My wife and I moved to Texas in 1983 as newlyweds from Kentucky and were warmly welcomed by many wonderful people we met upon arrival. Being so welcomed made us feel so good about our decision to move to Texas that we just stayed and made Dallas our home.
This weekend while visiting College Station to attend the football game as alumni and fans of the University of Kentucky, we were reminded of the warm welcome we received many years ago as newcomers to the state.
When we first arrived on Saturday morning, we saw the “Welcome Kentucky Wildcats” sign in front of the Rudder Tower’s “Howdy” topiary. That was very classy and set the tone for the rest of our day.
We had never seen Step Out and wanted to experience it, but could not see behind the crowd that had formed. Aggie fans John and Renee recognized our dilemma and offered their front row vantage point, and then invited us to their tailgate party. We were welcomed not as competitors but as friends.
Negotiating a crowd in a wheelchair is not easy. When we could not find a ramp down from the curb, two gentlemen lifted me down. A very nice crowd-control officer helped us in and out of the stadium by parting the lines to help get us to the ramp. When pushing the wheelchair up the long ramp became too much, two kind gentlemen took over and pushed the rest of the way.
When we had a need, we weren’t asked whether we needed help — the need was simply addressed. This is a lesson that should be taught and exported.
When we were watching the game, we met even more awesome A&M people in the stands. Jennifer helped explain the 12th Man and Yell Leader traditions, and we discovered common friends and experiences.
We can’t even count the number of times we were told, “Thanks for coming down!”
We just wanted everyone to know how truly grateful we are to have journeyed to College Station, and to have been received with open arms. Even though our team didn’t win the game, our hearts were won over by the reception we received and the many awesome people we met.
Many thanks for your hospitality,
Phil and Cookie Foster