Hall Has Enjoyed ‘Every Minute’ Of Life
Rebecca Hall of Pineville says she has enjoyed every minute of her life.
She joined the Army in 1952 and went to basic training at Fort Lee, Va.
“We weren’t allowed to see or talk to men. We weren’t allowed to wear slacks. I probably didn’t say 50 words the whole time I was at basic training,” she said.
From there she went to Fort Knox, Ky., for advanced training. Back then, she said, women didn’t have many career options in the Army. They could only be secretaries or teachers.
“I loved it. If they hadn’t made me get out because I got married, I’d still be there today,” she said.
She went to Fort Slocum, N.Y., where she trained to be a teacher as one of 20 women and 200 men. She spent the rest of her time in the Army at Fort Jackson, S.C., as a teacher. She taught history of the Army, chemical warfare, how to take rifles apart and physical education.
“I couldn’t go to town because my schedule wouldn’t allow me to take the bus,” she said. One day when she had time she went and bought a 1947 Harley Davidson for $200 cash. Then she told the merchant, “Now if you’ll show me how to ride this, I’ll leave.”
He had a large field behind his shop where he allowed her to practice until she felt comfortable taking it out on the road.
“I rode it all over South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina every opportunity I had,” she said.
She worked at night in a theater and took in ironing.
“I didn’t do it because I needed money … I just had time to do it,” she said.
Then she married David Hall and the Army made her get out, she said.
The couple came back to Neosho to go to school and then they went to school at Pittsburgh, Kan., on the GI Bill. Hall started teaching in the early 1960s in Edgewood, west of Neosho, in a one-room schoolhouse. Then she went to Neosho and taught and made $4,000 a year. She taught third grade, then intermediate school, then taught fifth-grade social studies for 17 years.
Hall ran for City Council and got elected. At the same time, the mayor had a heart attack, and so she became mayor pro tem. The next year she was elected mayor.
At one point she worked on a garbage truck during the summer months and loved it, she said.
After 22 years she and David Hall divorced. When they had been divorced for some time she married Phil Moomaw and moved to McDonald County. She started teaching fourth grade in McDonald County. She retired in 2001.
“I’ve never had a job I didn’t like,” she said.
She said she has been “busier than ever” in retirement. She has two sons, Doug and Allen.
Last year she volunteered at Carver School in Neosho. She painted all the vault lids for the water meters in Pineville.
“I spend a lot of time weed-eating. I’ve got a big place,” she said.
She has a bone collection and schools invite her to show her bones. She has all kinds of animal bones and skins.
“I even loaned some bones to a school in St. Louis,” she said.
She noted that when she was teaching fourth grade in McDonald County, the bus drivers used to let her students pick up dead raccoons off the side of the road.
“That’s how I taught my anatomy class. String those intestines out, look at the heart and liver,” she said.
Hall concluded, “I have enjoyed every minute of my life. I’ve had a good life. I wish everybody could have a life as good as mine.”
Rebecca Hall of Pineville says she has enjoyed every minute of her life. She served in the Army and worked as a teacher and now volunteers in retirement.