These Tigers talk, recall fond memories as mascots
The current Tiger mascot remained in character — and voiceless — Tuesday at the Anderson County Museum, posing for photos with Clemson University fans young and old.
His predecessors just a few feet away, however, talked about college days as one of the school's most high-profile personalities.
"It was fun," said 1968 grad Marvin "Poag" Reid, the Tiger mascot in 1966. "It was hot as the dickens in that suit, but I had a great time."
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Reid, a longtime rodeo performer after leaving Clemson, said some of his favorite memories involved "kidnapping" cheerleaders from opposing schools.
"We'd try to grab the prettiest one and carry her over to our side and make her cheer for us. I loved it," Reid said.
Reid was one of eight former Tigers who joined the active school mascot and author John Seketa for the museum fundraiser. They autographed copies of Seketa's book, "Clemson Through the Eyes of the Tiger," with proceeds of the Tuesday's sales going to the museum.
In Seketa's book, and in a 3-hour session Tuesday, mascots who are forbidden to speak during active duty were given the opportunity to discuss highs and lows of their days in the Tiger uniform.
Of those on hand, none had served as a mascot or cheerleader during high school. And only two, 2009 Cub Tyler Alewine and 1994 mascot Darius Jones, were involved in any type of entertainment after college.
Alewine later performed in mascot roles with the Greenville Drive baseball team, the Greenville Road Warriors hockey team, and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball team.
"You get to ride in a lot of parades," Alewine joked. "You also get to do a lot of rewarding things — like spend time with children as part of the Make a Wish Foundation, and visit kids in hospitals," Alewine said. "That's the best part."
Jones, who remembers being fearful of the Tiger as a youngster, has since performed in community theater with the Clemson Players. He works at Clemson in the office of library technology.
December graduate Andrew Beeler, one of the Tigers from 2011 through 2015, said the job is no longer confined to Memorial Stadium and Littlejohn Coliseum.
"You do a lot of weddings — almost 100 a year," said. "You get to meet a lot of people, and things don't always go the way you expect," said Beeler, a Greenville native. "You have to go with the flow. But it's fun."
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