Chapter 75

Traveling Toward Dallas

After the team finally reached Los Angeles, the "Cowdray" was removed from the Santa Fe train and switched to a Southern Pacific regularly scheduled passenger train with El Paso being the next goal, at the end of the SP's tracks.

The route went down the center of Southern California and crossed over into Arizona at Yuma.

The route along Yuma, Arizona

Halfway across Southern Arizona was Tucson, a scheduled stop for coaling and taking on water for the big steamer.

It was early evening, and darkness had just settled in as the train braked to a halt at the depot on Toole Street. As the Colonels looked out of their Pullman's windows, they saw a throng of people, estimated to be over 500, many carrying lighted torches, coming toward the "Cowdray."

Suddenly they heard, "Hail! Hail! The gang's all here!"

It was members of the Arizona team who had arrived in Tucson before the Colonels' train, along with many of the students still in town and a group of townspeople, all accompanied by the town band.

Cheers followed, and then there was a spontaneous song belted out by the band with everyone joining in.

For they are jolly good fellows,
For they are jolly good fellows,
For they are jolly good fellows,
These boys of the Gold and White.
These boys in Gold and White,
These boys in Gold and White,
For they are jolly good fellows,
These boys of the Gold and White.

Army stood at the door of the "Cowdray" and thanked everyone on behalf of the team.

"Arizona has a peach of a team, and a wonderful group of players. We were honored to play such good sports, and I know that you must be proud to have such fellows represent your school."

There wasn't a dry eye in the "Cowdray" as the train churned out of the station.

On the 28th, as the Colonels were continuing toward El Paso, a story was printed in a College Station newspaper ( home of Texas A&M) which demonstrated how Uncle Charlie's legacy still lived on at A&M.

The great respect that tradition has kept alive in the minds of Aggie athletes for Charlie Moran, because of his glorious work with athletes at the A&M college of Texas, will be to stimulate their stamina and provoke them to a superhuman use of their strength when they meet his Danville team of "Praying Colonels" at the Dallas Fair Stadium on January 2.

There is an actual love in the hearts of the Aggies for the man whom they know only as the unknown quality, responsible for a great achievement that was made in athletics at the college earlier in the twentieth century.

In the presence of Charlie Moran, supporters as well as players will be stirred to exert the greatest demonstration of Aggie spirit through the inherent force that was implanted by him many years ago, making them always do their best on the field of battle. It would be shameful to player and supporter alike to make a bad showing in the contest in Dallas, for we are all determined that his teachings were lasting.

This loyalty to the principles of Moran, and the desire to vindicate themselves before his eyes as true disciples of his teachings, will make the Aggies a dangerous opponent for the Praying Colonels.

Uncle Charlie's overall record during his 6 years at A&M was 38-8-4. His winning percentage, to this day, excluding ties, is higher, at 82.6%, than any coach who has ever held the position more than 2 years.

( Dana Bible, 1917, 1919-28, was at 79.1% and R.C. Slocum, 1989-2002, had the 3rd best percentage of 72.4. )