Spring 2003
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Talking History
A TCU Coup!
Alma Matters
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Back Issues

TCU Magazine "Letters"

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Doesn't ring true

For many years I've enjoyed reading The TCU Magazine. Thank you for the Winter edition. With no reflection on you, I'm compelled to voice my utmost disappointment in the new design for the TCU ring. For the past 47 years, I've boasted proud ownership in the classic "square" design ring -- a most unique piece of prideful jewelry that has long been immediately recognized throughout the world. It makes a strong statement -- the student's degree, year of graduation and the school name contained in a circle and a square, the two principal symbols of mathematics. The new ring does none of this. In a word, I find it without character. Is it too late to reconsider the design?

Richard Roden '55 (MA '55)
Atlantic Highlands, N.J.

Mind your manners

I just read my new copy of The TCU Magazine (Winter 2002), especially the letters to the editor. Mr. Karl Stenske '97, may have had experience on The Daily Skiff, and he may have been a fine journalism major, but he clearly failed Manners and Courtesy.

While his critique of the article contained a few valid points, his unimaginative, abusive and vulgar writing style detracted from his message. Though the editorial staff may feel it necessary to print "the other side," I do not believe you are obligated to print a poorly expressed, infantile temper tantrum.

I also note the staff states that "Letters may be edited for length or clarity." You could have edited Mr. Stenske's diatribe. Or perhaps you did not edit on purpose.

Dave Searcey, parent
San Antonio

No blackout for Frogs

I read with interest and dismay your comments in the Winter 2002 issue about the new band uniforms. Horrible is the only way to describe them. I have not spoken to any TCU alumni who are pleased with the turn that the school has taken over uniforms. When Dennis Franchione came to TCU, the first thing we all saw was the new purple-and-black color scheme. Never mind the fact that TCU colors are purple and white. Then, with much fanfare, the new purple and black band uniforms were introduced. Then we observed the coach wearing black rather than PURPLE and WHITE.

Next we observed the cheerleaders at the Memphis game wearing black jackets. The football uniforms remain among the ugliest I have ever seen and the band and cheerleader attire runs a close second. For the head coach to wear a black T-shirt on the sideline, we are reminded once again that coaching today is strictly a job. Loyalty and school spirit are no longer a part of the formula (Right, Dennis?)

TCU has a proud tradition that spans more than a century. During that time, the strains of "Purple and White, Fight! Fight! Fight!" have echoed across the campus. Perhaps the new call should be "Purple and Black, send all those awful uniforms back!"

Jim Packer '58, (MA '60)
former band member

Hello? This is your home team calling...

(Editor's note: The following letter was sent to columnist Randy Galloway at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and copied to The TCU Magazine for publication.)

Hi Randy, Will you please pass on a message to the Sports Editor of the Star-Telegram?

Now, what I'm about to say, please don't take this wrong. I always enjoy YOUR commentaries and articles, but I'm so damn mad at the Star-Telegram I could eat nails. Here I am over 60, and I want to punch the sports editor in the mouth. I'm reading the Friday paper and they don't know that TCU beat Southern Mississippi on Wednesday. Where are their heads?

It's bad enough they say nothing about the game in the Tuesday paper, but they don't know the results on Friday. I think Amon Carter must be turning over in his grave knowing what the managing editor is doing to his paper.

Page 8DD of the Friday paper gives us the Conference standings and here it shows The Conference USA standings with Southern Miss on top. What do we have to do to wake up the sports department at the Star-Telegram?!

TCU is the ONLY University football team we have in Fort Worth. How about getting a little excited about it? Yes, I know we have a lot of UT, Texas A&M, Baylor, etc., fans, but they are living here in FORT WORTH, TEXAS.

I'm a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and I like it when they win football games, but I live here in Fort Worth, so guess what? I'm a TCU fan.

Someone (everyone) needs to get off their butts at the Star-Telegram and get excited about Horned Frog Football. Need I say more?

Robert L. Sykes
CW3 US Army Retired

Remembering Frog football

A fall Star-Telegram article about Harvard's Dr. James Cash '69 stirred memories back to the mid 1950's (I was Athletics Director Dutch Meyer's secretary), and 1960s when I was secretary to the president of C & S Sporting Goods.

The 1950s were one of the winningest times for TCU sports, and the whole town had Frog Fever. The athletics offices were in Amon G. Carter Stadium during football season and in the Bailey Building the rest of the year. The Bailey Building held the rich aroma of discarded gym shoes and socks, and blue norther winds invaded the stadium offices.

Retired AD Frank Windegger was the only student-athlete on full baseball scholarship at that time, and as a senior, Frankie was in charge of ticket sales. All hands not otherwise employed were there to help him.

Scholarships included room and board, tuition ($12 per semester hour, I think), books, and a monthly laundry allowance of $15. One of my duties was to issue this magnificent sum to students-athletes in the form of a laundry chit. Dutch, Football Coach Abe Martin and crew were the nicest bunch of men I could have worked with. Dutch was almost chivalrous toward women, the perfect gentleman, but on occasion he became riled and would let off steam by using fairly mild expletives.

My duties and the pay both were light, and I didn't much enjoy wearing a coat seated at my typewriter in the winter, so when I was offered a job with C & S, I accepted. C & S was a "hang-out" for TCU ex-lettermen, and trainer Elmer Brown and TCU coaches were in and out of the store. We also hired TCU students, so my connection to the school continued.

James Cash was one of those needy students. Notable for being TCU's and the old Southwest Conference's first black basketball player, James was a very personable young man, poised for his age and intelligence. As noted in the Star-Telegram, it is easy to see why James sought guidance from Robert Hughes, his highly-successful high school coach. And I am not surprised to read about James' achievements. Success was written all over James from the beginning.

After I left TCU, Maisie Varley became the athletics director's secretary and held the job for many years until retirement. My son, Gary Blevins '62, and his wife JoAnne have lived in Washington state since 1988, and I joined them two years ago. We live on North Whidbey Island, closer to Victoria, B.C, than to Seattle. Gary stays in touch with TCU sports by computer and via granddaughter (my great granddaughter!) Kelsey Anderson. Kelsey is a freshman attending TCU on full academic scholarship.

Eileen Orren Busbee
North Whidbey Island, Wash.


Thanks for sending The TCU Magazine. It's been a long time: BA in 1944 and BD in 1947. I have ever been grateful for TCU and the years there. I had a chance to stay in Texas, but I was from Washington state. My mother died and her mother was very much alone. We took a church in her town and stayed on in Washington state.

Jim Fairbrook '44 (BD '47)
Everett, Wash.


I want to congratulate all the staff and people working in the magazine in a way that it makes it what it is. Since I started going to TCU, I have looked forward to every issue, and I have found them very well-written and designed overall. It has been great to see how the TCU spirit and vision shows through every page.

However, my main reason to write is to note that in your latest issue, on page 5, in your article "A roll of the drum and a standing ovation." You mention that Dr. German Gutierrez led the wind symphony in a performance of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." In fact, he led the Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble that includes strings (lots of them) as opposed to a Wind Symphony, one that is only comprised of woodwinds and brass. I realize this is a common mistake, but being a music major, I could not let it go unnoticed.

I hope the magazine continues emphasizing the arts and music at TCU, which sometimes seem overshadowed by other programs.

Finally, I am sure you will continue to do a wonderful job, and I look forward to what the next issues will bring.

Thank you!

Alejandro Gomez-Guillen '03