We’ve been tailgating with our good friends Joe & Cathy Turner under the pine trees on the back side (stadium side) of Cemetery Hill for over 25 years. Our spot offers cool shade on the hot Saturdays of August and September and shelters us from the infrequent autumn rains. Over the years, we’ve brought family and friends from far and wide to join us in cheering on the Tigers—and enjoying good fellowship and good food. Our tailgaters have ranged in age from the newborn to octogenarians and have included political candidates, bowl representatives, former athletes and alumni.
As I get older, I often recall some of the great games I’ve seen in Death Valley, including both wins and losses. I vividly remember Frank Howard’s Tigers donning their orange shoes and defeating NC State’s vaunted ‘white shoe defense’ in 1967; Jimmy Williamson batting away the go-ahead two-point conversion to preserve Clemson’s victory over South Carolina on a rainy, cold November Saturday in 1972; and Florida State’s infamous ‘puntrooskie’ in 1988. With our backs to the Woodland Cemetery, a different aspect of Clemson’s long history is spelled out by the markers on the graves of so many popular, long-time faculty members.
We’re fortunate to be able to enjoy football Saturdays and blessed to be Clemson Tigers!