A 1940s Autumn Trip to Oklahoma with a Stop in Dallas

It was the late 1940s. John and Eleanor Caskey flew from New York to Dallas to see their only child, Jane. Jane had recently left her life in New Canaan, Conn. and followed the love of her life, John, to Madill, Okla. as he pursued a career in natural gas with his cousin. John and Jane married.

Mr. and Mrs. Caskey decided to stay in Dallas before traveling to Oklahoma. As they approached their hotel, the Dallas streets were lined with drunk people, both men and women…even horses. It had them asking if the plane had landed in another country or planet.

At the hotel, people were disheveled, brawling, celebrating and drinking. Dallas appeared to be lawless. And then a chair fell from the sky.

In a fit of whatever takes over a person to do such a thing, a hotel guest had thrown an upholstered chair out of the window.

“Well, Dallas is the most uncivilized city we’ve ever visited,” the parents told Jane when they finally traveled to her small Oklahoma town.

Jane’s parents were both Yale Law School graduates and her father was an esteemed lawyer. There’s even a John Fletcher Caskey Prize at Yale Law School. Because of their Dallas experience they attempted to convince Jane to move back to Connecticut during their visit.

There was an explanation for their disorderly Dallas experience. Unbeknownst to Jane’s parents, it was OU/Texas weekend and they had arrived on the day the game had been played. Even today, can you imagine visiting Dallas during OU/Texas and not be aware of this event?

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Jane is my maternal grandmother. I love it when she tells this story of her parents’ visit to Dallas. I wonder what they would think about their great-granddaughter being a part of that OU/Texas tradition?

Boomer Sooner.



  1. Dana Harkey says:

    I attended SMU 1968-72. I had never heard of the Texas OU tradition until my freshman year when the housemother made us show her a dime be fore we went out that weekend so we could at least call in if we got into trouble! That was totally foreign to this little ole Stuttgart girl! I did NOT get into trouble but carrying a dime for a pay phone was good policy in Dallas the second week in October.

    • Delta Moxie says:

      Love this story, Dana! My Aunt Nancy and Uncle Tom were at SMU about that time. I’m going to ask them if they were asked to carry a dime. Great advice! The closest thing to that kind of mayhem in Stuttgart would have been Duck Gumbo Cookoff. Thanks so much for commenting!

    • Delta Moxie says:

      Thanks, Jeanetta. I’m sure there had to be some pistol shooting up in the air, but I couldn’t confirm it. Dallas must have resembled a little of the wild, wild west to them but with nicer infrastructure. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Delta Moxie says:

      Oh, Peggy! They should have blocked out pre-game and kickoff time if they were not going to focus on your hair…because that was the best part of OU/Texas…at least, for me. One wrong snip can take a few months to correct. Focus people…Focus! Anyway, thank you for your kind words!!!

    • Delta Moxie says:

      Brandi, you’ve got that right! Beginning Thursday through Sunday of that weekend. Sheer madness. I may need to attend OU/Texas next year! 🙂

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Delta Moxie says:

      Barbara, thank you for your kind words. I haven’t attended an OU/TX game in many years, but if I lived in Dallas I’d probably stay indoors, too. Dallas transforms. I’ve become friends with your wonderful daughter and I get to see her in Helena, Ark. in the next couple of weeks. She is very talented. Again, thanks for commenting and reading my post. Glad you survived OU/TX weekend 2013.

    • Delta Moxie says:

      I’m so glad you told me that. I would have graciously responded either way, but knowing you are GraceGritsGardening.com ‘s mother makes your comment extra special. 🙂

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