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Spy

Catcher How a novice FBI operative nabbed the most notorious double agent in U.S. history

War Eagle Supper Club: The shack that takes you back

No more Irons on the Tigers' gridiron


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DEPARTMENTS 02 From the Editor 06 College Street

Auburn Magazine mails to more than 47,000 Auburn Alumni Association members in the United States and around the globe.

16 Toomer’s Corner 18 Tiger Walk 41 Alumni Center 64 A Thousand Words

23 Lifetime Achievement Awards C. Harry Knowles ’51, Carl E. Mundy Jr. ’57, Tom Vaughan ’55 and the late Buddy Weaver ’62 are recipients of the Auburn Alumni Association’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Awards.

26 Spy Catcher

32 Hot Rock, Cold Beer

Now showing: “Breach,” a motion picture depicting AU alumnus Eric O’Neill’s efforts to catch the most notorious double agent in U.S. history. Robert Hanssen, a former FBI agent who sold classified information to the Russians for more than two decades, is now serving life in prison.

Expect no mercy from the infamous War Eagle Supper Club, once named to Playboy’s 100 best college bars list. The legendary juke joint has been serving AU students—and their parents and grandparents—for more than five decades.

42 Auburn Alumni Association Annual Report From raising student scholarships to sponsoring social and educational events, the Auburn Alumni Association is the go-to group for keeping AU grads involved with their alma mater.

Play the Aubie SpyQ game. Look for the icon throughout this issue, then go to www.aualum.org/magazine to test your knowlege about AU alumni who are connected with real or imagined intelligence operations.

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The Office of Alumni Affairs at Auburn University recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of AU graduates and friends through its annual Lifetime Achievement Awards program. The 2007 award recipients will be honored March 3 in Auburn. From serving in the U.S. military to educating teenagers, all four of this year’s winners began the journey toward career success at Auburn University. Two of the four seemed destined to follow specific career paths from their earliest days in college; another pair changed direction later in life. Yet according to a selection committee of AU administrators, trustees, faculty and alumni, the trait shared by each recipient was his degree of personal integrity, stature and service to the university. Read on for more about this year’s honorees: C. Harry Knowles ’51, Carl E. Mundy ’57, John Thomas Vaughan ’55 and the late Earl H. “Buddy” Weaver ’62.

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C. Harry Knowles Life’s work: Inventor and entrepreneur. Retired president and chief executive officer of Metrologic Instruments Inc., which he founded in 1968. The $140 million New Jersey-based company helped revolutionize the retail and logistics industries by developing more than 100 patented bar-code scanning technologies. At home: Lives with wife Janet in Moorestown, N.J. Enjoys listening to Mozart, flying planes, sailing, photography and astronomy. At Auburn: After a two-year hitch in the U.S. Marine Corps, received a bachelor’s degree in physics. Editor of the Glomerata, vice president of the Student Government Association and a varsity wrestler.

Auburn on his mind: “When I dream, I’m still at Auburn half the

time.” Endowed the Howard and Carolyn Carr Chair in Physics in honor of his faculty mentors; later established a foundation to help strengthen the teaching of high school science and mathematics in the United States.

Advice to students: “Kids wonder what to do with their lives. They say, ‘I want to make a lot of money.’ Get off that. That is so insignificant. Do what you want to do. Pour yourself into it, and you will live a very comfortable life. What are you going to do with a lot of money? You can’t eat it. You can’t sleep with it. You can’t buy happiness with it.” Life lesson: “What I learned to develop at Auburn was a passion for the truth and a passion for understanding the underlying factors that drive any situation. The whole

question of ‘What is truth?’ became very, very important during my time at Auburn.”

Carl E. Mundy Jr. and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Received a Purple Heart for service in the Vietnam War.

At home: He and wife Linda divide time between homes in Mount Vernon, Va., and Cashiers, N.C. Three children, seven grandchildren.

At Auburn: Majored in business administration. Member of Phi Kappa Tau and various campus military organizations, including U.S. Navy ROTC. Commanded the rifle team.

Life’s work: Enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at 18 and rose to four-star general, commandant S pring 2007

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Auburn memory: Former AU quarterback Vince Dooley served as an assistant coach and platoon leader for Mundy’s Marine Reserve unit on campus. The pair became fast friends. “There was a spirit at Auburn that said much to me about loyalty to an institution, which is very much a part of being a Marine.”

Definition of success: “I’d just like to be remembered as a good Marine.”

Advice to students: “Focus on the job until the finish line.” Retirement duties: Serves on the U.S. Comptroller General’s board of advisors; serves on the boards of General Dynamics Corp. and Schering-Plough Corp.; and is a trustee for Nations Funds. Served four years as president and CEO of United Service Organizations, which provides morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. Life lessons: “The Southern values I grew up with—patriotism, if you choose to call it that, loyalty to friendship, honesty: All those things were manifest at Auburn. Those four years helped me form and reinforce my own views of the future.”


John Thomas Vaughan At home: Lives in Auburn with wife Ethel Sell. Three children, four grandchildren.

At Auburn: Graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine in 1955; received a master’s degree in 1963. Spent most of his professional life at AU, including 19 years as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

After graduation: Taught veterinary medicine at Auburn through 1970, when he was recruited by Cornell University to lead its large-animal hospital. Four years later, returned to AU as head of the Department of Large-Animal Medicine and Surgery. Retired as dean in 1995.

Favorite Auburn memory: “Sheep Life’s work: Equine surgeon, veterinary medicine authority and educator.

were a passing fancy, and nobody had seen a llama outside the zoo. However, mules were in abundance. ... Occasional excitement would

occur when a bull would break loose. A chase would ensue, with the escapee being caught by fair means or foul, either on main campus or on the outskirts of town.”

On career success: “A professional career can be likened to an hourglass—wide at the beginning, narrow in the middle and wide again at the end. Starting pursuit of a career with many choices, we have to decide to concentrate our energies on one vocation. That attained, the world of possibilities opens up again, if you let it.”

Advice to students: “In your plans, include some space for contingencies. Every budget, strategic plan and investment strategy provides for the unexpected. Then pursue your dream with dogged determination, and don’t be daunted by sidetracks.”

Earl H. “Buddy” Weaver Life’s work: Timberland developer and lifelong educator. At home: Born in Brewton on Oct. 22, 1938, and died there Sept. 27. Married to Sandra Huxford for 45 years. Two daughters, five grandchildren.

At Auburn: Played in the marching band and earned a bachelor of science degree in education in 1962; completed master’s and doctoral degrees in education in 1964 and 1978, respectively.

After graduation: Spent 17 years with Escambia County School System, retiring in 1979 as assistant superintendent of education. Later established Earl H. Weaver Management Services, a timberland development company.

Favorite Auburn memory: Weaver was a bemused observer of a

singularly odd campus fad of the 1950s and early ’60s: the panty raid. “They were fun—you could hear the roar all across campus,” says Sandra Weaver of the events, in which male students would steal women’s lingerie from the female dorms.

Definition of success: “No person epitomized the Auburn Creed better than Buddy,” says AU athletic director Jay Jacobs. Weaver preferred “behind-the-scenes” roles, adds Sandra Weaver.

Advice to students: “He’d tell them to continue your education and do the best you can, and then give back to your school, town, community,” says Sandra Weaver. Upon retirement: Served as president of both the Auburn Alumni Association (1983-85) and the Auburn University Foundation (1994-02). Put his business on

hold in 1994 to serve a year as AU’s interim vice president for alumni and development. Co-chaired the $500 million “It Begins at Auburn” campaign. Auburn Magazine

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By David Morrison/Photography by Michael Williamson

A newly minted college graduate accepts an entry-level job in FBI counterintelligence. Within a span of five years, he helps capture a dangerous mole, falls in love and gives up a promising career as a spook to practice law— then sells his story to Hollywood. This spring, “Breach,” a thriller detailing Auburn University alumnus Eric O’Neill’s role in building an airtight espionage case against the most damaging double agent in U.S. history, will give film audiences around the globe a chance to witness the young sleuth’s adventures in spy catching.

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S Sitting in a Washington, D.C., brewery nursing his second beer, Eric O’Neill ’95

shares trade secrets gathered during his dramatic, if brief, employment with the nation’s chief crime-stopping agency. The restaurant’s balcony, he gestures with a nod, is a perfect vantage point from which to spot shadowy foreign agents, suspected terrorists and other elusive characters. “Three mistakes people make: They don’t look in front of them; they don’t look up; and they aren’t aware of the technology you use against them,” he says.

Five years since he quit the FBI, O’Neill’s brain still plays spot-the-spy. His opponents try to make themselves invisible, but he knows they’re there.

“I’m always looking around, always looking up, always aware of my surroundings. When you’ve followed people for a living, you get infected with that paranoia,” says the 33-year-old intelligence agent-turned-attorney. “I love undercover work, and that’s where I thrive. I was actually incredibly good at it.” As O’Neill talks, he breaks the first rule of spying: Never let others know your true self. Spring 2007

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The assignment After graduating from AU with a dual major in psychology and political science 12 years ago, O’Neill applied for a bureau job. At 22, he was too young to be hired as a special agent—but an engaging smile and confident demeanor helped him garner a post within the FBI’s special surveillance group known as the “G’s.” The G’s can’t arrest alleged criminals or carry firearms, but are pegged to gather intelligence about and evidence against suspected spies and terrorists operating on U.S. soil. If a G does the job right, a bad guy never suspects he is the target of an FBI investigation. “They’re picked not to be as boring and dull and clean-cut as FBI agents,” says Elaine Shannon, national security correspondent for Time magazine. “They’re picked to blend into the population.” G’s are assigned codenames to protect their identities; O’Neill, who stood on a table and howled with joy after completing his yearlong training period, was dubbed “Werewolf.” Eventually, the bureau sicced its dog on a 25-year FBI veteran believed to be a mole for the Soviet KGB and Russian SVR intelligence agencies. O’Neill’s assignment: to work directly under suspect Robert Philip Hanssen, watching, waiting and gathering evidence that would prove his boss was a traitor.

Fresh from Auburn University, Eric O’Neill ’95 took a job with the FBI—and soon began spying on his boss


The chase The son of a U.S. Naval Academy alumnus, O’Neill grew up in the Washington suburbs expecting to follow his father to Annapolis, Md. He enrolled at AU for a year to muscle up academically—but instead of transferring, he pledged Theta Xi, chucked ROTC and aerospace engineering studies, and graduated with a near-perfect grade-point average in three and a half years. In addition to his studies in the College of Liberal Arts, O’Neill accidentally learned how to repair and rebuild computers: Once, as a prank, a pair of AU classmates fieldstripped his hard drive, leaving a pile of components and a “good luck” note. O’Neill’s computer finesse would come in handy years later, when the novice investigator was pegged to track the most dangerous suspect of his career. As part of the FBI’s plan to trap the alleged mole, agents put Hanssen in charge of supervising a software-building team within the bureau. O’Neill was Hanssen’s first—and only—employee. In addition to O’Neill’s knack for technology, federal investigators thought he had a good shot at gaining Hanssen’s trust: O’Neill was a law student, as was Hanssen’s son; both men had married young; and, importantly, both were Roman Catholics (Hanssen was a member of the conservative sect Opus Dei). The two were paired in a small office at the FBI’s headquarters in the J. Edgar Hoover Building at 935 Pennsylvania Ave. Immediately, Hanssen appeared suspicious. “The whole time I was with him, it was constant tests, mind games, messing with me, invading my personal space, and doing everything to keep me off balance and see if I would slip up,” O’Neill recalls. “It was grueling.” Eventually, though, Hanssen began to open up. When O’Neill confided that he and his wife couldn’t afford to have a baby, Hanssen told him, “‘You have to find a way. God ordains that you have children.’ I think he was going to help me find that way,” O’Neill says. “I think he wanted to pass the torch to a new spy.” The “Werewolf” began looking for anything that would expose Hanssen’s secret Auburn Magazine

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life, which, officials learned, began as early as 1979 and went into high gear in 1985. For nearly two decades, the double agent—a father of six and devoutly religious man—betrayed the United States by selling its secrets to the Russians. According to case documents, Hanssen compromised the U.S. government’s contingency plans for nuclear war, revealed the existence of a spy tunnel built under the Russian embassy and betrayed three Russian agents recruited by the United States, two of whom were executed. He also hacked into government computers and stole classified information, including anti-surveillance software that the Russians subsequently offered to Osama bin Laden. As payment, Hanssen received cash and diamonds, which he squirreled away over the years in foreign bank accounts. The bureau began to suspect Hanssen in 2000, when a Russian intelligence informant delivered to the CIA materials about a double agent known as “Ramon” whose fingerprints appeared on a garbage bag containing secret U.S. documents. Also included: a tape-recorded phone conversation between “Ramon” and his KGB handler. The voice and the fingerprints belonged to Hanssen. But to make an espionage case stick, agents needed to catch him in the act. Enter O’Neill, who noticed that Spring 2007

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Hanssen was particularly loyal to his Palm Pilot and refused to let the bureau buy him a new one. Soon, O’Neill orchestrated a subterfuge to separate Hanssen from the device: He arranged to have one of Hanssen’s superiors challenge the suspected spy to an impromptu shooting match. Hanssen took the bait, leaving his briefcase behind in the office during the outing. O’Neill lifted the PDA, instructed technicians to copy its contents, then replaced it just as Hanssen returned. “It was pretty intense,” says O’Neill. “I did have kind of a sinking feeling in my stomach when I thought I might have put it back in the wrong pocket of his briefcase. I was scared I’d blown a multimilliondollar national security operation. I didn’t want to be the one who (messed) it up.” O’Neill’s hunch about Hanssen’s electronic diary was correct. Encrypted on the PDA was everything federal officials needed to convict Hanssen—including the details of his next exchange with the Russians.

Gone are the days of antique encoders — suspected spy Robert Hanssen kept incriminating evidence on his Palm Pilot. Eric O’Neill smuggled the contents of Hanssen’s PDA to help build the FBI’s case.

The spoils Eric O’Neill doesn’t come off as a self-promoting huckster, but he knows a good story when he lives one. Shortly after Hanssen’s conviction, O’Neill finished law school, left the FBI and began peddling his adventures in espionage to publishers and movie producers. After nu-


He could size you up in a second or two. It didn’t hurt that he was, like, 6 feet 3 inches (tall). He loved guns, and he always seemed to have one out.” Because “Breach” is a Hollywood retelling of the O’Neill-Hanssen story, there’s naturally a bit of poetic license. Some of the gunplay in the film didn’t actually happen, and, to an extent, the Eric O’Neill movie character is a composite of various FBI agents who also helped crack the case. Perhaps that’s fitting, considering international espionage is the stuff of legend anyway. In the idealized world of spy catching, the suave secret agent—witness James Bond— typically traps the bad guy and gets the beautiful girl, which isn’t so far from what happened to the real-life O’Neill.

The end Five years after his FBI stint, the 33year-old lawyer now pushes paper for the international firm of DLA Piper. His real-life Bond story probably won’t generate a sequel unless someone decides to make a movie about an attorney with a wife and kids who lives in the D.C. suburbs. O’Neill and Juliana—a Russianspeaking German with whom O’Neill coincidentally became involved prior to the Hanssen investigation and later married—plan to grow their family soon.

merous unsuccessful pitches, Universal Pictures agreed to make a film based on O’Neill’s life as a counterspy. “Breach” premieres in theaters this month, starring Academy Award winner Chris Cooper as Hanssen, Ryan Phillippe as O’Neill and Oscar nominee Laura Linney as O’Neill’s undercover supervisor. “Not too many people can say they’ve made a $50 million movie about themselves,” O’Neill says, exhibiting only slight hubris. As technical consultant and co-producer, the AU alumnus helped coach Cooper on how the real Hanssen

“would look at you with that penetrating stare and hold it for a heartbeat longer than was socially acceptable.” O’Neill also insisted that Phillippe dye his blond hair dark to match his own. The former inside man and his wife, Juliana, watched in awe as Phillippe and actress Caroline Dhavernas morphed into the couple’s mirror images. But the eeriest transformation was Cooper’s portrayal of Hanssen. “Hanssen could be really scary,” O’Neill recalls. “If he wanted to intimidate you, he knew exactly how to do it.

As for Hanssen, the former double agent is now serving a life sentence in prison. At the time of his boss’ arrest in February 2001, O’Neill was still working undercover and missed Hanssen’s reaction when the bureau revealed that the jig was up. Still, the “Werewolf” couldn’t resist a parting verbal shot at the man said to have pocketed $1.4 million for his work as a KGB mole. At the end of their last workweek together, O’Neill knew agents would be handcuffing Hanssen before the next business day. “Going out the door, Hanssen said, ‘I’ll see you on Monday,’” O’Neill recalls. “And I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll catch you later.’”

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The legendary War Eagle Supper Club still packs ’em in By Betsy Robertson Photography by Jeff Etheridge

Just past the witching hour on Friday night in Auburn, a rock band curiously named the Velcro Pygmies performs a slightly-less-thanear-splitting version of The Kinks’ 1964 hit “You Really Got Me” on a small stage before a throng of writhing fans. The lusty lead singer singles out a half-dozen women near the front of the crowd, doling out Blow Pops as party favors and indulging his freshly chosen harem in repartee fit for a porno film. A few patrons clutch plastic cups and wave flaming cigarette lighters meant to signal their devotion to the musicians. At the foot of the stage, front and center, a very tall man wears a cardboard Budweiser box on his head.

He is not a college student.

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The line to enter the War Eagle Supper Club, Auburn’s most famous honky-tonk, forms late, usually around 11:45 p.m., and trails past dented pick-ups and gleaming BMWs crammed side by side along a narrow dirt parking lot. A motley group of weekend-giddy AU students, 40-something barflies and boozing grandparents queue up after the bar has reached its 470person capacity, shivering in the December evening breeze, waiting for others to exit so they can enter. No one complains about the cold or the wait—because this place, a nondescript cement-block roadhouse just off Interstate 85 on South College Street, is arguably the hottest spot in town.

1979 b. f o r lu winte ind the c w, e h t eh in No llege r hom e b m istak e. o c o e t a a il for ably rn ed a tra ride I retu ved into was prob : studying g a Tellu n.” o t he nt din and m sight, thae im porta or atten as back t 0 d J r. ’8 In hin was m or ath class answer w ng er a w S rn vid A ub u which ate-level mwhat the —Da u d w no gra ? I k s ho w  

“When you play at the War Eagle Supper Club, you know you’re gonna have a crowd there … and they’re all gonna be having a good time,” says Auburn University agronomy and soils professor David Weaver, who performed at the club dozens of times during his 10-year stint as bass player and keyboardist for the Blues Healers and, later, the Tony Brook Band. “One night, one of the women patrons decided to get up on stage with us and take all of her clothes off—all of them,” recalls Weaver. “Of

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Some AU alumni continue to carry the War Eagle Supper Club membership card with pride.


Supper club owners in November removed dozens of T-shirts and posters from the ceiling after fire marshals deemed the decor a fire hazard. T he club auctioned much of its memorabilia as a fundraiser for the Lymphoma Society; the event paid homage to Susan Enkeboll, the club’s first female bartender, who died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in June.

course, they escorted her out. That was one of the crazier things I saw take place in there.”

“I left Auburn University with a diploma and a membership at the War Eagle Supper Club. I still have my membership card, but I can’t find my diploma!” 

—Neal Reynolds ’77



Atlanta

If walls could talk, the War Eagle Supper Club’s owners and employees would likely hold blackmail currency against thousands of AU students and alumni, not to mention local politicians and otherwise upstanding citizens. Over the past five decades, the restaurantturned-cocktail-lounge has evolved into Auburn’s most famous and fabled hangout—the type of place that encourages both music appreciation and wholesome debauchery.

Eat, drink and be carried According to local lore, the now-legendary college bar had its earliest beginnings as a brothel and gambling den in the 1940s. The following decade, the building was converted into a steakhouse—but it was owner H.H. Lambert who established the War Eagle Supper Club in 1957 and transformed the place into a pizzeria catering to the college crowd. Food played the starring role; music was limited to jam sessions among locals. The late AU music Auburn Magazine

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professor Robert S. Richardson and members of the Auburn Knights Orchestra often made informal appearances, recalls Jef Thurman ’60 of Jacksons Gap. At the front of the house, the late Mildred Williams kept a mostly male student crowd in line. University policy at the time restricted women from patronizing any establishment that served alcohol, according to historical accounts. “The War Eagle Supper Club I remember— in sometimes disturbing flashbacks—wasn’t a juke joint at all, but a pizza emporium extraordinaire,” says former customer Jerry Gantt ’67 of Montgomery. “Any music was supplied by over-indulging frat brats harmonizing some dirty ditty … Given the lack of organized entertainment, we had to improvise by engaging in contests to see which table could stack its Bud bottles the highest. The bouts inevitably were called before a game-ending cascade of shattering brown glass by the referee-bartender-waitresscashier-bouncer Mildred, who ran the place with an iron fist in a lambskin glove.”

ip and) Dash R r b a n ia is u o dance f loo g to hear (L “I lo ved goin ber being o u t on the m p ed and em I ju Ro ck. I rem t tim e, and som ehow nd po k ed a a having a gre eer bottle. It bro k e ber the n ext b m a e n m ter e … I re landed o leather sho se it hurt so bad. Af y m h g u o r th au ice to class bec ctor’s office and a n day lim ping o s a d w e c am p u s brown, I a trip to th salts and som ething ’t n m er, I still ca t so la p e s r in a e k y a s so . Twenty-plu good as n ew ose so cks.”  sc ha k ’90 h — K ris B ar part with t  

. B elleville, Ill



The club began issuing membership cards for a nominal fee around 1961 amid the volatile early stages of the civil rights

Remember when a school bus was just a school bus? At the War Eagle Supper Club, a “slush bus” keeps partiers from driving under the influence. T he original bus is now a shot bar; a newer, sleeker, shorter version still provides rides home for the over-served.

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movement, says former owner Hank Gilmer, a Birmingham entrepreneur who bought the place in 1977. Initially the restaurant’s privateclub license allowed it to deny access to blacks; later, the private-club license was necessary in order to serve alcohol on Sunday, Gilmer adds. The supper club continued offering beer and pizza as the psychedelic ’60s faded and disco staged a temporary pop-culture coup. By the 1980s though, chain restaurants had moved into town and begun delivering pizza directly to student dorms and apartments. Even though its own pizza pie was widely considered the best around—the made-fromscratch crust and sauce took two days to concoct—the supper club couldn’t compete, Gilmer says. Enter the entertainment era: Gilmer and his colleagues de-emphasized the food, began booking bands regularly, and knocked out the building’s front and back walls to accommodate a stage, a rear bar and new bathrooms. Birmingham-based Telluride was the first band to perform in the staging area known as “The Pit” in 1982. More than 1,000 bands have played at the club since,

r re m e m b e I d o ’t n o d ) lf t m ys e . Bu (including nt at s u p p er club to still le p o e p t e r me “Mos gs sp he evenin ugh of them fo ession!” t f o h c o mu en oss 6 re w e re s in m y p C a p p s ’0 know the m em bers hip card —Hailey Va. ston, W. have five C h a rl e

 

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including Little Feat, Wet Willie and “American Idol” Taylor Hicks. To help patrons avoid having to drive home after imbibing, Gilmer bought a used schoolbus, established a route of pick-ups and drop-offs in town and on campus, and began operating a shuttle service known as the “slush bus” in 1984. “We always slurred when we called it the ‘slush bush,’” recalls Leisha Cowart ’86 of Atlantic Beach, Fla. “I never had to ride it but heard stories about how bad it smelled.”

War Eagle Supper Club co-owners Mark Cadenhead ’94 (below left) and John Brandt keep patrons coming back by offering customers a place to go for good music and cheap drinks. T he place has catered to multiple generations of night owls over five decades.

Now parked permanently behind the club, the original slush bus is a shot bar where partiers can quaff small quantities of undiluted liquor in various combinations. A newer bus still carries patrons home after an evening of tippling, but a strategically minded few simply choose to live within walking distance. Auburn resident David Swanger Jr. ’80 moved into a mobile home near the supper club when he enrolled in graduate school at AU in 1979. “In hindsight, that was probably a mistake,” he says, reflecting. “Now, which was more important—studying for a graduate-level math class or attending a Telluride show? I know what the answer was back then.”

The little tavern that could John Brandt was a 21-year-old AU student when he began working as a doorman and bouncer at the War Eagle Supper Club in 1980. After years of helping Gilmer run the place as a bartender, then manager, Brandt bought the club himself.

y ulty of m c a f e o ars . Som oing t the e e g he le d-t m Ya deed erienc lo ud n i h o e r in xp m k, et-b ted f I was to e , dan ’s roo w , k d n ua n ew grad hat if n eede as dar a m e ced … a w or rien to as ,I d t u st “I w ber, j ecide ub urn hat it cus e f exp e back good d t A a x n, m m e dents t of recall o ul e r agai been for m y t f e r p n u I st a pa ub. n ev e no ays u eve ost n l Fin be p er c the m have I hav alw pris ed ot t c m d d p r S u re su J. had er, an 0, an ce. I a ub s u .” ect t — i d h l an d ev s 198 b sin er c lities A rc l of o I ha at wa er clu s u p p ensibi o h Sc T h s u p p t t h e rk e r s AU , r so the ty, b u w Yo fes p ro e r e at p a ed N o ci as s jad 

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“At a certain point in time, I didn’t know what else I would do,” says Brandt, whose workdays end at 4 a.m. on weekends. “It kind of keeps you young.” Last fall, after officials declared them fire hazards, Brandt and business partner Mark Cadenhead auctioned the yellowed posters and smoke-infused T-shirts that formerly plastered the club’s ceiling. Plastic membership cards have replaced paper vouchers, and the membership fee has doubled from $1 to $2. Little else has changed at the War Eagle Supper Club in the last 25 years. AU students—and occasionally their parents and grandparents—still chill at the juke joint whose slogan reads: “Hot rock. Cold beer. Expect no mercy.” And for graduates whose days on the Plains are long past, memories of supper club wackiness—or wickedness, as the case may be—still warm the stomach lining. “I attended AU from 1966 through 1970 and would be surprised if my spirit is not still occupying a corner table,” says John F. Pack Jr. ’70 of Dana Point, Calif. “From Thursday night ‘study halls’ fueled by pitchers of wonderful libation to chowing down on the best pizza known to man, the War Eagle Supper Club was an integral part of my AU experience.” 

“T he s in. I kn e u p p er club w as t h e w imm e n ‘friend s’ bro u diately that t astiest dive I’ ght y o u no m ist d ever his was a s and ab king the reas for y o ur 21s the sort of et foot place t on—ba t birth solu tely h A ub urn day, an re conc the m o d ther at r c s e t a t n e a w c f o e was esom e no valid loors, g mm and b .  and I d excu s e for m I lo ved it fr ands a sm all v reasy food idn’ t. G om the en ue lik issing a o M o d e l t a  im es.” nd the start. T here e wa Party H ats s ho s  w, —Dav e Peck ’97 No r t h Las Ve gas, Ne v.

“I f too req uen t days often, ed the a will are som s m y gr s u p p er n eve club ad e ewh m ac hin es r, n ever at of s wo uld often— a r f at t  he c orget t blur to ef lect. probab lub.” h e co m e to My co ly  ld b l eer day, b u t lege and pinb I all —B

ill B ra nn a n ’7 7 Colu mbu s, G a.

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Photograph by Jeff Etheridge

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I believe I can fly Speedy 5-foot 9-inch Tamela McCorvey of Pensacola, Fla., achieves lift-off in her first year playing for the Tigers women’s basketball team. As a community college athlete, McCorvey led the nation in three-point shooting prior to being recruited by Auburn. Spring 2007

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Auburn Magazine Spring 2007