68.4 F
Oxford

Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: “Our 10 Acres of Heaven” Tent

topstoryhottytoddytailgating traditions2-01

The Tailgating Traditions of “Our 10 Acres of Heaven” Tent 
An Interview with RJ and Kristen Farrell, Derek Farrell and Brian “Petey” Siddall by HottyToddy.com
Enjoy the eleventh in our series of Tailgating Traditions articles sponsored by Ole Miss Tailgating where you can even order Raising Cane’s® and Chick-fil-A® for your Grove Tent! (Click the Ole Miss Tailgating logo below to see the menu and order!)

tailgate billboard 176x512img_4523HottyToddy.com: The “Our 10 Acres of Heaven” tent has been tailgating for a long time, tell us about the history?

Brian “Petey” Siddall: Back in 2002, Scott Siddall, my older brother, and a group of friends who were freshmen at Ole Miss decided to get a Grove group going. They set out and bought a crummy green and white striped canopy tent. These weren’t the nice popup tents that everyone has today. This thing was a Coleman canopy tent with individual poles that staked into the ground. The thin canopy of the tent was then thrown over the poorly manufactured skeleton and a shelter amongst the trees and grass was born. Originally, there were just a few people that did this, and it was a place to sit around and drink on Saturdays before and after the games. There was very little food back then, if any. Mostly, it was a plethora of coolers with makeshift clasps and locks (to keep the thieves out). No tent setup companies were hired. The members of the Group that weren’t already on the Square all rushed the Grove every Friday night to make sure they got our spot. They decided to start making this thing bigger and bigger. The quality of tents improved. The number of chairs and tables increased, and the group grew. Eventually, we started bringing a Satellite dish and a TV. When Scott left Ole Miss in 2006, he started sharing duties with me, his younger brother. I was still in school at Ole Miss and would go on to stay in Oxford until 2010. Scott and I, along with original member John White, first brought on the tailgating specialists, SEVENSOUTH TAILGATING in 2012 to help with the weekend setup as the members of the group slowly started to move away from Oxford. I oversaw the operations of the group before stepping down in 2014. RJ & Derek Farrell and RJ’s wife Kristen eagerly took up the reigns, and they have run the group since. This brief summary doesn’t begin to paint the picture of the trials, efforts, struggles and joy that were expressed in the past 14 years. You could dedicate an entire issue of a magazine to the complete story.

HottyToddy.com: Where did the name “Our 10 Acres of Heaven” come from?

Brian “Petey” Siddall: Scott toyed with different names before finally landing on “Our Ten Acres of Heaven” representing the 10 acres of the primary Grove at Ole Miss. It was our retreat on weekends. It was the greatest tailgating spot in College Football. Our Ten Acres of Heaven.

HottyToddy.com: Who are the regular participants in the Our 10 Acres of Heaven tent?

Kristen Farrell: Our 10 Acres of Heaven has 23 members, compromised of family and friends.

HottyToddy.com: Where is the location of your tent, and how did you select it?

Brian “Petey” Siddall: The location of our tent was decided first and foremost. The idea was to get a spot that was easily accessible from University Avenue but also located INSIDE the Grove on one of the walking lanes. Back then we just called it the Blue Lane. Then it became Alumni Lane and now it is known as McAllister Lane. We have pretty much been in the same spot for 14 years.

HottyToddy.com: What is your history with Ole Miss (in general) as well as the other principals?

Derek Farrell: Most everyone in the tailgate either attended Ole Miss or has an affiliation with the school through family or significant others. We certainly welcome supporters of other fan bases, but HYDR! Will always be in the majority at “Our 10 Acres of Heaven”, no doubt.

HottyToddy.com: What is the game-day menu, typically at the “Our 10 Acres of Heaven” tent?

Kristen Farrell: I send a Grove email out on the Monday of each home game week regarding our menu, mainly to make sure some of our single bachelors aren’t showing up with bags of candy or the same cheese mold two weeks in a row. We strive to have a variety. We generally have veggie trays, chicken wings, sausage and cheese plates, sandwiches, pizza (from those same single bachelors!), Connie’s biscuits for the morning games and for dessert, R & R cookies! I have Type 1 Diabetes, and there are other members of our group who are vegetarian, so we try to make our tent appeal to everyone. No one goes hungry in Our 10 Acres of Heaven!

HottyToddy.com: Describe the most humorous incident that comes to mind?

Kristen Farrell: We have a member of our tent, Will, who is a die hard Ole Miss fan. He bleeds red and blue. Will loves to start the “Are You Ready” cheer. We actually had to limit Will each home game from his average of 30 “Are You Ready” cheers, to two. One when he arrives, and one when everyone heads to the game. It is always so much fun when Will arrives.

HottyToddy.com: What about any other memorable moment?

Kristen Farrell: RJ proposed to me in 2014 in front of the Lyceum before the Ole Miss vs. Alabama game. We still have a piece of the goal post on a shelf in our home.

Brian Siddall: Two things come to my mind when I think about memorable moments and funny enough they were both on days in which we lost. First, was Wake Forest weekend 2006. Rain was pouring out of the sky, and the blue lane had become a mud slick. For no reason, people just started running at the top of the hill and belly flopping into the earthen slip ‘n slide and barreling into the puddle of muddy water in the recess near the sidewalk on University Avenue. Students in suits and ties, girls in cocktail dresses. You name it… everyone was getting in on the action. The second memory I have is walking back from the Jacksonville State game in 2010. It was the first game of the season, and there were a lot of people in the Grove. We had left the game early because the Rebels were winning in convincing fashion and we had to get back to make sure the tent was prepared for the onslaught of fans heading back after the game. We got back to the tent to see that Jax State had come roaring back. We had started having a TV and Satellite a couple of years before, but there still weren’t as many TV’s in the Grove as there are now. There were at least 50 people huddled inside our tent watching in horror at what was happening inside the Vaught. I will never forget what I felt that day.

R.J. Farrell: I would have to agree with my wife on the most memorable moment. It is not just that we were engaged in front of the most symbolic building on campus, but we beat Alabama in a very exciting game. Derek was the only person I told I was proposing to Kristen that morning at the Lyceum because I wanted him to take pictures, whether she said “yes” or “no”. I was so nervous that morning, I got hyped up on coffee and could barely wait to get her in front of the Lyceum. Long story short… I texted Derek and told him we were walking there, and of course, he was nowhere close, he took off, and he barely got there in time to take the pictures.

Derek Farrell: During the Arkansas weekend of 2015, one of the many memorable moments at our tailgate was the visit by our Athletics Director, Ross Bjork. One of the guys in our tailgate, Trey, tweeted to Ross earlier that morning inviting him to come see “Our 10 Acres of Heaven”. Sure enough, a few hours later, Ross showed up in person to visit with our group. It was exciting to meet with him, discuss the passion of Rebel Nation, and share our tailgate with the leader of the program.
HottyToddy.com: Your permanent residence (and the other regulars) is where?

Kristen Farrell: My husband and I live in Oxford with our son, Koby. We have friends who tailgate with us from Houston, Texas and Baltimore, Maryland on a regular basis. Most others travel from Tupelo, Mississippi, Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.

HottyToddy.com: Do any of you have second homes in Oxford?

Kristen Farrell: I think our home is everyone’s second home!

HottyToddy.com: Your view on the rules and regulations for setting up
tents on Game Day? (if applicable)

Kristen Farrell: As long as our tent and TV is set up and hung by our designated tree, I’m happy!

R.J. Farrell: I am a fan of the rules and regulations for tent set up on game day. The school works hard to keep Ole Miss Alumni and other passionate Ole Miss fans in the Grove. They have changed things over the years, but all decisions seem to have worked out well.

HottyToddy.com: If Ole Miss were to change anything about the tailgating experience, what would you recommend?

R.J. Farrell: It may sound cliché, but I wouldn’t change a thing. The Grove is the greatest place on earth on Saturday fall mornings.

HottyToddy.com: How early in the week do you start preparing for the Saturday event?

Kristen Farrell: I start prepping right after the football game ends. I take the tablecloths, chandelier, paintings and décor home and make sure that everything is washed and the dust is cleared. We have to have everything looking nice for the next home football game!

HottyToddy.com: How do you divide the duties among the participants?

Kristen Farrell: We have friends who travel from all over, so the last thing they need to worry about it setting up the tent. SevenSouth Tailgating does a great job with making sure our tent, tables, chairs and TV is set up and working. I love to decorate, so I get my husband and son up as early as possible on Saturday morning to head to the Grove to set up all the décor. Everyone has the same duty, bring food and enjoy the beautiful grove.

HottyToddy.com: What is your zenith enjoyment from all of this work?

R.J. Farrell: I love the Grove when we get there early, and most of the people have not gotten there yet. It’s nice to sit there, watch College Gameday and drink a cup of coffee.

Kristen Farrell: I have met some truly amazing people in the Grove — some of whom were cheering for the opposing team and others who just wanted to experience all that Ole Miss and the Grove have to offer. Everyone we tailgate with knows that we all set up the tent to show hospitality to others. Our Ten Acres of Heaven never turns anyone away.

img_4528 img_4526 img_4524image7 image6 image5 image3 image3_1 image2 image2_1 image1 image1_2 image1_1

cookiescropped

image1-2


Enjoy our previous Tailgating Traditions Stories from this season!

Week 1: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: The Looser Family 

Week 2: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: “The Real Thing” Tent

Week 3: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: The “Zebra Tent”

Week 4: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: Jim’s Place In The Grove

Week 5: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: The Cossar Family Tent

Week 6: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: “Our Spot That Ever Calls” 

Week 7: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: Arizona Rebels

Week 8: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: The Bauer Family and “GAVY’s Gang” Tent

Week 9: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: “Tailgaters With Attitude” Tent

Week 10: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: The Tupelo Tent


Randall Haley is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at randall.haley@hottytoddy.com.

Follow HottyToddy.com on InstagramTwitter and Snapchat @hottytoddynews. Like its Facebook page: If You Love Oxford and Ole Miss…

Most Popular

Recent Comments

scamasdscamith on News Watch Ole Miss
Frances Phillips on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Grace Hudditon on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Millie Johnston on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Binary options + Bitcoin = $ 1643 per week: https://8000-usd-per-day.blogspot.com.tr?b=46 on Beta Upsilon Chi: A Christian Brotherhood
Jay Mitchell on Reflections: The Square
Terry Wilcox SFCV USA RET on Oxford's Five Guys Announces Opening Date
Stephanie on Throwback Summer
organized religion is mans downfall on VP of Palmer Home Devotes Life to Finding Homes for Children
Paige Williams on Boyer: Best 10 Books of 2018
Keith mansel on Cleveland On Medgar Evans
Sarah Blaker on