Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Kilgore College Rangerettes

I began my college career at Kilgore College in fall of 2005 studying photography under the direction of O. Rufus Lovett. Being from Hallsville nearly 20 minutes east of Kilgore I have always heard about The World Famous Kilgore College Rangerettes but surprisingly never have seen them in person. It wasn’t until I started college at Kilgore College that I finally was able to see a performance that was at the first pep rally and I was stunned. It was in that first sighting of them that I saw the dedication, pride and hard work that is put into the Rangerettes. The following semester I began photographing the Rangerettes performances from pep rallies to football games to Kilgore’s Christmas parade to their yearly performance “The Revels.”
There are not a lot of people that know the history behind the Rangerettes and if you are from East Texas I definitely recommend taking a trip to the campus of Kilgore College to the Rangerettes Showcase and Museum. The Rangerettes were created by Miss Gussie Nell Davis and was the first group of its kind in the world to bring “show business” to a football stadium. The Rangerettes, under the direction of Miss Gussie Nell Davis, took the field for the first time during the 1940 football season. The Rangerettes were under Miss Davis’ direction for 39 years when she retired in 1979. Miss Davis passed away in 1993.
Since Miss Davis there have only been two other directors of the Rangerettes, Mrs Deana Bolton Covin who retired in 1993 and current director Mrs. Dana Blair. Mrs. Blair is the only director to have been a Rangerette, serving as Lieutenant and Swingster (1981-1983) and became the third director after Mrs. Covin retired in 1993.
The Rangerettes have traveled all around the world from Venezuela to Hong Kong to Singapore. I have had the privilege of photographing the Rangerettes at the New Year’s Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas for two years in a row and has been a wonderful experience that I will never forget. The Rangerettes have been performing at the Cotton Bowl since 1951. The Rangerettes have been on hundreds of covers of magazines from Life, Newsweek, Esquire, Texas Monthly and Texas 24/7 and have been on many major television programs.
I plan to continue photograph the Rangerettes for many years to come. I have come to enjoy hard work and determination of these you women and how well they represent Kilgore College.
The photographs that are below span from spring of 2005 to spring of 2008 in which I graduated from Kilgore College. I truly miss the time that I have spent with this group and will always have the memories.

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