Alive and Kicking

Every summer, girls from across the state compete to win a coveted spot on the mother of all drill teams, the Kilgore Rangerettes—a Texas tradition that still has legs.

IF RANGERETTES RULED THE WORLD, there’d be so much discipline,” said Lory Lyon, who was on the lower bunk bed in a dorm room at Kilgore College.

“And respect,” added her friend Morgan Duplant, sitting cross-legged on the upper bunk. “The words ‘slut’ and ‘ho’ would not exist.”

“It’d be happy—so joyous,” Lory said. “There’d be motivation to be a better person.”

As I sat on the floor talking with Lory and Morgan, another girl walked into the room and joined the conversation. “Women would be more ladylike, wearing closed-toe shoes and tights,” she said. “And they’d sit properly in public.” The girls all nodded in agreement.

Although some might consider the Kilgore Rangerettes an anachronism, dozens of fresh-faced teens from across the state flock to this East Texas junior college every summer to try out for the drill team. Most of them have already been accepted at the school, but some will apply only if they make the squad. This

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