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  1. I am a student recruiter and the story that I have always heard and I now tell to prospective students is about Langdon Hall and a telegraph machine.

    The story goes…..

    Years ago before there were radios, televisions or ways for the Auburn family to travel to see games there would be someone who sat in Langdon Hall every time the Tigers played with a telegraph machine. He would receive messages from someone at the game about how things were going and he would take those messages out to the Toomers Trees and hang them there. The Auburn Family would go to the tree and read how the team was doing. Then if Auburn won everyone would come to the street corner to celebrate and there would be these pieces of paper all over the tree. We decided to leave the paper there and people who came through town started to realize that if there was paper in the tree then Auburn won their game. When we no longer needed telegraph messages to know how the team was doing they say that the Auburn Family still liked the idea of having paper in our trees to show everyone that we won so we replaced the telegraph paper with toilet paper and a tradition was born.

  2. Thanks Katherine — yes, I’ve heard that. It’s definitely a cool story and something along those lines may, in deed, have happened. But I’m fairly certain that at least in regards to explaining the current practice of rolling the corner with toilet paper, it’s by and large apocryphal, especially given the toilet paper-less accounts of students like Allen Jones and townsfolk like Mr. Davis. But you never know…

  3. The football preview issue of Sports Illustrated (with Jimmy Sidle on the cover) 9/21/64 wrote a detailed report about victory celebrations at Toomer’s corner with no mention of toilet paper.

    The ’71 photo, based on dress, is from the Georgia game in November. There was a celebration with toilet paper, as I recall, after the 10-9Tennessee game (The Drive) in September.

  4. The weird thing about that picture is that my college roommate is driving the car in the background. His face is too blurred to make out, but his rusted-out ’66 Mustang is unmistakable.

  5. As a freshman in 1968, I recall toomer’s corner celebrations when AU won any away game. the tradition is older than 1968. (BTW hard to believe a 66 mustang would have been rusted out by 1971).

  6. I grew up in Auburn, and the first Toomer’s rolling I remember participating in was the 17-16 game. I was 10 years old, and my neighborhood buddies and I were playing football in the front yard, having given up on the game a while back, with no TV to hold our interest. Suddenly, Mama came hurtling out the front door announcing the first blocked punt, and we ran back inside and listened in wonder to the final minutes. My best friend’s dad drove us in the back of his pickup to within walking range of Toomer’s, and we made our way to the back counter at J&M, where they were handing out orange and blue tempera paint and brushes to anyone who asked. Then we went wild painting the town orange and blue, went back to J&M repeatedly, watched the students go crazy and generally had a as big a time as a bunch of 10- and 11-year-olds could ever have.
    I do remember, though, that Toomer’s celebrations were reserved for away game victories only, and rolling it after every win wasn’t something that began until the late 80s or early 90s.
    But nothing, not even the crazy celebration in ’82 after ‘Bo Over the Top,’ can top the first time I went, when students painted ‘Buck Fama’—the outline remained for years—while hanging from the top of the Auburn National Bank building, small cars were turned around in the right of way, and anything that wasn’t moving fast got coated in orange and blue or draped with toilet paper.
    That being said, however, the way the tradition has developed is a wonderful part of what makes Auburn football so special. BTW—The palm trees outside our motel room in north Phoenix got a good draping this past January 10. We bought our TP 6-pack beforehand, knowing for sure we would need it. WDE.

  7. My roommate was from Philadelphia. The salt used on the road in the winter caused the rust which can be seen in the photo on the lower door and rear fender.

  8. Dan actually makes an interesting point … that Toomer’s was only rolled after away games. I actually think the distinction was bigger than that.

    When I was a little guy, it was told to me that the tradition was that you rolled Toomer’s only after beating Alabama. The first time I know of that Toomer’s was rolled after a home game was December 2, 1989. I don’t remember it being rolled after a non-Alabama home game until some time around 1993-94. It certainly could have happened earlier, but I think it must have either been the ’93 Florida game or the ’94 LSU game. By the time I was a freshman in Camp War Eagle in 2001, the camp counselors were telling Katherine’s story.

    One thing I will say is that my brother was born in 1970, and had a children’s book that told about the various traditions of Auburn and Alabama. There was a page on what the fans of both school did to celebrate on campus after a win. If I remember correctly, for Alabama, it claimed they drove down University yelling “Honk if you love Bama!” and honking car horns; for Auburn fans it was rolling Toomer’s corner after a big win. I believe that book pre-dated my brother, so it must have been published some time in the 1960s.

    I once mentioned something to my parents about the story with Henley and the tradition starting after the 17-16 game, but they distinctly recalled that while they were of college age (although not at Auburn) from ~1963-1968, folks used go and roll Toomer’s. I definitely think it started earlier.

    This is similar to a few other such stories … a lot of folks have come to believe Dec. 2, 1989 was the first Tiger Walk, but the origins were in the 1960s and became officially endorsed when Barfield became head coach.

  9. I grew up in Auburn and I do remember the 17-16 rolling – but since it was a given that we were heading to Toomer’s after the game, I know that it was going on for a while. I remember going to Toomer’s for that game because my father (who was a professor at Auburn at the time) had told his class on Friday that Auburn was going to win the game and that the score would be … 17-16. While we were celebrating at Toomer’s, my mother who was home with my little sister received a call from B’ham from one of dad’s students – who was trying to get in touch with Dad to tell him that he had gotten the score right.

  10. I was a Freshman in 1964 and saw nor heard of any rolling of Toomer’s corner that year, yet the following year of 1965, I not only heard of it, but witnessed it. Don’t remember the game though. We didn’t have a very good team in the mid-60’s. But to say that it all started in 1972 is blatantly false.

  11. Oh, and by the way, I did not take part in the TP-ing, because I remember thinking that I couldn’t believe college students would do something so reminiscent of my Jr. High days. To this day, it embarrasses me to think that all our students can think of as a celebration is to toss bu– wipe over a tree and light pole. Maybe they should rig a huge guillotine, drag it to the center of Toomer’s corner and have a celebration of beheading a replica of the losing team’s mascot, then hang it on a pole, collecting them as the season goes along…. ?

  12. I started at Auburn in the fall of ’73 and remember distinctly that the trees were rolled after an away-game victory to welcome everybody back.

  13. I am an Auburn Alum with more than just a degree and a good time to show for my time on the plains. My father, Jay Casey, not only played on the 1972 team but was such good friends with Terry Henley that Terry gave the eulogy at my father’s funeral in 2003. I have heard my fair share of stories from my dad as well as Henley throughout the years. I know that Toomer’s was rolled prior to December 2, 1972, but I believe that what was a spirited celebration became a long lived tradition as a result of Terry Henley and his witty remarks to pump his team up and lead them to one of the most storied victories on the plains! War Eagle!

  14. I was at Auburn from ’68 to ’73 (best years of my life). I do remember TP at Toomer’s Corner during my time there. But I also remember an away win (Tennessee in ’71 I think). When the game was over several hundred of us went to Toomer’s Corner and there was TP thrown. But there was also a lot of blue and orange paint. The celebration stopped traffic on College Street and it so happened that a Greyhound bus was stuck in the intersection. When that bus finally pulled away it completely covered in blue and orange.

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