Saturday, October 22, 2011


My dad grew up in Clemson, and my MeMa and MeDad stayed in their house on Pendleton Road in town until MeDad passed away at the beginning of my junior year at Clemson. He was a self-described "old codger," a former military officer who came to Clemson in that capacity in the early 1950's. The seats my parents use today at Clemson games were once his, and MeMa, my grandmother, used to sit on their front porch and watch the football team buses team drive by their house, cheering them on with signs and orange pom poms. I grew up going to their house before and after the games and still drive by that house whenever I'm in town, even though my family sold it several years ago.

Once my grandfather stopped going to games, he'd watch the game on TV, if it was on, but turn down the volume and listen to the local radio broadcast. The TV announcers just couldn't match Jim Phillips, the voice of the Tigers for 36 years (who I still miss hearing!). This was before the days of screen-in-screen broadcasts, and he had one tv stacked on top of the other so he could also keep on eye on the Braves or golf or whatever other sporting event happened to be on in addition to Clemson football.

So as I watch the Clemson-UNC game on TV, with the volume turned down, and listen to Pete Yanity, Will Merritt and Patrick Sapp on the Clemson Sports Network, I can't help but think about MeDad and the Clemson legacy he left for our family. I so wish that he was still here to see this team and to celebrate his third grandchild's graduation from Clemson this summer. I think he'd be quite proud.

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