BFOC interviews Lance Armstrong’s mom, Linda Armstrong Kelly

First off, thank you so much for letting us speak with you. We had recently discovered you once lived in Oak Cliff, and wanted to find out a little more about your history on our side of the river.

I lived most of my life near the Lemmon and Inwood area, but my family moved to Oak Cliff where I lived for four years and attended Adamson High School. I had Lance at Methodist Hospital in 1971, and lived in the Wynnewood Apartments at Zang.

What can you tell us of your time in Oak Cliff?

It was a tumultuous time for me, as I was pregnant at 16, and Lance’s father was abusive. I remember having to hold a paper route just to make ends meet. This was during the 1970’s, so the area was quite a bit different than it is now. I have three siblings that also went to Adamson High School.

Did you work anywhere else in Oak Cliff?

I did. I worked for a time at the J.C. Penney’s on Jefferson Boulevard {which has sense been torn down}, the Parker Glass company on Zang, and the Kroger at Wynnewood. Shortly after having Lance, we picked up and moved to Garland for a short time, until finally settling in Plano.

Have you ever returned to the Cliff?

I have. Recently, I went back when putting together my book. In it, I discuss the challenges of being a single mother in Oak Cliff and beyond, and having to do all I could to give Lance a chance to succeed. It wasn’t easy, but those early struggles were necessary in order to help give my son the opportunities he would use later to strive ahead.

Seeing your son’s advocacy for “the beginner” cyclist in Austin has really heartened us, most notably his efforts to bring bicycle infrastructure to the city, and his advocacy for children to ride. Are you also involved with this?

Absolutely. In fact, I’ve worked with the Texas Bicycle Coalition, and have always been 100% behind programs for bike lanes, and safe routes to school. In the end, we need to do everything possible to get people out and riding on bicycles, and fighting for the new cyclist. The benefits are innumerable.

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