As an expat, I have had reason to be back in Arkansas more than usual this year, and I've spent some of that time rumaging through Arkansas's antique stores and flea markets for interesting items. One thing that I am always on the lookout for are items related to Razorback history. In the past, I've found a Coca Cola serving tray with a much more youthful looking Frank Broyles on it that celebrates our Cotton Bowl win over Georgia. This summer I added to my collection a glass that celebrates the 1994 basketball championship (feels so long ago) with all the scores of the games we played that season. But the most recent purchase (pictured) is the best find yet.
It is the Razorback Yearbook of 1926 that I found at a mall outside of Bryant. I love items from the twenties and thirties, so this brings together two loves, that time period and the Razorbacks. As you might expect, there is a section of the yearbook that gives a recount of the 1925 season. What happened that year? It was a 4-4-1 season with standout victories against LSU and Oklahoma State. Phillips University, probably doesn't even exist anymore, was another victory that year. We creamed them 45 to zip! I found it interesting that the yearbook writer referred to the Razorbacks most of the time as the "Porkers."
The Darren McFadden of that era was George Cole, the Porkers' number one weapon on offense. And what gives my yearbook an extra "Woo" in its "Woo Pig Sooie" is that in the back George Cole himself signed the yearbook, which once belonged to a Robert Pye from Eldorado. They were in the same class together. I love that I now own a piece of Razorback history that goes so far back and was once held in the hands of a Razorback legend himself.
When I saw "George Cole" in the back, I knew enough to know that he was a great Razorback of the Roaring Twenties, but that was about it. I did not even realize that George Cole Field at Baum Stadium is a tribute to the George Cole that signed the yearbook. Yeah, one in the same. Cole was also on Arkansas's baseball team.
Further research showed me just how much of a Razorback George Cole was. During his playing days, he scored 185 points (22 touchdowns and 7 field goals). He held the single season scoring record until 1965 and was on the 1927 all SWC team. Then in 1942 he served as the head coach for the season (3-7) before serving in WWII. After the war, he would go on to serve the University of Arkansas as assistant coach, recruiter, and eventually as the athletic director between Barnhill and Broyles. No doubt, there was a lot of "Woo Pig Sooie" in Mr. George Cole.
So keep an eye out the next time you are in some antique mall that maybe your wife or girlfriend has pulled you into; you just never know what piece of Razorback history you might come across. (Wear Schoonover, I am looking for your signature!) If you have a Razorback antique story of your own, please share it with us in the comment section. I for one would love to read it. One last note: isn't it ashame that the yearbook has largely (if not completely) disappeared from most college campuses? A good glimpse of our own times, I believe, is being lost without the good ole yearbook keeping a record of who we were back then.