The Brush Country Featured Artist for March and April is Linda Susan (Susie) Davis. She is a retired teacher who has taught and substituted in Charlotte, Jourdanton, Pleasanton and Poteet.
Linda, or Susie to her friends and family, is the daughter of the late Henry and Adell Schwarz Schroeter. She was born in the same small hospital in Poteet where George Strait was also born. She and her late brother and two sisters all graduated from Poteet High School.
Linda earned her degree in Vocational Home Economics from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State). However, she did not begin teaching fulltime until years later, since she married her childhood sweetheart Robert F. (Bob) Davis and subsequently started a family. She and Bob had two daughters, Lisa and Loni, and was a stay-at-home mom, except for substitute teaching and one year teaching kindergarten in Poteet. She also kept busy as a 4-H leader, a member of Kappa Tau Sorority, and an active member of Poteet United Methodist Church, where she has served in numerous capacities. She has served on the board of directors of the Atascosa Family Crisis Center.
While not working fulltime, Linda began taking painting lessons with Judy Link in Pleasanton. When Judy’s husband was transferred, Linda took lessons with Karen McCauley. She worked mostly in oils, but also some watercolors. After the untimely, and totally unexpected death of her husband Bob, who was County Fire Marshall at the time of his death, she ultimately found it necessary to start teaching full-time.
The vocational home economics (now called Family and Consumer Science) teaching jobs were few and far between, so she became certified to teach elementary school. After teaching fourth grade at Pleasanton Elementary for two years, a job teaching in her original major opened in Charlotte. Linda’s longest teaching was for 13 years in Charlotte where she taught Family and Consumer Science and Art in the high school, along with teaching some junior high classes.
She started teaching art in a rather unusual way. After teaching in Charlotte for two years, the discussion at the teacher lunch table was that the students at Charlotte needed more elective class options. Linda, remembering her painting lessons and some art classes from college, decided to become certified to teach art. The next school year, she taught one art class while continuing her art education with Camilla Mitchell at Coastal Bend College. Camilla taught her to improve her drawing skills and to work with various media including pen and ink, oil pastels, chalk pastels, acrylic and other watercolor techniques.
She was able to incorporate all these skills into her lessons with her Charlotte students. She taught her students to work with clay and mosaics. Linda’s art students entered and placed many times at the Atascosa County Fair. Some of their artwork was also displayed at Region 20 Education Center in San Antonio.
After 12 years as a widow, Linda married an entertainer to whom her late husband Bob had introduced her to years before.
She has been married for 10 years now to Michael Mezmer, the hypnotist who has entertained at the Poteet Strawberry Festival for the past 27 years. Linda is enjoying her retirement with her husband. They spend their time both in Texas and California, and also traveling throughout Western states where Michael performs his Danger Magik and TranceNosis comedy hypnosis shows at county and state fairs and festivals. She still finds time to paint, but is kept busy designing and sewing costumes and helping with props for her husband as well as photographing and videoing his performances.
Linda’s artwork can be enjoyed at Pleasanton City Hall during the month of April.