Speaking of Joe Ely, I thought I would share a little bit of my history with you. My first date with Toby was about this time in December thirty years ago - yep, our "first date" anniversary. I cannot remember the actual date; it was about the second week of December and before Tech let out for Christmas break. Although I had met Toby my first night at Texas Tech, we did not actually go out on a date until December. I met him in August at a mutual friend’s birthday. It was Brad Seymore’s birthday. Brad was a jeep driver in Red River who was from Lubbock. There was a group of us that had made friends in RR over the summer (my big brother, Craig, included), and we all ran together at TT. Toby had gone to high school with Brad in Lubbock – so he joined our group. On my first night at TT, my buddy Anny and I dolled up and headed to the Saddle Bronc for Brad’s birthday. Toby was there with a date. He sat right across the table from me, but does not remember meeting me (you can tell I made a big impression on him). His date was rather silly, and he had this incredibly stupid line he was using on her. I was awed. The next day, I asked my brother if "that guy" was married to "that girl" because who would put up with such a stupid line unless they were married. Craig just laughed at me and said that no, Toby was not married to that girl. In fact, she was no one important – just a date. After that first meeting, Toby was included in our group of partiers all the time. We would all meet at Brad’s house and go clubbing from there. We would usually go to the Saddle Bronc, Cow Palace, Bigger'n Dallas, or Cotton Club. Toby never asked me to dance in all the time we ran in the same crowd – this probably intrigued me more than anything. At one point, I told my brother to tell Toby that I wanted a date with him. In typical male fashion in the middle of some conversation with Toby, Craig said, "By the way, my sister wants a date with you." Toby was still not impressed with me and chose to ignore Craig. Later, Toby told me that he had thought I was "prissy." I’m not sure Toby knew the meaning of "prissy." I think he thought I was a "prude" and he had no time for me. I was considered "cute", but not "foxy." Being Craig's little sister could have had something to do with his decision. Eventually, Brad wanted a date with one of my friends. He got Toby to ask me out on a double date to insure that my friend would say yes to Brad. And so, the date was set to go to the Cotton Club to hear Joe Ely.
Toby and Brad picked Denise and me up at my dorm driving Toby’s Dad’s Lincoln Continental. Toby was driving, and he had his beer balanced on the steering wheel (yep he was drinking and driving, but it was the old days). I said, "That beer is going to fall off." He said, "It never falls off." About that time, it fell off into the floorboard. It made me laugh much to his chagrin. The Cotton Club was a large metal building on the outskirts of Lubbock. It was BYOB, and Toby brought Lord Calvert and 7UP (I’m a one-beer sort of girl). We met up with the rest of our group to dance to Joe Ely, who was a regular at the CC, as well as Tommy Hancock and other members of his family band. We all had a great time. I can remember feeling very comfortable with Toby (even before the Lord Calvert). He felt the same way. We danced to Joe Ely and had a great time. Later, Toby took me back to my dorm and walked me across the huge lawn to the front door where I very gracefully threw up. Well, he didn’t think I was "prissy" any more. More importantly, he asked me out again.
We went out once more before I left for Christmas break in Red River. Toby and Brad came up to RR for a few days during the break, and we went out again. When Christmas break was over, I returned to TT. The first night back, I headed to the Cow Palace (Wednesday night was ladies’ night). I made a tour through the dancers and then walked into the pool (billiards) room to see who all was out and about. First, I ran into a guy named Mark, whom I had dated during the previous semester. I asked him to come dance with me, but he said no, that he was busy playing pool. He was pretty much an egotistical jerk. Next, I ran into Toby, who grabbed me up, gave me a big hug, and swung me around excited to see me. I asked him to come dance with me. He said he couldn’t because he had money, a challenge, up on a pool table. So, I followed him over to the pool table, and sure enough, he was playing Mark. I took a seat to watch. Both guys thought I was there to watch him. Both guys came over and talked to me in between turns. It was awkward. Toby won the pool game, shook Mark’s hand, and took the challenge money. Mark reached into his wallet and said, "Hey that was a great game. Let’s play again." Toby walked over to me, took me by the hand, and said, "No, I have better things to do" and we walked off together to dance the night away. I was hooked.