Betty Smith Sparks is a third generation native of Uvalde. She started school in the old school building on the corner of Oak and Getty in "Miss Wave" Thompson's class. She graduated from Uvalde High School with the class of 1948.
After attending SWTJC on a Garner Scholalrship, she earned her B.S. and M.A. degrees from Sul Ross State University. She taught high school English for
26 years in schools in far west Texas including Van Horn, Balmorhea and
Presidio. During many of those years her column "Kitchen Philosopher"
appeared in such far reaching newspapers as "The Van Horn Advocate," The
"Marfa Independent" and "The Presidio Paper."
After retiring in 1994, she and her husband John T. Sparks, returned to live
at their home place in Cline. After her husband passed away in 1995, she
inherited Jane Alexander Knapik's job at the local paper doing the "Remember
When" column. In 2001 she began a monthly column for "The Leader News"
called "Now & Then" where she recalls memories from Uvalde during the
thirties, forties and fifties and contrasts those days to present day
She has taught a few semesters at SWTJC but mostly enjoys retirement and
having time to write. One of her six children, Terri Tucker, is an English
instructor at SWTJC. She also is a writer and teaches classes in Creative
She has 19 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren who bring her joy and
contentment. She is especially enjoys being back home in Uvalde where she
has many friends and former classmates.