Today’s post comes from Crystal Bay.
In the late 50s, the U of M commissioned Dad to create their mascot, Goldie Gopher. He had no idea what a gopher looked like, so on his way from our hometown, Ames, he saw some critters scurrying around the border of Minnesota and Iowa. He got out of his car and madly scribbled drawings on a sketch pad.
He was in his 80s when my 20-year old son asked him, “Did you really design Goldie Gopher?” Then, for the first time, the story came out. Yes, Dad created him – but – not knowing the difference between a gopher and a chipmunk, he made a hybrid of the two. He drew a chipmunk body and slapped some big front teeth on the model.
To this day, Goldie Gopher remains a gophermunk. His original sketch is pictured below this post . My son wrote up the story and it headlined in the Minnesota Daily. Just think – he got away with this for more than half of a century. You’ll never look at him the same way again now.
How do you think sports mascots make a difference to a team? What teams do you follow, and why? Know any good gopher, squirrel, or chipmunk stories?