Monday, December 14, 2015

Another Time I Was Part of History

In late July, 1960, I was celebrating a birthday and thinking about the fact that in a little over a month I'd be returning to The University of Texas at Austin for my sophomore year.  Little did I know that Fate had a little something extra in store for me.

As it happens, the Mexia High School band had been asked to march at halftime at a football game in Dallas in early August.  Because some students were on vacation and others had to work in the evenings, and because the band director wanted 100 people to march, he put out the call for recent graduates to participate.  I was never one to pass up an opportunity like that, so I volunteered.  

In case you want photographic proof, there I am up on the left, photobombing Judy Carr and Sally Baldree at practice.  I don't know who took the picture or how I got a copy, but you can take my word for it that it was sometime in early August of 1960.

You've probably already guessed the historic event I referred to in the heading for this post.  It was the first football game ever played by the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas.  Now they call them preseason games, but then they were called exhibition games.  The Cowboys had played two previous games in other cities, but this was the first one at home, back when they played in the Cotton Bowl.  Naturally they lost.

I already followed professional football a little bit, but since I'd now seen Dallas play and seen great Baltimore stars like Johnny Unitas and Lenny Moore in person, I began to take more interest in things.  I became a Cowboy fan and maintained my enthusiasm for years.  I watched every game I could on TV and listened to others on the radio.  My enthusiasm started to wane when Jerry Jones took over, and now it's almost entirely gone.  I like the Houston Texans better.

The game was played in the afternoon.  Afterward, we got to go to a movie.  We didn't get to choose which one.  The whole bunch of us was taken to The Apartment, just the kind of movie for small-town high-school kids.  Being a mature college sophomore, I was, of course, able to understand and appreciate it perfectly.  I'm sure some of the whippersnappers didn't, though.

11 comments:

Jeff Meyerson said...

Good one. You look like a baby.

Unknown said...

I practically was.

Anonymous said...

Were you just a marching warm body, or did you play an instrument, If so, what? Your talents as a musician have thus far been a secret, to me at any rate.
A.S.

Rick Ollerman said...

Jerry Jones lost me as a Cowboys fan almost instantly, as soon as he fired Tom Landry. Jones has done very little by way of decision-making that has shown him to improve since then.

Unknown said...

You got that right!

Unknown said...

Art, I tootled the clarinet.

James Reasoner said...

Great story as always. Johnny U was my dad's favorite football player until Bob Lilly came along.

Unknown said...

Willie, Lilly, Jethro, and George. Those were the days.

Fred Blosser said...

On my 6th Grade trip to Washington, DC, in 1962 as part of the annual School Safety Patrol pilgrimage to DC, our group had tickets for a movie night. The movie was LOVER COME BACK with Rock Hudson and Doris Day. I don't think I quite wrapped my 11-year-old brain around the fact that the movie was basically about Rock trying to get Doris into bed.

Cap'n Bob said...

Bill has shown ample evidence of his virtuosity on the guitar, and he's mentioned being in the marching band many times. If you took notes as I do you'd know this.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned that swell hat. That's the same kind Timmy's father wore in Lassie, I'll bet.

Unknown said...

I loved that hat. And you'll believe this: I still have it. It's crushed and broken, but still here. And I still know 3 chords on the tenor guitar.