By Joe Fazio
Located in the Cordell North parking lot was a spectacle many fans have probably seen before outside of Boone Pickens Stadium. From what was an almost retired paramedic ambulance became a staple of two proud Oklahoma State alum.
Terry Stewart and his wife Karen (Class of 1971 and ’72, respectively) have been tailgating at Oklahoma State football games for over eight years.
Children, family and many friends from OSU head to Stillwater to tailgate before every game. Pitched under their tents, they watch the pregame show from a television hooked up to the back of the ambulance.
“We usually set up about six hours before a game” Karen said.
As we went inside, it was all decked out with orange and black. The ambulance was hooked up with two portable generators, a kegerator and many more gadgets necessary for the perfect tailgate.
With all the OSU logos, Karen said they pay $50 a season to have official logos.
When asked about tailgating during the game, Karen said she and her husband have club box seats, but they always have friends and family who stay at the tailgate when they do not have tickets to the game.
Karen said that she feels “safe leaving the ambulance as we go into the stadium” and that Stillwater is a safe city.
As I talked to Terry, who graduated as an engineering major, he said that they bought the ambulance in New York then took it to Tulsa.
The process to turn an old ambulance into a tailgate machine was long but promising for Terry, who is also called “Papa T” by his family.
“We had to take it to three different places to get it fixed,” Terry said.
Terry said that it took four to five months to have the furnished ambulance that stands in the Cordell North parking lot on game day.
A great sight is after Cowboy wins when the ambulance fires up and its sirens are roaring as fans leave the stadium.
When walking down West Hall of Fame Ave to go to Boone Pickens Stadium, be sure to look out for Papa T’s orange and black ambulance.