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Monday, April 8
Fran Houser Adrian Midway Cafe
Tuesday, April 9
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In Print: On News Stands Now


by Tumbleweed Smith

Jim Runge of Eldorado is at it again. He has staged all sorts of off the wall events at his T9C Ranch just outside of town. His haunted house around Halloween is world class. He has attracted all sorts of media attention with his Elvis Look Alike Weekend, El Goatarod, (patterned after the Iditarod, but in Eldorado goats pulled carts around the courthouse square), and Running of the Bull (not like Pamplona, but like a liars contest and story-telling).

Jim Runge was a high school track star and set some Eldorado high School records that still stand today. He ran track at A & M.

“The coach called me a utility man,” says Jim. “I ran everything from the 50 yard dash to the 880.”

I guess Runge got to thinking about all the fun he had traveling to track meets and seeing his competitors year after year and maybe got to missing some of those good times. So he is inviting anyone who ran track in high school in West Texas during the 60’s to come to his ranch on Saturday, July 25th for a reunion.

“We’re not planning anything strenuous,” says Runge. “We want to sit around and visit and see how much weight we’ve gained. The theme of the reunion is THE OLDER WE GET THE FASTER WE WERE.”

Already a hundred or so people have indicated they are coming. He’s heard from people who live in all parts of Texas and other states. Some are bringing motor homes to stay the whole weekend. You can bet they’ll have a ball. Runge has carnival rides, horseshoes, washers, a softball field and alls orts of diversions to enjoy. He’s trying to get people to let him know if they’re going to come by July 17th.

He was extremely scientific about how he went about finding these runners and jumpers, discus throwers and shot-putters.

“I went to old newspaper clippings I had and got the names of the winners in various events. Then I went to newspapers in Comanche, Sonora, Ozona, Fort Stockton, Andrews, Sanderson and so forth and got more names. Then I looked up their names in whitepages.com and got their addresses. When I ran across someone with an unusual name, it was pretty easy. But when I came across somebody like Bill Jones I found several. But they put the ages of folks and so that helped me narrow it down. I sent out about 300 invitations and only about 50 came back because of a bad address.”

Most of the people coming are from small schools, which didn’t have baseball back in the 60’s. Track was the sport of spring. Track meets were social events. Runge is not charging anything for his guests. He’s serving them hamburgers and soft drinks followed by a fireworks show. Attendees are asked to bring appetizers, sides, desserts and any strong beverage of choice. They are also asked to bring films, pictures and stories. Contact Runge at eoboc@hotmail.com or 325 853-3678.

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