Where My Middle-Aged Drinkers At?

Texas Ex Scholtz's Reunion in Houston at Rice game
Texas Ex Scholtz’s Reunion in Houston at Rice game

Oh, there they are–in full force, ready for game day, celebrating the ol’ alma mater.

In 1979, the legal drinking age in Texas was 18, having been lowered from 21 in 1973 due to anti-war protesters, which meant every single student at the University of Texas could freely partake of ale. And some started honing their hoarding tendencies early. “Two. Cans. For Ev. Ery. Girrrrrrl…”


The blonde in the sheepskin coat has Mackenzie Phillips’s mouth. I’m just saying.

AUGUST 11: Actress Mackenzie Phillips acts in a scene from the movie "American Graffiti" which was released on August 11, 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
AUGUST 11: Actress Mackenzie Phillips acts in a scene from the movie “American Graffiti” which was released on August 11, 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Did you ever watch her on One Day At A Time? She was the bad daughter of the divorced mom, and Valerie Bertinelli was the good one. Valerie looks AMAZING now as the judge on Food Network’s Kid’s Baking Championship. She’s so kind and encouraging. I want to hang out with her. What are we talking about again?

Aha! Drinking in 1979! And what do you suppose happened here?


Methinks a visored lady (named Virginia?) suddenly appeared on the back of his motorcycle, offering a koozie-chilled beer to the driver. Yes, Virginia, he’s flummoxed.

It’s probably for the best that it’s age 21 now. By the way, 21 is the highest minimum drinking age that exists. Here’s the MDA worldwide.


I didn’t realize 16 countries banned drinking altogether: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. I had no idea! Have you ever visited a country with no drinking age (like Bolivia or China) or a complete restriction?

Hippity Hoppity Politics 1948

Univ of TX
Univ of TX

These floppy-eared gals drew attention to their political preference, while the ones below took the more subtle route.


And these were yet more casual, using the mike to its full advantage.

"Anne McManus for Secretary!"
“Anne McManus for Secretary!”

But the men found the best use of their resources; sitting down, smoking a pipe, and using the loud speaker. That cartoon sure looks odd, though.

Redskin49- 029

New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Circles

Cactus41-tennissinglesHow adorable is this 1941 university Singles Tennis team, three of them in their tennis whites?

And what can I say about the Deck Tennis Singles?


Lady B’s hair has aerodynamic fins like a 1957 Chrysler Plymouth. Perhaps that helped with her swing?

The Table Tennis gals seem ready for a challenge. Pleated skirts and collared shirts allowed for ultimate comfort and flexibility.

Cactus41-TableTennisCheck out the smiles on these two. Rackets are strung and ready to backhand.Cactus41-041

But what is going on with the men’s team uniform? I don’t get it. How did swooshy Great Gatsby-white-party culottes help their game? And think of the stains you could never get out! Boys are so messy. Those pleats really do add pounds.



Hickfang Towers Over Lassies


In today’s 1948 yearbook, I found a picture of this tall drink of water, Karl Hickfang, surrounded by a group of girls called the Lassies Petite. He was their mascot. Ironic.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that he went on to direct a choir. One of his students, Diane Garne, wrote about him in her book, Cinderella’s Daughter and the Secret of Big Bend:


I also found a memorial to his friend, written by Hickfang himself:

During a summer of 1949, I was finishing requirements for a bachelor of Music
degree. I looked forward to my first teaching position as the band director at
Bonham High School, my alma mater. Near the end of August, I learned the
position was not mine and I had to scramble to find another position so close to the
start of the school year.

The teacher placement bureau at the University of Texas informed me of junior
high school band openings at Conroe and Alvin, north and south of Houston. I
found the Conroe position filled. From a phone booth in downtown Houston, I called 
the superintendent of schools in Alvin and was told the band director at Alvin High
Schools would be at H &H Music at 1:00 p.m. and that he had the authority to hire me if he chose to do so.

While I waited at H & H Music Co, three gentlemen came in the store…I was introduced to these gentlemen and Mr. Johnstone indicated he knew of me and said there was an opening for a choir director at Woodland Acres Junior High School, in the Galena Park district. To this day, I never believed he knew of me and I told him I anticipated going to Alvin Junior High School as a band director. I learned right then that you don’t say no to this man. He eventually convinced me to take a position at Woodland Acres and became my mentor.


Isn’t it amazing what you can find online? I always wonder what became of the happy, youthful folks in these eras of yore, and it’s good to know some of them live long, fruitful lives. Karl Hickfang passed away four years ago at the age of 83. R.I.P., Mr. Hickfang.

Miller Time

She may look sweet now…

1981 Cactus
1981 Cactus

…but cowgirls like to get rowdy.

'81 Cactus
’81 Cactus

They like to throw back a few.

'81 Cactus
’81 Cactus

Mercy here was bold enough to enter (and win) a jalapeno-eating contest, and the Mickey Gilley lookalike appears only too happy to judge. 81Cactust-092Now she has some pocket money to put in these cowboy’s change cups.

81Cactust-093Or maybe this dude’s more her style, in his Urban Cowboy Chic.


Either way, dancing is on the agenda.


Just don’t take it too far. Bikini bull-riding is no fun when you’re tipsy.


No Low T Here

1981 Navy ROTC Midshipmen

What is this? Animal House meets the Village People? No, maybe not the Village People. Although they sang “In The Navy,” I doubt these Navy ROTC Midshipmen spun a lot of VP on their turntables. Check them out in their weapons and combat gear. This is where I make an obscure reference to Howard Jones in the way way back (the tall, Aryan one), but perhaps that’s more a Pandoran influence than reality. Anyway, I think we can all agree who the alpha male is here, in this portrait of masculinity. It’s knee socks guy. You know it is. The posture, the marriage of vest and tie and ripped daisy dukes, the sassy confidence. Damn, it feels good to be a gangster. Seriously no Low T here.

Don’t know what “Low T” is? Why the heck not? The TV is riddled with commercials about Low Testosterone, alternating between those hormone replacement commercials, where longhaired women in their sixties confess how happy their husbands are that “my libido is back.” Your grandparents didn’t have to worry about this stuff, right? My grandparents spent more time absorbed in Readers Digests than they did at the corner Walgreen’s, refilling prescriptions for afflictions they were too ignorant to know they had. BECAUSE THEY HADN”T BEEN INVENTED BY BIG PHARMA YET. Complaints were limited to arthritis, goiter, and bursitis. But not today’s society.


Let’s not. Who cares about your Low T? You’re not getting any action regardless, pajama boy. I bet that’s herbal tea in that mug. Yeah, I have heard about the lonesome loser. It’s you. Dang, just when I thought my libido was back, you had to send it away. Curses!

Just think, somewhere out there, hundreds if not thousands of pharmaceutical company employees are getting paid to brainstorm up some fake diseases to prey on our fears and our wallets. Did you know my gums are receding? Perhaps that’s blog-induced bruxism (BIB)? And just like diabetes, there are two categories:

  1. The bruxism (teeth grinding) I have at night while I sleep, wondering what to blog about the next day
  2. The bruxism due to reading blogs that oppose my core beliefs, causing me to clench my jaw in defiance and fight the temptation to respond with a violent outburst or clever barb

You, too, may have BIB. Where’s the pill for that? Oh, they’re working on it?

(Disclaimer: side effects may include sleepiness, nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, skin rash, headache, diarrhea, upset stomach, loss of appetite, dry mouth, anal leakage and sudden death. But really, isn’t anal leakage as bad as sudden death?)


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