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Waylon Allen
Waylon Allen

Saddle Tramp Women

Created in 1975, the High Riders serve to further the spirit of the women's athletics program by providing an organization where female students can actively support the athletics programs and the university.

Saddle Tramp Women

Texas Tech student Nancy Hughes had the idea for an organization to promote women's athletics in 1975. Much like the men's spirit organization, Saddle Tramps, her organization would support the women's athletic programs at Texas Tech.

When I was growing up there were a couple of lesser-known Westerns shown on TV regularly which I loved and watched over and over. These favorites were among the key films which helped turn me into the classic film fan I am today.One of those movies was A MAN ALONE (1955), a Western directed by and starring Ray Milland, and the other was SADDLE TRAMP (1950), a charming little Universal Western starring Joel McCrea.McCrea plays Chuck Conner, a footloose wanderer forced by unexpected circumstances into growing up and settling down. Chuck is on his way to explore California when he stops off to see an old friend (John Ridgely) in Nevada, only to have his pal die suddenly in an accident. Chuck resumes his trek to California -- but this time he's taking along his friend's four little boys (Jimmy Hunt, Orley Lindgren, Gordon Gebert, and Gregory Moffett). Chuck thinks maybe he'll find the boys a home somewhere and then keep on going, but it's soon clear he's growing increasingly attached to the brood. In order to provide for the boys he ends up hiding them at a campsite in the woods while he works for an ornery rancher (John McIntire) who hates children.Before Chuck knows it he's added a runaway girl, Della (Wanda Hendrix), to his responsibilities. Della's on the run from her lecherous uncle (Ed Begley Sr.), and Chuck pledges he'll keep Della safe from having to return. And as it turns out, Della is quite the young lady once she's cleaned up, and the boys take to her mothering. This is a short film with a lot going on, balancing moments of poignance, humor, and charm. Chuck doesn't want to be tied down, but being a decent guy at heart he also can't leave the kids to fend for themselves. He initially spends quite a bit of time yelling at his horse over his predicament! He ultimately realizes there are tradeoffs and while he loses his freedom, he gains much more in return. Still, the evocatively scored moment at the end, as he watches the birds fly away, brings a tear to the eye.Such moving moments are counterbalanced by some delightfully funny bits. John McIntire's real-life wife, Jeanette Nolan, plays the rancher's Irish-born wife, a delightful lady who believes "the little people" are helping Chuck with his chores and causing food to disappear. They're little people all right, just not the magical sort she envisions!The superb cast also includes John Russell as the foreman who repeatedly clashes with Chuck and Russell Simpson as an older hand with whom Chuck regularly trades nonsensical conversation. Antonio Moreno, Walter Coy, Thomas Browne Henry, and Paul Picerni are also in the cast.Wanda Hendrix, who plays the tomboy-turned-lady Della, was a true chameleon. Her varied roles leading up to this film included a young Mexican peasant girl in RIDE THE PINK HORSE (1947), an Italian noblewoman in PRINCE OF FOXES (1949), and another Italian girl in CAPTAIN CAREY, U.S.A. (1950). In 1950 she also appeared in SIERRA (1950) with Audie Murphy, to whom she was briefly married, and in the comedy THE ADMIRAL WAS A LADY (1950).The film has a high viewer rating at IMDb, but I noticed some people there complain about Hendrix's character being too young for a romantic lead. While she might have been on the young side for McCrea in 1950, in the era depicted in the film it was quite common for girls younger than Della to be married women, and for that matter it wasn't unusual for a girl to marry a husband who was quite a bit older, for multiple reasons I won't go into here. I felt Chuck and Della's connection made total sense in the context of this story, and Chuck was fortunate to find someone who understood him.Many other things have changed since the time this film was set. I couldn't help reflecting on things such as Chuck contemplating the possibility of riding on and leaving the kids to fend for themselves on their ranch, or his leaving them alone in the woods overnight -- armed with guns, no less. At the end he piles them all on a horse and tells them to go to school. Those were not the days of hovering parents!When a bunch of cowboys ran roughshod through Chuck's camp near the start of the film, I immediately thought of a similar scene with Robert Mitchum's campsite overrun at the opening of BLOOD ON THE MOON (1948). I was therefore interested to realize later that the story and screenplay for SADDLE TRAMP were by Harold Shumate -- who also did BLOOD ON THE MOON.The print I saw thanks to Encore Westerns was 76 minutes; IMDb says there's also a longer version out there, but I'm hard-pressed to think of what could be missing, if anything.SADDLE TRAMP was directed by Hugo Fregonese, who would make the fine APACHE DRUMS (1951) with Val Lewton the following year. The movie was shot on Southern California locations by Charles P. Boyle.SADDLE TRAMP is one of my favorite Joel McCrea films and a wonderful example of the '50s Universal Western at its best. Very much recommended.

Historically the world of equestrian travel has contained an exciting mixture of unique men and women. Some are adventurers seeking danger from the back of their horses. Others are travelers discovering the beauties of the countryside they slowly ride through. A few are searching for inner truths while cantering across desolate parts of the planet. Then there is Messanie Wilkins. She was acting on orders from the Lord! In 1954, at the age of 63, Wilkins had plenty to worry about. A destitute spinster in ill health, Wilkins had been told she had less than two years left to live, provided she spent them quietly. With no family ties, no money, and no future in her native Maine, Wilkins decided to take a daring step. Using the money she had made from selling homemade pickles, Wilkins bought a tired summer camp horse and made preparations to ride from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Ocean. Yet before leaving she flipped a coin, asking God to direct her to go or not. When the coin came up heads several times in a row, one of America's most unlikely equestrian heroines set off. What followed was one of the twentieth century's most remarkable equestrian journeys. Accompanied by her faithful horse, Tarzan, Wilkins suffered through a host of obstacles including blistering deserts and freezing snow storms, yet never lost faith that she would complete her 7,000 mile odyssey. "Last of the Saddle Tramps" is thus the warm and humorous story of a humble American heroine bound for adventure and the Pacific Ocean. The classic tale is amply illustrated with photographs.

Saddle Tramps is a spirit/social organization at Texas Tech University. Founded in 1936, it is the oldest student organization on campus. During that year, while Texas Tech was very young and establishing its identity, a group of students Arch Lamb, Paul "Grandma" Bowers and Bud Thompson observed that the school spirit was being channeled in the wrong direction. The student body was overly exuberant and unorganized. Lamb conceived the idea of an organization that would lead this enthusiastic spirit into constructive channels. It was decided that Saddle Tramps should be a non-political organization dedicated to the improvement and advancement of Texas Tech as well as service and leadership to the university and student body. Early Texas ranchers would hire a "saddle tramp" on the basis of his ability and willingness to tackle any task assigned to him. He would move on after some time, having done all he could to contribute to the improvement of the ranch. It was from this idea that Lamb named the group as he did. The first men selected were the top ones in each college of the university. Each of these men chose others who he thought would make the best members.

High Riders is a spirit organization at Texas Tech University. It is dedicated to promoting unity and support for all women's athletics at the school. The High Riders take part in parades and campus events throughout the year to endorse the Lady Raiders. They also hold the distinction of being the only people, along with the Saddle Tramps, allowed in the bell tower of the Administration Building to ring the Victory bells after each Lady Raider home victory.[27]

The organization dates to 1975 and traces its roots to Nancy Neill. After attending a Saddle Tramps meeting, she discovered there had been several failed attempts to organize a women's organization to support Texas Tech's women athletes. She decided that, with better planning, she could create a lasting group to fill the gap.

"Yahoo!" the wing-mustached old saddle tramp yelled, reining up in thestartled dude resort of Warbag, Colo. "I'm Scandalous John McCanless,and I've got the prettiest daughter, the fastest horse, and the ugliestpartner in the district, and I'm a ring-tailed screamer lookin' for afight!"

DR: I almost died out there. I was five days without water and I began to hallucinate and in my hallucinatory state I remembered my quantum physics from college and figured out a way to dope a semiconductor to increase its conductivity by a factor of a thousand and I wrote it all down on my saddle and now I'm a multibillionaire, all thanks to you. If you hadn't deserted me, I'd probably be a saddle tramp just like you. Instead I got a 20,000 acre ranch outside Houston where I raise rainbow trout. 041b061a72


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