College Station, Texas as we have mentioned before was our former home place for 35 years. When we first arrived in 1975 the student population at Texas A&M University was less that 17,000 students and the town of College Station was about the same population while its sister city, Bryan, had about a 40,0000 population. In those days there were only Mom and Pop establishments and our favorite bar, The Dixie Chicken had inexpensive cold beer, sawdust on the floor and a big whiskey barrel full of saltines for patrons to enjoy. Whilst most of the Mom and Pop shops have sadly gone by the wayside, the Dixie Chicken remains.
It is really interesting to return here as a visitor. Each time we come we are amazed at the growth of the town. Streets have been widened, overpasses have been built, huge buildings are replacing vacant lots and the university now has a student population of over 50,000 and growing making it the sixth-largest university in the United States. There is even a building that will be very noticeable in the College Station skyline going up that will provide housing and commercial opportunities making this once small town start to look more like a city.
Upon joining the SEC there were regulations dictating stadium sizes, so we hear “our” Kyle Field must take on a huge expansion that will total $420 Million buckaroos… The number of seats that the renovated stadium will hold has not yet been announced. The number could fall between 95,000 and 102,500. Already the old baseball stadium has been redone, basketball moved from a small gym to Reed Arena and we now have one of the biggest indoor tracks in the USA. Driving around is quite surreal as we marvel at all the changes our “little” town
Many of our old friends are still here and it has been a joy to meet for happy hours or dinners or visit at their homes. Sadly there is also news of illnesses or divorces but mostly we hear that life here has been good. It was nice also to return to our former workplaces to visit with former bosses and coworkers and see that life goes on smoothly there without us. Everywhere we go we hear of the excitement in town due to Johnny Manziel and the surprising run the Texas A&M’s football team had in their inaugural season in the SEC. These loyal fans have seen many ups and downs so it was great to see the town so happy and proud of this team and their coaches. Now that my daughter gave me a large Texas A&M flag for Christmas I am sure we will proudly fly it for each football weekend the team takes the field…