"Mean" Joe Greene

“Mean” Joe Greene, who played for North Texas State University from 1966-68, is shown in a 1967 publicity photograph.

100 Years Ago

From December 1918

Rail passengers put in baggage cars

Apparently, the Dallas & Wichita train has a new way of accommodating the traveling public without adding any cars. The plan is simply to load the present two cars to its full capacity and then bundle the excess passengers into the baggage car.

Probably the new idea was suggested by letters from soldiers in France who have told about riding in the dinky little cattle cars forty at a time and the Railroad Administration wishes to school the civilian population in the hardships of war. When the Dallas to Wichita train pulled into Denton Sunday, already heavily loaded, a great crowd waited on the platform, eager to board. There were more passengers than seats, so the conductor called for volunteers to ride in the baggage car. Seventeen volunteered and pluckily stuck it out in the congenial company of the corpse of a flu victim, trunks, and various and sundry other baggage.

The genius of the guardians of the railway will no doubt soon make passenger coaches unnecessary.

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Santa Letters

I am a little girl just four years-old. Please bring me a baby doll, a rocking chair and plenty of fruit, nuts and candies. Do not forget the other little children. From your little friend,

Clara Lou Sheridan

When you come, I want you to bring me an airship that will fly and an Erector set No. 1 and candy, nuts and fruit and other little toys you think I would like. P.S. — be sure to hurry.

Erwin Anderson

I am a little girl five years-old and I am trying to be sweet, so you will bring me a locket and chain, a doll chair and table, some doll clothes, but don’t bring me a doll as I don’t need me any. I have three old ones and bring me lots of nuts, fruit, candy and don’t forget all the other little children, and remember the orphans across the ocean that will be looking for you. Good-by until Christmas.

Marguerite Lucile Bailey

I am a little boy and go to kindergarten and study hard. Please bring me a horn that will tweedle and a gun that will sure enough shoot, and, Santa Claus, please instead of bringing me candy, bring me a cherry pie. Your loving little friend,

Wendell Barrett

75 Years Ago

From December 1943

No Christmas lights for Denton City Hall

At a meeting of the city commissioners Tuesday night, it was decided that the Christmas lighting of the municipal building, already begun, will be discontinued in order to comply requests from J.A. Krug, director of the Office of War Utilities, to confine Christmas lighting decorations to Christmas trees inside homes.

“I am asking the American people to refrain from their Christmas lighting custom,” he said. “Electric light bulbs are particularly short at present and strict conservation of them is necessary. Widespread consumption of bulbs during the Christmas season merely will mean a greater scarcity later on.”

Krug said no mandatory order was contemplated because “the American people realize the necessity of this conservation and will do it.”

Students present musical program

A program of Christmas music and readings from many lands was presented in the Woman’s Club Thursday evening by music pupils of Mrs. John Lawhon, who gave a brief description of yuletide customs of each country. The program was well received by an audience of relatives and friends.

Those taking part included Glenda Carpenter, Yvonne Allen, Betty Baldridge, Joyce Sockwell, Marcella Stewart, Enid Pittman, Mary Lou Mullins, Genella King, Charles Smith, Johnny Lawhon, Joy Gambill, Rosemary Mizell, Suzon Storrie, Richard Storrie, Mary Virginia Skidmore, Evelyn Brodie, Rochelle Blair, Rose Ina Stuart, Johnny Storrie, Louise Davis, Patsy Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Barns, Betty Newman, Martha Len Henderson and Kenneth Timken.

50 Years Ago

From December 1968

Joe Greene started a new era at NTSU

When Joe Greene leaves North Texas State he will leave behind a new era — a Mean Green era.

Joe, the school’s first All-American since turning major college in 1957, helped the Eagles achieve the new nickname with his outstanding play the past three years at defensive tackle. During those three years, the Eagles have posted a 23-5-1 record.

Not highly sought coming out of Temple Dunbar, Joe already had his eyes on North Texas.

“I made up my mind to go to North Texas when I was in the seventh or eighth grade when I read a North Texas brochure. I saw a picture of A.D. Whitfield and I knew him. That helped me make up my mind.”

Joe’s biggest thrill was the 54-12 victory over Tulsa last year. “I don’t think we’ve ever played a game that good. We had everything together.”

Joe would like to play for the Baltimore Colts, but playing for them or any other top-rated team seems dim since he is considered to be a high draft choice. Joe said this wouldn’t dim his outlook if he got with a loser. “I’d just try and make them a winner.”

NOTE: Joe Greene was the fourth player selected in the 1969 NFL draft. He played 13 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had been perennial losers. The team won four Super Bowls with “Mean” Joe Greene anchoring their defensive line.

25 Years Ago

From December 1993

Young riders deliver

on Pony Express

Ponder Elementary School pupils relived the glory days of the Old West last week as they saddled up their horses and rode tall across the plains from Ponder to Denton.

The memory of the famed Pony Express was brought to life as the young riders set up relay teams and passed a saddlebag filled with handmade Christmas cards that were presented to members of the Denton County Sheriff’s Office on the steps of the Courthouse on the Square.

Accompanying the pupils on the 12-mile ride was a miniature stagecoach loaded with food and toys for Denton’s needy, pulled by a miniature horse.

“Our children use the sheriff’s office for protection,” said Jeff Tinch, principal of Ponder Elementary. “We wanted to say, ‘Hey thanks, we appreciate you.’”

Without a doubt, re-enacting a Pony Express ride made Cassidy Galloway’s school year.

“It was fun,” said the fourth-grader. “I liked when we got the saddlebag and passed it off.”

Sheriff Weldon Lucas said, “The homemade or school-made cards brought back memories of long-ago Christmas. Little things like this make your Christmas a little better.”

Santa Letters

Dear Santa, I hope you have a good Christmas. I would like mommy to have a baby, and some books. Can you surprise me? How are the reindeer? I am leaving chocolate chip cookies. I love you very, very much. I am glad that I am not you because I would not want to deliver all the presents.

Heather McDonald

Dear Santa, I have been good. I mow the grass. I help Dad work on the tractor. I want a motorcycle, a ship, puzzle, some clay, a kite, Christmas tree, some shirts, a desk, some gloves, some cats and some dogs.

Love, Cody Ferguson, Justin

Dear Santa, I have been good this year, so please bring me a firetruck, a racetrack and a basketball game. We do not have a fireplace, so I hope you can figure out another way to deliver my presents under our Christmas tree. (Dad locks the doors!) Be sure to save some room in your tummy for my mom’s really good chocolate chip cookies. Also, dress warm because it sometimes gets cold in Texas. Thanks Santa,

Blake Hopkins, Denton

Dear Santa, I help my mom make the bed and CLEAN the dishes and CLEAN my room. I want a balloon, and some crayons, a ball, a puzzle, a doll and a Christmas bike.

Love,

Ericka LaMore, Justin

— Compiled from the files of the Denton Record-Chronicle by DJ Taylor

DJ TAYLOR resides in the Sanger/Bolivar area. He can be reached at 940-458-4979 or djtaylortx@centurylink.net.

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