Gillespie brothers continue Husker family tradition

  • Doug, Luke (son of Doug), Lea ( daughter of Doug), Dave and Andy Gillespie.

Story and photos by Benjamin Schoenkin, NewsNetNebraska

Dave Gillespie and his brothers, Doug and Andy, have been tailgating at Husker games since the 1960s.

Their parents were students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and met at the university.

Dave Gillespie said he started tailgating when he was just a toddler. He said rooting for the Huskers and tailgating was engrained in him and his siblings while growing up in Lincoln and the Omaha area.

“I mean everything was based around football season and going to football games so we really didn’t know anything else,” Dave Gillespie said. “That was just what was expected. We went to the games. We enjoyed that time with our parents and friends.”

Tailgating for the Gillespie family has gone from a station wagon and sandwiches to grilling and a tailgate bus with TVs.

Doug Gillespie described some of the contributions Dave has made to the family tailgate, “Dave welds and has different ideas. He thought it was a good idea to make a drink holder that slid into a cart that actually holds the coolers up at a working level.”

Andy Gillespie said, “Some people hunt, we tailgate to the football games and it’s just been awesome over the years.”

Doug Gillespie said he relished introducing tailgating to his children when they were young, “I think I enjoy that as much as anything, having my kids being exposed to the same experiences that I had growing up.”

Dave Gillespie says, “It’s always about the fun. I mean it’s like entertainment; everybody comes to watch football because they are entertained and there is no different about tailgating. We entertain doing this just as much as in the football game.”

He also said tailgating is very special to the family, “We never know who we are going to see, but it’s kind of a nice mix of people that come and see us. Some people we don’t see until football season, so it’s really kind of a nice way to reconnect with friends that we’ve had for a lot of years.”

Next to the Gillespie tailgate bus is an inflatable Husker with the letters “REDG,” G stands for Gillespie.

Dave Gillespie said the family has a motto regarding tailgates, “You lose football games, but you don’t lose tailgates.”

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