A Gamecock Funeral

The good folks in Lake City, South Carolina are showing their passion for the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry in a way that all Clemson fans can appreciate. The buriel of "Cocky," the South Carolina mascot, was preformed Tuesday afternoon, before a nice gathering of Tiger fans!

The event was sponsored by the Lake City Community Museum Association, and was the brainchild and the result of much work and organization of Eugene T. Moore, former Clemson athlete and prime mover in the museum association.

The burial of the Gamecock the week before the Clemson-Carolina game is a traditional event held on the Clemson campus in the fall. Having a eulogy and burial of a Gamecock was an idea first created by a 1939 Clemson graduate by the name of Gator Farr.

He later became a professor of military science at Clemson. Clemson students and faculty members still relive the burial ceremony each year on campus. Because of the interest of Clemson Alumni all over the country, it is being held the first time ever off campus.

The orange casket containing the Gamecock--a well-done likeness of Cocky was carried from the museum building to a stage in the town square a few hundred feet away by six pallbearers in dark suits who then took seats near the "pulpit" where they became a formidable "amen corner" as the parson, Clemson professor Sandy Edge read from his "text," the Old Farmer's Almanac and the Betty Crocker cookbook of chicken recipes.

As the parson intoned the details of the departed gamecock's "sins against Tigers everywhere, the "Amens!" resounded from the amen corner and throughout the audience. The Clemson Corps had three representatives on hand to stand guard by the casket and to escort the procession from the museum where the "yard bird" had lain in state all day.

After the "service," two tiger cheerleaders and the Tiger mascot led the crown of a couple of hundred in C-L-E-M and the singing of the alma mater, introduced by the rev. Edge as a "sacred hymn." Afterwards, master of ceremonies Charlie Walker of Kingstree, South Carolina, introduced Danny Ford who made a brief talk.

Filmed highlights of past Clemson-Carolina games were shown on a large-screen TV immediately following Ford's remarks. Professor Edge read the statistics of Clemson-Carolina meetings as part of his "text" from Sports Illustrated, to the cheers and "Amens" of the whole crowd.

Coach Ford commented about how much he appreciated how good Clemson people have been to him. He was presented with a cow bell for use on his "ranch" by event organizer Gene Moore, and Ford departed with the comment that the better team will win Saturday.

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