The Lasso organization was formed in October 1932 by Constance Douglas-Reeves. The original uniform consisted of a blue flannel skirt, a blue bolero jacket, red satin blouse, a pearl-grey Stetson hat and the iconic lasso rope attached to the waist of the skirt.
Trick rope artist Johnny Regan taught the Lassos to twirl a short rope. The first lasso ropes operated on a swivel and required only a slight twist of the wrist to keep the rope moving. After graduating from Jefferson in 1936, Jack Long was hired by Douglas-Reeves. He was also a trick roper and formed the first Roping Team.
The Lassos gained national attention when they were featured on the cover of Life magazine in 1938. In 1946, they were featured in the French magazine, Le Patriote Illustre and in National Geographic in 1947. The Lassos were invited as goodwill ambassadors to the New York World’s Fair in 1938 and during the same trip visited the US Capitol where they met Eleanor Roosevelt. In the summer of 1952, they went to Mexico as invited guests of US Ambassador William O’Dwyer. In 2011, a history of the Lassos was on exhibit for six months at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas.
Over the years, other groups have formed within the organization to include a Drum and Bugle team in 1938 and a short-lived Lasso Cavalry in 1940. In the late 1970s, the dance team was formed. A flag team was organized in the early 1980s and lasted ten years. Today, the Roping Team and Dance Team perform at school district functions as well as many community events. They also compete in several competitions annually.
The TJHS Lasso Alumni Association (LAA) started in December 2006 and is dedicated to preserving the Lasso traditions. Fundraiser events are held throughout the year and proceeds support the purchase of the traditional Lasso uniform and college scholarships. LAA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and all contributions are tax deductible.
Thank you to the TJHS Lasso Alumni Association for providing this history of the Lasso organization. Help us with Project Share Our Traditions. Learn more by visiting: http://tjhsalumni.wildapricot.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1622704