Saturday, October 8, 2011

OU - TX Weekend

In 1967 we moved to Ardmore, Oklahoma.  I was to take over the H.S. band.   Daughter Christine was gaining on 3 yrs of age & Daugher Laura had been born about 7-8 months earlier.    It was a great opportunity for a young director - They hired me in August.  My guess is they were in trouble finding anyone who could break their contract.  Coming from Texas, I could make the move.   I loved Ardmore.  Never should have left.

We were young and poor.  Teachers are never rich  (we never had the chance to steal from widows and orphans).  When you add young & poor to our 2 young children, and moving expenses, you know that we had certain limitations.   We found a rental.

It was an okay house - wood floors - fenced back yard - driveway...I'd guess it was built in the 40s.  Had a floor furnace which could burn toes.  Never did like a floor furnace.  This house was located on one of the main Ardmore drags.  It was U.S. Hwy 77, the road that connected Dallas to Oklahoma City.  Store that info.


Raised in the Panhandle, we had a connection to Texas Tech.  Tech had joined the SWC while we were in college.  It was a great thing.  I remember my Freshman year, living in Gordon Hall, Tech played A&M in College Station.   It was the first time that Tech ever beat them.  The college erupted.  Everyone poured out of the dorms and took over the campus.  Cars were lined up from the college to downtown - honking and screaming.  It was quite a spectacle for an innocent.

Our high school athletic programs and the Tech Athletic teams were our connection with worldly sports.   We had little contact with other programs nor did we really care.  TV broadcasted limited ballgames.  I WAS completely out of touch with other teams and their traditions.

It was October of 1967.   Interstate 35 was not built.  Hwy 77 was the only route south for Okies.   It started on Thursday.  Cars drove by our house heading south.  It was a steady stream of cars decorated in red and white.  It didn't stop.  Friday made traveling on that street practically impossible.  They drove by the house honking and yelling - it never stopped. 

I am sure I had a Friday night ballgame.  When I returned home, the cars were still going south.  Sat was not better.  Eventually it stopped.  The game was on TV.  I just happened to run to the mall during the game - whatdid I care who won.  The mall was empty.  Only workers listening to radios - that's it.  I had never seen anything like that.

The game ended.  About 2 hours later, the carsstarted - heading north.   If my memory serves me, they won that game.  All night long the cars streamed by honking, trying to wake up Ardmore because they had won.  

That was an experience.  All those cars and fans.  I had never realized that the game meant so much to so many people.  They were fanatical.  Out in Lubbock, nobody cared.  Ardmore people could not believe that I cared less.  I wish you could have sat on my front porch and watched the cars.  With the completion of I-35, that is a sight that will never be seen again.
m    (Go Tech)

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