Letter to Editor,
From 1955 to 1961 my husband, Jack Rumbley, was band director at William Adams High School, Alice, Texas, and I served as the Youth Director at First Baptist Church. Our daughter was one year old when we came, and our son, Phil was born in Alice, January 8, 1956. Alice was a great place to live and rear children. I loved it, because it really never got cold! I have never appreciated the cold weather in Dallas, Texas, our home.
Jack taught during the day and in the evenings he played timpani in the Corpus Christi Symphony. He also played drums in a band led by Eddie Galvan at the Driscoll Hotel, in Corpus. The Driscoll is no more!
And now I hear that the Rialto Theatre in Alice is no more! I am so sorry to hear about this.
When we came to Alice, I, with a degree in theatre, created the Alice Little Theatre. We gave our plays in the Alice Hotel Ball Room. I'm sorry that there was not a little theatre group that could have saved the Rialto for their productions. This often happens to smaller town theatres.
As a young mother with two little children, I craved entertainment. And just where did I find the greatest entertainment? At the Rialto Theatre. I saw every movie that came to town.
I saw GIANT, the lengthy saga of a Texas ranch man, Bick Benedick played by Rock Hudson and his southern wife played by Elizabeth Taylor. Edna Ferber wrote the novel patterned after the family of Richard and Henrietta King of the King Ranch, which is not too far from Alice. Every true Texas loves the movie, GIANT.
I remember telling my children, "This movie is long, but you will still quietly--understand?" They agreed.
Well, toward the end, Phil got restless and decided to stand up in his seat. This was all right, since not too many people were there that afternoon. He wouldn't disturb anyone. However, the seat snapped up and Phil's leg was caught in between the seat and the back! That was all right, because he could be easily lifted out, but the tops of his cowboy boots spread out and I couldn't get him out! Jill went into hysterics. "Phil can't get out! What will we do?" I, always wanting to have some fun, said, "No problem. We can get another little brother easily." Now, Jill was really upset! I admit that's wasn't the answer a good mother would give.
Nevertheless, I got Phil out and Jill was happy!
I told Jill about the razing of the Rialto and asked her if she remembered the episode with Phil and his cowboy boots. She smiled and said she definitely remembered the whole scene. Jill also remembers taking dancing lessons from Beverly Miller and attending Mrs. Sage's First grade. She remembers the baton lessons with drum major, Shirley Jamison. Jill is still twirling with a group of "girls" 65 years old. They perform in the Dallas Senior Follies!
Phil, who teaches music and plays jobs like his daddy did, does not remember the Rialto Theatre. What a shame! I've always loved to tell the story.