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Quentin's high school photo

tiny rocket buttonQuentin Wilson

Quentin was born at William Poca, WV (now forgotten, and considered a part of Warriormine, WV), on Nov. 21, 1942 to Eston & Jessie Richardson Wilson. Eston & Jessie had migrated to the coalfields during the Great Depression from subsistence farms on Stoney Creek in Carter Co., Tennessee. Despite demonstrated academic talents, both had ended their formal education early (Eston after 6th grade, Jessie after 8th) due to the hardships which their families suffered during the Depression. If insufficiently educated, they proved very fertile. Eight children were born to the Wilsons, four sons & four daughter. Only six survived to adulthood, of which Quentin was 3rd oldest, and eldest son.

The large family survived on a sufficiency, if not in plentitude, on the miner’s wage despite Eston’s tendency to tipple on weekends. Then in the late ‘50's, Island Creek Coal closed it #3 Bartley mine, leaving the entire community unemployed. Eston then worked a succession of small operations for lower earnings before being disabled by stoke at age 48, the summer before Quentin began high school at Big Creek. Existence for the entire family became very hard, and saving were soon exhausted. Quentin, as oldest child at home, was responsible for food, fuel, and garden, as well as any and all odd jobs for coulee wages, which were contributed to the family for necessities. All during high school, Quentin worked 20+ hours per week for family support, while endeavoring to earn flawless school marks. Frequently tired, sometimes underfed, and usually sleep-short, it was small wonder that he had little interest in sports or physical education class.

Quentin attended Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia on academic scholarship immediately after graduation from Big Creek, graduating in chemistry. After 1 year as a chemist in the oil industry, he converted to petroleum engineer. After working for a series of major oil companies all over Texas, he settled in Amarillo, Texas, where he has been an independent oilman since 1984.

     Quentin married Glenna Easley when a senior at Marshall. They had three daughters, Laura, Jocelyn, and Heather. They divorced after 19 years. He remained single for 5 years, then married Janice Birkholz, a practicing CPA. They founded a family owned real estate development company, which Quentin runs in addition to various oil and gas consulting and promoting activities.

     Quentin, along with the other Original Rocket Boys, makes numerous appearances to talk about their boyhood experiences in the BCMA at schools and various other organizations. In August of 1999, Quentin was a guest speaker at the annual Tripoli Rocket Launch (LDRS 18) in Kansas, where along with hundreds of amateur rocket enthusiasts, he helped launch a replica of the "Miss Riley" rocket used in the movie.

     Quentin is an experienced public speaker, and is a certified Accredited Toastmaster (ATM) with 25 years in Toastmasters, International.

     Quentin, along with the other Rocketboys, is proud to have been named an honorary inductee of "The National Gallery for America's Young Inventors" in September, 1999. He strongly supports "Partnership for America's Future", which promotes and supports the inventiveness of America's Youth through "The National Gallery for America's Young Inventors"

E-mail Quentin at: quentinwilson@hotmail.com

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