California birthday

Paris Regional Medical Center Director of Marketing/Communications Savannah Abbott, left, and Carolyn Lockridge, RN, delivery nurse, right, welcome Don Garrison of Palm Springs, California, as he and his mother, Mary Garrison Rodgers, of Garland, celebrate his birth 55 years ago.

A man from California and his mother returned early Friday morning to the former McCuistion Hospital where he was born 55 years ago at 11 minutes after 7.

That’s the exact time Don Garrison of Palm Springs, California, and his mother, Mary Garrison Rodgers, of Garland, arrived on the second floor of the Children’s and Women’s Center at Paris Regional Medical Center.

“I wanted to celebrate my birthday where I was born,” Don Garrison said.

His mother said she remembers little about that day on Feb. 7, 1965, other than she had a spinal block and the late Dr. Lawrence Mann delivered her second child and only boy.

“I asked him when I could ride my horse, and he said it would be awhile,” the mother said.

Garrison chimed in.

“I spent a long time being born, being trapped for nine months,” he said.

Afterward, he returned home to his Dad and older sister to a home off FM 195 near Novice. He attended Powderly Elementary School until sixth grade when his parents divorced, and his mother remarried and moved to Garland in 1976.

Mary Garrison, who grew up near Paris and attended Paris schools, became a hairdresser and opened Beauty Boutique on Clarksville Street near Lamar National Bank. She sold the business when she left Paris. It changed owners several times and now is a vacant restaurant.

After high school in Garland, Garrison attended the University of Texas-Austin and then began a banking career first in Arizona then in California, New York and other places where he specialized in Small Business Administration loans.

Now retired, Garrison continues his travels.

“I had a French teacher in high school who told me to get out of Texas; and I did,” he said. “Now that I am retired, I live in Palm Springs and I wear shorts and T-shirts.”

The duo will remain in Paris through Sunday visiting relatives.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at

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