The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 24, 2013

OU needs a memorial dedicated to ‘Mex’ the mascot

NORMAN — The OU Athletic Department this past week asked ticketholders what kind of improvements they’d like to see at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and the Lloyd Noble Center.

There are many things that could be upgraded but for what it’s worth, here’s my suggestion on a minor peeve: There should be some sort of marker on the burial site of Mex, the unofficial bulldog mascot for University of Oklahoma athletic teams.

Mex was buried under four elm trees at the north end of the field on a spring afternoon in 1928. He had died a few days earlier at his campus home, the Kappa Sigma fraternity house on Asp Avenue.

He had served as the teams’ mascot from 1919 until his death. Football and baseball were his favorites. Besides his joyous, staccato barks that followed touchdowns, Mex kept the fields clear of other animals and wary spectators long before the good Trooper Orr was born.  

———

Local writer Molly Levite Griffis shared some past news clippings and student-written stories about Mex. His colorful life made for quite the prose when he was buried on campus on May 2, 1928.

As the story goes puppies Mex and his twin named Tex were rescued along the Texas-Mexico line by Mott Keys, a future OU student, who was serving at an Oklahoma Field Hospital during the Mexican border war.

The pair were sickly and Tex didn’t make it. Mex ended up on campus with Keys in 1919 and was the terminal pledge at the fraternity house. He wore his “O” sweater and accompanied the football teams on trains, hiding from the conductor on command. Legend has it the football team boycotted a streetcar in Lawrence and walked to the field when the driver refused to allow the dog onboard.

 ———

Once the dog wandered off when the team changed Pullman coaches at Arkansas City on their way to Drake. The train left without him and the team lost 28-0. Three days later, Mex was found sitting on the railway station platform waiting for his team.

Classes were canceled on the day of his death. Medical students embalmed the body and he was dressed in his “O” sweater. The band played and the Ruf Neks lead the funeral procession from the fraternity house to the stadium.

The eulogy was lead by the fraternity president Dick Martin. He spoke of the loyalty Mex had to the university and its athletes. The dog’s original human, Mott Keys, had the last word.

“Mex began life as a homeless and friendless ‘dog waif’ and finished the last milestone the truest of all friends and pals, happy in love and kindness of all university students and thousands of ex-servicemen who loved him.”

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