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A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather
Tiger Boards - The Amphitheatre
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Replies: 21  

A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

emoji_events [47]
Apr 3, 2022, 10:04 PM
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I wanted post a tribute to my grandfather, an avid Tiger fan, who sadly passed away last week on 3/25. He is an original TNet member, and has always been a user of this board, but never posted. You can find him under the username PawPaw®.

His story began as a kid, where he grew up in Gaffney, SC and played football in high school in the early fifties. As he approached his senior year of high school, he was recruited to play football at Clemson by legendary Coach Frank Howard. He mentioned that Clemson was the only school that really recruited him, which began his lifelong commitment to this great university, and ultimately that was passed down to my mother and then me. We found the letter that Frank Howard sent him last week, and you can see it attached below. I don't think there are many of these laying around.

He did not attend Clemson however, because he was concerned he would lose his girlfriend and high school sweetheart (my grandmother) if he went to college. My grandmother was heading to Washington DC to get a job, and instead of going separate ways, they decided to get married and stay in Gaffney. My grandfather became the sole Clemson fan in the family even though his close relatives were USC and Georgia fans.

His fandom grew and he started getting season tickets in the 70s and kept them all the way until about 2009 or so when he stopped attending games. I have heard many great bowl trip stories over the years, and he and my mom were lucky enough to attend the first national championship in 1981. My mom ended up graduating from Clemson in the 80s, and she continued the tradition as she got season tickets and took me to games as I grew up in the 90s and 00s. I was grateful to attend all kinds of Clemson sporting events with my grandfather, with some of the best memories being bowl trips and baseball games. I used to go with him and watch Leggett's teams in the early 2000s (great memories).

Because of his loyal support to the Tigers, there was no other school I wanted to attend when I got ready to go to college. I ended up graduating in 2017 and he bragged to anyone he could find that his grandson was in Tiger Band at Clemson. That was one of the things he was most proud of and I was glad I could make him proud.

His loyal and unwavering support of Clemson has made me a lifelong Clemson fan, and I cannot wait to share some of the memories with my kids and grandkids that I got share with him. His spirit will live as long as me and my family are in TigerTown.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this post, and I hope you enjoyed it. He was a great Tiger and I am looking forward to cheering the Tigers on with him again someday.

Go Tigers!

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Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

emoji_events [9]
Apr 3, 2022, 10:08 PM
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That is a great story.

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Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

emoji_events [9]
Apr 3, 2022, 10:10 PM
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Sounds like a great man and fan. Cherish the memories.

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R.I.P. Wishes & A Crisp Clemson Military Salute to..

emoji_events [9]
Apr 4, 2022, 12:28 AM
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PawPaw.

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Showing your pic again of letter to your Granddad from Coach Howard

emoji_events [10]
Apr 4, 2022, 12:40 AM
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in 1955 to him..Mr Donald Mayfield of Gaffney SC..

with the famous Block C stationary plus a copy sent to the Clemson V.P.

Proves that PawPaw was a dang good athlete and student.

How neat is that!

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Re: Showing your pic again of letter to your Granddad from Coach Howard

emoji_events [8]
Apr 4, 2022, 7:23 AM
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Wow, that is a real treasure!!! Thanks for posting for him!

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Re: Showing your pic again of letter to your Granddad from Coach Howard

emoji_events [6]
Apr 4, 2022, 8:29 AM
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It really is, thanks for highlighting it. If you look close, you can see the Clemson seal underneath where Frank Howard's signature is.

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Prayers for the family and friends of PawPaw

emoji_events [7]
Apr 4, 2022, 3:58 AM
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Great story and thanks for sharing.

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Take care, stay well and see you soon in The Valley!


Re: God rest your Grandfather’s soul. I pray for your family

emoji_events [7]
Apr 4, 2022, 6:50 AM
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a the huge loss you are mourning. May you take comfort the you will see him again.

God Bless you and your family!

Go Tigers!

Okie Tiger

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When the crisis arises the time for preparedness is past.


Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

emoji_events [6]
Apr 4, 2022, 7:25 AM
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What a great story and a great man!

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Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

[4]
Apr 4, 2022, 10:13 AM
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Fantastic story. Sounds like you had a great relationship with your Granddad.None of our ten grandkids went to Clemson, but although scattered throughout the eastern states they are diehard Tiger fans. Two of them ,one from Raleigh and the other from Greensboro. attend the softball game at Chapel Hill yesterday.

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Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

[3]
Apr 4, 2022, 11:24 AM
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I did and I am very grateful for that. My mother is an only child so he had only me and my young brother to spoil. I hope I am lucky enough to have some Clemson grandkids someday.

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Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

[3]
Apr 4, 2022, 11:26 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to share this tribute.

God bless.

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Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

[4]
Apr 4, 2022, 12:03 PM
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That is a great story and tribute to someone who sounds like he was a great man. People who are not a part of it just don’t understand what we mean when we refer to the “Clemson Family”. He may not have attended Clemson but your grandfather was part of the Clemson Family and you are carrying on the tradition. You may know my daughter. She graduated in 2017 as well and was the Tiger Cub mascot for 3 years so y’all were definitely in the same places at the same times. I’m a 1984 graduate so we are part of the Clemson Family as well. So sorry we lost a member last week with the passing of your grandfather, but as time passes your grieving will be replaced with fond memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life. RIP PawPaw - once a Tiger, always a Tiger!

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Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

[2]
Apr 4, 2022, 2:23 PM
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Thanks for the kind words. I do actually remember your daughter, and if it is who I am thinking of, she was good friends with my roommate who was also in Tiger Band. Small world!

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Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

[4]
Apr 4, 2022, 12:14 PM
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Thank you for sharing a great story!

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"It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers any more than it is to make sheep ferocious."
--Henry David Thoreau


Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

[3]
Apr 4, 2022, 3:28 PM
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Bumping this back to the top. If this isn’t POTD we should all re-examine our priorities.

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Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

[2]
Apr 4, 2022, 4:11 PM
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TigerBand that was awesome and I am sorry for your loss. I do thank you for sharing and enjoyed a great read. Best of luck to yourself and your family.

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MEG


Incredible. Thanks for sharing. I LOVE the Clemson Family.***

[3]
Apr 4, 2022, 4:28 PM
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Brad Brownell: all-time losingest coach in Clemson men's basketball history, and only coach to beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill.


Re: A Tribute to a Great Tiger and My Grandfather

[2]
Apr 4, 2022, 4:34 PM
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Great story and I know he gave you memories you will always cherish. I hope to do the same with my grandsons, and at 5 and 7, they are just getting to the age where they will remember. I just hope that I am around long enough to give them some great memories .....and although they live in Atlanta, and their mom is a Georgia Tech grad (father is Clemson grad) I hope I will be able to get them to Clemson many times.

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sorry for your loss, but what great memories you have... and

[3]
Apr 4, 2022, 8:00 PM
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that letter needs to be in a frame and prominently displayed.

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"They talk most who have the least to say." - Matthew Prior 1664-1721


Thanks for sharing.

[2]
Apr 4, 2022, 8:47 PM
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My condolences for your family’s loss. He’s leaving behind a great legacy.

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Replies: 21  

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