Also In This Issue


Kindness Pays Off

Thanks for the superb article about Old Army Lou in the fall 2019 issue of Spirit magazine. What a fine man—a dedicated, die-hard Aggie and humanitarian supreme.

My most memorable experience with Lou occurred during my freshman year in the Corps of Cadets in 1965. Three of my fish buddies and I went out “on the town” cruising the streets of College Station and Bryan. We were 18 years old and consuming illicitly-obtained beer. Having had an excess, we stopped in a parking lot and relieved ourselves. We were arrested for public lewdness (or some such misdemeanor) and minor possession and taken to the police station for formal booking. Our bail was set at $50 each. None of us had bail money.

One of the guys’ fathers could have pulled some strings to have this taken care of, but he was not about to call him. We resorted to calling Lou, probably around 1 or 2 a.m. He came immediately, greeted us like we were his sons and posted all our bonds. When asked about paying him back, he told us just to pay him back when we could. The amount didn’t matter to him; he was just helping young Aggies. We never heard from local police again, and we all paid Lou back within the month with profuse thanks.

May this fine man rest in peace, hopefully knowing that he gratuitously helped so many young people. 

John Pavlas ’69 
Houston, Texas

Generosity on Loan

When I enrolled at Texas A&M in 1958, everyone registered for classes and paid their tuition bills in Sbisa Dining Hall. I was short $57 and was directed to a man overseeing student loans. After having me sign a paper for $100, he took $57 to pay my school bill and gave me $43 back. When I mentioned that I hoped it would be enough for books, he told me not to shop at the college bookstore, but to go to Loupot’s on Northgate. He said that Loupot’s had much better terms.

When I went to Loupot’s for my books, Lou told me to keep my $43 because I would need it for other expenses. I distinctly remember him telling me to take good care of the books he provided me because they needed to be in good condition for him to buy them back at the end of the semester. By the end of my fish year, I owed Loupot’s quite a bit. I got a job in an oilfield in West Texas the summer between my freshman and sophomore year, which allowed me to pay him back, but I was in debt to him again by the end of my sophomore year.

I paid that debt by working a summer job with Chicago Bridge and Iron Company, where I spent 40 years after graduation. However, I entered my senior year in debt again. The situation went downhill from there, because I met my wife, Dona, the weekend of the Baylor game and we were married during Easter break in 1962, before graduation. I finally cleaned up my tab with Lou five or six months after graduation. He sent me a nice letter when I paid him off, saying that he appreciated my business.

The bottom line is this: If it were not for Lou’s generous terms, I would have had a much more difficult time with my college expenses. I bet there is no one like Old Army Lou around the Texas A&M campus anymore, and that is truly a shame. I will forever have fond memories and great appreciation for what Old Army Lou did for me.

Foster Webb ’62 
Kingwood, Texas


Aggie Royalty

I remember seeing Lou behind the counter at Loupot’s when I attended Texas A&M in the late ’80s and early ’90s. After I graduated, I moved to Austin. Back in 2012, I was in the parking lot of Central Market when I saw an older woman decked out in Aggie gear leading her grandson, also in Aggie gear, to an SUV with a magnetic real estate sign on the door that said “LOUPOT.”

I stopped to inquire if she was related to Old Army Lou. Turns out, she was his daughter and an extremely proud Aggie down to her core. I told her I remembered her father very fondly, and we reminisced about him for a couple of minutes. It was like meeting Aggie royalty! The experience is up there with the time that I shook the hand of Aggie All-American Charlie Kreuger ’58, and when I sold my house to the granddaughter of James Earl Rudder ’32.

Sean C. Malloy ’92 
Tomball, Texas

Digital Dialogue

I earned two bachelor’s degrees while at Texas A&M, and I always shopped at Loupot’s Bookstore for textbooks and school supplies. Prices were very reasonable back then even though money was tight!

Manuel Tamayo Jr. ’75 ’78 
Sacramento, California


I was introduced to Old Army Lou when I arrived for my orientation weekend after graduating from high school. I registered for my first classes and had the list of books and supplies I needed. Loupot’s was the first stop after that. During the next four years, I always started my book hunt there—Lou had the best selection of used books. He ALWAYS made students feel like they mattered.

Mike Osborne ’83 
Fountain Hills, Arizona


I worked for the Loupots in 1962 and 1963. Lou and Mama Lou were good people, and those that worked there were like family. I have very good memories with these legends!

Pat Windham 
College Station, Texas


As a senior squadron commanding officer in 1958, I could not afford a sabre. I recall that Mr. Loupot would provide a sabre and scabbard if you recommended his store to the freshmen in your outfit, which I did. 

James R. Porter ’58 
Abilene, Texas

Boots and Benevolence

I just read the article about Old Army Lou in the fall 2019 edition of Spirit, so I thought I would relate the following story.

I am in the Class of 1970 as one of the first group of civilian students at Texas A&M; however, I was drafted at graduation in May 1970, so I joined the two-year AFROTC program at Texas A&M as a graduate student. Not many people know about that program, but it allows one to join the Corps of Cadets as a “Frog Sergebutt,” a rather unusual situation. We signed a contract to be in the Air Force, just as a normal junior would, but we were academically graduate students.

When I became a senior in the Corps (my second year in graduate school), there was a minor controversy within Squadron 13 as to whether I could wear senior boots or not. On one side of the argument was the fact that I had never been a true “Fish,” so I should not be able to wear them, while the other side of the argument said that I had already been at Texas A&M for more than five years and graduated with a bachelor’s degree, so I deserved to wear the boots. Our commanding officer, John Souders ’71, won the argument. Therefore, I needed some senior boots, fast.

One day, while in Loupot’s looking for a physics book, I saw a big pile of odd-size senior boots on the floor. They were mostly very small or very large, with a sign that read “$25 a pair.” Since I wear size 13+ shoes, I did not think I would find any that fit. However, I did find a pair I could almost wear, and about that time Lou came up to me. He told me I could probably get them slightly adjusted down the street at Victor’s or Holick’s, but he thought they might be worth more than $25. I said, “Look at that sign,” so he immediately smiled and said they were mine for $25!

As a graduate student, I was already stressed out for money, so I borrowed boot pants and spurs, etc. from guys in my outfit, and enjoyed wearing those boots during my senior year in the Corps. I now plan on donating them to the Corps of Cadets Center Boot Loan Program so someone else can use them. (Note: Those boots were previously worn by A.D. Chase ’60.)

Old Army Lou was a great guy. I saved a lot of money purchasing and selling used books at Lou’s, as well as jewelry for my mom and girlfriend. (P.S. My now-wife, Linda Kay, was my date to the 1968 Cotton Bowl, in which the Aggies beat Alabama. It was our first date!)

Gig ’em!

Dr. Ralph H. Hill Jr. ’70 ’72 ’79 
Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.)
San Antonio, Texas
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Dunae Reader '15

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor