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*'LfV Lightning'* Libertore display s /its fancy footwork.
Sallie Cheers When
When the "littJest Gator" Larry Libertore
is racing down Florida field, there's at least one
person at the game who doesnt watch.
Cheerleader Sallie Spencer, a junior in education,
is pinned to the agile quarterback. She claims that
the only time she really looks for him is when
theres a pileup on die field and he's on bottom.
"Besides, its all Idee a dream down there
nothing seems really real." She explained.
Sallie claims "it ain't like in the movies lot
of the times you can't even see whats going on.
Anyway I only look when its safe.
"Besides now I have my charm" she said,
and displayed a gold megaphone given her bp
The gator himself, Larry Libertore, sap that al although
though although its nice to have his own special cheer cheerleader
leader cheerleader on the Field, "its something you dont
notice once the game begins.
"Once the game starts, a quarterbacks mind is
strictly on the game. There's no tune to look around
and see whos there," he said.
"The most important thing to us (the players)/
he said, "is that we know that we have the school
"We can tell down there when everyones rooting
for us its just as though every time you made
a good grade in grammar school your parents
praised yon," said Libertore.
Libertore said the out-of-town games were the
hardest on morale because fewer UF students came
The pair usually discuss the game after its
over, because Sallie is on the field to greet Larry
when the final gun sounds.
Both are ardent sports fans. Sallie, formerly in intramurals
tramurals intramurals chairman of Alpha Chi Omega, claims
to read sports pages from three papers a day.
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GATOR GROWL 1961
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Marching bands.,, pretty girts under pastel
spotlights....the glow of thousands of cig cigarettes
arettes cigarettes in the darkened stadium...fanciful
skits...gleeful cheerleaders all over the
field....from Pre-Growl to the rocket-studded
finale, this is the biggest all-student show
in the nation."
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A graduate student in physics studies # data on
the emission of radio waves from the planet Jupiter
received at a field station near Santiago, Chile .
a junior college student receives college instruction
from a television screen in St. Petersburg . .* a
biology student skin-dives in the Gulf of Mexico
for a first-hand look at marine life ... a student
in Gainesville feeds data to a complex electronic
computer which clicks out the predicted paths of
missiles in the air and torpedoes in the sea .
These four scattered students may not know
of each others existence, but they have one thing
in common they are all participating in Univer University
sity University of Florida educational programs.
They represent the thousands of students and
professors who are studying on a sprawling campus
which has burst from its Gainesville boundaries
and extends over the state, the Southeast, through
the Caribbean and Latin America and beyond. The
increasing demand for more research and extension
services has led the University to expand its campus
into wider and wider fields, both academically and
geographically. Although UF freshmen still find
their instruction in the ivy-covered classroom, their
progress up the educational ladder often leads them
to participate in one of the UFs far-flung research
or extension programs.
The UFs General Extension Division and ed educational
ucational educational television station have brought information
and instruction into homes throughout the state.
Last year, more than 7,223 Floridians took regular
University courses in extension classes and work workshops
shops workshops conducted in 42 counties. Another 2,968
registered for collegiate home study courses. Their
mail came from every county in the state, from
49 of the 50 states, and from 16 foreign countries.
The television station transmits "in-school instruc instruction*
tion* instruction* into elementary and high school classrooms
in eight north Florida counties. "Tele-courses and
lectures are broadcast to fulltime campus-based UF
students and other programs are recorded for use
by the states other educational TV stations.
Research in every imaginable field and in
some beyond the imagination is quietly being
carried out in laboratories and in widely scattered
field locations. The scope ranges from a lone math mathematician
ematician mathematician working patiently in a small campus
hide-away to a crew of biology students conducting
studies in the Caribbean on the migratory habits
Basic research often pays off in a dollars-and-cents
profit many times greater than the initial research
investment. For example, research by the UFs Cit Citrus
rus Citrus Station which began back in the 1930s has
resulted in a fertilizer which could produce more
oranges per acre. The difference between the pre previous
vious previous fertilizing system and the new one amounted
to savings of 90 million dollars. A similar result
may occur within the next decade in regard to
peaches. Present research is seeking a hybrid peach
which can thrive in North Floridas mild winters.
The J. Hillis Miller Health Center home
base for students of medicine, nursing, pharmacy
and health-related sciences is a center for re research
search research in the prevention and cure of disease. Current
projects include studies on the peptic ulcer, wound woundhealing,
healing, woundhealing, urology, neuro-surgery, immunology of can cancer,
cer, cancer, and disease immunities in children. Cancer
is being treated, successfully in many, cases, with
the use of a high-voltage X-ray machine of which
there are only 40 in the world. An electron micro microscope
scope microscope has aided researchers in the College of Me Medicine
dicine Medicine in seeking new methods of treating snake snakebite
bite snakebite victims.
Floridas strategic position as the nations stepping steppingstone
stone steppingstone to Latin America has helped the development
of the graduate-level School of Inter-American
Studies. With 55 students, it is the largest school
of its kind in the country. In carrying out the
schools objective of providing cultural and eco economic
nomic economic background on Latin America, the faculty
has logged hundreds of thousands of miles traveling
in the Caribbean areas and in South and Central
The physics department conducts studies of radio
waves received from outer space. One massive an antenna
tenna antenna and receiving station is near Gainesville and
another is at Santiago, Chile. The department has
one of the nations best-equipped low'-tcmperature
laboratories where temperatures as low' as 270 de degrees
grees degrees below zero are applied to test the properties
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The College of Engineerings nuclear reactor
is a training device which can also be used for
research problems. It can be disassembled to show
students how it is made, started up, operated and
shut down. Its research potential has attracted top toplevel
level toplevel scientists to the University.
UF chemical research has aided in the develop development
ment development of nylon and transistors. Other chemical in investigations
vestigations investigations have found new uses for the states
mineral resources, developed rocket fuels, and pre prepared
pared prepared new and useful compounds made with
flourine an element found in the states phos phosphate
phate phosphate ores.
The Universitys unique program of research and
instruction in quantum chemistry has drawn atten attention
tion attention to the UF as an intellectual center. Scientists
from around the world spent five weeks here last
winter discussing advanced problems concerning the
structure of matter. The staff of this program
alternates teaching assignments between the UF and
Swedens University of Uppsala.
In the areas of social science, research delves
into history, the humanities, social and educational
techniques, and business and economic problems
seeking intellectual and community advancements.
In an investigation of the migration of speech
patterns in the United States, researchers studied
recordings of the speech of a thousand native Flor Floridians.
idians. Floridians. Preparation of the Atlas of Florida has
resulted in the most extensive study of its kind
of any state in the nation.
* * o'
At laboratories, of the University's Engineering
and Industrial Experiment Station, new commercial
possibilities have been found for such formerly
worthless items as Spanish moss and palmettos,
making possible the development of the states un unexplored
explored unexplored resources.
The list of the University of Floridas far-flung
research, extension and educational programs could
go on and on. The array of projects listed here
vast as they may seem represents only a peek
at some of the more spectacular projects. But even
this is enough to show that the University of Florida
has indeed burst from its campus boundaries.
I i n g campus
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BY ROBERT GREEN
Gator Sports Writer
As the thousands of UF alumni and football
fans pour into Gainesville for the Gators game
with LSU, many of them will remember other
games and former Gator football stars. For most*
of these stars, their careers ended with college;
however, some of the Gator players have gone on
to play professional football and have done well
in the cash-for*carry circuit.
Probably the best known of all the former Gators
is Rick Casares, veteran fullback for the Chicago
Bears. Casares starred on the Gators fine 1952
team which went to the Gator Bowl with a 7-3
record and then beat Tulsa 14-13. He played part
of 1953, but was drafted in the middle of the
After joining the Bears in 1955 he has been
one of the top power fullbacks in the league and
he is the man the Chicagoans call on when they
need some vital yards. He has been on the All-Star
team several times.
Another Gator who had a fine junior year was
Bernie Parrish, now of the Cleveland Browns.
Parrish was. a great runner and defensive star in
1957. He left after that year to sign a bonus
contract with the Cleveland Indians baseball team.
A broken bone forced him to give up baseball
and try out with the Browns.
Now going into his third NFL season, Parrish
is considered one of the top defensive men in the
league. Hes also gotten into the scoring column
several times with intercepted passes.
His teammate at defensive halfback is another
UF man, Don Fleming, captain of the 1958 team
and all-SEC end that year. Because of his speed,
Fleming has been moved to halfback. The two
backs give Cleveland a fine defensive backfield
and they are one of the reasons why the Browns
are always tough to beat.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Western Division Champion Green Bay
Packers also boast of a Gator player. John Symank,
who graduated in 1956, has been a defensive back
for the Packers ever since. Symank was known
more for his ball carrying abilities at Gainesville,
but has become a fine defensive player.
Still another defensive halfback is former Gator
great Jackie Simpson, now of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He was traded there from the Baltimore Colts.
Simpson gave UF fans many thrills in 1955 with
his long runs on punt returns and kickoffs.
One of Simpsons teammates on the Steelers is
well on his way to becoming one of the league's
best kickers. That would be Bobby Joe Green who
booted many a long one for the Gators in 1958
and 1959. Green came to the UF team from a
junior college in Oklahoma and promptly sent Flor Florida
ida Florida Field fans agog with his consistantly long kicks.
His kicking predecessor on the team, Don
Chandler, is also in the NFL and has been for
the past three seasons. Chandler has been the ace
punter for the New York Giants and, on occasion,
has played halfback. He also is the Giants reserve
field goal kicker.
The final NFL player is Mai Hammack, first
string fullback for the St. Louis Cardinals. Hammack
had a fine first game for the Cards, but was
injured later and has been out of action. He started
for the Gators in the 1954, '55 and *56 seasons.
There is also one former UF player in the
new' American Football League this season. Joe
Hergert, who graduated in 1958, is a defensive
line backer for the Buffalo Bills. Hergert played
center, fullback, and did some place kicking three
These nine men represent the Gators in the
professional league and represent them well. In
the coming years, many more former Gators are
likely to* join them. xXXfco
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BOBBY JOE GREEN
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"OH, LET THE GATOR
By Gary Peacock
student runs frightened across Fleming Field
. . Another swings from a light tower in the
stadium ... a bonfire is ignited two days before a pep
rally . the Gators win a football game 73-0 .
a freight train causes two parades ... a road sign
replaces a house decoration .
All happened at Homecoming through the years.
As the 1961 Homecoming approaches, alumni can
recall returning to their alma mater the early Home Homecomings,
comings, Homecomings, the first Gator Growl, the war years, and
coming back to see their sons and daughters in a cam campus
pus campus setting that once belonged to them.
Although 1924 is the year generally regarded as
the first official Homecoming celebration, attempts to
welcome alumni date back to the East Florida Semi Seminary.
nary. Seminary. As early as 1892, the Eleve Alumni Association
of the Seminary in Gainesville sponsored a springtime
get-together which included a drill exhibition, banquet,
baseball game, and dance. The year after the Universi University
ty University was founded in Gainesville, a Dads Day was held
on Thanksgiving weekend so fathers could visit their
sons and see a football game.
owever, the first celebration to be called Home Homecoming
coming Homecoming occurred in 1916, and was highlighted by
a Friday night bonfire, and a parade, a football game
against Alabama, an alumni dinner, and a Pan-Hel Pan-Hellenic
lenic Pan-Hellenic dance, all on Saturday. The Alligator commenting
on the event said, Homecoming Day will not only be
valuable to the alumni in meeting their old friends
again and strengthening their old ties, but should be
a wonderful inspiration to the men now in college.
In 1924 Homecoming grew up. This was probably
due in part to paved roads into Gainesville being com completed.
pleted. completed. That was the year the late President A. A.
Murphree called on General. Extension Dean B. C.
Riley to coordinate a faculty committee to plan for the
returning fathers and alumni.
Dean Riley, instead, suggested to Dr. Murphree that
students be put in charge of the show. So 25 student
leaders were chosen to head various committees and
modem Homecoming was bom.
One thing wasnt planned well enough, however:
Dean Riley had to direct football traffic into the parking
The same group of students became charter mem members
bers members of Florida Blue Key which still sponsors the cele celebration
bration celebration each year.
l'rinc; the early Homecoming games, organi/a
tions known as the Theta and Serpeant Ribbon
Societies used to hold public initiation ceremonies dur during
ing during halftime. At one such initiation in 1927, the neo neophytes
phytes neophytes were dressed in crepe paper costumes and dur during
ing during a scramble, the paper pants fell off an initiate
The frightened student ran the length of the field.
That brought an end to half time initiations. And
eventually, to the two societies.
The Florida Blue Key banquet, the traditional
gathering place of Floridas present and future leaders,
was begun in 1929. Always a stag affair, the first ban banquets
quets banquets were held in the Gainesville Womans Club, and
through the years has attracted such men of national
standing as U. S. Vice President Alben Barkley, Sen.
Stuart Symington, General James Van Fleet, and Presi President
dent President John Kenned} who came while still a U. S.
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One year at the Blue Key banquet, Dr. John Tigert
introduced a guest and asked him to take a bow. In Instead,
stead, Instead, the guest spoke for 4 5 minutes and caused the
diners to miss almost half of Gator Growl.
The files of the Alligator hold a column written
regularly bv Bob Sikes now a U. S. Congressman. On
Homecoming Day, 1928, Sikes wrote:
Homecoming, day of days! Oh yes, and tickets are
mans Fightin Gators unmercifully trounce Mercer
University by a score of 73-0.
In 1932 something new was added to Homecom Homecoming
ing Homecoming magic. Little-known WRUF announcer Red Barber
emceed a show which included a bonfire and pep rally,
the finals of intramural boxing, a fireworks display,
and a snappy talk by Fuller Warren, a young Jackson Jacksonville
ville Jacksonville attorney. f '"
From these humble beginnings grew the largest
student participation show in the worldGator Growl.
Back in the days of the Freshman Rat, each first
year man was required to bring his weight in wood to
kindle the Growl bonfire, which was always capped
with a privy. In 1947, after wood had been gathered
for two weeks and milling student crowds gaily antici anticipating
pating anticipating the great fire, added fuel upon fuel, a practical
joker set the giant woodpile aflame, two days ahead of
nd what a bargain that $2.50 was. Six thou thousand
sand thousand Homecoming fans saw Coach Charlie Bach-
(Reprinted from THE FLORIDA ALMUNUS.
The author is indebted to Alumni Loyalty
Fund Director Robert C. Beaty, General Ex Extension
tension Extension Dean B. C. Riley, University His-
The bonfires gone now due to a lack of wood
and the safety hazard, but the gigantic fireworks dis display
play display is still one of the biggest crowd pleasers of Growl.
A couple of years during Growls colorful history
the fireworks failed to get off the ground, due to inex inexperienced
perienced inexperienced hands or Gainesvilles omnipresent rain.
IHEHE is a story, too, about how Gator Growl got its
name. Florida Blue Kev members in the earlv thir-
ties were huddled for hours trying to come up with a
suitable name for the big football rally. Finally about
two in the morning, a very sleepy Kenneth Skaggs,
threw up hiÂ£ hands at the evenings effort as he got up
to leave and said, Oh, let the Gator growl! That was
Rain occasionally plays havoc in another way. Fra Fraternity
ternity Fraternity and sorority members spend hours and days
disguising their houses with giant Gators, sometimes to
be ruined by rain before alumni have a chance to see
A few years ago the SAEs had an elaborate card card(Continued
(Continued card(Continued on Page 15)
torian Sam Proctor, English Associate Pro Professor
fessor Professor A. A. Murphree, Congressman D. R.
(Billy) Matthews, and the files of the Al-
ligator and Seminole.)
IN EARLIER DAYS...
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In the pre-coed days the girls were imported
and the cars were without parking stickers.
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By Sally Maybellc Smith
EDITOR S SOTE : The author would like to ex express
press express her thanks to Dean Robert C. Beaty for his
help in rendering and recalling the information used
in this article.
Tin: history of the University of Florida is the
heritage of every present student and 40,000 alumni
all around the world. This is its story . through
the roaring bath-tub gin days of the Twenties .
the empty depression times of a forgotten genera generation
tion generation . until the foreboding cloud of war broke
and its hell rained into the heart of America .
and after, when the boys came marching home
.and found coeds as their colleagues moving forward
on a new frontier of space.
Academics ran competition with illegal liquor
and imported women at Florida after World War I
Only eggheads pulled for anything higher than a
"Gentlemans C" and at least three new Stutz Bear Bearcats
cats Bearcats sat by modern Peabody Hall every day. Dr.
A. A. Murphrce was president, but the statue came
In these pre-university college days, Florida was
a heaven of no counselling, no entrance exams, no
four-semester rule and enterprizing students could
retake flunked courses as many times as six times.
(As long as the $20.00 a semester room rent was
Money was no problem because this was a boom
time and thousands were rich overnight as swamps
were drained to sell as choice land to "yankee
Forty cent steaks were served in a plywood
cafeteria next to the pig pen on Stadium Road
Beer riots were called "demonstrations" and Theeta
Bara pictures decorated most rooms in the ten fra
ternity houses. "Oh, you kid!"
The return of "rehabs" or veterans of WWI,
swelled student body ranks to 1,400 by 1925 but
created problems. Men who had stood behind bar
ricades in olive drab, now wore orange and blue bluerat
rat bluerat caps for nine months with 18 year old freshmen
Pranks became as wild as the men who practiced
them. Vilgilante committees were organized against
freshmen "slaves" in the dorms, all two of them,
Buckman and Thomas. The custom of involuntary
servitude prevailed as the "rats were required to
serve the superior upper-classmen. Paddle beatings
and gauntlet running were frequent punishment
for the hairless frosh. WHAP! and another rat
bites the dust for stepping on a blade of grass.
Three days, a week only advanced students were
allowed by custom to wear their trouser cuffs at
their ankles while the downtrodden newcomers'
were rolled to the knees.
Stock prices rose and money poured from stu
dents pockets like the influx of Tallahassee flap flappers
pers flappers on the four-day party week-ends. Spring
brought the annual tug-of-war between upper and
lower classmen. For three days muscles strained
over the pond, now Florida Field, until one dry
team emerged victorious.
Then came the crash.
Hundreds of Florida men walked Gainesville
streets searching in vain for jobs. This was the
period of depression in the mind as well as in
economics. Students considered themselves the lost
generation and forgotten men.
WPA workers helped to build Murphrce, Fletcher
and Norman Hall, wTiile students held every non nonadministrative
administrative nonadministrative or teaching job on the campus. A
large majority supported themselves on the SI 5
a month going wage for janitors, cooks and dish dishwashers.
Professors were dismissed but unlike many other
colleges, this University never missed a payday.
During this period Hubert C. Schucht began the
Interfraternity Tolbert Memorial Loan Fund with
S3OO, and E. Clay Lewis, now circuit court judge,
helped to dig building foundations.
National Youth Administration grants aided
3,000 almost destitute students from 19.30 to 193>
before the program was discontinued.
Work and academics left some time for relaxa relaxation
tion relaxation and Blue Key took over Homecoming plans.
George Smathers and John McCarty were presidents
of the student body with offices in the newly
built Florida Union. With the aid of student labor
the swimming pool w'as open as Lake Wauburg
developed. The Alligator never missed an edition
although it was financed in part by voluntary con contributions.
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Practical jokes provided an outlet for emotions
and University Avenue periodically became bar barricaded
ricaded barricaded with barrels, outhouses and old tires. The
first Saturday midnight movie appeared and dis disappeared,
appeared, disappeared, but the girls were still imported.
The depression program disappeared but a new
crisis arose. Suddenly we were at war and hundreds
Mass meetings were held in the plaza where
President Tigert explained draft regulations while
the college population rapidly dropped from 3,000
to 400 civilians. Uncle Sam came and turned the
campus into an army camp for service groups.
D. R. (Billy) Mathews left his post as Florida
Then it was finally over. Six thousands veterans
and their families came to college creating one
of the biggest housing problems in University
Flavet I was built as the student body increased
300% in a three year period. Academic standards
rose to meet the demands of men anxious to get
out and make-up the war time.
University college had been adopted and for the
first time in Florida history, students complained
that the curriculum was too slow. Unmarried fresh freshmen
men freshmen lived in fraternity houses or army barracks
six miles from Gainesville while Tolbert, Weaver,
North and South Halls were being built.
The rwar psychology helped to produce the
3,000 man "riot of 4B but then ... the girls
werent imported any longer.
Because there were no womens dormitories, the
first 600 co-eds resided in boarding houses or hotels
during 1948, but Yullee, Mallory and Ried were
soon occupied. Glamour attached to coeds wore as
thin as the wolf whistles w r hen the long hoped
for women appeared in hair curlers and in sleepy
The language improved and so did the academic
Minimum grades on entrance exams were raised
after the Korean War while a corresponding change
in curriculum occurred. Throughout the Fifties,
study hours increased to gain the black mortar
board and gown.
Today the University is moving into an era of
space. Requirements in all fields are changing as
industry and government seek more qualified per personnel
sonnel personnel while Florida moves toward the circle of
They could afford to be cocky. From left,
Honor Court Chancel lor Robert Collins,
Secretary-Treasurer John McCarty, and Stu Student
dent Student Body President George Smothers cele celebrate
brate celebrate their election. They were unopposed
in the 1937 elections.
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BY DAVID E. AARON
Sti ofnts quartered in the newer dormitories
and fraternity houses on the western fringes of
the campus may feel they are living on the "New
Frontier. Within the next few years, however,
this area will be smack in the middle of a grow growing
ing growing IT campus.
Jefferson M. Hamilton, University architect, and
his assistant, Arnold Butt, have revealed that the
westward-creeping campus will have a physical plant
valued at S2OO million when presently planned
buildings are completed.
If a Sis million bond issue proposed by Gov.
Farris Bn.ant is validated, the University will begin
construction of a Nuclear Laboratory and two
architecture and classroom buildings totaling almost
5 \ T million.
Ai.so MOVIN' i westward will be the new Student
I 'nion which will be built on the present site of
flavct Village I.
The campus of yesterday. .
New apartments for married graduate students
will be built on the hillside south of Flavct I
University growth plans predict an increasing per percentage
centage percentage of graduate students. These facilities will
be similar to Corry and Schucht Villages which
presently house married students.
A major project in the older northeast quadrant
of the campus is the proposed addition to the
Library. To be located on the north end of the
Plaza of the Americas, the "addition" will actually
be larger than the existing main library to which
it will be* connected.
The X 04,000 square foot, four-story building 'J
eventually have an equally large librarv unit 1
joining it along University Avenue.
Till arc HtTFCTs say that athletics have not b j
o\erlooked in planning for the Universitys
pansion Working drawings have been prcpal
for a pcrirjinent addition to the east stands of I
footbaU stadium. f
Expansion will bring even heavier traffic probl<|
to the campus. Planners have scheduled a
mall system to unite the campus for Ijicycle I
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1 . .And the campus of the future. Existing
buildings in black, proposed buildings in
pedestrian traffic. An east-west mall will connect
the new mens housing areas with the main li library,
brary, library, and another mall will extend from the south southeast
east southeast quadrant to the new student center.
A 1,500 car parking lot will be built on North-
South Drive, south of Hume Hall, for use by
students and visiting football fans. Campus park parking
ing parking garages are also under consideration to alleviate
Assistant architect Butts said the Universitys ex expansion
pansion expansion plan, developed in 1948, is unfolding in
an orderly fashion.
Wjere in pretty good shape today, compared to
other institutions, he said. There arent many
schools that are developing in a fashion such as
THE 3-MEAT TREAT
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11:00 A.M. AND 1:00 AM.
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Football, floats, pretty girls and fun is the
annual two-day diet for thousands of
Homecoming visitors to the University of Florida.
Its only once a yearand when its all over,
its back to the books for the four thousand
students who helped make it possible
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Homecoming UF Style
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A Few Favorites
Don Addis is editor of the
campus humor magazine the
Orange Peel and a car cartoonist
toonist cartoonist whose work has ap appeared
peared appeared in several national
magazines. Here's what he
has to say about his trade: J
"Theres a rule in cartoon cartooning:
ing: cartooning: the simpler the better.
Complex gags with wordy
captions often look labored
over. Its the simple compact
gag the kind that comes in a
flash that the comic artist
strives for, and treasures
when he gets it. Here are a
few that Im glad I thought of,
whether Orange Peel readers
liked them or not."
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Let the Gator...
(Continued from Page 9)
board front planned for their house, but no sooner
than it was erected a thunder shower came and re reduced
duced reduced it to a sopping heap. The disgusted SAEs hur hurriedly
riedly hurriedly replaced their "prize winning" decoration with
a choice sign which read, HIGH SPRINGS, 24
The first event of Homecoming, the parade down
University Avenue usually goes well, hut it, too, has
had its share of unplanned laughs.
In the early Forties, there were two Homecoming
parades in one yearone which made it across the
Sixth Street railroad tracks, and another which had to
wait for die train to pass.
Af.ig drawing card for Homecoming is, of course,
football. And dogs have been known to run on the
field and stop the game. Once durssg an early Home
coming a leashed billy goat broke loose ami happily
chased frantic spectators around the field.
And just last year, someone set three armadillos
free during half time. If the pranksters hoped the Hide
animals would quickly roll their bony shells into imita imitation
tion imitation footballs and confuse the players, they were dis disappointed
appointed disappointed because the creatures were caught and re removed
moved removed fiora the field before the second half started.
The crowd enjoyed the prank, and the newspapers
did not miss it
Daring die 1939 Homecoming game, a student
gave the crowd as many thrills as any football
game could. The student climbed to die top d a light
tower during the half and did acrobatics after the teams
returned to the field. Even die players forgot the game
and looked upward to see what fie student would do
next. Finally John McCarty clirahrd up the tower ami
helped bring the student back to safety.
Dmfctg the war years Homecoming assumed a dif different
ferent different role. In 1942 there was no attempt la entice
alumni to return.
But those returning were welcomed and beard
Governor Spessard Holland speak on behalf of Floridas
wartime heroes. The ROTC crack drill team paraded
on the field at halftime and the traditional fraternity fraternitysponsored
sponsored fraternitysponsored social events were held.
As the war got worse, Homecoming was eliminated
. until 1946 when scores of Florida men came back
to complete college careers interrupted by the struggle
in Europe and the Pacific.
Since the war, Homecoming celebrations have been
consecutive and have assumed prominent position in
the state. The political implications have become great greater.
er. greater. Newsmen in scores descend upon the campus for
first hand news for their papers. Its the top feature
event in the state, and for many politicians, its the
time to release newsworthy ideas. National figures in invited
vited invited to take part attract the national press to the
The house decorations and floats have become more
elaborate. The number of students working on the
week-end runs into thousands. The number of visitors
has increased from a handful in 1916 to an expected
60,000 in 1961. Gator Growl has come to be known
as the greatest student show, and overflowing crowds
from babies to aged folks attest to it. Life magazine
has covered it.
It may grow even larger, the separate events may
change with the years, and more unplanned pranks
become legends, but Homecoming still remains as it
was described in the 1916 Alligator: valuable to the
alumni in meeting their old friends, and strengthening
their old ties.
Theyll reign over Homecoming festivities.
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Judy Lynn Prince, Annette Baker, Dolores Loll.
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