The University of Missouri has a great mascot: Truman the Tiger. Not sure what it is about him (and sometimes her) but since arriving here in 2003 I have loved Truman. I was able to do a photo project on the mascot several years ago, following the actors around, capturing Truman in a number of different places and situations. It was just so much fun to do.
I watch Truman, wondering who is inside (usually a male, but there have been female Trumans) and assessing their skills. Some have great dance moves. Some have great gymnastics skills. They all twirl the tail with particular grace. They all schmooze with the crowd well. (I love the one who donned a particularly garish houndstooth sports coat at one of the men’s basketball games.)
I’m not alone in my joy of Truman. He’s a crowd favorite, and the university knows that. That’s why they coach Truman to be good with the crowd. I made this shot yesterday, at the Tiger Invitational volleyball tournament. It’s not the perfect angle, but I love this moment with Truman and a very young baby. The mother had brought the baby down so she could get baby’s first picture with Truman. And it probably won’t be baby’s last.