Page 14 - Senior Link Magazine Winter 2021- Online Magazine
P. 14


         Happy                         50               th


                                                        Raider Red!

                                                     by Bruce Bills

                                                     (now wife), Dinah, used        Former Saddle Tramps Jim Douglass
                                                     papier-mâché, chicken          and Jim Gaspard get their guns up at
                                                     wire, old leather shoulder     Raider Red's birthday party.
                                                     pads, and boots from the
                                                     Salvation Army to bring
                                                     Texas Tech's first costumed
            One of the early papier-mâché masks,
            created by Jim Gaspard in 1971.          mascot to life. He was
                                                     inspired by the drawings of
                t Texas Tech, we are                 the late Dirk West, who was
                fortunate to have not one,    providing cartoons for the Lubbock
         Abut two beloved mascots.            Avalanche Journal at the time. West
          The Masked Rider officially debuted   had a character named Ol’ Red who
          January 1, 1954, when Joe Kirk      looked a little like Yosemite Sam.
          Fulton, wearing a black cape and    Fortunately for Tech fans, Gaspard
          hat, led the team onto the field to   felt compelled to bring Ol’ Red to
          play Auburn in the Gator Bowl,      life and give him the name Raider
          which the underdog Red Raiders      Red. West adopted the name for      Today, Raider Red is also a public
          won 35 - 13.                        his character as well, and the West
                                                              family later        relations mascot who shakes hands
          Before the 1971                                     donated all rights   with the crowds at athletic events
          football season, the                                to the character to   and happily poses for pictures. He
          Southwest Conference                                Texas Tech.         attends football games, men's and
          passed a rule which                                                     women's basketball games, women's
          prohibited live animal                              Although the        volleyball, as well as men's baseball.
          mascots at out-of-town                              cartoons of Raider   Raider Red makes appearances at
          games, preventing                                   Red were familiar   Texas Tech tennis matches, softball
          the Masked Rider                                    to Techsans, it     and soccer games, and countless
          from representing the                               was Gaspard,        Lubbock community events.
          university at away                                  who breathed        Prior to 2005, only members of the
          games.                                              life into the
                                                              two-dimensional     Saddle Tramps were able to serve as
          That fall, Jim Gaspard,                             personality and     Raider Red. In 2005, the Center for
          a member of the male                                gave Texas Tech a   Campus Life formed a partnership
          spirit organization,                                colorful character   with the Saddle Tramps and
          Saddle Tramps,                                      who embodied        extended the privilege to the High
          created the Raider Red                              the school’s        Riders, a female spirit organization.
          character in his dorm                               enthusiastic spirit   Center for Campus Life and these
          room at Clement Hall.                               at all away and     two spirit organizations combine
          He and his girlfriend                               home games.         efforts in maintaining Raider Red.

      14   Lubbock Senior Link
   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19