Whoopin’ It Up

To some, it’s a highway rest stop. But to Aggies, it’s a destination.

If the store sign in the shape of the Alamo doesn’t get your attention, the 40-foot-tall replica of the Aggie Bonfire undoubtedly will.

Since 2009, drivers cruising down state Highway 21 between Austin and College Station have happened upon the Whoop Stop —- a tribute to the Spirit of Aggieland. A little bit souvenir shop, a little bit convenience store and a little bit restaurant—with fishing gear, tools, candles and homemade peanut brittle thrown in—the Whoop Stop was the brainchild of Bill and Brenda Swinney.

Neither of the Swinneys attended Texas A&M, but that doesn’t mean they don’t bleed maroon. In fact, the Swinney family includes three grown sons—all former members of Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets—and several Aggie grandchildren.

Larry and Deborah Goedhart are friends of the Swinneys and live four miles down the road from the Whoop Stop. They helped the Swinneys manage the store and, last November, bought it outright. Like the Swinneys, the Goedharts are “Aggies by choice.”

Besides adding a generous selection of barbecue to their pizza and sub food offerings, the Goedharts have made few changes to the Whoop Stop. About a quarter of the store is filled with Aggie paraphernalia—including a new “baby Aggie” section. Items from other schools can be found, as well, but they are considerably overshadowed. A store highlight is the “Aggie Honor Board,” which includes the names and class years of former students who visit. The Goedharts recently started a new signature wall with a seven-foot Ol’ Sarge standing guard.

The Whoop Stop is located on state Highway 21 a half-mile east of Interstate 290—about an hour’s drive west of College Station. It’s open until midnight on home football game days for Aggies heading home after a day at Kyle Field.

For more information on the Whoop Stop, visit www.whoopstop.com.

By Kara Socol

To learn more about creating your Aggie legacy through a gift to the Texas A&M Foundation, contact Carl Jaedicke ’73 at (800) 392-3310.

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