The rush results reported in the Houstonian indicated that the Esquires took six, the Ravens eight, and the newly-formed Dons (originally called the DDI's) took eighteen. Ten men pledged Caballero: Donald Wright, Johnny Ragsdale, Gene Paramore, Cecil Neely, Jack Ewing, Byron Calfee, Roger Boyd, John Ward, Richard "Blimp" Bell, and Bill Stinson (10/20/56). These pledges were the first to receive a letter from the Caballero Alumni Association. The letter encouraged them to treat the club as a fraternity and an experience for life.
. . .Actually, if the active boys have been right in their faith in you, the club will soon be the most important activity of your collegiate career. Perhaps you may even someday come to regard the club as more than just a college social group enjoyed during the younger "hectic years," but rather as something that became a part of your personal makeup and general attitude toward life itself.The Sam Houston Bearkats were doing great this year! Just before Homecoming the Kats were one of 35 undefeated, untied, teams in the country. They were a strong favorite to take the Lone Star Championship; their strongest rival, Southwest Texas, had been beaten once in conference play. The season standings thus far put Sam Houston at the top with six wins overall and four wins in conference play. The Kats scored 142 points against opponents, while having only 34 points scored against them. If they would win the conference, it would be the first time they had ever won it alone. Last year they were in a three-way tie for first place.
All this sounds silly right now, of course, but if the past can be used as the basis for the statistics of the future, a certain percentage of our own pledge class will eventually have the realization that the club has a personality of her own, and one that has been known to incite in her members an indescribable loyalty and spirit that rivals even the major lodges.
We don't want to see you go completely overboard on this, or to regard the club as any substitute for major lodge or belief, but we do hope that you understand that this is a fraternity, Greek letter or not, and should therefore be treated with respect at all times, and given the attention and sincere support that she needs. ("Pledge letter," October, 1956.)
The Cabs were doing well in sports, too. Football intramurals were well under way in October. The Cabs defeated Annex #1 by a shutout of 25-0 (10/27/56). They defeated the Anderson County Angels in a sudden death overtime, 18-12. "Cecil Neely and Frank Fontana scored for the victors" (11/3/56).
It was announced in early November that the Southwest School of Printing would be moved from Dallas to Sam Houston and this would increase the attractiveness of the printing school (11/3/56).
The pledges had their own song, set to the tune of Cornell's Alma Mater and written by George Rowland, and would sing it frequently at midnight in front of the girls' dorms (Recall, Nov. 1956, 3).
The Caballero alumni planned a banquet at the Plaza Hotel at 7:30: "60 people are expected. . ." 58 guests attended the open house in the morning (11/17/56). There was a reserved section (Section B, Rows A, B, and C) for the Cabs at the game with Southwest Texas. The Cabs were awarded the second place float trophy for originality. Following the banquet the Alumni gathered at the club house for a business meeting at 7:00 p.m.. The Alumni planned a New Year's Eve party for the chapter and also a party at La Rivera Club in Houston in a couple of weeks to see the Mascots (11/24/56). Later that evening was a dance at the VFW Hall (SHA, Oct 56, 5).
The first business meeting of the Caballero Alumni turned out to be a pleasant surprise to the first Board of Governors. As reported in a Special edition of "The Recall" (November, 1956) the meeting lasted longer than expected and was characterized by deep concerns and "earnest question and debate." The nearly 30 alumni present (about 40% of the total alumni) voted unanimously to raise dues from $5.00 to $10.00 yearly. Although some felt the dues might be too high, especially for recent alumni (free memberships were given to alumni in the service), provisions in the Constitution allowed bi-annual payments. If alumni dropped out because of the dues increase, "the ones lost could not have been very interested in the idea [of an Alumni Association] to start with."
There was also a $100 scholarship set up to benefit an active member. The money would be provided to pay the registration fees for two semesters: registration fee was $25, student activity fee was $15, building use fee and ROTC or lab fee was $10, bringing the total to $50 each semester. A new Board of Governors was elected: Jerry Martin, President; Tom Burke, 1st Vice President; 2nd Vice-President, George Buckow; Secretary, Bob Dalehite; and Treasurer, Larry Rice.
At least 13 ideas were proposed for alumni to pursue.
The Awards Banquet was emceed by Dan Rather. Ten past presidents were honored and given pin guards captioned "Part Pres." Seven Cabs receiving pins in person were Tom Perdue, Bill Johnston, Willis Gresham, Larry Rice, Hank Koym, Bob Dalehite, and Jimmy Inman. Roy Ralston, Lloyd Grubbs, and Lloyd Burr also received pins, but were absent. Mr. Walter Gintz was given a sponsor pin guard and Bill Rowland, the current Caballero President, was awarded a president pin in the shape of a gavel. Bill Johnston, President of the Alumni Board during 1955-56, was given an engraved medallion and Caballero pin "in appreciation for his fine leadership in our first year" (Recall, Nov. 1956).
The college administration proposed construction of housing for the boys' clubs. On November 9 there was a meeting of all clubs called by Bob Turner, sponsor of the Ravens. He explained that the administration had contacted him with a proposal to construct four houses with a cafeteria for use by the Caballeros, Ravens, Dons, and Esquires; the project would be financed by the state. The four groups should congregate and draw up their own plans for the houses, the only stipulation being that all four must be alike. Each house could accommodate 35 boys with a living room and snack bar. Rent would be $30 monthly for each person and the houses would be ready for occupancy by September, 1958. "The only possible setback to this plan is that if state funds are used, the clubs cannot go National while living in the houses, and there will undoubtedly have to be an agreement drawn for compelling the Clubs to retain possession for a set number of years" (Recall, Nov. 1956, 2).
As the semester was closing before Christmas several activities took place. The winners of the 1956 Press Capades were members of a singing group called "The Confederates," composed of four men, one of whom was Cody Voss (SHA, Feb 57, 5). The Cabs sponsored a raffle for a .22 silver-plated pistol which was given away on December 17 (12/8/56). Plans were made for the Moulin Rouge Dance next semester and a barbecue planned for fifty people (12/15/56). And on New Year's Eve the alumni had a party in the Sam Houston Room of the Rice Hotel on December 29 (12/15/56).
Before the close of the fall semester Bill Rowland was elected junior class favorite and named to Who's Who (1/12/57), as was Phil Womack; Lloyd Grubbs was Chairman of the Pioneer Roundup Association and Gene McMiken was Director of Screening; Charles Horton was Chairman of the Art Committee for the SUB. The Cabs defeated the FFA in basketball 56-31 and the following week beat Company B 74-46; Kenny Culbreth scored 22 points (1/19/57).
The Cabs started serving meals in the house on February 4. The first week of school they sponsored a Mascots concert. There were also other acts including some Cabs, who called themselves the "Crackpots": Frank Fontana, Jerry Inman, Lloyd Grubbs, and Tommy Freeman. The officers for the spring semester were elected (2/9/57):
|President: Jerry Inman||Historian: Frank Fontana||1st Vice-President: Dempsey Mewbourn||Reporter: Charles Horton||2nd Vice-President: Parke Christenberry||IFC Delegate: Frank Fontana||Treasurer: Karl Deubner||IFC Delegate: Lloyd Grubbs||Secretary: Bill Rowland||IFC Delegate: Donald Wright||Corresponding Secretary: Tommy Freeman|
The IFC (now called the Interfraternal Council) had their smoker on February 5. 170 men attended (2/16/57). A new member of IFC was the Dons, a group that had organized the previous semester. The Cabs had a rush party at the VFW Hall from 8-10:30. 42 guests were entertained by the music of the Custom Cats. Eight men became Caballero pledges: Travis Boyd, Dan Womack, Jerry Woods, Cullen Wright, Roger Smith, Thomas Q. Robbins, Jack Follis, and Billy Mills. (2/23/57) After their initiation it was announced that Dan Womack was best pledge. This pledge class was the first to be given "The Caballero Handbook," written by Bob Dalehite with artwork by George Buckow. On the first page the Caballero Crest and the meaning of its symbols is given.
As a new pledge, you are probably quite unsure of your status in the organization and how it will affect your life here in Huntsville. This handbook should clear up a few misconceptions that you may have, and we hope that it will encourage you to learn the functions and purposes of the Caballero Fraternity. Many students first come to Sam Houston to escape the large campus atmosphere, and fraternity life is definitely a large portion of those conditions that seem so unfavorable. Actually, though, all colleges are benefited by a certain amount of fraternal activities, Sam Houston being no exception. The groups here are much more flexible and controlled than at Austin, Dallas, or Houston, but they should, and do, manage to salvage the worthy basic principles set down by the larger organizations. The primary difference between the two types of fraternities is, of course, the flexibility. The future success of the Caballeros is in your hands, for we operate without the predetermined goals and methods that the nationals establish. It is therefore our incentive to help you understand what has already been accomplished before entrusting the club's future to your safekeeping. At times, perhaps now, these so-called "accomplishments" of the past may not seem to have amounted to much, but may we assure you that sustaining a local fraternity at a college like Sam Houston is a task that demands the combined effort and wisdom of every member.A new constitution was adopted (3/23/57). (See Appendix.)
The Caballero representatives on the Pioneer Roundup Association were Charles Horton and Larry Cory (3/23/57). The Loulies and the Caballeros received the first place trophy for the best covered wagon in the Pioneer Roundup parade (4/6/57) and the third place trophy for "The Wooden Nickel." Theme of this show was "Judge Roy Bean's Rock and Roll Court'" (SHA, Apr 57, 7).
The write-up in the 1957 Alcalde brought forth the successful year of the Caballeros.
Yes, we've had our kicks this year and none of us will forget the good times.During the summer, the Board of Regents met and approved a raise in tuition fees effective September 1, 1957. For a full-time student, the tuition was raised to $50, doubled what it had been. Fees for summer school, correspondence courses and out-of-state students were also raised (7/2/57).
A big milestone in the club history is the "cab house." With a great deal of painting and redecorating it looks like a true frat house. None of us will forget the way "scooter" painted "B. R.'s" room.
About that time was homecoming. We may not have won first with the sports car, but we captured third. The dance was a ball.
None will forget the Christmas party at the Rice. . .What a blast! Of course, our alumni were there and they furnished the entertainment. . .They're over 21!! The party makers and goers, part of our club, the Mascots were there, too.
The fabulous Mascots played before a packed Old Main auditorium. "Yogatrod havas" snowed the crowd and "Pretty Boy Harry" wailed the blues while "Diamond Ring Lloyd" strummed the guitar.
Mr.-L??. . .Moulin Rouge, of course. . . Charles Horton's murals and the red windmill awning plus our hauncho doorman, B.R., made up a successful dance with plenty of atmosphere. "Chief," Loulies and the C.B.'s completed the entertainment for Cafe Moulin Rouge.
The Wooden Nickel brought third place this year at P.R.A., also best float in the parade and Charlene's best act. Blimp learned to shimmy like my sister Kate!
Also a few nicknames this year, too: Rags, Squirrel, Scooter, Motormouth, War Daddy, Anna P. Frankfort, B. R., Chas., Blimp, and Ruffle.
Personalities included Lloyd Grubbs, P.R.A. Chairman; Frank Fontana was IFC President; and Bill Rowland made Who's Who. The invincible "Papa" Gintz was the power behind the throne along with our much active Alumni Association.