[Alli-]Gators everywhere but not a swamp in sight! – Tola Adenle

The Climax of an early morning visit to Elizade University as Postscript

Whenever I read of Gators [alumni of the University of Florida who always send pictures) meeting in the most unlikely places on earth in the Gator Nation, I always wonder if my husband would ever be lucky to have such an occasion to share with somebody a bit of that Gainesville, Florida reunion of sorts.

Florida was not only an educational milestone for my husband, it was a personal milestone: we had our first child there in the fall of 1970, and I have fond memories of pleasant experiences and associations from our stay: attending political and other rallies at the Plaza of the Americas [the college’s Quadrangle] with my baby in a stroller.

In 1971, I attended Late Senator George McGovern’s stop in his quest for the presidency of the U.S.; Late super-Hippie, Abbie Hoffman anti-[Vietnam] stop, Mohammed Alli’s rally in his anti-war I got no fight with them Viet Congs days, etcetera. Those were heady vcivil rights & anti-war days!

Well, sooner or later, my own you-are-a-Gator[!} happened and it was only right that the Principal Gator, my Significant Other and I were together as almost always happens on our incredible journey of love and companionship of over four decades.

Just as we were waiting for the person to conduct us round most of the 18 – no, we got rides – we saw this guy in shorts, a sweater to ward off the slight morning chill, flip flops MARCHING in with his troops; could not be from anywhere else but the U.S.A. He gave us our guide and as his troop stood by, I asked where he’s from: Palm Beach, Florida.

“We lived in Florida; Depo attended the University of Florida, had our first child there” I said as his troop got impatient and one called Scottie Spara to hurry for the maintenance run of the Golf Course. Scottie merely waived them off while we spent several minutes reminiscing: he was there during the Ted Bundy (serial killer) days and attended two “execution nights” that did not happen and on the third attempt, he stayed away – thank God, I said as I’m opposed to an eye for an eye; how he had his first Gator far-away places reunion at a Chinese movie theatre during one of his I-know-golf-course-construction-&-maintenance-will-travel-anywhere in China.

Our reunion with a Gator who was in Gainesville decades after us was the climax of a particularly pleasurable morning. We did the “swamp” – have you ever seen an alligator (very common in the Florida Everglades} chump on a catch! Uf’’s perennial high-achieving football has been chumping on competitors for generations.

Okay, my husband and I have nothing to show the Gator Nation of this incredible reunion; but Scottie is only 11 miles from where we are. We’ll bring a copy of The Gator Nation from our Ibadan home down to Ondo State and have someone photograph us with Scottie in the next month.

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