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Indianettes kick into gear for 60th reunion

Indianettes from the past six decades will descend on the area this week for the groups 60th birthday reunion.

Victoria Allen, an organizer of the celebration and an Indianette alumni, expects more than 425 fellow alumni will be on hand for Port Neches-Groves High School homecoming parade on Thursday and for Friday night’s game.

Allen became an Indianette in 1972 and was an officer in 1973 and now lives in the Houston area. She is very proud to be part of the Indianette tradition.

She described a mixture of “absolute excitement and emotion” she felt walking onto the field to perform.

“You are overwhelmed with emotion,” Allen said. “You are overwhelmed with emotion, a feeling like no other. I still get cold chills when I hear Cherokee (school fight song) even today.”

To be part of the alumni means to be part of the sisterhood itself.

“It’s one of the most euphoric feelings, to be part of the alumni,” she said. “It’s a sisterhood of sorts. We all look after one another.”

Mary Jarrell and Jenny Curbow made the Indianettes a family tradition. Jarrell was an Indianette from 1969 to 1971 and her daughter was an Indianette from 1997 to 1999 and Jarrell’s sister, Lindell Brown, was also an Indianette.

“The first time you walk onto the field and hear Cherokee it’s both exciting and overwhelming,” Curbow said.

The mother and daughter duo cherish the friends they have made through the years and the camaraderie they share with fellow Indianettes.

“To me it’s so special,” Jarrell said. “The girls get really close and make friends that last a lifetime. It’s really hard to put into words… once you’ve been a member and participate, all these feelings of excitement come back and stays with you.”

Jarrell and Curbow have already planned a trip to the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin to view the Texas High School Football: More than the Game exhibit which features pieces of PN-G memorabilia, they said.

The Indianettes were introduced in the 1951-52 school year as an organization under the direction of the band director, Frank Gioviale. The first group started with eight girls and grew to about 18 the following year. Irene Ford served as the first Indianette director.

The Indianette alumni will participate in the PN-G homecoming parade at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Participants are asked to meet at the Port Neches Little League Park on Merriman at 6 p.m. The group will meet again at 6 p.m. Friday at the high school cafeteria for a social and a special presentation will be made to the original Indianettes. At game time, the group will walk in with the current Indianettes and be seated in their own section. During the third quarter of the game the group will perform Cherokee on the track.

mmeaux@panews.com