Family bonds over Ole Miss

Published 1:02 am Monday, January 25, 2010

NATCHEZ — For Bubba and Evelyn Geter, their life together started while they were students at the University Southern Mississippi, but for Bubba Geter, he was Ole Miss fan before his life even began.

When The Dart found the Geter family at their house on Walnut Street, the Geter’s three children, grandchild and their daughter’s boyfriend were gathered watching Sunday afternoon football and waiting for the New Orleans Saints to take the field.

But there was no Saints gear to be found — only Ole Miss — due to Bubba Geter’s achieved goal of raising a family of fourth-generation, die-hard Rebel fans.

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“My daddy used to tell me that before I was born, I was an Ole Miss fan,” Bubba Geter said.

Since 1979 Bubba said he has purchased Ole Miss season tickets for his family and sees games as an opportunity to share some time with his children.

“As long as Ole Miss is playing in Oxford, we go,” Bubba said.

Bubba Geter’s sons, Joey, 28, Brandon, 24, and daughter, Mary Lesley, 16, have been exposed to Rebel football from the time they were born, and now the family is working on its first fifth-generation Rebel fan.

Joey Geter, the father of 2-month-old Bryan, said he plans to take his son to his first Ole Miss game this year in New Orleans against Tulane University.

Bubba said it’s not uncommon for children in the Geter family to attend their first Ole Miss game before they are old enough to cheer along with the crowd.

“My first Ole Miss game was the 1960 Sugar Bowl, and I’d just turned 2 years old,” Bubba said.

“Joey’s first game was against (the University of Alabama) in 1982 in Jackson. It was Bear Bryant’s last trip to Jackson,” Bubba said. “Joey was 1 and a half years old.

Brandon was 1-year-old when he went to his first game — Ole Miss’ 1986 Spring game.

Bubba said not only are his sons Ole Miss fans, but his daughter is just as passionate about her team as her brothers.

“(Mary Lesley’s) first game was the spring game in 1994,” Bubba said. “She makes sure I get up, and we go to the early morning games.”

Bubba said one of the reasons he loves taking his children to Ole Miss games is because of the people they meet and the opportunities they are shown when they see what the world has to offer them professionally.

“You get to meet different people at the games,” Bubba said. “(Evelyn and I) have always thought that the children should see something other than Natchez. There’s a big world out there.

“It gives them the idea that they can be anything they want to be.”

Bubba said he hopes to continue offering the same opportunities to his grandchildren and raising them as the next generation of Geters who will cheer on the Rebels for decades to come.