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Guide to the

LOOPER FAMILY COLLECTION
1890s-1970s

3 linear ft.

Accession Number:  9899-31

Collection Number:  46

Prepared by Kevin Kendro
December 2005

CITATION:  The Looper Family Collection, Collection 46, Box number, Folder number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Biographical Sketch

     This collection is comprised of material compiled by Lorene Lucas Looper.  Lorene Lucas, born in 1909, was the daughter of W. D. “Doug” Lucas and Alice Howard.  Both W. D. Lucas and the Howard family came to Irving shortly after it’s founding.  Doug Lucas opened a general merchandise store on Irving’s Main Street in 1906.  The J. B. Howard family moved to Irving in 1904.  J. B. Howard came to Irving to work at Irving Lumber Company.  The Howard’s daughter, Alice, accompanied them to Irving.

     W. D. Lucas and Alice Howard met at a box supper in the nearby community of Shady Grove. The couple was married on January 5, 1907. They had three children: Charles Howard Lucas (b. Oct. 12, 1907/d. Sept. 1981), Mary Lorene Lucas (b. Sept. 23, 1909/d. Mar. 1989), and Ray Douglas Lucas (b. Dec. 6, 1911/d. July 1986).

     The Lucas’s built a home at 127 S. Hastings Street where they lived from shortly after they were married until 1928. In 1928, they built a new home at 221 S. Jefferson, which still stands today (2005).

     W. D. Lucas was an active and well-respected member of the early Irving community. He served terms on the Irving city commission and the Irving school board.  He operated his store from 1906 until 1931. He died after suffering a stroke at the a relatively young age in 1931.

     After her husband’s death, Alice Lucas spent the next decades taking in boarders at the family’s large home.  When she was 78, Alice married Dan Dubose, a childhood friend.  Alice Lucas died in 1972 at the age of 90.

     Lorene Lucas, daughter of W. D. and Alice Lucas, attended Irving schools, graduating from Irving High School in 1926.  During the late 1920s, she went to work for the brokerage firm H. & B. Beer Co. in Dallas. In an interview she mentions that she was working there at the time of the 1929 stock market crash. In 1933, she began work as a PBX operator at International Harvester Company, also in Dallas.  She was promoted to secretary in the Motor Truck Division in September 1935.  She worked at International Harvester until her marriage in 1936.  Lorene also attended the Woodrow School of Expression in downtown Dallas, graduating in 1935.  For a time she taught classes in speech and beginner music out of her mother’s home in Irving.

     Lorene Lucas married Arthur Looper on June 13, 1936.  Arthur, also from an old Irving family, was employed as a welder at the Texas Company in west Dallas.  The couple had two sons, Larry, born in 1937, and Joel, born in 1940.

     During the late 1940s, Arthur opened Looper’s Feed Store in Irving, but due to the urbanization of the surrounding area business was never satisfactory, and he returned to the welding business.

     As her children entered school, Lorene became heavily involved in the PTA.  She was the first president of the Irving City Council of PTAs.  She received a lifetime membership certificate in the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers in 1951.  Lorene was also very active in the First Methodist Church in Irving.  Several of her relatives had been charter members of the church.

     Lorene Lucas Looper passed away on March 6, 1989. Arthur Looper died on February 24, 1998.

Scope and Content

     The Looper Family Collection is arranged in six series and housed in two legal-size manuscript boxes, four newspaper-size flat boxes, and four scrapbook-size flat boxes.

     This collection provides an excellent glimpse at the life of a young adult in Irving during the first third of the twentieth century.  Lorene Lucas Looper was an avid chronicler of her life experiences.  She began keeping scrapbooks during her teenage years and continued for the rest of her life.  As a result, she has produced not only a history of her own life, but a look at life in Irving during the 1920s through the 1950s.  Three scrapbooks covering the years from about 1924 to 1943 are of particular interest.  These scrapbooks contain photos and many documents relating to life in Irving schools during the 1920s, to young peoples’ recreation during the 1920s, and to the travels of a young woman during the early 1930s.  The photos also show some of the young women of Irving in their finest 1920s-era fashion.  Also of interest are the diaries Lorene wrote during her trips around the country during the mid-1930s.

     Series I, Scrapbooks, consists of 13 scrapbooks.  In most cases, the pages of the scrapbooks are brittle, but the material on the pages remains in good or excellent condition.  As mentioned above, of particular interest are scrapbooks 4, 5, and 6, which document the life of a young adult in Irving during the 1920s and 1930s.  The photos in scrapbook 1 date back to the 1910s and present a depiction of Irving’s early years.  A more detailed description of each scrapbook can be found in the container list.  Loose items and correspondence that was in envelopes attached to the scrapbook pages have been placed in folders at the front of the scrapbooks.

     Series II consists of newspapers and newspaper clippings.  There are several complete issues of Irving papers from the 1930s-1960s in the series.  Topics covered in the papers are the death of Dr. John Haley (1932), the death of Doug Lucas (1931), the dedication of the Youth Center at Senter Park (1954), Irving’s history in several Progress Editions from the 1950s-1970s, and the golden anniversary of the incorporation of Irving in 1964.

     Series III, Documents, consists of a wide range of documents. Among them are Irving High School diplomas from the 1920s; junior class newspapers from Irving High School, 1929 and 1931; and a history of the First Methodist Church in Irving as told by Lorene Looper. Of particular interest is an index card bearing the combination to the vault at Irving State Bank.  Lorene’s brother, Howard, worked at the bank during the mid-1920s.  During that time, there was a rash of bank robberies in which the robbers had locked the employees in the banks’ vaults.  This card contains the combination to the Irving State Bank vault and a note explaining that it is to be used to get him out of the vault should he be locked in it.  At the time, the bank had two employees, A. P. Mauk and Howard Lucas.  The series also contains photocopies of articles relating to Irving history.   

     Series IV is made up of photographs.  These are photographs that were loose in the collection.  These photographs are not from the scrapbooks.  A large number of the photos are of Looper family members, relatives, and friends. c. 1910s-1970s.  Another large portion of the photos are of buildings and people in and around Irving during the first couple of decades of the city’s existence.  Many of these photos provide a look at Irving in its earliest days.

     Series V, Publications, consists of various books and bound material.  Of note is a program from the 11th annual Junior College Rose Bowl, 1956; a 1929 souvenir brochure advertising many Dallas businesses; a Directory of the Forks, 1938; an Irving telephone directory, 1954-55; and an official guide book to the World’s Fair in Chicago, 1934.

     Series VI is made up of artifacts from the collection.

Provenance Statement

     The Looper Family Collection, accession number 9899-31, was donated to the Irving Archives by Larry and Joel Looper in January 1999.  Prior to its donation, it was in the possession of Arthur Looper.

Literary Rights Statement

     Permission to publish from the Looper Family Collection must be obtained from Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Note to the Researcher

See also:  The Irving Archives Oral History Collection contains an interview with Lorene Looper on tape 12 and a transcription.  The interview was done on November 10, 1973.  The interview provides excellent information on Irving’s early history.

Container List

Series I. Scrapbooks, 1910s-1970s

Box 1

Scrapbook 1, c. 1910-1925

     Contains photos of W. D. and Alice Lucas and their children and extended family and friends, as well as some pictures of the houses and buildings around Irving, c. 1910s.

     The pages of the scrapbook have pulled loose and are tattered on the edges. The photos attached to the pages are in overall good condition. 

Scrapbook 2, c. 1938-1947

     This scrapbook contains primarily Looper family photos. Larry and Joel, sons of Arthur and Lorene, are prominently featured. Also included are wedding announcements, local news, and World War II news.  Included is a newspaper article about Alice Howard Lucas.   

Box 2

Scrapbook 3, c. 1924-1935

     One of the topics covered by this scrapbook is Lorene’s graduation from Irving High School, 1926, and information on various other Irving High School graduating classes ranging from the late 1920s to the mid-1930s. The array of material includes commencement programs, graduation announcements, newspaper clippings, photos of fellow students, and personal notes to Lorene from teachers and classmates.  Of particular interest in the scrapbook is a 1926 senior class pennant. The pennant is handmade and is orange and white with the words “Seniors ’26” on it.  There are a series of photos of the class members holding the pennant while celebrating senior day.  Also of note is Lorene’s handwritten history of her class.   

     Another topic of interest in the scrapbook is the depiction of a young person’s social life in Irving during the late 1920s.  Many of the photos are of Lorene and her friends wearing their latest 1920s fashions or on outings to local recreation areas. 

     A section is dedicated to Lorene Lucas’s years of study at the Woodrow School of Expression and Physical Culture, c. 1933-1935, and the classes in expression and beginning music that Lorene taught in Irving, c. 1935.  The Woodrow School of Expression was located at 1203 Elm Street in downtown Dallas.  The material includes programs from recitals and performances and other school related events, as well as newspaper articles about the Woodrow School and about Lorene’s classes in Irving.  Also included are photos of many of Lorene’s students.  She operated her classes out of her mother’s home and worked in cooperation with the public school.

     A third portion of the scrapbook documents Lorene’s trips to the east coast and Chicago. In 1935, she traveled by bus from Irving through the south and up the east coast. Her major stops were New York City, Montreal, and Washington D. C. She kept a day-by-day diary of the trip, which is part of the scrapbook.  In 1934, Lorene traveled to Chicago for the World’s Fair.  The scrapbook contains many pamphlets from World’s Fair events and pavilions.

     Lorene’s father, W. D. “Doug” Lucas, a long-time Irving merchant, died in 1931. A few pages of the scrapbook contain cards, letters, and newspaper clippings relating to his death.  The letters to Lorene regarding her father’s death have been placed in a folder on top of the scrapbook.

     The pages of the scrapbook are brittle, but the material on the pages is in good condition. Loose items, including Lorene’s history of her school class, are in a folder in this box.

Box 3

Scrapbook 4, c. 1927-1936

     One section of this scrapbook contains information on the local social scene.  Included are wedding announcements, newspaper articles on social events, invitations to events, and articles and material relating to Irving High School during the late 1920s. 
      
     A large section of the scrapbook consists of tour pamphlets and information guides from places Lorene visited on her trip to New York, Washington, D. C., and Montreal during the summer of 1935.  (Further information and a daily diary of the trip can be found in scrapbook number 3).  Included are 1930s-era tour pamphlets of the Empire State Building, the New York Stock Exchange, NBC in Rockefeller Plaza, and picture post cards of scenes of New York City.

     There is also a section of the scrapbook documenting Lorene and Arthur’s trip to the west coast to visit some of Arthur’s relatives in May of 1936.  The couple took the trip prior to their wedding in June.  This section of the scrapbook contains pictures of the couple with the relatives in California, and tour pamphlets from Carlsbad Cavern, the Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon, and other places they visited on the trip.  In addition, Lorene’s diary of the trip is included in the scrapbook.

     This scrapbook also contains several pieces of correspondence.  These are primarily letters from Arthur to Lorene when she is on her east coast trip. In order to better preserve the correspondence, it has been removed from the envelopes and placed in a folder at the front of the scrapbook.  The diary from the west coast trip has also been placed in a folder at the front of the scrapbook.

     The pages of the scrapbook are brittle, but the material on the pages is in good condition.  The above-mentioned correspondence and other loose items have been placed in folders in this box. 

Box 4

Scrapbook 5, c. 1936-1943

     This scrapbook documents the Loopers’ early life together.  It begins with a section on Lorene Lucas and Arthur Looper’s marriage in June 1936.  This section consists of wedding photos, telegrams, and letters of congratulations.  A large section consists of birth information on and photos of the couple’s sons, Larry (b. 1937) and Joel (b. 1940). There is also a series of letters written by Arthur to Lorene while he was on an extended business trip shortly after the couple was married.  These letters are in a folder in this box.    

     Of broader interest, this scrapbook contains photos of the Looper home at 521 S. Delaware under construction, 1939; a Souvenir Guide to the Texas Centennial Exposition, 1936; and a photo of Lorene and Arthur at the Centennial Exposition.

Scrapbook 6, c. 1948-1952

     This scrapbook contains photos taken on Looper family vacations to Wichita, Kansas; San Antonio, Texas; Waco, Texas; and various locations in the state of Colorado.  There are also some snapshots from around the Looper household.  Of particular note are some photos of the Alamo taken in 1949.

     The scrapbook pages are in fragile condition.  The material on the pages is in good condition.

Scrapbook 7, c. 1953-1955

     This scrapbook contains family vacation photos and a few newspaper articles on the 1955 teacher walkout in the Irving schools.

     The scrapbook pages are in fragile condition.  The material on the pages is in good condition.

Box 6

Scrapbook 8, 1956

     This scrapbook contains newspaper clippings and photographs. The newspaper clippings are primarily about PTA activities. Topics covered by the photographs are family vacations, PTA events, the Looper house, Irving High School football, and an Irving High graduation party, 1956.

     Of broader interest are newspaper articles about, photos of, and a program from the 11th Annual Junior Rose Bowl Game held in Pasadena, California, December 1956. The game matched junior college football powers. In 1956, Arlington State College (today University of Texas at Arlington) played Compton College (Compton, California). Larry Looper was a member of the Arlington State team. There is also a program from the Arlington State College Rebels football banquet, 1956.

     The scrapbook also contains the graduation photo of the Irving High School class of 1956.

Scrapbook 9, 1957

     This scrapbook contains news clippings related to Irving events and Looper family members. The general news articles primarily pertain to Louis Blaylock’s mayoral campaign, 1957, and school PTA meetings. The photos in the album are of family trips and professional portraits of various family members.

     Of particular note are campaign cards for Hazel Shores (mayoral candidate, 1957), Louis Blaylock (mayoral candidate, 1957), and John N. Roberts (commissioner candidate, 1957).

Scrapbook 10, 1958-1959

     This scrapbook contains newspaper articles relating to general Irving news and Looper family members in the news.  Also included are family vacation photos, photos and articles about Irving High School football, and photos of Larry Looper’s participation on a U. S. Air Force intraservice football team.

     Of wider interest in the scrapbook is a series of articles on the preparation for and formal opening of the Garden and Arts Center on Senter Road, March 30, 1958. Also included in the scrapbook are the remembrances of Veda Hudson Thompson and her years in the Irving schools, c. 1905-1914. Veda Hudson was the daughter of R. M. Hudson, the founder and publisher of Irving's first paper the Irving Index.

Box 7

Scrapbook 11, 1962

     This scrapbook contains photos and tour pamphlets from a trip the Loopers took in 1962.  They traveled from Texas to Yellowstone National Park, then into Canada and back to the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. They continued back through Utah and New Mexico.

     There are many tour pamphlets from Yellowstone National Park; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Cripple Creek, Colorado, in the scrapbook.  Also included is a ticket and brochure from the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle.

Scrapbook 12, n.d. (dark brown)

     This scrapbook contains primarily professional portraits of various members of the Looper family and relatives.

     Of particular interest in this scrapbook is a newspaper article about Alice Howard Lucas, November 1960. Also of note in this scrapbook is a snapshot of children sitting on the steps of First Methodist Church, 1914. Those in the picture are John Roberts, Clara Joffre, Ione Lucas (Jackson), Felton Reese, Clifford French, Ruth Joffre, Vivian Noah, Howard Lucas, Lorene Lucas (Looper).

     Much of the material in this scrapbook is loose.

Scrapbook 13, n.d. (light brown)

     This scrapbook contains newspaper articles about health, food, and family. None of the material was ever attached to the pages. It is all folded and inserted between the pages.  The articles span the years 1959-1962.
 
Series II. Newspapers

Box 8

The Irving Herald (3 copies) – Sept. 3, 1931
Contains the death notice of W. D. Lucas.

The Irving Herald - February 19, 1932
Contains an article on the death of Dr. John Haley.

The Irving News - July 13, 1934
Contains local news articles.

The Dallas Journal - May 29, 1941
Contains an article about and pictures of Lorene and Arthur on their 5th anniversary.

The Cub Times, September 26, 1951.
Irving Jr. High newspaper with photo of football team on the front. Larry Looper is in the photo.
 
The Irving Citizen - May 7, 1953
Contains articles on local news.

Irving News Record - December 3, 1954
Contains articles on local news and one article on the dedication of Senter Park Youth Center. 

Irving News Record - December 9, 1954
Contains articles on the dedication of the Senter Park Youth Center.

Irving News - December 9, 1954
Contains articles on the dedication of the Senter Park Youth Center.

Irving News-Citizen - September 15, 1957
Contains the Progress Edition, which contains articles and pictures on Irving businesses and their histories.

Irving News - September 15, 1957
Contains the Progress Edition, which contains articles and pictures on Irving businesses and their histories.

The Irving Daily News Texan - October 19, 1960
First edition of paper as a daily newspaper. Article on Southwest Bank’s 5th anniversary (founded Oct. 13, 1955). Article on selling of Central School land.

The Irving Daily News Texan - April 7, 1964
A two-page advertisement for a special City of Irving Golden Anniversary Edition coming out April 16, 1964.

The Irving Daily News Texan - April 16, 1964
Special edition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Irving’s incorporation. Contains sections on Irving’s history.

“The Golden Year” souvenir program from the pageant held to celebrate Irving’s 50th anniversary of incorporation.

The Irving Daily News Texan - April 18, 1964
A section of the paper containing articles on Irving’s history.

Irving Daily News - Feb. 8, 1974
Contains articles pertaining to local news.

Irving Daily News - Feb. 24, 1974
Progress Edition section containing articles on Irving’s history. 

Irving Daily News - Feb. 23, 1975
Progress Edition section containing articles on Irving’s history. 

"Scene" magazine from The Dallas Morning News - September 14, 1975.
Article entitled - "Night ride with the repo man."

Irving Daily News - Feb. 22, 1976
Progress Edition section containing articles on Irving’s history. 

Irving Daily News - Feb. 27, 1977
Progress Edition section containing articles on Irving’s history. 

Irving Daily News - September 20, 1978
Diamond Jubilee 75th Anniversary Edition celebrating Irving’s founding. Section contains articles on Irving’s history. (2 copies)

Irving Daily News - October 5, 1984
Contains a page on the Historic Irving Neighborhood Association and downtown preservation.

Box 9  

Folder 

  1     Newspaper clippings, 1930s-1970s
Clippings relating to Irving’s history and pioneer citizens. Notable subjects in the articles are: Mrs. Charles Stovall; Etta Roberts (obituary); Tom and Fannie Haley’s 50th anniversary; Mr. and Mrs. Ed Caster’s 50th anniversary; W. B. Lawrence; George Clark (obituary); Kate and Jane Story; Netta Brown (obituary); John Brandenburg; Fultons remember; Minters Chapel; memories of Kit; C. C. Anderson Irving’s first full-time employee; Paul Keyes becomes president of the school board, 1948: reunion of Lorene Looper and her school era friends, June 22, 1967: dedication of the Youth Center at Senter Park, December 3, 1954.

Series III.  Documents

  2     "The Junior Outlook" – March 1, 1929
A publication put together by the junior class of Irving High School. It contains articles about student life at Irving High School.

"The Junior Outlook" – 2nd Edition – 1930-1931
A publication put together by the junior class of Irving High School. It contains articles about student life at the school.

Class Memories of 1950-51
A booklet summarizing the activities of Mrs. J. C. Hawks’ class at Irving Elementary School, 1950-51.  The booklet was put together by Mrs. Hawks.  Joel Looper was a member of this class.

School Certificates
Penmanship Certificate, 1950-51; Perfect Attendance Certificate, 1950-51.

Graduation Program
Program from Irving Junior High School graduation exercises, May 31, 1951.

Certificate
Lifetime membership in the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers awarded to Lorene Looper, March 13, 1951.

3  First Methodist Church History
A history of Irving’s First Methodist Church by Lorene Looper; two booklets pertaining to the building fund, 1952 and 1959 (2 copies).  The 1952 booklet contains a brief history of the church as told by charter member Mrs. W. L. Noah and pictures of the steering committee members and photos of various meetings and classes.  The 1959 booklet contains photos of various meetings and classes to emphasize the overcrowding and need for new buildings.

  4     Miscellaneous, c. 1910-1964
Program of events held during the Golden Anniversary of Irving Celebration, April 11-18, 1964.  This was the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the city; invitation to Lorene Lucas for a meeting of the “Tramps” club, May 1927;
an index card containing the combination to the vault at Irving State Bank, c. 1925.  A note on the envelope explains that the combination on this card was to be used to get bank employees out of the vault if they were locked in by bank robbers. A note on front of the envelope containing the card with the combination on it states “To get us out”; receipt pad from W. D. Lucas’s store.

In oversize folder in Box 8

Diplomas, 1924-1933;
Charles Howard Lucas’s Irving High School diploma, 1924;
Ray Lucas’s seventh grade graduation diploma admitting him into the Irving High School Department, 1925;
A certificate of “Minor Certification” from the Terrill School for Charles Howard Lucas, May 1925;
Lorene Lucas’s Irving High School diploma, 1926;
Lorene Lucas’s diploma for passing the course of study at the Woodrow School of Elocution and Physical Culture, 1933.

Series IV. Photographs, 1900s-1960s

  5     Loose photos of the Looper family and photos of early Irving citizens and scenes of early Irving, c.1900s-1960s.

  6     Loose photos of the Looper family and photos of early Irving citizens and scenes of early Irving, c.1900s-1960s.

  7     Loose photos of the Looper family and photos of early Irving citizens and scenes of early Irving, c.1900s-1960s.

  8     Loose photos of the Looper family and photos of early Irving citizens and scenes of early Irving, c.1900s-1960s.

  9     Loose photos of the Looper family and photos of early Irving citizens and scenes of early Irving, c.1900s-1960s.

Series III.  Documents

Box 9  

Folder 

  10    Photocopies, 1961-1963
Irving-related material from a 1961-1963 scrapbook. Includes information on the Irving Police Department and the Irving Garden Club.

  11    Photocopies, 1967
Irving-related material from a 1967 scrapbook.  Includes information on Lorene’s grown friends from childhood; Roy Ricker; and Circle I Square Dance Club.

  12    Photocopies, 1970-1973
Irving-related material from a 1970-1973 scrapbook. Includes obituaries for Ada Lea Story Million and Alice Howard Lucas Dubose.

  13    Photocopies, 1974-1976
Irving-related material from a 1974-1976 scrapbook. Includes information on Myrtle Story White and Irving’s first phone service; reminiscences of Arthur and Lorene Looper, Mrs. Charles Stovall, William Thomas Sitton,
O. F. Fann, and Charles Schulze.

  14    Photocopies, 1977-1979
Irving-related material from a 1977-1979 scrapbook.  Includes information on Irving’s diamond jubilee and the history of First Methodist Church.

  15    Photocopies, 1981
Irving-related material from a 1981 scrapbook. Includes reminiscences of John and Lynn Brown and Howard Lucas’s obituary.

Series V. Publications
 
Box 10 

Official Program for the “Eleventh Annual Junior Rose Bowl Game, Saturday, December 8, 1956. Arlington State College vs. Compton College.”

“Souvenir Brochure of Dallas on Occasion of Concert by Benjamino Gigli, February 6, 1929, Fair Park Auditorium.”

Directory of the Forks, 1938

Irving telephone directory, 1954-1955

“Official Guide Book – World’s Fair, 1934” (Chicago)

The Texas Monthly, February 1930

The Bear Cub Scout Book, 1948

“Irving Parent-Teacher Associations, Irving, Texas, 1952-1953”

“Irving Junior High Parent-Teacher Association, 1950-1951”

“Parent-Teacher Associations Irving Public Schools, 1954-1955”

Yearbook of the Woman’s Society of Christian Service of First Methodist Church: 1955-1956; 1959-1960; 1961-1962.

Series VI. Artifacts

One pair of baby shoes, c. 1910s – black lowers with tan, thread top, and four pearl buttons along the side.

Hand-fan from Irving Savings and Loan Association. On the fan are pictures of early Irving buildings.

Charm – small key with City of Irving logo on the top, c. 1970s.

Promotional item from Patriot Shoe Company – pocketknife in the shape of a shoe.

Ashtray – blue ceramic with the inscription “Community Convention of Parents and Teachers, Irving, Texas, May 15,1956.”

Baby bonnet – silk handkerchief that was made into a baby bonnet.
Dan DuBose gave Alice Howard a silk handkerchief when they were young and both living in Oklahoma.  The Howards then moved to Texas. Alice Howard married W. D. Lucas. When Alice’s first son, Charles Howard Lucas, was born (1908) Alice made him a baby bonnet out of the silk handkerchief. Years later, decades after the death of her first husband, W. D. Lucas, Alice Howard Lucas married Dan DuBose.