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Old 03-06-2015, 09:50 PM
Joe21 Joe21 is offline
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Default How It All Began

Have you ever wondered how something got started? No doubt, most of you have seen photos of Tiger alumni and friends with their Tiger Paws and Tiger Paw Flags in various Clemson publications, photos taken from all four corners of the earth. Even weddings and almost every type of event have seen their share of Paws and Flags on display, announcing for all to see, I am a proud Tiger. Did you ever wonder how it all began? If you have a few minutes, I'll let you in on a little secret.

It all began in 1987 when my wife and I were planning to join a group going to the Far East. Our journey was to take us from Greenville, SC to Atlanta, to Los Angeles, to Anchorage, Alaska, to Seoul, South Korea, to Taipei, Taiwan, to Hong Kong and finally to Beijing, China. I contacted students at Clemson University who were from Taiwan and mainland China re customs, food and other "do's" and "don't's" and received some valuable information. The students from mainland China told me tipping was not a normal practice but small items and trinkets were always welcome, particularly by the children.

Based on heir suggestions, I visited the IPTAY and Alumni Offices and obtained a large suppl;y of "stick on" Tiger Paws and ball point pens with the Clemson logo. Except for three couples from South Carolina, the remainder of the 76 in our group were from North Carolina. Among the group from North Carolina were graduates of the four major schools, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. Before we had arrived in Los Angeles, every one in our group was wearing a Tiger Paw.

On our flight from Anchorage to Seoul, we learned that half of our group would be bumped in Seoul while the remainder of the group would continue to Taipei. My wife and I were in the group that would remain in Seoul, but in my case, it was a bonus. The airline put us up in a nice hotel, gave us several tours and gave us the royal treatment for three days.I was in Korea in 1950 - 51 during the Korean War so I had returned to the scene where I had spent some anxious moments. During our stay in Seoul out came the Tiger Paws and a big smile from every child that received one.

We finally arrived in Taipei where we spent several days. More and more people were becoming acquainted with the Clemson Tiger Paw and the graduates from the North Carolina schools were becoming a bit envious. That look of envy only served to make me even happier as I went about the business of "pawing" as many people as possible. I was beginning to wonder if my supply would last until we got to mainland China. I had given out a few pens but was saving them primarily for the children in China. We still had our visit to Hong Kong before going to Beijing so I decided to limit my distribution of Tiger Paws in Hong Kong..I was experiencing a problem. If there was one child in the area and I gave that child a Tiger Paw, almost immediately I would be surrounded by as many as 25 children. I don't know where they came from but it was if they had received a signal to converge on the "Tiger Paw Man".

Our hotel in Beijing was a brand new luxury hotel in an area where there were few children so I did very little "pawing in and around our hotel. Our trip to the Great Wall was an entirely different story. Children were everywhere. I started giving Tiger Paws to the children and was soon completely surrounded by what seemed like 100 children, all clamoring for a "paw". I had our tour guide tell the children that the Tiger Paw was the logo of the Clemson University football team and they were known as the Tigers. I don't know if they knew what it meant but the smiles on their faces indicated they must have understood her.

About this time two beautiful young Chinese girls approached so I pawed them. I judged them to be about 18 to 20 years of age. My wife was preparing to take a photo of me and the two girls. I was standing in the middle and they kept motioning and jabbering, none of which I could understand. Finally our tour guide came over, talked to the two girls and then said to me, "they want you to put your arms around them". I did as they suggested and the photo came out OK.

After we had returned home, I visited the athletic offices one day with some of the photos. As I walked down the hall, Coach Frank Howard was sitting in his office. I went in , told him about my trip and showed him the photos with the Chinese wearing Tiger Paws. Coach Howard said, "hold it just a minute", picked his phone and called the Orange & White office and asked someone to come down to his office and talk to me about a story. The story appeared in the Oct. 8, 1987, issue of the Orange & White. In the story I suggested Tiger fans take Tiger Paws and other Clemson items when they went on a trip as it was an excellent way to break the ice and promote Clemson.

And that, fellow Tigers, is how it all began.

Last edited by Joe21; 03-06-2015 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:40 AM
Robert Thorne MacRae's Avatar
Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default Re: How It All Began

Great one Joe. Thanks for Sharing
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:09 AM
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cubarb1991 cubarb1991 is offline
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Default Re: How It All Began

Love it!!!
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:54 AM
Clemson Fan JT's Avatar
Clemson Fan JT Clemson Fan JT is online now
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Default Re: How It All Began

And you still paw every cute lady you see to this day........Kizzy loves seeing you
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:19 AM
Robert Thorne MacRae's Avatar
Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default Re: How It All Began

Originally Posted by Clemson Fan JT View Post
And you still paw every cute lady you see to this day........Kizzy loves seeing you
Wow is that JT back on the board. Thought you have disappeared, probably in some lake with a big catfish
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