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A Living Time Capsule By: Alex Guillory

Antique shopping and thrifting have become more popular because of trendy DIY-ers and fashionable teens going viral on social media.

Dr. Randy Armstrong, professor emeritus professor of communication and co-advisor of the HSU Brand and his wife Jody were perusing the antique shops of Abilene and stumbled upon a purple and gold blanket. He was intrigued by the Hardin-Simmons colors, so he picked it up for further inspection. To his pleasant surprise, he found a beautifully intact Hardin-Simmons blanket from the late 1950s and early 1960s.. It looked as if it had never been used and had been perfectly preserved over the past 70 years. Dr. Armstrong brought it to The Brand's attention for the staff to do some more digging and investigating.

The blanket had the name James Tyler machine stitched onto the left hand bottom corner, but other than that, the blanket proved to be a mystery to us all. Dr. Armstrong discovered that the blanket belonged to BBA graduate James Buchanan ‘Jimmy” Tyler. Originally from Clyde, was born there on May 23, 1938. Tyler considered his hometown to be Abilene. He attended Hardin-Simmons from the fall of 1956 until the spring of 1961 and received this degree on August 18, 1961..The blanket turned out to be available to those who were members of the rifle team. The special HSU emblem on the blanket has crossed rifles in the upper left hand corner.

Tyler died on September 3, 2020, in the age of 1982.

While a student at HSU, Tyler was a participant or active member of varsity baseball, ‘57, ‘58, Letter’s Club,’57, University Business Association, ‘57, ROTC: Cadet Officers Club, ‘59, ‘60, ‘61 and Rifle Team, ‘59, ‘60, ‘61. He graduated on August 18, 1961, with a major in accounting and a minor in economics. Tyler was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant of the United States Army Reserve.

Tyler served in the United States Army for two years in Germany, and then served 10 years of Reserve Duty. He later passed all requirements necessary to become a CPA. He was self-employed as an accountant in Abilene for many years.

We would like to recommend to anyone with HSU memorabilia to share their favorite memories associated with these items to the University at large.. This would allow them to be shared with future generations of HSU students and alumni. There could be a display with their items and their associated stories. This display would be a living time capsule of the many people that spent their collegiate years here at Hardin-Simmons and want to share their stories based on their personal experiences. Dr. Heather Hadlock is the Associate Vice President for Alumni Engagement. The Brand hopes to meet with her soon to discuss the future of James Tyler's blanket and the possibility of building Hardin-Simmons' very own display of unique relics.

Dr. Hadlock’s info for further inquiries: 325-670-1143


The Brand staff would like to thank Dr. Haddock, Raachel Dempsey, coordinator of Alumni Engagement, Paula Fine, student records and graduation coordinator and Britt Jones, coordinator of alumni special programs, for their contributions to this story.



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