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There was never a question of where I would go to college. I grew up in Austin rooting for the local football team, seeing orange-and-white street signs all around town, yelling "Hook 'em Horns!" I was born to be a Texas Longhorn.
I enrolled as a Freshman Acting major in the UT Drama Department – dedicated to theater, at home on a stage.
Sophomore year I joined Delta Upsilon Fraternity. I wasn't really the frat-boy type (all Drama majors were assumed to be queer), but I loved my fraternity brothers, largely because they became my cast and crew for shows I produced for UT's annual Varsity Carnival -- with Carolyn Calvert as my sexy star.
One year I wrote, produced and directed a film based on the zany format of MAD magazine. DU GOES MAD satirized life at UT, and it was the first movie ever at Varsity Carnival. It won the top prize that year.
All acting majors were required to take Scene Design, which they hated, but I loved it because I was a damn good artist. My earliest professional ambition was to be a cartoonist. In High School I even created my own characters and wrote a daily comic strip adventure that I posted on my bulletin board -- as if it were a daily newspaper strip, complete with a Sunday splash page.
I changed my major to Studio Art when I became a Junior -- and for the next two years I drew nude models and painted abstract splashes and dribbles, allegedly to teach me the "formal elements" of art. I loved art, but I knew that field wasn't my final destination.
I was made Art Director of THE TEXAS RANGER, the rebellious student humor magazine – with a circulation greater than the famous HARVARD LAMPOON. I found that I loved magazine layout, story illustration and cover design. My fifth year at UT, I switched to Commercial Art.
I worked part-time at an Austin ad agency that published a monthly magazine, owned by Texas legend John Henry Faulk. I created ads and column heads, learned typography and cover illustration – and found that I was good at real-world advertising and publishing.
Carolyn was sexy star of musical I wrote and directed for Varsity Carnival, "Our Campus Town." I joined fellow DU's in the jock chorus.
I produced the first movie ever at the annual Varsity Carnival. My script satirized life at U.T. with MAD magazine zaniness.
I illustrated covers and articles, designed ads and layouts -- wild and rebellious as Art Director of U.T.'s TEXAS RANGER magazine.
At the same time, I was creating cover art and designing GO! Magazine for John Henry Faulk's publishing and advertising business.