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Topic: I was thinking about how far Clemson has come - Part 1 - EDITED
Replies: 14   Last Post: Nov 7, 2018 5:17 PM by: treeclimber
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I was thinking about how far Clemson has come - Part 1 - EDITED

[40]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 12:14 PM
 

I was just thinking about how far Clemson football has come in my lifetime,

I was born in 1961, My father played for Coach Howard. My first memories of Clemson games include him taking my brother and I into the locker room located on the side of Fike Field house.

It was an unbelievable sight as these guys that all seemed like "supermen" to me were on tables getting ankles wrapped and pads ready by Herman McGee , by the way Herman McGee should be added to the Ring of Honor at Clemson. He was a one man show for a long time,for a lot of great Clemson football teams.

My dad always made a point of taking us over to introduces us. Herman always had a smile and a joke or two, never forgetting to ask when my brother and I would be here to play ball.

Coach Howard knew every ex-players name, and would usually yell something Dad's way, for example, "Jack, I hope those boys are going to be a little faster than you were". Then he would look at us with tobacco juice on his chin and add, "I used to have to line your dad up with a post to see if he was moving" You didn't have to have a pass, at least that I knew of to get in, but it seemed like it was only players and ex-players that were among those privileged to walk through. My older sister, born while Dad was a senior and living in the old married student housing duplexes at the time was born in Redfern. Her and my Mom always had to wait outside.

There was little doubt that any of us would ever be anything other than tigers. There were no upper decks and the stadium probably held 40 thousand at that time. The hill was for kids with cardboard.

My Dad had finished school and turned down a draft offer from the Philadelphia Eagles to take a job with Southern Bell as a Civil Engineer. We found that draft letter when going through some of his things after he passed away the year before we made it the playoffs. Dad never displayed any of that kind of stuff. The only thing that I remember seeing before going through his stuff post death was his Sugar and Blue-Bonnet Bowl watches. He wore the Blue Bonnet One every day. He said the Sugar Bowl watch never kept good time. My brother and I each have one of those now. He also used to take us to get a burger at Dan's downtown. His picture was on the wall as were the pictures of dang near all the players I think.

Dad was very proud of his degree and his engineering license. He worked for Southern Bell through the good and bad until he retired.

Clemson was also something that Dad took a great deal of pride in showing off. He coached my little league football team and one Saturday per year Dad would take all the players that wanted to go, this was pre-middle school age football, to a Clemson game. On those trips he exposed a lot of Kids to all that is good about Clemson, not just the football game. He took the team by the P&A building for a milkshake, we ate in Harmon Hall.

He would take us by the locker room, but wouldn't let the team go in. I think he though that would be too much. Instead he would go in and speak with Herman. Herman always would take a minute then to stick his head out of the door and tell us "players" that he would be looking for us in orange one day.

Crowds were never that big at the games but it didn't seem to matter. We knew that we were in a "special" place and I always sensed the pride that dad had in sharing it.

There is so much more to my journey being raised a tiger. Probably the least important of all in retrospect was the actual win loss record in a given year. Don't be mistaken, those were either very happy rides home or very sad rides home dependent on the outcome. Instead, it was the understanding of how it feels to be part of something.

I knew very early , that there was indeed "something special in those hills".

To be continued, unless this is too sappy for you new bloods.


My Big Sister has corrected me on a couple of items. My memory of some of the events wasn't correct


. Here are her edits . Go Tigers

a couple of corrections! I was born at St Mary’s down the street from Grandmamas, not at Red Fern! I was born on the day Clemson played NC State and won the ACC Championship. Coach Howard didn’t tell Daddy till after the game! As soon as he got back to Athens, thinking it was Saturday night, but that could be wrong!, he came busting into the hospital asking where his wife and baby were! He was bandaged up from the game! The little Nun brought me into the room and left me with them! This was well before the days that babies were handled this way! LOL! And the rest is history! Mama might can fill in gaps!

I did get to go into the training room with Herman! It was when I started getting bigger that it stopped! He gave us salt tablets!


Message was edited by: EssoClub2®


Message was edited by: EssoClub2®


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Your dad sounds like he was an awesome guy

[6]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 12:25 PM
 

Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to part 2.

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"IDIOT POSTER OF THE MONTH SO FAR...GWP-- You have won IPM Award for your failure to completely comprehend a clear post & then choose to attack someone who points out your ignorance. While you are not yet in the same No Class Catagory as deRoberts, ClemTiger117 & Tigerdug23, you are getting closer to the Sewer Dwellers." - coachmac


Esso, I was also born in 1961

[4]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 12:29 PM
 

And your post brings back great memories. I used to think we were the richest, luckiest people in the world to go to Clemson games. Come to think of it, we were and are still rich and lucky beyound measure! Loved your post, can’t wait for part 2! Go Tigers! Mr. Herman was special and Ring of Honor worthy!


Re: Esso, I was also born in 1961

[1]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 12:42 PM
 

Think of all the different folks Herman knew over the years. You never hear anything but nice memories of him. What a treasure he was

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Re: Esso, I was also born in 1961

[2]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 4:52 PM
 

Action re having Herman McGee's name placed in the Ring of Honor should not be delayed much longer. Those who knew him personally will have passed away and reading stories about him does not convey the real story unless one can speak from personal knowledge. Not only was Herman an excellent trainer, he served as a confident to every player. His constant smile and quiet demeaner was his trademark.

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Re: Esso, I was also born in 1961


Posted: Nov 7, 2018 4:59 PM
 

Joe21® said:

Action re having Herman McGee's name placed in the Ring of Honor should not be delayed much longer. Those who knew him personally will have passed away and reading stories about him does not convey the real story unless one can speak from personal knowledge. Not only was Herman an excellent trainer, he served as a confident to every player. His constant smile and quiet demeaner was his trademark.



Well saiid I wish Tigernet could take up the fight to get Mr Herman in the Ring of Honor. He is very deserving !

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Waiting for Part 2.

[1]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 12:30 PM
 

Enjoyed the story..thank you for sharing with us!

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Good read. Thanks for posting.***

[1]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 12:45 PM
 



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Re: I was thinking about how far Clemson has come - Part 1

[1]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 1:11 PM
 

Looking forward to part two, thanks for posting.

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Re: I was thinking about how far Clemson has come - Part 1

[2]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 2:28 PM
 

Great memories! I graduated in class of 1963 and shared many of those same memories....hamburgers at Dan's, the football stadium, drill on Bowman field, so many memories. I'm sure your Dad was very proud of his Blue Bonnet Bowl watch. The last one I saw was on the wrist of an Army pilot in Plekiu VN. Happy to say after returning home I saw that he had also made it home and was flying for Delta airlines. Keep sharing the memories!

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Were the Dippin Dots bigger or smaller back then ?***

[1]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 2:33 PM
 



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Thanks for sharing

[1]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 2:42 PM
 

great read ....

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Re: I was thinking about how far Clemson has come - Part 1

[1]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 2:55 PM
 

Great story. Was your Dad's picture destroyed when Dan's Restaurant had a fire in the mid-sixties. Dan was my next door neighbor for many years. I can relate to many of the things in your story. Look forward to Part 2.

Some of you may remember Dan Gentry's Restaurant. For many years he operated on the honor system, Get your food, eat at your leisure and on your way out tell the cashier what you had. If you didn't have cash that day, you paid your bill when you received money. Two or three years after Clemson was no longer a military school, there were students without honor and the system was changed, customers had to pay at the end of the serving line.

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The best read I've ever laid eyes on on TigerNet

[1]
Posted: Nov 7, 2018 3:07 PM
 

That was a privilege to read that, my man. Thank you.

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Re: I was thinking about how far Clemson has come - Part 1 - EDITED


Posted: Nov 7, 2018 5:17 PM
 

Good story. Both of my grandfathers worked for Southern Bell in the upstate around the same time as your father. They were a few years older but he might have known them.


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