“…In the end, it’s not just the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
— President Abraham Lincoln.
Well said. Happy birthday, Rangerettes. The birthday celebration for the world’s most iconic drill team is a bit smaller today, on the anniversary of the actual first performance. But we’re blowing it out in a special commemorative ETC Magazine on Sept. 30. There’s no cost for ETC, and it’s included in several of our papers that are delivered or mailed. But if you don’t get one in your paper, come down to the News Herald’s office at 207 N. Kilgore Street, across from Charburger Stockade, and we’ll hook you up.
OUR ETC MAGAZINE story is special, a great piece written by Jessica Harker, with collaboration from Rangerette Director Mrs. Dana Blair and Kilgore Mayor (and former Rangerette manager and Gussie Nell Davis friend) Ronnie Spradlin.
I don’t want to steal any of its thunder. But here’s an excerpt from the Rangerettes’ website about the formation of the team by Davis.
“Dr. (B.E.) Masters brought Miss Gussie Nell Davis to Kilgore College to create something special. Her creation and gift to the world were the Kilgore College Rangerettes! The first group of its kind in the world, the Rangerettes brought “show business” to the football gridiron. Miss Davis’ team took to the field during the 1940 football season, pioneering the field of dancing drill teams now seen across the nation. Miss Davis retired in 1979, and passed away on December 21, 1993.”
“Mrs. Blair is the first director to have been a Rangerette.
“The current assistant director and choreographer of the Rangerettes is Mrs. Shelley Wayne. Shelley is a former Rangerette Lieutenant and Swingster (1985-1987) originally from Houston who returned to Kilgore College after directing the Westfield High School drill team (Houston) for one year. Mrs. Wayne and Mrs. Blair have worked together with the Rangerettes since 1993.
“The Rangerettes are the world’s best-known collegiate drill team, traveling from coast-to-coast and border-to-border in the United States and on several world tours.”
From our ETC article, written by Ms. Harker, here’s a quote from Spradlin about Gussie Nell Davis:
“She was a strict and demanding teacher, but also a very warm and appreciative woman,” Spradlin said. “She had very high expectations of her girls, and she was not someone to be disappointed.”
That’s all you get. Read ETC on Sept. 30 for the whole thing.
The current line is the 81st, and there are 66 young ladies patiently (maybe?) waiting to perform for the public at their annual Christmas show, the Kilgore College football season in spring, and at Rangerette Revels, also in the spring.
Looking forward to ETC Magazine’s commemorative Rangerette issue. Hope you enjoy it.
WELL, SOME CANCELLATION news from the city council meeting Tuesday night: Oktoberfest won’t be held this year. But Kilgore Main Street has notified the city they’ll replace the event with … another event.
JACK RYAN’S STEAK AND CHOPHOUSE is back, having returned to service this week, making people happy all over East Texas, especially here in town. Good to have you back, guys.
SORRY TO HEAR about the fire that briefly closed our new Popeyes franchise on Wednesday evening.
Thanks to local first-responders like the Kilgore Fire Department and Kilgore Police Department, the fire was dismissed quickly and business resumed on Thursday.
No chicken sandwiches were harmed in this message.