by Jessica Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Despite muddy grounds, Frontier Fiesta welcomed and entertained Fiesta City guests.

"University's about youth, folk and fun," said Cougar football coach Kim Helton.

Helton added it's time for young students to take the university from older students.

Honorary Fiesta chairwoman Patsy Swayze said next year she "wants to see all 33,000 students out here."

In the '50s, more than 50,000 people came out to the event, she said.

Swayze, a professional dance instructor and mother of Hollywood star Patrick, choreographed award-winning variety shows in the past.

Frontier Fiesta marketing chairman Jeff Fuller said that at least 15,000 were in attendance.

"Everybody (Frontier Fiesta participants) pulled together," said operations chairman John Moore. "I think that says something about the university."

Volunteers helped spread hay and sawdust over muddy portions of the event site to absorb moisture and to cover mud from recent rains.

"The mud was a major problem, but we (Frontier Fiesta Association) couldn't do it without all participating groups," Moore said.

"With the weather conditions we had and the fact that we lost two days because of the (rainy) weather, it was highly successful," Fuller added.

Fuller said the effort shows that people care about their university enough to take time out to participate in an event like Frontier Fiesta.

Freshman business major and fraternity member Vinnie Stevens said it's unfortunate that the event is only geared toward UH fraternities.

"Frontier Fiesta caters to no one except fraternities," Stevens said. "They (Frontier Fiesta committee) need to publicize better to get more of the average UH students.

"The average UH student is a person who drives to school, goes to class and goes home," he said.

Fiesta chairwoman Julie Baumgarten said the event is geared toward everyone in the UH and Houston communities.

"We do not solicit to fraternities and sororities any more or less than anyone on campus," she said.

Baumgarten said less than half of the participating groups were Greeks.

Each group was given many options to participate with colleges as well as student organizations and local cook-off teams involved with the event, she said.

Baumgarten added that her committee did "a terrific job."

UH alumnus and retired NBA basketball star Otis Birdsong made an appearance in the athletics booth.





by Maike van Wijk

News Reporter

Bratwurst, beer, sauerkraut and Oktoberfest: There is more to German studies than this, and UH Professor Ted Gish said Texas has a rich German heritage.

"Ninety miles from here, we can talk German. Of course, some of it is a hybrid of English and German, like Tex-Mex," Gish said.

Gish teaches the course, "Texas Germans," which explores the factors of German emigration to Texas.

"In the 18th century, Germans came for religious freedom. In the 19th century, they came for political freedom," he said.

Prince Karl zu Solms-Braunfels was a minor prince who led an immigration company that brought almost 10,000 Germans to Texas, Gish said.

The political disruptions in their homeland made expansion attractive to Germans. Gish compared the attitude of Germans toward colonization to itinerants who live out of their car."You may not have a house, but because you drive your Cadillac, you appear well-to-do," he said.

Braunfels became general commissioner of the Adelsverein, an emigration company founded for the protection of German immigration in Texas. The image of a vast territory with many opportunities has not changed much since 1844, Gish said.

The Adelsverein, or "Society of Noblemen," founded Karlshafen (later Indianola), one of the earliest settlements in Texas, as its port city. The Germans built way-stations along the Liano river, but were reluctant to settle. According to Gish, the property was too far from the ocean and too close to the Comanches, Indians who harassed new settlers in Central Texas.

When New Braunfels was settled, Prince Karl went back to Germany. His successors, called impresarios, established communities west of San Antonio. Fredericksburg was originally founded as Friedrichsburg, after Friedrich of Prussia. In 1850, the Adelsverein went bankrupt because of underestimated costs and inexperience, Gish said.

"It should have been made a movie, with the naivete of the Germans and the American self-interest," said Gish, referring to the American, English, French and Spanish political interests in Texas during the 1840s.

In the 19th century, Galveston, San Antonio and Houston were 25 to 50 percent German, Gish added. Fifteen German newspapers were circulated in Houston between 1860 and 1914.

This semester, 50 exchange students from Houston's sister city, Leipzig, Germany, study at the University of Houston. "Most of them are in the school of business," Gish said.

The Goethe Institute was founded in 1951 "to put out the fire" after World War II, Gish said.

According to Brigitte Metzger, program coordinator at the Goethe Institute in Houston, the organization's mission was to present an accurate overview of German culture.

"The institute does not exist for native Germans, even though it is often called a German club. It exists to present the culture to the people whose country we're in. Here, the target group is Americans who have an interest in Germany. That is why most programs are conducted in English," she said.

The Houston headquarters tend to an area that comprises "one fourth to one half of Europe," Metzger said. This area includes Texas, its four neighboring states and Mexico.

"We are available to give people information about the German culture form all angles, mainly as an information center," Metzger said.

However, Gish said it is hard to get away from the stereotype. "Sometimes, Germans encourage (stereotypes) themselves, with Humpa bands and the Bavarian Village in New Braunfels, for example," he added. "But people like that stuff."

When Braunfels came to Texas, he expressed his need for German peculiarities, Gish said. "As he looked at the trees, he said, 'They have sauerkraut here!' However, that sauerkraut really was Spanish moss."

Gish established the Institute of Texas-German Studies at UH in 1985 to provide resources for education, outreach, research and exchange of German culture in Texas. Its archives are located in M.D. Anderson Library, he said.





by Andy Alford

Daily Cougar Staff

The dean of the UH College of Optometry was recently appointed to the Health Professions Education Advisory Committee.

Jerald W. Strickland is the first optometrist to serve on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's prestigious HPEA Committee, which studies a broad range of issues in health-professional education and makes recommendations to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. HPEAC is composed of 16 voting and six nonvoting members.

"This committee is very important in determining the types, quality and quantity of health professional education programs in Texas," Strickland said. "It is an honor to have been chosen."









Billy Joel (above) performed with Elton John at Rice Stadium Wednesday for a crowd of more than 35,000.

Photo by Patrick DeMarchelier/Columbia

Academy Award winner Elton John, dressed in a hot-pink slicker suit, and Billy Joel performed crowd favorites like "Piano Man" and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."

by JoAnn Stephens

Daily Cougar Staff

After two days of heavy rains, the heavens opened up, and the sun shined down for a brief moment on Elton John and Billy Joel as they took center stage at Rice Stadium Wednesday night.

John, who is notorious for arriving an hour before his concerts, had to fly through a fierce, late-afternoon storm, but arrived in time to start the concert at 7:30 p.m.

The 35,000-plus crowd was in for the night of its life when these two living legends opened the Houston leg of their world tour with, appropriately enough, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and "Your Song."

Joel left the stage, and John, dressed in his hot-pink slicker suit, took control, performing all his classics. The crowd was mellow, but a bit awestruck at the sight of this legend. He sang everything from "Rocket Man" to "Candle in the Wind." He also sang "Funeral For A Friend," which he rarely performs in concert, and even his Academy Award-winning "Can't You Feel the Love Tonight."

After his solo performance, there was a brief intermission, then Joel took the stage.

Joel tore it up. It had been rumored that since his marriage broke up, he hadn't been the same in concert, but Wednesday night proved that all those rumors were false.

He energized the crowd, bringing fans to their feet. He sang everything from "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" to "River of Dreams" and all those favorite classics in between.

John joined Joel on stage over an hour later. They closed the concert together with John's "Bennie and the Jets" and Joel's concert-closing classic, "Piano Man."

After John and Joel said their goodbyes and left the stage for the final time, the crowd wanted and seemed to demand a second encore, but never got it.

With John producing his best songs ever, and Joel getting back into his own, it was inevitable to be two hours and 45 minutes of concert-goer euphoria.


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