The Lasso organization was formed in 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.
Trick rope artist Johnny Regan taught the Lassos to twirl a short rope. After graduating from Jefferson in 1936, trick roper Jack Long was hired by Douglas Reeves 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 just a year later in a 1947 edition of National Geographic.
The Lassos were invited as goodwill ambassadors to the New York World’s Fair in 1939 and US Capitol, where they met with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
In the summer of 1952 they were invited to Mexico as guests of US Ambassador William O’Dwyer.
Over the years, other groups have come and gone within the organization to include a Drum and Bugle Corps, a Lasso Cavalry team, and Dance and Flag teams. Today the Lassos consist of the Roping Team and Dance Team, who perform at school district functions as well as community events.
I sent a postcard to my parents that I shook hands with the first lady and hadn't washed my hands since. That was pretty high cotton for a little gal from San Antonio. When I think about it, it's still special, even at my age now.
The Lassos are built on tradition and are part of Jefferson's identity. We were about to lose them and we were just heartbroken.
The Lassos' uniform had cowboy hats, red blouses and blue skirts with a coil of rope attached to the waist — a look that was copied by Gussie Nell Davis when she founded the Kilgore College Rangerettes in 1939, according to author/historian Joe Nick Patoski.
I love it, I breathe it. Having (the LAA) gives you a drive, because you see people from different generations who have the same passion as you.