Monday, November 21, 2011

NPR :: Kilgore Rangerettes

Kilgore Rangerettes
By O. Rufus Lovett
Buy It Now
The Unchanging Style Of The Kilgore College Rangerettes


For many Texans, fall is synonymous with football. But in some areas, the sidelines can be just as much of a spectacle as the actual game.

Enter the Kilgore College Rangerettes. Known for their high kicks and high glamour, the Rangerettes introduced the idea of the football halftime show to the world in 1940.

Many decades later, they remain largely unchanged in their signature style, complete with cowgirl hats, boots and a color palette to make the American flag green with envy. This throwback to a bygone era is likely what has attracted so many photographers to document them through the years.

One photographer in particular, Kilgore College professor O. Rufus Lovett, has been photographing this iconic dance team since 1989 and released a book of his photos in 2008. He explained in an email that the series was inspired by his "fascination with the small-town glamour juxtaposed with the football turf, metal stadiums, asphalt and concrete environment."

Though Lovett has trouble picking a favorite photo, he says he is fond of the image titled "Big Hair," which adorns the back of his book on the Rangerettes. For the Rangerettes, Lovett says, "hair is not only big in size but also big in terms of the drill-team culture."

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