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Sunset

In light of TCU’s first bowl victory in 41 years just a few months ago, I had two telephone conversations that belong somewhere in this issue.

Sunset

In light of TCU’s first bowl victory in 41 years just a few months ago, I had two telephone conversations that belong somewhere in this issue.

The morning after. Headline in the Los Angeles Times.

Here’s the first one: In 1939 — when TCU beat Carnegie Tech in the Sugar Bowl and became National Champion — many thought the Frogs should have been invited to the loftier Rose Bowl.

Kathryn Williams Hawkes ’31 told me she was among the outraged. Studying violin as a graduate student at the University of Southern California (home of the Rose Bowl), she and a friend approached some “big, blonde, beautiful” football players with a question.

“How could TCU have possibly been overlooked?” she asked incredulously.

“Who cares?” one sneered. “And who the heck is TCU?”

“At the time, I didn’t have my violin, but my friend had her cello,” said the 91-year-old Hawkes, now living at Trinity Terrace senior community. “So I picked up her case and hit him with it. I didn’t know I had the strength, cellos are so big, you know. But I sure enjoyed it.”

Me, too.

The other call I received from Kay Smith, executive assistant for TCU’s finance and business offices.

She attended the 1998 Norwest Sun Bowl with her family, and the following night went out to dinner. There, she and a friend noticed a family whose son was wearing purple. Had they gone to the game, too?

The elder son standing nearby said, “Yes, I’m number 19 on the team.”

Smith’s party had nearly finished supper when number 19 approached their table, she said, and politely and profusely thanked them for coming all the way to El Paso to root for the underdog Frogs.

Number 19 — you should know — is the Frog’s starting quarterback, Patrick Batteaux. The cello-wielding Hawkes also noted that this year’s Sun Bowl team, like the 1938 team, heard “Who is TCU?” from naysayers. She adds with a laugh that most Trojans probably know the Frogs now, including the one she hit 60 years ago — whom she hopes is still alive and bears no hard feelings, cello or otherwise.

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