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Cotton Bowl Classic and Bauer House Tour (1973)

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1973

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  •  Manager Juan Conde 
  •  Head Coach Darrell K Royal 
  •  Firing Old Smokey 
  •  Unidentified dancer interlude 
  •  Family enters the Bauer House for a tour. The home was designed by Austin architect Wolfe Jessen. Along with his brother, Jessen also designed the Governor’s Mansion, the Texas Supreme Court, and several other UT campus buildings, such as the Harry Ransom Center’s Michner Galleries, the Jester dormitory, and the Gregory Gym Annex. 
  •  Refreshment stand at Bauer House, operated by Dale Baker's B-B-Q, a restaurant in operation from 1952 to 1975 
  •  Frank Erwin making a cameo as groundskeeper 
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This news footage captures the University of Texas Longhorns bench during their apperance at the Cotton Bowl Classic on January 1, 1973. The Longhorns defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 17-13. Manager Juan Conde and Head Coach Darrell K Royal can be seen on the sidelines with the players. Also included is a tour through Bauer House, the official home of the chancellor of the University of Texas System, located in the West Austin neighborhood of Tarrytown. The Bauer House was completely razed and rebuilt in the early 1970s, and the renovations and improvements requested by the new Chancellor Charles “Mickey” LeMaistre (replacing Harry Ransom in 1971) were the subject of much controversy. This footage was likely shot as a promotional “coming out” video for the recently completed project.
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
A particularly notable moment in his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.
Located at 1909 Hill Oaks Street, approximately three miles southwest of the University of Texas at Austin campus, Bauer House is the residence of the chancellors of the University of Texas System. The house and land was donated by Gloria Miesh and Earl E. Shouse in 1968, and named after Regent W. H. Bauer. The original structure, built in 1936, was found to have substantial foundational damage. Thus, the university decided to raze the building and construct another home designed by local architect Wolfe Jessen. (Jessen, along with his brother, also designed the Governor’s Mansion, the Texas Supreme Court, and several other campus buildings, such as the Harry Ransom Center’s Michner Galleries, the Jester dormitory, and the Gregory Gym Annex.)
Controversy arose during construction, however, after Harry Ransom resigned from the chancellorship in 1971 and passed the title to Charles “Mickey” LeMaistre. LeMaistre demanded several costly additions to the nearly completed house, including upper floors, a swimming pool, and a greenhouse. The soaring cost of the renovations were kept under wraps until UT’s student newspaper, The Daily Texan, made the issue public and questioned the regents’ decision to authorize the construction without taking competitive bids. 
On March 3, 1971, the Texas Senate called the university’s Board of Regents before a subcommittee meeting to explain their finances. Head Regent Frank Erwin claimed that the construction was backed by a recent donation, but refused to name the donor. (Erwin later confessed that Eugene McDermott, founder of Texas Instruments, was the source of the funding. The regent allegedly burned the check at the Watering Hole, an Austin bar, to keep McDermott’s patronage a secret.) The regents eventually gave back the money and relied on tax-related funds to cover the project.