Don’t be surprised if you drive past Bronco Field at Denton High School on Saturday morning and see a crowd of people wearing the school’s colors or matching T-shirts proclaiming that they were part of the “Gathering of Broncos.”
Your calendar isn’t wrong — school is out of session and it’s not football season yet, but if organizers of Saturday’s 10 a.m. gathering are successful, a lot of DHS graduates will be at the field reliving memories of past accomplishments.
It’s all part of plans by David Barrow, a 1973 Denton High School grad and a Denton native, to direct a documentary about Denton focusing on the pivotal years of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when schools were integrated and high school students were brought together under one roof.
The 57-year-old, who now lives in DeKalb, Ill., has been in Denton recently working on the documentary, titled When We Were All Broncos. Members of the class of 1973 are meeting for their 40th reunion Friday and Saturday.
Over the years, Barrow said he’s shared stories about the Denton High football team he was on, the people he met and the times he lived through, and he wanted to do something more with those stories.
“The more I looked at it, the more I thought we really did have an exceptional group of people,” he told us this week. “We weren’t perfect by any means, but there were a lot of challenges that we seemed to rise to.”
Barrow is inviting anyone who is, was or will be a Denton Bronco to come out Saturday and join the gathering. Those T-shirts we mentioned are on sale at Denton Trophy House, 201A S. Elm St. Sales will help fund the documentary’s production.
“The main reason for the gathering is to get as many people as we can to turn out and show how many people have been touched by Denton High School through the years,” Barrow said.
Barrow said he intends to interview former students, school staff members and community leaders over the course of production.
“I do think this will have an interest for a much broader audience than just the Denton audience,” he said. “The subjects that we’re dealing with in the documentary — integration, the social upheavals of the 1960s and early 1970s … things like how the Vietnam War affected people, those kind of things — those cultural elements I think are going to be interesting to a broader audience that either grew up during that time, or maybe their parents grew up during that time.”
The project’s budget is being funded by contributions from individuals, businesses and organizations. Ten percent of contributions for the film, Barrow said, are being donated to the Denton Public School Foundation. Once the cost of production is covered, all other funds raised and revenues resulting from the film will go to the foundation.
Barrow hopes to create a $10,000 permanent endowment for the foundation that will go toward a scholarship for a Denton High graduating senior. More information is available at www.broncodocumentary.com .
“My real goal is to come back and say: You know, this is a time where Denton really in a lot of ways achieved some things, and let’s examine those things and in some sense celebrate that time,” Barrow said. “I really do hope at the end of the day that we end up with something that will be valuable to our kids and grandkids.”
The documentary sounds like a worthwhile project, and we encourage all Denton High School graduates to drop by Bronco Field at 10 a.m. Saturday to be a part of the “Gathering of Broncos.”
It should be a great opportunity to renew old friendships and relive a few of your own “glory days.”