Also In This Issue


Our Common Thread

I have read Spirit magazine for many years. The summer 2017 issue was the finest, most enjoyable that I have ever read. It is the stories of professors, students and former students that I find most interesting. I am impressed by what motivated, inspired and allowed them to accomplish the fantastic things that I found myself reading about. The magazine is so well done and informative, and I read it from cover to cover. Our accomplishments so far in the Lead by Example campaign are astounding as well. I think that the common thread is always our love for Texas A&M and our desire for it and our students to be and accomplish the very best that we can.

David Harrigan ’68
Spring, Texas

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Bevo as a young calf, before his stealing in 1963.

Reminiscing About Bevo

Bill Tompkins ’65 wrote a nice summary in the summer 2017 issue of Spirit about Bevo’s stealing in 1963. As another member of Squadron 11, I remember the incident well, although I didn’t take part in the heist myself. At one point, however, we did discuss taking Bevo to my father’s farm in Dime Box. Thankfully that didn’t happen, as my father would have been in the middle of something bigger than anyone imagined at the beginning of the incident.

There certainly was a lot of excitement around the event! The Texas Rangers put the fear of God into those directly responsible for the heist, and the threat of cattle rustling charges unsealed many lips quickly. What a time we had back in the good old days!

Donald Marburger ’65
Rockwall, Texas

Nabbing the Rice Mascot

The article entitled “Borrowing Bevo” in the summer 2017 issue of Spirit reminded me of an earlier but similar episode. During summer 1958, Ellis Walker ’61 (now deceased) was working as a plumber’s assistant in Houston. A call from the Rice University library sent Walker and his plumber to the basement to fix the problem. A resident of the basement was the Rice mascot, a huge papier-mâché blue and gray owl. 

As they were ready to leave, Walker convinced his plumber to put the owl in the company’s Chevrolet panel truck. After they got the mascot in the truck, students erupted from the library, intent on recovering their owl and doing bodily harm to Walker and the plumber. The panel truck didn’t start immediately, leaving Ellis and his plumber worried, but eventually they made their escape.

The mascot was returned to Rice Stadium during the Rice-A&M game in fall 1958. Not surprisingly, the mascot had a new coat of maroon and white paint. Aggies enjoyed it. Rice students, not so much. 

Turner Moller Jr. ’61
Corpus Christi, Texas

Festooning the t-sip trailer

I remember well the “Borrowing Bevo” incident described by Bill Tompkins '65. Bevo was “borrowed” the fall of my senior year in high school at A&M Consolidated. 

Dr. Tompkins is right. When the news broke, everyone in town tuned in to the radio to hear the latest reports. The day the Silver Spurs came to retrieve their cow (yeah, I know Bevo’s a steer), we heard they were in town with Bevo’s trailer. After school, I ventured to Northgate to see what was happening. When I got there, the trailer was parked in front of Loupot’s Bookstore. Bad decision. A stream of Ags, like a line of ants, was going in and out of the store. Ol’ Army Lou was inside passing out Aggie bumper stickers. The trailer, with no cow, was festooned with the stickers plastered at all angles. The Silver Spurs were outnumbered and had given up trying to stop the festooning. As soon as they hustled to one end of the trailer to shoo away an Ag, other Ags went to work slapping their stickers on the other end.  

Stanley Clark '68
Houston, Texas

Remembering the Heist

Editor’s note: A group of 1966 classmates presented us with this version of the events surrounding Bevo’s capture in 1963. Franklin “Gus” Harris Jr. ’66 shares their story below.

There were seven of us in the Corps of Cadets who planned and executed the heist of Bevo in November 1963. This included Bill Duncan ’66, Lester Hatcher ’66, Don Mika ’66, Conrad Burks ’66 and myself from Company B-2 (Buzzard Company), along with Joe Judith ’66 and Bill Towery Jr. ’66 from Squadron 1. We met to draw a map of the Austin hog farm where Bevo was kept and gathered our supplies. We then traveled to the hog farm around midnight on Nov. 13, 1963, in two vehicles: a truck pulling a trailer and a sedan, our decoy car.

On arrival at the pens, we found the steer snorting and running around. Most of us, not being sure what to expect of an animal that size, stayed outside the pen while Lester and I went in and roped the steer. We were off. As we neared the farmhouse, a dog started barking, but we kept walking. Then the lights came on. We walked faster, sweating bullets. We made it back to the entry gate, where we tried to load the steer. At first his horns wouldn’t fit in our trailer, but eventually we got him inside and headed back to College Station.

Bevo (still in the trailer) was paraded around the Quad with much hullabaloo from Aggies, who poured out of the dorms. At this point, we weren’t sure what to do next. With all the prior planning on how to steal Bevo, we hadn’t made plans as to what to do after. We never had intentions to barbecue or brand him, as some speculated; it was just Good Bull. The steer was penned up near campus, and the next day, all of us posed with Bevo as a fellow corpsman took pictures.

The unsanctioned visit of Bevo to the Texas A&M campus in 1963 caused quite a stir.

Things started to get hot as the Texas Rangers began investigating the theft. Within a day, some other corpsmen took the steer to a different off-campus location without our knowledge. Soon, we found ourselves facing the Commandant and a couple of Texas Rangers. The rangers told us in a very convincing way that cattle rustling was an offense that carried severe penalties. We spilled our guts! The steer was located, taken to a veterinarian for a checkup and returned to Austin in the hands of the Texas Silver Spurs.

I guess we were lucky. We didn’t end up in jail, and we weren’t shot by the farm owner. A few days later President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the bonfire was cancelled and the Bevo incident faded away.

Franklin “Gus” Harris Jr. ’66
Orange, Texas

My family has used Roku for many years. It's the only way we stream TV! I enjoyed reading the article about its creator, Anthony Wood ’90, in the summer issue.

Cameshia Cargle
College Station, Texas

The Corps of Cadets work so hard to keep the amazing traditions at Texas A&M University front and center. I’m glad they’re getting some renovated digs and much-needed updates to the Quad. Way to go on sending forth tomorrow’s leaders in style!

Charlene Wood
Midland, Texas

I had no idea that the Roku founder was an Aggie! Congrats, Mr. Wood, on the success of company No. 6. My thanks to the Texas A&M Foundation for bringing this story to our attention!

David Hyde ’79
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Our son, who is learning Japanese, (I’m from Japan and his dad is an Aggie) used ‘Roku’ to remember the word for ‘six’! I didn't realize that was where the name of the company came from!

Reina Maehata Shelby
Arlington, Tennessee

It was good to see Professor Giardino in the summer issue! As a senior at Texas A&M in 1995, I went on a very similar field trip through the College of Geosciences and still use knowledge gained on that trip in teaching my students today.

Karla Martin Burke ’95
Mesquite, Texas

Dunae Reader '15

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor