Here’s Looking at You, Kid

MU vs Texas dustup: Sept. 29, 1979

On the day we met, my husband took this picture of my younger brother and me at Faurot Field the morning before a football game, remembered more for its record-breaking crowd than for the sports event that occurred therein.

Look closely: I’m inside the stadium, about 20 people in on the top right side of the photo, and my brother is also in the stands but nearer to the field.  My husband is hanging out of the door of a Highway Patrol helicopter.

He said:

Mizzou–Texas, Sept. 29, 1979. First game working for the University of Missouri PD. Maj. Mick Deaver arranged for me to ride in the MO Hwy Patrol helicopter to photograph the maximum capacity crowd (surpassed only by Penn State the following year) and surrounding area (to assess parking lot capacities and firelanes). My pics were used for years by the athletic department in Mizzou promotional media.

Met Phil Bradley (the ORIGINAL dual-sport athlete before Neon Deion and Bo Jackson) after he retired from baseball and, while he was signing an autograph for me, he recognized that pic as they same one hanging on his office wall.

Oh yeah….and on that day 33 years ago I met my bride to be.

She said:

For purposes of full disclosure, I will confess that my husband and I met at an MU-Texas gridiron dust-up 32 years ago, when the two colleges were tossed together as a non-conference event back when Mizzou was a member of the collection of Midwestern colleges known as the Big Eight.  I don’t even remember who won because, well, I might have had my mind on something other than the game.  Like, I don’t know, a handsome, dark-haired, newly-minted Missouri grad who was working at the game.  I do know, however, the Tigers vs. Longhorns game on September 29, 1979, drew the biggest crowd ever recorded at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri.

And it was definitely recorded—by my future husband, who, as a University employee and rookie in its police academy, hung out of the open door of a Missouri Highway Patrol helicopter as it circled on its side around the stadium, shooting photos of that packed venue that were used by the university in postcards and posters for the next 15-20 years.  Be still, my heart.

As for my brother’s account, well…let’s just say it’s best told in person—our family has a tremendous story-telling capacity that way—with all parties present to ensure sufficient embellishment.

The illustrious day ended with a tiki-torch party at the house where I lived. As it happened, my husband and his best friend, later the best man at our wedding, stopped by upon my loose invitation, which was issued after my brother struck up a casual conversation with him at my behest while we waited on the field for the crowd to exit the stadium: “My roommates are having a party tonight.  You can come if you want.”


I suppose I should let you know that my narrative theory leanings are perhaps best captured in the preface to a final exam question I wrote for a Sam Shepard play I was teaching in Intro to Drama about 25 years ago:

“The stories we tell about ourselves and the stories others tell about us are almost never wholly true…”


2 thoughts on “Here’s Looking at You, Kid

  1. What a fun story. I love “how we met” stories. It even had a man in uniform… and a man in a helicopter (same man).

    My family is populated with storytellers, too. I guess storytelling is the way history was originally passed down, and some of us still do it.

    I do believe I see you on the top right side of that photo. I have to squint a little.

    I see that you posted this in early October. I just started using a reader and I’m going to put you in there this very minute.

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