Once East Central University's Homecoming football game is over Saturday night [OCT. 9], an unusual reunion will recall a one-time gathering place for ECU students of the 1970s and 1980s.
The La Fragua reunion will begin around 9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge to recall the Ada club where ECU students spent many evenings. It will be open to all alumni, not just students from those two decades.
T-shirts recall the La Fragua, a popular gathering place for East Central University students during the 1970s and 1980s. A La Fragua reunion open to all alumni will be held at the Elks Lodge Saturday night following ECU's Homecoming football game and fireworks display. Zoom City will perform and musicians who played there are invited to stop in for a jam session. Donations will be accepted at the door and La Fragua t-shirts will be on sale. Proceeds will benefit ECU's fine arts program.
"La Fragua was almost like an extension of the university," said Terry Tracy, the former club's owner. "It was the place to go to listen to live bands, dance and have a good time. Most social events like birthday parties were held there."
Terry said he had been considering such a reunion for several years, and it all came together in time for ECU's Homecoming.
"We have alumni reunions after the games every year," said ECU President John Hargrave, "but we thought this idea was a good way to have a great time re-engaging alums and encouraging them to become active again."
Donations will be accepted at the door, and La Fragua t-shirts will be on sale for $10. All proceeds will benefit ECU’s fine arts program. Alumni also will have the opportunity to view photos taken at La Fragua during the 1970s and 1980s.
Zoom City will perform at the reunion. All the Zoom City members played at La Fragua at one time or another as members of different bands of the time, Terry said.
"We want to invite people who played there to stop in for a jam session," he said.
Former employees also will be honored, such as ECU football All-American Clifford Thrift, who was a bouncer, and Larry "Scooter" Throne who will work the door Saturday as he did in the past.
Mike Hinkle of Edmond, a 1977 ECU graduate, is a former La Fragua employee who was hired under unique circumstances.
"One day I was passing through town," he said. "La Fragua was open, so I told Terry I would work for him if he could provide me with a place to sleep and food to eat, and he did."
ECU has received emails and calls from a number of alums from the 1970s and 1980s who have learned about the reunion. Many said they have not been back to Ada since they graduated, but plan to attend this year.
"I'm looking forward to being there for the parade, the game, the reunion and other fun things," Hinkle said.
The first La Fragua was located on Cradduck Road west of Ada High School. The second, larger building was also on Cradduck Road just past the turn off Mississippi.
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