Cat Island, Bahamas: Plylers, Littles and Sparks

Three early 70s Clemson fraternity brothers and their patient wives spent a wonderful week in Cat Island, Bahamas July 12 – 19. They donated all Clemson paraphernalia to Island residents, who were encouraged to say “Go Tigers”. In return, the visitors were treated to a variety of Conk delectables.
Pictured: Chris Plyler, Clemson 73
Allison Plyler, Florida State ’77
Nelson Linder Little, College of Charleston ’74
Gil Little, Clemson ’75
Jan Walter Sparks, Clemson ’75
John Sparks, Clemson ’72

Blame it on the Parkinson’s: Mitch Faile ’89

Profile-Mitch-FaileFive years ago, at the age of 44, Mitch Faile was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. For this corporate executive, entrepreneur and father, it was a devastating diagnosis. And it’s been a diagnosis that has changed his life in many ways. But it’s one he has met with humor and determination … and a bit of country music.

Faile says that his symptoms are most difficult in the morning, sometimes making him feel as if he is back in college and suffering from a hangover. In an interview with the Johns Creek Herald, he said that he “made a game each morning out of listing all the vices I did not engage in the night before that might cause a hangover. Before I knew it, I was singing the list and giggling to myself, and the chorus seemed to write itself in the shower.

“As I recorded the song, it became my coping mechanism; a personal anthem which invoked a laugh or smile with family and friends as we dealt with symptoms at home,” he said. “When I would bounce off a wall, break a glass, drop food on the floor, forget to do something or just slip off and take a nap, everyone would jokingly shake their head and say, ‘Blame it on the Parkinson’s!’”

With the help of Wilkin’s Parkinson Foundation and Atlanta’s Octagon Studios, Faile recorded and released the song and music video of “Blame it on the Parkinson’s” to raise awareness of the disease and funds for researching a cure. The ending scene of the video was recorded after the 2015 spring football game with students, fans and members of Clemson’s Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

“I realize I can’t change having Parkinson’s. I can’t hide having it, and I can’t control what people are thinking when they look at me …. What I can do is be thankful for the many blessings I have been given and wake up each day determined to live life to the fullest of my abilities and enjoy the people I care about, because I know time is fleeting,” he said. “In that way, Parkinson’s has been a blessing to me.”

Click here for more information about the Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation.


Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands

The Knapp and Collie family spent a week sailing the British Virgin Islands. We flew our Clemson Flag from our boat all week long, and loved hearing all the responses we got from our fellow Clemson Family. Go Tigers!

Left to right: Austin Knapp M ’11, Mills Armstrong M ’12, Brian Collie ’04, M ’06, Lauren Collie ’07, Mary Frances Knapp ’04

Islamorada: Olson Family Vacation

Clemson family (including the next generation) vacations together in Islamorada FL, proudly flying the Tiger Paw bayside for fellow boaters to see.  Left to right: John Olson ’37*, Erik Olson ’04, Ryan Olson ’09, Abby Olson ’10, Jenna Olson ’14

Clemson Tigers take on the island of St Lucia – June 2015

We had our annual vacation with our families and mother, Sandra Zeagler Murray, in June 2015. We all had a wonderful time and wore our Clemson colors and t-shirts throughout the week showing the people of St Lucia our family is Loud & Proud and “All In” supporting the Tigers! Pictured (l-r) front row: Brayden Ginn-10, Brenden Ginn-8, Brysen Ginn-7, Colton Smith-10;  middle row: Rhonda Murray Ginn, ’97, Sandra Zeagler Murray, Tammy Murray Smith, ’93, M’95. back row: Kevin Ginn, Dalton Smith-13, Keith Smith.