Caballero Alumni Association: 1955-56
"Tripod Always"
Fall, 1955

"About three-quarters of a million dollars worth of automobiles, ranging from 'Cinder-Puffing Pumpkins' to 'Cylinder-rella Carriage,' belong to the Sam Houston student body," the Houstonian reported (10/8/55). All together there were 706 cars, "enough to take everybody at Sam Houston automobile riding at one time." The cars were squealing around the streets of Huntsville and the girls were squealing at the sounds of the new sensation Elvis Presley. The radios blared "Blue Suede Shoes" and the men's hair styles changed overnight.

In a poll conducted by the Houstonian of over 200 students about their feelings about the new singing phenomenon, many liked his songs ("I think he is fabulous. He will be popular forever."), others commented on his unusual movements ("A great showman. P. T. Barnum could have used him in a side show. His popularity and record sales will depend upon his hip grind."), some had mixed feelings ("I like his pretty songs, but I can't go too much for that high class shouting."), some took a negative viewpoint ("I like his singing, but don't care much for him. A year from now he will probably have to sell his gold records to eat."), others joked ("He looks like he has the seven year itch and can't scratch."), and a few felt he was immoral ("I think he is a perfect example of a propaganda measure aimed at the moral ethics of the American youth.").

The Caballeros were as active as ever. New officers took the helm (10/22/55).

Four men were pledged in October: Chuck Williams from Kermit, Kenny Culbreth from Hearne, Tommy Freeman from Houston, and Bill Hall from Houston (10/29/55). Also in October the club signed a contract with the Loulies to work together on projects ranging from Homecoming floats to Pioneer Roundup (10/15/55).

The subject the Cabs chose for their Homecoming float was practically a sure-shot for winning. They built a large replica of Tripod, the school's unofficial mascot. At Homecoming, "Tripod Always" rolled down the street and captured the "Most Original" trophy (11/5/55).

This Homecoming became a very special one in Caballero history. At this Homecoming the Caballero Alumni Association was formed. A Board of Governors was elected: Chairman Bill Johnston, Vice-Chairman Dan Rather, Secretary Bob Dalehite, Treasurer Bob Samuel. Other alumni present at this formation were Bill Curbo, Jim Lanier, Hector Long, Bill Dietz, and Jackie Carroll (11/5/55). (Without an active Alumni association, the Caballeros would not have been accepted by Sigma Chi.) With uncanny foresight, the Caballeros formed an active alumni association which planned a New Year's Eve party in Houston for the entire Caballero brotherhood, past and present. Most important perhaps of all the decisions made by the alumni association was the adoption of a constitution for the Caballero Alumni Association, which was officially approved on November 6, 1955.

Caballero Profile

Probably no one else was more active in the Caballero Alumni Association that Bob Dalehite. He was the Secretary and the recordkeeper. He put together the alumni newsletter, "The Recall," which, in itself, created the voice of the Caballero history. Without his dedication to the organization, the inner feelings of the Caballero would not have been expressed and the alumni association might not have had the strength and endurance it had. Through his words he makes us all feel the yearning for Sigma Chi, for something seemingly out of one's grasp. But through persistence on the part of all the men who walked in Caballero shoes, the goal was achieved. And Bob Dalehite, the recorder of Caballero history from this point until the Sigma Chi installation, had a prominent hand in accomplishing this goal.

Besides going to school and building floats the active Cabs were winning in football intramurals. They had beaten the Crew Cuts in a close game 7-6 and this put them in the finals (11/19/55). In their final victory game they defeated the Has Beens 18-7 and won the All-Star league crown. During this season the new rule of breaking a tie was added: "If a game ends in a tie the team with the most penetrations will be declared the winner" (12/3/55). Soon after that joint victory, Chuck Williams won the intramural tennis tournament for the Cabs by defeating his opponent in straight sets 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 (12/17/55).

The Cabs announced that their Second annual Fight Night would be on December 7 at the National Guard Armory; the chairman was Jimmy Inman. All fighters had to furnish their own equipment and Golden Gloves rules would be observed (11/9/55). However, because of conflicts on that date with the basketball game and the Scout Father and Son Banquet, Fight Night was postponed to February (12/3/55).

On December 16, the Caballeros had formal initiation. Mr. Walter Gintz, club sponsor, welcomed the new members (1/7/56). On New Years' Eve, the Caballero actives and alumni met at the Rice Hotel in Houston for a new year's celebration. The alumni attending the party included Bill Johnston, Lloyd Grubbs, Dan Rather, Bob Dalehite, and Bill Dietz (1/7/56).

The Cabs closed out the semester by planning their Moulin Rouge party for February 3, under the chairmanship of Kenny Culbreth and Parke Christenberry; the MC would be George Buckow. They elected officers for the Spring: President Lloyd Burr, Vice-President George Buckow, Secretary Jerry Inman, Treasurer Phil Womack, Publicity Chairman Jimmy DeShong, Historian Dempsey Mewbourn, and Parliamentarian Jimmy Inman.

A New House
Spring, 1956

The third annual Moulin Rouge Dance at the SUB began the Spring semester with great success; 350 entered into "the snack bar through a windmill outlined in red lights" and were greeted by waiters dressed in "dark trousers, striped T-shirts, and berets" and shown to their tables. Throughout the evening cigarette girls wound their way through the crowd. Toulouse Latrec murals, illustrated by George Buckow and Charles Horton, were the wall coverings and the crowd was entertained with seven acts which performed at thirty-minute intervals (2/11/56).

During the third week in February the Caballeros leased a new home which would house 17 members; it was located at 1603 Avenue O. It had formerly been the Bearkat Den. After looking for a house for five years, they had found one. A governing board was created to care for the house and its operation. There was an Open House planned for the near future (2/25/56).

The Darrell Ray Murray Award was established to give to the outstanding pledge each semester. The plaque would have a permanent place in the club's house and would have the names of the best pledges inscribed on it. Nine men were pledged: Cody Voss, Gene McMiken, Robert "Bubba" Peacock, Mel Clark, Russell Butaud, Charles Horton, Frank Fontana, Dale Abshier, and Harold Holland (2/25/56).

One of the Sam Houston Bearkat Baseball team's star players was Caballero Dickie O'Brien, who was not only a ball player but also named to Who's Who, was on the Student Council, was vice-president of the senior class, and was a cheerleader. Number 46 played both second base and first base and was considered by Coach Benge as a "dependable man." "Dickie picked his best game the one played against U of H last year when he hit 5 for 5" (3/17/56).

March 27 was the date of the 1956 Dream Girl dance. Three ladies were escorted into the room and Dorothy Thompson, escorted by Chuck Williams, was presented as the new Caballero Dream Girl (the other two were Jo Ann Altenberg, escorted by Kenny Culbreth, and Marlene Richey, escorted by Billy Carlton); Dorothy received a dozen roses and an engraved bracelet from Walter Gintz, Caballero sponsor. The dance was in the SUB ballroom which was decorated as a garden with wrought iron chairs and greenery. MC for the affair was Lloyd Grubbs, and entertainment was furnished by Cody Voss (4/7/56). General Chairman of the dance was Larry Cory and Herb McElveen was in charge of decorations.

In April a group of Cab actives and alumni gathered at the Wooden Nickel for a barbecue and get-together. The alumni were becoming a very active group! Dr. and Mrs. Lowman reminisced with alums Bob Dalehite, Bob Samuel, Dan Rather, Bill Dietz, Hank Koym, Bob Doonan, and Jim Lanier. Dalehite spoke on the future of the organization and a future party in Galveston was planned (4/2/56). The Alumni Party in Galveston on May 5 and 6 included sailboating, speedboat racing, and swimming. Members and their dates had barbecue at Karl Deubner's home after a party at West Beach (5/12/56).

By the way, the Caballeros and the Loulies won second place in Pioneer Roundup (4/12/56). Net profit from the Roundup show was $206.68. $25 gift certificates were given to Miss Mary Ella Montague and Mrs. George [Barbara] Buckow for their help (Recall, I, 7).

On Wednesday, May 16, the Caballeros ended their school year with formal initiation of the men pledged in February. The Darrell Ray Murray award was presented to Bubba Peacock. The pledges had finished informal initiation, held at Stubblefield Lake the preceding Friday. At the initiation held at the Plaza Hotel Dining Room the graduating seniors were also recognized: Jimmy Inman, George Buckow, George Rowland, Richard Cronkwright, Dickie O'Brien, Pete Starnes, Bobby Ellis, Chuck Williams, Billy Carlton, Jimmy DeShong, and Bobby Conner (5/19/56). George Buckow was given a framed scroll of appreciation, signed by all the active members, for being the most sincere and hard-working member of the year's active club. It was decided to make this an annual presentation and to have the name of the recipient inscribed on a plaque which would have permanent place in the house (Recall, June, 1956).

Caballero Profile

From the day he "bopped" his way on the campus of Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1952 until the day he graduated, George Buckow's name was a household word! When George became involved in a project, he did so with dedication and vigor. In the fall of 1953, George pledged Caballero and became completely involved in all facets of their activities. His unique talent in art provided the Caballeros with many memorably illustrated brochures and party decorations as well as the Club Certificates which he designed in 1957. He was the Art Director for the 1956 Alcalde. Besides using his artistic talents for the good of the organization, George delved deeply into the Caballero Club itself, holding many offices during his tenure at Sam Houston and was always reliable when it came to getting a job done, documented by his being voted by his Brothers as Best Member. While many of the other members promoted the Caballero name by being involved in numerous outside activities, George was a principle player in keeping the Caballeros going internally. Without him and others like him, the Caballeros could have had a rockier road during their formative years. Perhaps many Caballeros thought "Let George do it." And you know what? He did!

George Buckow was awarded the Order of Constantine medal by Sigma Chi in 2007 for his dedicated service to the fraternity through the years.

The alumni were looking forward to parties coming up on May 19 at the Carlton Ranch in Groveton, hosted by Billy Carlton and Lloyd Burr, and on May 26 at Port Alto a party given by Parke Christenberry. (5/12/56).

The copy accompanying a picture of Mr. Gintz in the 1956 Alcalde summed up the memories of the 1955-56 Caballero year:

Everyone remembers the good times, hard work, and laughs that went into everything we did all year. And remember Bill Rowland at the spring semester rush party and Pop-a-cup and Mama-cup. . .didn't we have a Ball? And then there was the night Phil Womack drove his dad's car home and didn't know he had wrecked it until his dad noticed it. He swore he didn't know how it happened! We had a lot of good times---like the night Bobby Conner got out of bed and ruined Billy Carlton's shirt. I'm sure all the boys remember George Buckow's wedding and the weekend that followed. Some of the Cabs will never forget that weekend. And don't forget that party at the Rice Hotel---and Larry Cory and all the women he sweated!

Here's to dear old Tripod, and the many nights we slaved away to perfect him; but we did it without one single all night stand. We won, too! Speaking of "Here's to"---remember the toasts that Lloyd Grubbs presented at the rush party?. . .Three cheers to our great presidents this year, Jimmy Inman and Lloyd Burr. . .And how about George Rowland and the Christmas poem he wrote? And the nicknames---Ingerman, Trooper, Gator, Bunk, Mac, Punk, Chris, Demp, Conk, Duke, Chuck. . . To our beloved sponsor who has worked miracles and who had become known to us as "Papa Gintz." None of us will forget the special events---the Mascot Show, Moulin Rouge Dance, Dream Girl Dance, Wooden Nickel in Pioneer Roundup. We had a few outstanding boys on the campus this year, too---Dickie O'Brien. . ., Pete Starnes, an outstanding miler on the track team, Jimmy Inman, Bearkat Cheerleader, Tommy Freeman, Vice-President of the FBLA. . .And surely we will remember our only casualty in flag football---Kenny Culbreth.

It's been a good year and one that none of us Caballeros will ever forget.

There was mention made in the June, 1956, "Recall" of the construction of housing facilities going on at Sam Houston, which did not directly affect the Caballeros at this time, but would in the future, Bob Dalehite reported.

All the new construction is really going to change some of Sam Houston's most famous residences. All SH athletes will be moving into the new gym dorms, so the Bearkat Den and the baseball house will be vacated. Also, with the new girls' dorms, all the girl societies are moving into them, including the Philos and the CB's, who have had outside residences. Each club will be housed in separate sections of the new dorms. The new plan does not apply to the boy's clubs, who will probably inherit some of the "leftovers."

Officers for the Fall semester were elected: President Bill Rowland; 1st Vice President Karl Deubner; 2nd Vice President Phil Womack; Secretary Parke Christenberry; Treasurer Darwin Hathorn; Publicity Jerry Inman; Parliamentarian Lloyd Burr; IFC Delegates Lloyd Grubbs, Frank Fontana, and Dempsey Mewbourn.

1956 Alcalde Picture

Picture not available at this time

Row 1: Walter Gintz, Sponsor; Larry Cory, Jimmy Inman, Bill Rowland, Pete Starnes, Richard Cronkwright.

Row 2: George Rowland, Herb McElveen, Bobby Ellis, Bobby Conner, Kenny Culbreth, Dempsey Mewbourn

Row 3: Jerry Inman, Phil Womack, Lloyd Burr, Dickie O'Brien, Karl Deubner, George Buckow

Row 4: Parke Christenberry, Chuck Williams, Billy Carlton, Bobby Doonan, Bill Hall, Tommy Freeman

Row 5: Dorwin Hathorn, Hardy Browder, Jim DeShong, "Lefty" Frizzell

Tripod: A Sam Houston Legend