• Both parents grew up on a farm and did some small farming all their life. Vern’s father was a handyman at Elgin Butler Brick Company. His mother was a laundry worker at Travis State School near Austin.
• Vern was disciplined as a boy. He loved track and baseball in high school. While training he one ran 27 quarter miles one after the other 90 seconds apart—without a coach. He regularly ran long distances before people even new marathons existed.