Chapter 81

Heading Home

Once again the faithful "Cowdray" was waiting for the team. It was connected to the regularly scheduled Missouri, Kansas and Texas passenger train which pulled out of Dallas each night for a 12 hour run to St. Louis, arriving in the big Union Station there at 7:55 A.M. so that anyone needing a day in the city would arrive in time to be present when most businesses opened.

The railroad, known as the Katy, went north out of Dallas, crossed over into and through Oklahoma, running north, and then cut through the southeast tip of Kansas before entering Missouri. Once in Missouri, the route went northeast until reaching Central Missouri where it veered off onto a true eastern direction to St. Louis.

In Kansas, heading home

With the addition of Oklahoma on the return from Dallas, the Colonels would have traveled through their 13th state on the trip: Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. When the additional 11 states are included which were traveled to, or through, on prior journeys since the Chief and Uncle Charlie arrived in Danville; Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, the young men of the Gold and White would have been to exactly half the 48 states which then made up the United States. It would have been a rare person who would have said, in the early 1920's, that they had been in half the states in the country, but the Colonels, from little Centre and Danville, could.

Also, they had crossed the border into Mexico.

The Katy train was delayed 6 hours on the way to St. Louis. The original plan was to have a big luncheon after the team arrived, but the delay obviously made that impossible. It was just as well. The team was anxious, terribly anxious, to get back to Danville, and was relieved that they didn't have to once again dress and make another appearance.

The "Cowdray" finally arrived early in the evening on January 4. It had been 20 days almost to the hour since the wild Danville send off. Despite the loss to Texas A&M, and despite the arrival of the train being off schedule, there was the usual, large enthusiastic crowd at the little Southern station to welcome "our boys" back home.

From Danville to Louisville, to St. Louis, and across Missouri to Kansas City.

They had steamed through the Great Plains of Kansas and Colorado to Denver, at the foot of the Rockies, and wound up and over the great mountains to Salt Lake City, and then to Ogden, Utah and across the Great Salt Lake.

The "Cowdray" had been pulled on the Overland Route to Oakland, and then it was into San Francisco on a Southern Pacific ferry.

Down the West Coast they'd gone, spending a day in Los Angeles, and then on to San Diego and the record setting storm.

There had been rain delays out of San Diego, but then there was the wonderful, torchlight welcome in Tucson.

A day in El Paso, a Southwest cookout and rodeo, had followed.

Finally it was to Fort Worth to be welcomed by old friends before the short hop to Dallas.

They'd slept through the night going from Dallas to St. Louis and been switched back onto the Southern tracks for the ride back through Louisville, to Lexington, and finally home to Danville.

It was a weary group of young men who climbed into their own beds on Wednesday night, January 4, 1922.

There is truly no place like home, especially when you love it so.

Bo left Dallas and he and Marie headed to a banquet held in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he was introduced as the new football coach at Centenary.

The rest of the team went back to classes, and things returned to normal on the campus of the little college in the Bluegrass.