Bettye Hendrick (now Hauser), Lois Hughes (now Nichols), deceased, and Donna Hord (now Hunt) pose on a school trip to San Antonio and the Japanese Sunken Gardens in about 1952.

 

 

 

Lois Hughes (now Nichols, deceased), Joann Hillerman (now Tritico), Ann Wallace, and Barbara Cotton (now Biene) pose at The Alamo on a school trip to San Antonio in about 1952.

 

 

A SPANISH VINI, VIDI, VICI

 

 

            Anyone who has ever graduated from high school anywhere no doubt has memories of class activities or maybe a trip our of town taken with a group of classmates.

            While taking a look at this web site, I found several new articles and lots of new pictures that have been submitted by former students.

            Elayne Tignor Vick, class of 1958, wrote an article for a 2003 reunion that brought back memories for this writer. Elayne now lives in Irving with her husband, Dossie, a member of my class of 1953. Elayne is a writer and editor for Sabre Holdings at Southlake.

            The title of Elayne’s piece is “Veni, Vidi, Vici” which she said is all she remembers from her Latin Class at Denison High School. “We Came, We Saw, We Conquered” is the translation and Elayne talks about the activities, including a bus trip to Galveston with Latin students to attend the Junior Classical League Convention. Miss Edith Austin and Miss Mildred Walker, teachers, were the chaperones who were brave enough to accept the challenge of keeping up with the group.

            This reminded me of a similar trip in 1952 or 53 with Miss Walker, Spanish teachers, and a few parents as chaperones. We rode a school bus to Austin to attend the Spanish Club convention (seems like it was the PASF Conference if my memory hasn’t failed me).

            Riding a school bus on a trip is nothing like taking off on a Greyhound or a Continental Bus. Don’t expect any comfort or conveniences, but the togetherness of the students makes up for what would be missing today.

            Austin was much smaller then and there were no freeways. We followed Highway 75 all the way as I remember and once we got into Austin, we rode on a regular two-way street. It was paved though – it wasn’t that long ago.

            Actually, we made two trips to Central Texas. The second one was to San Antonio when we visited the Alamo and all the missions to learn a little history first hand. In Austin we went to the state capitol and to the University of Texas campus.

            During the conference I don’t remember much about what transpired, but I do remember that our contribution to the program was for a group of us to dance in costume to the Mexican Hat Dance. I can still hear that peppy music that made our feet heel and tow and shuffle around the huge hat in the center.

            What I remember most is the saga of when we started home. Before we left Austin’s city limits, we stopped for a lunch break where there were a couple of restaurants in sight. Miss Walker told us to be back on the bus in one hour. As we got off the bus, a UT student told Bettye Hendrix (now Hauser) and I think Patti Duggan (now Davey) and me that around the corner was a better place to eat, so off we trekked.

            It was a very nice place to get a hamburger, but the service was anything but fast. We waited, and waited and waited before we finally got our food. We probably lost all consciousness of time and when we finished eating, we strolled back to the bus.

            To our surprise – the bus was gone. Here we were, three teenage girls left in the middle of Austin with nowhere to go. It happened that I knew a Denison boy, I cannot remember his name, who was attending school at the University of Texas and I just happened to have his telephone number because we had talked while our group was in Austin.

            I gave him a call and told him of our plight. He didn’t have a car, but he borrowed one from a friend and said he would come pick us up and take us to chase the bus.    

            He arrived in a flash in an old jalopy convertible that didn’t even have a front window. But we piled in and headed north. After traveling a few blocks we saw a big yellow bus heading south toward us. We began to wave our arms and yell, and the bus went right on by us just like we weren’t there.

            My friend turned around and followed the bus back to the restaurants, where it finally had stopped. The three of us thanked him and very quietly headed to the open door on our bus. Miss Walker was sitting near the front of the bus and we had to pass her to find seats near the back. Not a word was uttered, but if looks could kill, we would have been dead.

            After that, everyone was counted before the bus pulled out. She never mentioned the incident. I guess she was so relieved that she found us.

            I remember on another one of the trips, probably either the Austin or San Antonio ones, we stayed in a motel with four to a room. There was a lot of prowling around from room to room the first night and that brought a stern lecture. The second night about 10 or more of us got together in one room and spent the entire night talking and sleeping crossways on the bed.

            As we got on the bus the next morning, Miss Walker came to the back of the bus, where we always liked to sit, and thanked us for staying in our rooms and being so quiet. Little did she know that half the rooms were empty all night lone.

            As Elayne said, “Everyone got home safely, but the tales told around school afterward were of a wild time.” Ditto for the classes a few years earlier. We didn’t speak Latin, and very few of us learned to speak Spanish. I certainly don’t know the Spanish translation for Latin’s “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” but this just goes to prove that just about class can say “We came, We saw, We conquered.” - Donna Hunt

 

 

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