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Cowboy Corral tradition spurs fans’ spirits

Family’s gifts to Pistol Pete continue
by Chase Carter, Communications Director, OSU Alumni Association Modified: August 20, 2014 at 9:19 am •  Published: August 25, 2014

photo - Even young Cowboys know OSU is No. 1. (Photo by Phil Shockley/University Marketing)
Even young Cowboys know OSU is No. 1. (Photo by Phil Shockley/University Marketing)

OSU mascot Pistol Pete is known for his larger-than-life cowboy hat and pistols firing.

But for the two students each year who portray the character modeled after Frank Eaton, another part of Pete’s attire holds even more significance.

“In 2003, longtime banker and spur collector Bob Clark offered to donate custom-made spurs to the students serving as Pete,” says Scott Petty, a 1988 OSU graduate and former Pistol Pete.

“Mr. Clark’s daughter, Lynn Elsberry, and her husband, Max, have continued the tradition her father began.”

On Sept. 6, OSU students Landon Stallings and Preston Whitlaw will receive their official Pistol Pete spurs from the Elsberrys, continuing a tradition that has gone relatively unnoticed until recently.

“The Pistol Pete alumni group concluded it was time to begin publicly recognizing the student leaders who invest so much of their college experience as the ultimate school ambassador,”

Petty says. “After discussing the idea with the OSU Alumni Association’s leadership, they embraced it, and we’ve been introducing the new Petes and presenting them their spurs at the Cowboy Corral ever since.”

OSU alumni and fans have been flocking to the Cowboy Corral on game days for the past decade. The free event inside the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center offers family-friendly tailgating in a climate-controlled environment.

“Your game day in Stillwater isn’t complete without a trip to the Cowboy Corral,” says Chris Batchelder, OSU Alumni Association president. “From the great food to the exciting pep rally, everything you need to get fired up for Cowboy football is right here under one roof.”

The highlight of each Cowboy Corral is a pep rally held 30 minutes before the Spirit Walk. The Cowboy Marching Band and OSU Spirit Squads entertain the crowd while Pistol Pete poses for pictures. Outside on the terrace, Bullet and the Spirit Rider team also make an appearance for photos with families. And no game day is complete without a slice of Hideaway pizza or a hamburger from Freddie Paul’s — both of which are available at the Cowboy Corral.

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