The Homecoming Weekend at Tarleton State University, Stephenville, TX., could not have been any better. The weather was perfect at around 70 with little wind, and the sun was shining – all a great setting for old friends and classmates to meet. The schedule was full with a Golden Reunion Reception of classes of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s in the Dining Hall on Friday evening. Later we met at a motel conference room to continue with the visit and Purple book (annual) looking. Saturday was the Parade and special recognition luncheon of the 1957 50th Year Reunion Luncheon with 1956-1958 invited. Some of those interested went to the football game in the afternoon and then approximately 22 met at Jake and Dorothy’s Café, still serving chicken fried steaks like we had in 1954.
We heard exciting news about the future home for Tarleton alumni, located across the women’s residence halls and will include the Alumni House, Campus Corner and meeting hall. The Alumni House was open for us to visit before the parade. It was built in 1915 for one of John Tarleton’s College presidents. Later the nostalgic Campus Corner will be open and have a working soda fountain and jukebox. This complex will be about a $2.0 million program and will serve alumni of today and for generations to come. This addition is a needed place to meet and have a cup of coffee with a stack of Grassburrs (the college annual) to look through. I was editor of the 1956 Grassburr and got to visit with the journalism teacher, now Dr. Chilton. I’m so glad I was a part of recording some of those precious memories. One of my dear friends, Peggy, was recruited to be on the annual staff and meetings were on Monday night, the same night as the dances at the rec hall across the street. She is still complaining about that one. She had some very cute clothes so we designed and had her dress to depict in each month’s season division page in the annual. I wished we’d used more captions and I wish more than ever I’d been a journal keeper at that time – mainly to bring some new stories back to homecoming each year.
Much of homecoming success goes to Paul Koonsman ’67, Alumni Relations Director and this year he had his wife, Karen, and the rest of the family involved.
I owe my Tarleton family membership to my Mother (and Father who paid) who deposited me on their doorstep and said “Major in Home Economics”. I was interested in De Leon and De Leon boys and not future oriented, but I became involved with Tarleton’s 2 year junior college’s colorful traditions and now our family is a first-class university. Classmates return each year as there is a bond that has sealed us together in traditions of Oscar P, Plowboys, drum beating, bonfires, balls, dances on the slab, and Cadet Corp trips and most of all – friendly Texas students (ok, a few were out of state). Enrollment now tops 9,000. One of the guys quipped when a float loaded with girls passed by during the parade “I think there are more girls on the back of that truck than went to school here when I did”. The boy/girl ratio was in favor of the girls, for sure.
We owe a big debt of gratitude to that wealthy rancher who had the foresight to begin a college in rural Erath County. TSU is building a new dining room that should be open in January ’08. The one I ate in was built in 1928 and a lot of romances began there and a lot of “sugar ants” were stomped around the tables as newly dating couples began to meet for lunch or dinner and a “fish” would be told to “Button-up” or yell out their names to the likes of “I don’t know but I’ve been told….”. If you haven’t been to a Tarleton Homecoming in a while or ever, make plans to join us in 2008 and bring some new stories.
See the slide show below to see some of the photos taken during the weekend.
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