When R.R. Jones Gave the Shirt Off His Back

© by Ray Sanchez  09.05.16

When I think of the late R.R. Jones, for whom the El Paso High School stadium was named, I feel love inrr-jones my heart.
He was the principal at El Paso High School when I went there in the early 1940s. He was such a kind, gentle and caring man that it’s easy to say he is one of the most beloved principals in the history of El Paso schools.
And I can prove it.
I was a bit brash when I was in high school. One day when I was a sophomore, we crossed paths in the hall outside his office. He had on a pretty striped shirt and I walked up to him and complimented him on it. A couple of days later, I was stunned when he approached me with a gift. It was the shirt I had complimented him on, washed and neatly folded. He presented it to me with the sweetest little smile I had ever seen.
We were about the same size at the time and it fit perfectly. I don’t know what kind of shirt I had on when we first crossed paths but he probably noticed that I wasn’t exactly from a rich family.
Whatever, he literally gave me the shirt off his back. It’s one of the sweetest memories of my high school days.

HAVE YOU ANY memories of him? I sure would like to read them. As you no doubt know by now, El Paso High School is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the present building which was built in 1916 for a whopping half million dollars.
As part of the celebration, the latest in a Centennial Legacy Series, this one titled “100 Years of Excellence in the Arts,” will be held Thursday, Sept. 8, at 6:15 p.m. at El Paso High School.
The evening will begin with a reception in the El Paso High School main hall and will feature the Alumni Art Sale and Show. Following will be the Legacy Series production in the auditorium.
By the way, do you know when the El Paso High School stadium was named for R.R. Jones? Sandy Aaronson would like to know for her records. She’s one of the members of the committee trying to break the world record for reunions this year. You can contact Sandy at sandyaaronson@gmail.com.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Did you know that Major League umpires weren’t permitted to wear glasses before a certain year? What was the year? Answer at end.

DID YOU CRY? I almost did when I saw former UTEP star Gerina Piller’s short game desert her in the final round of the Olympics golf tournament. Matt Sloan, who has followed her career, writes:
“Ray, we know that Gerina is very disappointed in her final round of the Olympics, but we should offer her some encouragement with an open letter endorsed by everyone in El Paso.
“Dear Gerina: Congratulations on being selected to represent the United States in the Olympics. That team and the Solheim Cup team recognize excellence. You did a wonderful job, tied for the lead at one point and posting a lower score than 50 of the 60 participants, including your teammate Lexi Thompson.
“We love to read the results of the tournaments you play in and see how much prize money you earn. You have mastered the game to produce at least a million dollars in winnings compared to many of us who have spent what seems like a million dollars trying to do what you do. Very few of us can hit a 275 yard drive. We don’t have a lot of birdies or even birdie putts. We almost never play 18 holes without a bogey.
“These are just a few of the reasons why we are proud of you and wish the best for you. You are our hero.
“Signed: El Paso golfers and friends.”

TRIVIA ANSWER: Not until 1974.

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