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Shay Returns to Texas A&M University ‘Aggieland’ After 17 Years

the dixie chicken
Shay Hill

Many of you know I attended Texas A & M for awhile, although I ended up graduating from Tarleton State University. It doesn’t matter though because once an Aggie always an Aggie. I truly cannot tell you how much I believe that. It’s not just about getting a degree from there but more the comradery and atmosphere of the location; College Station.

I went back, after I left in ’93, for a couple of football games to see old friends. However, once everyone started to graduate and move away I just never got back there. I’m not sure if it’s old age hitting me, or having faced a scary situation this past year (cancer) but I’ve been wanting to go back and see the campus and ‘relive’ some of the good old days.This weekend I got to do just that.

We (my boyfriend and his son, Jace) went down for an event called Bownanza; a cook-off/reunion of sorts for a group of Texas Bowhunters. However, I had my own agenda, not only to see the campus for myself, but to also introduce Jace to the school and all it has to offer. He knows we have colleges here, but hasn’t even been on their campuses, and well, they are still in Abilene. This was something completely different for him. Bottom line is: he loved it. In his own words “the girls here are really hot”. That’s not really what I was going for but if it gets him interested in going to college then so be it!

We arrived Friday, just in time for lunch. I had to take them to the Dixie Chicken, because you cannot go to College Station and NOT visit the Chicken. After we had lunch there, we went to the Bonfire Memorial and then over to the alumni center to see the ‘big ring’. We drove around campus and later that evening I took them to see my first apartment, sorority row and some of the other landmark locations we used to frequent as students. I’m sure I bored them to death but they indulged me for the most part.

While much has stayed the same, so much more has changed. The whole area has grown so much, it’s crazy. More restaurants, hotels, shopping, parks, athletic complexes, dorms and living areas. I was amazed; I guess I just expected it to look the way I left it 17 years ago.

A friend reminded me of the scenario from the movie St. Elmo’s Fire. At the end of the movie the group of old college friends goes back to ‘their’ bar and they are looking in the window from outside. A new group of college kids has their old table and they have, in a sense, been replaced. That’s somewhat how I felt.

Oh, and they kept calling me ‘ma’am’! Smart aleck kids.

It was a great weekend and I have to say I loved every minute of being there. My only complaint was that all my friends weren’t there with me.

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