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Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: The Clarksdale Tent

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The Tailgating Traditions of The Clarksdale Tent 
An Interview with Rhodes Shaffett and Georgia Antici by HottyToddy.com
Enjoy the thirteenth 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!)

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screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-1-20-11-pmHottyToddy.com: The Clarksdale Tent has been tailgating for a long time, tell us about the history? 

Rhodes Shaffett: Most of us started tailgating when you were allowed to drive your cars into the Grove and pop the trunk and set your tailgate up with silver and fine china and fold out tables and chairs. The Clarksdale Tent was started around 15 years ago. We have had members retire from tailgating and have gained new members over the years, whose children have started attending ole miss. We have always been the HOME tent for all of the kids. They know they can always feel at home and leave full.

HottyToddy.com: Outsiders often refer to it as the Clarksdale Tent, but is there another official name? Where did the name come from? 

Rhodes Shaffett: Yes, we call our tent Dixieland! Nan and Wayne Antici came up with the name because Wayne loved Elvis and when he would sing Dixie, and we all love Dixie, too. So, that is how the name came about.

HottyToddy.com: Who are the regular participants in the tent?

Rhodes Shaffett: Anticis, Bennetts, Lotts, Kornegays, Fratesies, Shaffetts

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

Rhodes Shaffett: We are on Lucas Lane. 

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

Rhodes Shaffett: Some parents as well as our children have attended Ole Miss. We all have a connection with Ole Miss, and we even have an LSU tiger who has joined the Rebel family through marriage and through his children attending Ole Miss.

HottyToddy.com: What is the game-day menu, typically at the Clarksdale tent?

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-1-20-51-pmRhodes Shaffett: Lots of good, good food!! We meet in the summer and coordinate the menu and it just takes off from there. We always have the best food. Usually the only thing that isn’t made by us is the chicken. We have had everything from whole hogs, grits and grillades, pickled shrimp, shrimp and grits, kibbie, hot tamales, chili, and even chicken kabobs, we use a griddle that we cook sliders, hot sausage po’ boys, and even bacon and pancakes on early games. We have even been known to bring out the hurricane fountain, and it is always a hit. 

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

Rhodes Shaffett: The day 30 bachelors ranging in age from 30 to 65 from New York came to the Grove to celebrate the last of them to get married. They had always heard about the Grove and how you dress, and they were all in blazers, ties and slacks.. They were amazed at our hospitality and food and were amazed that even though we lost we were still partying. 

HottyToddy.com: What about any other memorable moment? 

Rhodes Shaffett: There are too many to count! We have celebrated everything from 60-year-old birthdays to a 2-year-old birthday with engagements and lots of fun times in between. Sorority and fraternity pledgeships, and almost anything if it involves celebrating!!!

HottyToddy.com: Your permanent residence (and the other regulars) is where?

Rhodes Shaffett: Clarksdale, Mississippi

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

Rhodes Shaffett: Yes, a few members do

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

Rhodes Shaffett: We would love for the university to allow grills.

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

Rhodes Shaffett: We start getting game day ready on at least Wednesday of that week

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

Rhodes Shaffett: We meet in the summer and that is when we get our game plan. Each home game the list rotates to another member; so, you are never in charge of bringing the same type food more than once.

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

Rhodes Shaffett: We absolutely love the friendships and lifelong friends our children have made at Ole Miss. And we love knowing that all of the kids know they are always welcomed at our tent. We look forward to being together with our tailgating family for each game and enjoy this special time we have with our children. We have also enjoyed meeting other Rebel fans and even our visitors.screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-1-19-31-pm screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-1-20-30-pm

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

Week 11: Ole Miss Tailgating Traditions: “Our 10 Acres of Heaven” Tent

Week 12: Ole Miss Tailgating Takes The Stress Out Of Filling Your Tent on Gameday

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

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