Ringing in the Next Longhorn Nation

The Kaminski family UT scorecard: 3 rings, 4 degrees – so far – and lifelong Longhorns. Hook ’em forever!

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

I love my alma mater. At this point, The University of Texas is part of my DNA. I truly believe I bleed burnt orange. And when both of my children decided to pursue their higher education at The University, I was beyond proud – nothing would ever top this achievement – or so I thought at the time.

Fast forward six years with Kassidi earning her Bachelor’s Degree and now her Master’s this month from The University, and Kolton in his Junior year, a milestone presented itself: Ring Day. And the universe aligned to celebrate this monumental event as it just so happened that both of my babies received their ring at the same time: Kassidi received a ring for her two degrees, and Kolton received a ring as a rising senior. We ordered the rings, personalized them just so and the big day was imminent. Hotel reservations were made – within spitting distance of the tower ceremony – and I was beyond ready.

The big day came, and I was twitterpated. I was beside myself. My enthusiasm was a lot – just ask Tim Kaminski. There was the tower view from our hotel room, the burnt orange prosecco, the huge ceremony and big plans for the evening. It was a thing – a really big thing. I was just downright giddy to gift my dynamic duo rings from my beloved university. I was a lot that day, and my enthusiasm was completely uncontrollable. Mr. Kaminski threatened to medicate me – multiple times. His threats fell on deaf ears.

Neither the weather that day nor the state of the union shared my unbridled enthusiasm. As the afternoon progressed – yes, we arrived very early, hence my enthusiasm – Austin decided to rain on our parade. Inclement weather plans ensued, the band and Bevo stayed in shelter and the general pomp and circumstance went AWOL. Our lovely outdoor celebration – safe during the time of COVID – went south real quick.

The big day turned into a near drive-thru experience where the kids went into the Alumni Center to pick up their ring – just the kids. Now I’m a Texas Ex. I paid for my membership. I wanted to go in too; the University wasn’t having it. There were words, a near altercation, and surprisingly I was not successful in my endeavor. Shocking, I know.

So, my ring wasn’t an official UT ring. I wanted bling, so I got a burnt orange citrine with diamonds to celebrate my years on the 40 Acres. It was the 80s.

The kids were in the building less than four minutes, and they were abruptly handed their rings in a brown paper bag. On a typical day, I would question baby boy about what he had in a brown paper bag – not momma’s first rodeo. I promptly asked for the bags and as ceremoniously as possible, placed the rings on my precious baby’s fingers while Mr. Kaminski videoed. Let me just say that Stephen Spielberg has nothing to worry about in regards to competition. I may have shed a few tears, but it was sprinkling, so let’s go with that source for the waterworks.

In the overcast afternoon, in the mud and while sprinkling, we pilgrimaged to the iconic tower – the place where the celebration was originally scheduled. We took pictures, met with friends and Kolton nearly got thrown into the fountain. At least there was some excitement.

Our trek continued on to Cain and Abel’s – you can’t go to West Campus without a visit to the 30-year-old iconic landmark – where we drank really strong drinks in solo cups – in the rain. We then traveled to dinner with our group sitting outside as planned – you guessed it – in the rain. Now those of you who know me well know I do not do soggy. I do not do moist. I do not do wet. I merely tolerate a daily shower as the water is warm, I have amazing towels and my soap smells really good.

Just as the universe aligned to gift me the opportunity to present both of my babies’ rings together, that same universe really did its best to strip this monumental day of everything celebratory. The result? Didn’t happen. It was the BEST DAY EVER one that I will always cherish. You’ve just got to try a little bit harder to take the wind out of this girl’s sails.

So, here’s an overview of the Kaminski family University of Texas scorecard to date: Three rings, two degrees, one degree coming this month – May 2021 – and another degree coming in May 2022. And believe me, for the next two Mays, there will be much pomp and circumstance – as neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor disease will stop this parade – as we tally up our Longhorn degrees to four. Hook ‘em forever!

See y’all next week – on the porch!


Follow Patti Parish-Kaminski on Facebook at facebook.com/patti.parishkaminski and on Instagram at instagram.com/ontheporchwithpatti/.