Longhorn Leisure Through the Years

You know how the saying goes: “Work hard, play hard.” Few other schools exemplify this ethos like The University of Texas at Austin. As much as there is to do on the Forty Acres—from life-saving research to world-class scholarship—UT students have always known how to have a good time when not in class, treating Austin as an extension of our beloved campus. In honor of the summer holidays, the Alcalde looked through decades of Cactus yearbooks to see how Longhorns used to spend their leisure time.

1962: Affectionately referred to as “Dirty’s,” Martin’s KumBak Place opened near campus in 1926—and almost a century later, their recipes remain virtually unchanged.

1986: Adored by students, locals, and tourists alike, Barton Springs stays at a cool 68 degrees, as constant as the flow of UT students down North Lamar to the pool gates.

1992: UT’s water ski team has been slaloming since 1976, but sometimes beating the Texas heat requires shredding the slopes in colder locales, like the fresh powder reflected in these shades.

1982: Students work on their tans at Barton Springs.

1981: While this jogger takes laps around Town Lake, the bat colony at Congress Bridge—now housing an estimated 1.5 million bats every summer—is just settling in, after the bridge underwent a major renovation in 1980.

1996: UT students are always upping the ante.

1985: Craig Willingham, BBA ’83, (left) and Mark Willingham, BBA ’87, watch the crowd heading to the football game from Mark’s Moore-Hill dorm room window.

1984: Punch-Out!! was the top-performing arcade game of 1984—and clearly popular among UT students, too.

1962: A picnic atop Mount Bonnell never goes out of style.

1986: As demonstrated here, becoming a regular at the revered West Campus watering hole Cain & Abel’s is all about balance (which, incidentally, one loses altogether after too many Texas Teas).

1986: Before its closure in the mid-’90s, you could get a burger with guacamole on the top (the No. 7, named “Austin’s Favorite”) at Mad Dog & Bean’s on the edge of West Campus.

Date unknown: A Longhorn readies his canoe for paddling Town Lake—which wouldn’t be renamed for Lady Bird Johnson, BA ’33, BJ ’34, BL ’64, Life Member, Distinguished Alumna, until 2007.

1992: These members of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority are on a roll.

1987: Local music writers Lois Richwine and Jesse Sublett are just some members of the scene that centers on the Drag, where students can people-watch or join the fray.

All images sourced from Cactus yearbooks by Matt Wright-Steel


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