moved back home.
He was elected and re-elected as county attorney until Jan. 1, 1969 when he became district attorney. “I was sworn in by Judge Eldon Mahon who is now a federal district judge,” Day recalls.
Prior to the swearing-in ceremonies, Judge Thomas Reavley, now an appellate justice on the New Orleans Federal Court of Appeals praised Day for his sense of justice and fair play. The judge referred to Day as the “peoples’ lawyer.”
Day served as district attorney until .1972 when he decided to give up public office to devote all of his time to private practice.
Day isn’t the only successful son of Bill and Gladys “Tiny” Day. James. Tom and Billy Floyd Day are all successful in their own fields. All but Billy Floyd finished college. Bill went two years and decided he would rather help his father at his garage than continue in school.
George Day likes to tell an amusing story on his brother. Dr. James Day, who holds a PhD in English and teaches at University of Texas at El Paso, and is the director of the University Library.
“I remember James had come home from college at Christmas of his sophomore year with his car packed full of belongings. He announced to our father that he was quitting school,” Day recalls. “I sat and listened to all of this. I was surprised but Dad told him that was fine to just unload the car and he had plenty of work that he could get right to work on. Dad gave him the job of digging a gas line from the main garage on West Commerce to a new small building that he had built at the rear,” Day continued.
As he remembers the area was packed down by trucks driving over the caliche over the years. “Brother James went right to work and over the next several days completed the ditch but by the time he was through with the work, his hands were bleeding. Dad “never said a word, just kept watching,” Day reminisces.
“I remember the day I was going back to school at Texas A&M, I was loading my car. I looked around and James was loading his. My dad asked him what. he was doing. ‘I am going back to school’ was the immediate answer.”
George Day recalls, with a smile, his father’s answer. “That’s good, son,” and .with that tie walked into – the house. No one, has ever mentioned another word about .the incident… up to now,” he quipped.
So what’s George Day going to do now? Will he continue to remain Mr.
Private Citizen, or will he someday go back; into politics?
“I am not closing any doors,” he said.