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 Colonel Reb

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PostSubject: Colonel Reb   Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:08 am

Noted Ole Miss historian David Sansing has stated that "Blind Jim (Ivy) may have been the model for Colonel Rebel." Sansing cites "the late Frank Everett" as the sole basis for this conclusion.[1][2] "Blind Jim" Ivy was a campus fixture until his death in 1955, seven years before the school was integrated in 1962. He was affectionately known as "the dean of freshmen" for his many pep talks to incoming Ole Miss freshmen classes. Jim Ivy became an integral part of the University of Mississippi in 1896.[3] Born in 1870 as the son of former slave Matilda Ivy, he moved from Alabama to Mississippi in 1890. Ivy was blinded in his early teens when coal tar paint got into his eyes while painting the Tallahatchie River Bridge. Ivy became a peanut vendor in Oxford and was considered the university's mascot for many years.
Ivy attended most Ole Miss athletic events and was fond of saying, "I've never seen Ole Miss lose." Ivy was very much a part of the Ole Miss scene in 1936 when the editor of the school newspaper proposed a contest to produce a new nickname for Ole Miss teams, then known as The Flood. Rebels were the choice of 18 out of 21 sports writers and the university's sports teams have since been known as the Rebels. Two years later, Colonel Rebel appeared for the first time as an illustration in the university yearbook.[1] This illustration was perhaps drawn by the art editor for the yearbook that year, Billy Hix.[4] Billy Hix often drew his depictions of the Colonel as a plantation owner in an ante-bellum plantation setting.[5] It is also possible that Colonel Rebel was originally created by the "Rebel Club" a student group founded in 1937 shortly after the University had adopted the "Rebels" name and was responsible for the publication of "The Rebel" magazine which featured an image of the Colonel in its masthead that is identical to the one appearing on the 1937 Ole Miss yearbook.[6] Others may have also had a hand in revising and modifying the image of Colonel Rebel in those early years, such as campus bookstore owner Carl Coers and famous New Orleans cartoonist John Chase.[7] The image appearing on the 1947 Ole Miss yearbook is a result of this process and is the one that continues to be used to this day.

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