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
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
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.
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