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La Bahia Downs World Beauty Pageant (1972)

Wallace and Euna Pryor

Silent | 1972

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TAMI Tags
  •  All of the contests line up alongside the swimming pool 
  •  Single shots of a few of the participants 
  •  Actor Guich Koock watching the pageant 
  •  Miss San Antonio takes home the winning title 
 
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  • About the video
  • Wally Pryor Wally Pryor
  • Guich Koock Guich Koock
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Contestants model before the judges in this footage documenting the 1972 Miss La Bahia Downs World Beauty Pageant. The event was held in conjunction with horse races at the Goliad venue with Wally Pryor serving as master of ceremonies. The girls turn and pose for the judges, including Texas actor Guich Koock. Miss World USA and 1971 Miss La Bahia Brucine Smith presents the winning title to Miss San Antonio, Jackie Behrendt. Jackie would later go on to Houston to become Miss Texas World.
Known to many as the “Voice of the Longhorns,” Wally Pryor served as the announcer for UT sports from 1953 until 2002. While his voice was certainly recognizable he also played an active role as a producer – for KTBC, amongst others – and regularly served as an emcee for various events. Wally regularly worked as a producer for his older brother Richard “Cactus” Pryor. The films in the Wally Pryor collection represent a range of films from home movies, to various pieces he produced, films featuring himself, and several films featuring Cactus Pryor.  
Guich Koock, born William Faulk Koock, is a sixth generation Texan whose mother was Mary Faulk, sister of Texan author and famously blacklisted radio entertainer, John Henry Faulk. Koock grew up on 23 acres in a Victoria home just south of Austin, which his mother turned into the well-known Green Pastures restaurant in 1946. Consistent with the Faulk family's progressive values, Green Pastures was open to all races beginning on its opening day, 18 years before the Civil Rights Act. The Koock family lived above the restaurant, enjoying constant visits from friends and extended family and an ideal combination of urban and rural life as they raised animals on their 23 acre property.
 
In high school, Koock worked as author and folklorist J. Frank Dobie's driver. His access to Dobie influenced his intellectual interests and led to his acquaintance with many prominent Texans, including Tex Robertson, who hired him to work at Camp Longhorn. At Camp Longhorn, he befriended Cactus Pryor and Hondo Crouch, with whom he remained friends into adulthood. Koock studied history and English at Texas A&M. His Master's thesis was a history of slavery in East Texas, compiled by Koock from an extensive series of interviews with the children of former slaves in the region. Koock was later awarded a Lomax Fellowship from the University of Texas to collect Texas folklore from South Texas ranches.
 
In 1970, Koock teamed up with Hondo Crouch to buy the town of Luckenbach, Texas. With the help of its owners, Luckenbach became a major tourist attraction in Texas and hosted five World's Fair celebrations. It was in Luckenbach that Steven Spielberg's casting director spotted Koock and recruited him for a supporting role in The Sugarland Express (1974).
 
Koock spent the next two decades traveling between Texas and Los Angeles, where he perfected the part of the "good ol’ boy" in movies such as Piranha (1978) North Dallas Forty (1979), American Ninja (1985), and Square Dance (1987) and television shows such as "Carter Country" (1977-79), "Lewis & Clark" (1981-82), and "She's the Sheriff" (1987-89). He also made recurring appearances on "Good Morning America," "The Tonight Show," and "The Merv Griffin Show." 
 
Koock has 3 children, Travis, Dobie, and Jennifer. He continues to occasionally appear onscreen and is currently working in green technology development with his partners.