I really enjoyed your story, "How Our Green Got Mean," in the fall edition. Those accounts were interesting, but here, in brief, is the real story.
The Mean Green was in fact inspired by Charles "Joe" Greene's football prowess, but he was not directly involved or a participant in the idea.
It really happened at a Friday night bonfire, and Sigma Nu was the creator. During that era, the bonfire was almost exclusively the product of effort by the Greeks. There was in fact a fierce competition among Greeks to contribute the most volume of wood by weight for the bonfire, and the coveted Spirit Award was given and announced the next day at the Homecoming game. In that era it had nothing to do with floats in the parade.
Sigma Nu had written and prepared a highly spirited presentation embracing the Mean Green idea for the pep rally just before the bonfire. That year Sigma Nu won the Spirit Award for both the Mean Green performance and the most wood contributed.
I enjoyed reading the article in the latest North Texan about Bill Mercer. He is probably the best radio sports announcer I have ever heard. I was employed at North Texas for 38 years and was ticket manager for 20 years. I sometimes traveled with the team as administrative representative and assisted Bill in the announcer booth.
At Carbondale, Ill., one time, we had cold, rain and snow, and sleet covered the glass in the booth so we could not see the field. The coaches booth was next to us and they gave us a headset. I would jot down on a yellow pad what was going on, and Bill would look over my shoulder and announce what was happening. We were about two plays behind what was actually happening, but you would never know it from the way Bill talked. He did the entire game that way. He did a magnificent job that day.
Sure did enjoy reading the special issue
of The North Texan (summer 2004), especially the section "Remembering the early days" with the alums commenting
on those days gone
by. The comments triggered a memory that I searched for in the issue but didn't find.
Maybe it wasn't a big deal to the whole student body back in 1974, but I remember a fellow student who was student teaching with me in the "West Dallas Projects" who caused quite a stir at Pinkston High School.
His name was Lloyd Gite. He initiated a boycott of the Dallas Morning News because of some type of unfair reporting practices and rallied the black students at Pinkston to support it.
As a 19-year-old student teacher from a small town (West),
I was amazed at the effort and passion of Mr. Gite. I do recall our professors from UNT being a little nervous about the
situation and all the "press" stirred up, but most of all I remember realizing what an impact teachers, even student teachers, have on their students.
I've been teaching for 30 years now and fondly remember "NUTS" decals, Fry Street, Smitty Kiker, Imogene Bentley Dickey, Sweet Estes and, of course, that semester of student teaching.
Thanks to all the journalists who put together the special issue with such a realistic approach.
I especially enjoyed the summer edition. Reading the stories of all those fine people reminded me of
a conversation my mother and I had about prejudice when I was small.
She explained that one of the most destructive things about prejudice for the people being discriminated against is if they "believed the lie" proclaimed by the bigots that they were inferior. The destruction of self-esteem is one of the worst results of prejudice. I was pleased to read of the many fine African Americans who attended UNT and obviously did not believe the lie.
My mother and I also talked about the fact that bigots hurt themselves by missing knowing many fine people. I think of all the people who missed out both before UNT was integrated and afterward through their own prejudice. What a waste.
Karen Janes ('80)