Wear in the World
By Grigor Hasted
We have initiated a regular feature in this publication called “Wear in the World Is Hillsdale?” The idea is for alumni to share interesting photos of themselves wearing their Hillsdale gear. Traveling in a Hillsdale shirt or cap not only advertises our alma mater, but can lead to unexpected connections and adventures.
Recently my good friend Dave Plagman, ’68, shared a story that makes the point:
“After attending Donald Trump’s inauguration, I spent a couple of days in Reston, Virginia, with ATO brother Jim Wells, ’70, and his lovely wife Sarah. To avoid traffic, Jim suggested that I take Washington’s Metro to Reagan National Airport for my flight back to Cleveland.
“I was wearing a royal blue cap with a white block ‘H’ in front when a gentleman named Jim Hoskins sat down next to me. After small talk, he asked me what the ‘H’ stood for, and I told him Hillsdale College. He smiled and said that he greatly admired Hillsdale, and that he was a longtime Imprimis subscriber. I asked him where he went to college and he said Auburn University. I replied, ‘War Eagle,’ and we became fast friends.
“Jim asked me if Hillsdale had a football team and I regaled him with the story of our 126-year gridiron history. Jim, it turns out, is a huge college football and Auburn Tigers fan, and I mentioned that a major item on my bucket list was to attend the Iron Bowl—the annual showdown between Auburn and Alabama. Jim said that he could get me a ticket and would be in touch.
“I received an e-mail from Jim in September, saying that he had two tickets for me and that I would be staying with him and his family at their condo on campus. I immediately called former Hillsdale quarterback Ron Pichan, ’69, in Athens, Georgia, and offered him the second ticket. He was ecstatic and agreed to pick me up at the Atlanta airport on Thanksgiving morning for the drive to Auburn.
“On the morning of the game, we began tailgating early and took in a number of Auburn football traditions, including the Tiger Walk, Spirit March, and a huge pep rally. We also met Auburn legends Bo Jackson and Charles Barkley, who couldn’t have been nicer to us.”
“Our tickets were on the 50-yard line behind the Auburn bench, the weather was perfect for football, and the game was exciting with the Tigers prevailing, 26-14.”
“Before my flight back on Monday I visited the new College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. As you enter the Hall, you see a ten-story wall that claims to contain the helmet of every college football team in the nation. I told the guide, ‘You better have a Hillsdale College Charger helmet on that wall!’—and in a matter of seconds, a spotlight appeared focusing on a royal blue helmet with white lightning bolts. The highlight of my visit was a kiosk featuring the career of Hillsdale’s beloved coach Frank ‘Muddy’ Waters, who was inducted into the Hall in 2000.”
And all this because Dave made a point of wearing his Hillsdale cap on the Washington Metro!
Printed in the Spring 2018 Alumni Magazine