Ron spends summers working on his Granddaddy’s farm until 1963, when he goes to college at East Texas State. His whole world revolves around chasing girls. However, being poor and owning only handmade clothes made from feed sacks, Ron is humiliated on his first date with a rich girl, who is mortified at his outfit and openly mocks his appearance, explaining that the boys she dates must wear penny loafers.
For Ron, this is the first time that his poor beginnings truly make an impact on him. In the development of his character, this recognition that a lack of money is holding him back from what he desires fuels his future materialism and preoccupation with money, status, and possessions. This humiliation drives Ron to “make something of himself.”