There's a Red House Over Yonder

4.30.2012

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Rio Grande Street divides the two parts of Hardin House, with its original building and the former home of Mrs. Hardin sitting pretty on the east side. This portion of Hardin is now referred to by its residents as the "Red House" in honor of the red brick veneer that makes up its infrastructure. In the months before I came to UT, I was told that who you lived with was not a huge deal. However, after a year of suitemate bathroom bonding, poolside chats, and wardrobe sharing, I beg to differ.

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Some of the very best friends I have made over the course of this year have been due to living proximity. I distinctly remember my lunch date with my suitemate-to-be Madison at Ava's Kitchen last summer, not having any idea all that was ahead for us in the year to come. Having Caroline a walk across the pool was a godsend. And as I have reiterated many a time, my roommates and I have evolved from living mates, to friends, to practically sisters in less than a year's time thanks to the walls that bonded us together each day and night. 

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So, naturally, all of us were thrilled to celebrate the end of the year together, one last time. For over forty years now, the red house residents have thrown a party called Red House Ranch. Much planning and anticipation went into this event, like the t-shirt designs you see above featuring the Jimi Hendrix lyric also used in the title of my post.


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{kelsey, rachel, me, jenny, merl, lauren, anna}
Here we have the annex residents of 2A and 6A plus Anna.

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{spence, merl, me, john, emily}
After meeting up with our dates, we took buses to one of our friend's lakehouse, who kindly offered his home for our event.

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Milly & Merly

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{caroline & claire}
We even had custom cups made to commemorate the event.

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One last roomie picture was a must to kick off the night, which I hope will make its way to a frame for each one of our three (sadly separate!) apartments next year.

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{john, philip, cole and an imaginary ben on the left}
Even the boys felt so inclined to take a "roomie pic."

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{caroline, ceci, bragg, kelly, carter}
The weather was perfect and the views of Lake Travis provided the perfect setting.

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P Terry's catered the event, which was maybe the biggest hit of all. This Austin-based fast-food burger chain never fails to have a drive-thru line that extends as far out to the regular traffic lanes, which was almost the case for our line in Thomas's driveway.

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{jenny and merl}
Fun was had inside and out with ping pong and pool being played inside,

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{spence & merl}
and dancing to a live band all night long outdoors.

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Emily & Madeline

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The hype that surrounds this event makes it a hot ticket for the boys. Here are some of the guys that got the sought-after invite.

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{carter, ross, madeline, george, caroline & james}
There are a few ingredients that give it its claim as "one of the best parties of freshman year", as I heard countless times during rush from older girls. Those ingredients include the relatively small group, the outdoor setting which is a refreshing change of pace from a typical Thursday on 6th street, and the intermixing of all sororities and fraternities.

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It's only fitting that the biggest university in Texas should have a little hoedown throwdown every once in awhile,

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{me & caro}
in the company of our best friends, old...

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and new.

They say to love your neighbor as you love yourself; I think I can speak for most of us in this dorm and say that we most certainly do. This hits home for me personally as two of my best friends growing up were the girls that lived across the street. There's something about close quarters that effortlessly fosters instant friendship.

I am fully aware the we're just another pool of girls occupying this house temporarily just like the 75 pools of girls that came before us and all those that will follow, but these are the girls that defined our Hardin House experience. Despite its quirks, flaws, and maintenance issues, Haley Lockwood was accurate in stating that there really is "something magical" about this place. As I finish out my next three years at UT, this brick building will always hold a special place in my heart. I'll be sure to tell my kids that "there was a red house over yonder, and that's where I stayed."

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