11/22/2003 Thompson held a paintbrush
long before he held a gavel
By JOAN SHERROUSE/Daily Sun Staff
He said he has taken something positive from every job he's ever
had, but the foundation came from watching his dad and several other
coaches in action.
"They would work 14 hours a day, six days a week, and eight hours
on Sunday after church" he said. "You can't help but look at that and
see that, if you work hard, you're going to have good things happen."
In fact, it was his dad who gave him his first job -- summertime
employment in the house-painting business. While he admits he may have
been more of a pest at first, he eventually worked his way up to the
"I was in the second grade, and I'd pick up the tape and the
newspapers when they tore it off the windows," he said. "But, I worked
doing that every year, and now, I can paint your house."
His first work experience outside the family group came when he
was at Navarro College on a Collins Scholarship. He had set his sites on
Baylor and knew financing would be a challenge, so he rolled the
scholarship over and worked to stay in school.
"I had two jobs while I was at Navarro," he said. "I'd get out of
class and work in the tutoring lab for minimum wage in the afternoons,
and when I got done with that, I went down to a gas station and worked
in the evenings."
He added that working 54 hours a week and going to school taught
him a thing or two about time management, which he added to the work
ethic he'd picked up as a child.
After he graduated from Baylor, he said he came back to Corsicana
and went to work for Guardian Glass.
"Working out there, you get to see some of the hardest-working
people in the world," he said. "They put their time in, do their job and
they don't complain."
The lesson was not lost on him -- the dedication, the team work
and the pride of accomplishment.
"Then, I worded for the Texas Youth Commission at the State Home,"
he said., "What I took from there was patience, because when you're in
that kind of environment, and you have to learn how to balance what you
need to do with patience and understanding."
The one thread that has run throughout his entire career -- from
watching his dad work to sitting on the bench -- is teamwork.
"I don't know that there's a job out there where you don't need an
effective team to get the work done," said Municipal Judge Lowell
Thompson. "That's why the staff out front is so important to me, because
they are so well trained and they do such a good job."
While he was in school, he said summer vacations weren't time off,
they were opportunities to work and help fund future goals.
Had it not been for working his way through Navarro College and
using his Collins Scholarship at Baylor, Thompson said his life would
have turned out very differently.
"I'm convinced to this day," he said. "I probably wouldn't have
this job, and I know I wouldn't have been able to go to Baylor."
Joan Sherrouse may be contacted via e-mail at
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