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TCU Magazine
Linda Kaye 1942-2007 | Linda the saver | Gone, not forgotten | Recollections | Gallery

How you remembered Linda

Last year at the start of the TCU basketball season she came to me to show me her new purple shoes. I said, "Well they look good, did you paint them purple?" She said, "Yes I sure did. I went to buy some purple dye and colored them." I just starting laughing and she gave me that smirk and then laughed. Jeffrey Tucker '95

You can measure a photographer by their portfolio. Take another measurement and consider the success compared to the opportunity. That's what makes Linda Kaye so special. At a time when photo press passes were almost the exclusive domain of men, there was Linda Kaye taking a picture of President John F. Kennedy on the final day of his life.
Then in her final days she received a call from an old friend, President George W. Bush.
The young lady with no newspaper affiliation had clearly demonstrated that there were no limits. All you had to do is to be in the right place at the right time. Bob Sonderegger

To play basketball on the Daniel-Meyer court, you either had to have a scholarship or know Linda Kaye. On Sundays, Linda got up basketball games. They were not played on some concrete court. They were played in such arenas as TCU's Daniel-Meyer Coliseum or either of the gyms on the Texas Wesleyan campus. Linda called some guys to tell them the location. From the talented and ragtags who showed up, Linda split the teams almost equally each outing. She was only 5-foot-3 at best and much shorter and lighter than the many anchors out there. But Linda could and would drive on anyone. Jump when she faked a shot and she was around you. Waiting for her to make the next move resulted in that swish sound in the basket. She created space on the basketball court just as she created space to have the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time for a photo. Bob Sonderegger

Linda Kaye's life was spent helping TCU students and athletes remember the greatest times of our lives. She is the essence of TCU and will be missed forever. Adrian Martinez '00

When I visited Linda in hospital, she was wearing a purple TCU T-shirt and purple socks, watching a football game on TV and keeping an eye on who was beating whom when she turned and said, "Guess who called me?" I guessed another photographer, and she said, "No, bigger." I mentioned a local photo editor. "No. Bigger. Bigger in the world."
"Okay," I said, "George W.?"
"Bigger." I looked away confused and her relative mouthed, Nolan Ryan. When I then guessed correctly, Linda recapped her conversation with Nolan, shaking her head in disbelief. "I can't believe he called me," she said, over and over. She was simply thrilled. She didn't understand why all these people would visit her, call or send flowers. I explained that she was a lovable Fort Worth fixture. She wasn't buying it. I said, "You're a lovable, sometimes ornery fixture." She thought about that and said, "Yeah, ornery is a good word." Carolyn Bauman Cruz

I knew Linda at Paschal High School. I was a math teacher in the 1950s and taught Linda. I found her to be very intelligent, very creative, very imaginative, a bit of a perfectionist. In all my years, no student in plane geometry or trigonometry has ever typed out all their proofs, except for Linda Kaye. Jim Bezdik

About three years ago it was really muddy at Amon Carter Stadium and Linda was trying to push a cart up a ramp. My son Alex went over to help her get it to the top. The next morning, I had a photo waiting for me in my chair. It was a photo of Nolan Ryan with a note that said ‘To Alex, Thanks for your help. Linda Kaye.' But Linda could also be blunt. She was here one day taking pictures for a new media guide, and she wanted me to get my photo made. I told her that I was very happy with the photo in last year's media guide. I had a thinner face and blonder hair in those days. I think it was from Wacker's fourth year. She looked at it and said, ‘My gosh, Jack, you've aged!' " Jack Hesselbrock, Associate Athletics Director

In the late '70s, during the Cullen David trials in Fort Worth and Amarillo, Channel 5 hired Linda Kaye, at my suggestion, to take still pix of all the court figures, witnesses, etc., who likely would be involved in both trials. I covered the Davis trials as a reporter-anchorman for Channel 5.
TV cameras were barred so this was our way to having visuals to help tell the coverage of trial developments day to day. Because of Linda Kaye, we had portrait-like slides nightly.
Not one person declined Linda's request, including the defendant himself!
In fact, when Cullen posed in a courtroom, and as Linda Kaye prepared to snap, he "jokingly" put up his arms in a sudden surrender posture, and, smiling broadly, said, "Okay, I'm guilty."
Linda snapped her camera. When Davises' PR handlers heard what had happened, they went ballistic and did everything in their power to get the negatives. As a freelancer, Linda steadfastly refused and Channel 5 supported her. Of course, Channel 5 never used the photo and the public never saw it but Linda Kaye was the only photographer who had the pictorial exclusive of Cullen's "confession." Russ Bloxom '61

The first day I saw Linda, I was working at the Fort Worth Press. She was out shooting a TCU practice and she would get right in the action. The team decided it would be funny to run a play right at her. They did and the fullback knocked her down. She went sprawling. She was wearing a dress. The guys started to feel bad and were discussing how to apologize, when Linda showed back up, this time wearing blue jeans, and got right back in there to shoot. Jim Browder '53, Former sports editor, Fort Worth Press

I recall how Linda helped a cub reporter/photographer one night in the mid-'80s at the old Arlington Stadium during a Rangers game. I guess I seemed a little lost among the Star-Telegram, Dallas Times Herald and Dallas Morning News big-timers in the photog's booth on the first-base side, and she took time out to suggest that I focus on second base when a runner was on first with fewer than two outs for either a steal or double-play shot. No sooner had she offered those words of wisdom than the batter hit a grounder to short and the Rangers turned a double play. I got the shot and was always grateful to Linda. Tim Blackwell

Linda, you will be missed by all in the TCU family. Past Frogs, present Frogs, filled your lens with remarkable photos that will be relished forever. The archives at TCU will be a testimony to Al Panzera's favorite pupil. One of your last comments to me was "Go Frogs!" Frank Windegger '57
In the Late 70s a bunch of Star-Telegram photographers, working late, decided we should go photograph the Pleiades meteor shower. It must have been after a game, as Linda was in the darkroom, and was part of the group. We needed to find someplace really dark, away from the city lights. We drove halfway to Denton, which I am sure is no longer "out in the country," in Linda's brown Buick Electra. Not long after setting up our tripods, a car came screaming out of the darkness up toward the stock tank where we had set up. It was a police or deputy's car. We weren't sure what was going to happen. The officer rolled down his window and yelled out, "Linda Kaye, is that you?" Turns out he was a former TCU football player. David Breslauer

It was August 8, 1980, Picture Day for the TCU football team. When it came my turn, she looked at me and turned a skeptical eye. She said, "What position do you play?" I said, "Hi ma'am, my name's John Denton and I'm a kicker." She just rolled her eyes.
My favorite photo was taken late in a game versus Texas Tech at home in 1984. I've called timeout and Coach Wacker and I are discussing whether to run a fake field goal play or kick it. TCU (then #15 in the nation) went on to beat Texas Tech 27-16. During the time out Linda just stepped out on the field and snapped the photo from point blank range — she was fearless!
I took that photo to Coach Wacker when he was on his death-bed. He looked at it, smiled, and said, "Linda Kaye ... the best ever." John Denton '85, Frog Club president

After Linda took her memorable picture of Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan punching Robin Ventura after Ventura charged the mound in 1993, she decided to pull behind Sadler Hall and sell them out of the trunk of her car. I didn't buy one then, but I bought two copies from her earlier this year. In modest Linda fashion, she refused to sign the fronts of them as requested. She signed the back. I will always treasure them. Ma'lisa K. Yost

While I was never an All-American at TCU, Linda always made me feel like one. I'm better for having known her. Chuck Mooney III '90 (MLA '92)

To contribute to this list of recollections, e-mail Rick Waters at