“Bob set up the scholarship fund to honor his Dad, and we both put in money,” said Gagne, a 1968 Salem High grad. “Pretty soon it will be fully endowed and go on forever. We were never football players; both of us played recreational basketball. Bob is a great golfer, something I never got into. We used to hang around the old McDonald’s and the House of Speed in Salem when we were into building old cars for drag racing.
“I went into the service, and when I came back I started going to the BC football games with Bob. Nine years ago he retired, and we began attending the games both home and away. It’s a lot of fun, and we have a great relationship with Boston College.”
The two friends rented garages together to work on and store their cars. LeBlanc had a 1964 Chevy, and Gagne owned a ‘57 Chevy. They have gone from racing at New England Dragway in New Hampshire to hosting elaborate tailgating parties with the help of their wives.
The Eagle Tailgaters
BC fans look for the “Eagle Tailgaters” at home and away games. The foursome takes their tailgating feasts seriously, not relying on the old standby hot dogs or hamburgers. They have business cards with their areas of expertise listed. LeBlanc is the executive vice president in charge of planning and logistics while his wife Peggy heads up supplies and photography. Gagne is executive VP of food and beverages and wife Priscilla (Cilla) is VP of procurement and setups. They not only welcome Eagles fans, but often attract a large number of parents and friends from the other team.
“We do it up right, and mix up the food depending on what part of the country we’re in,” said Gagne. “I think I’ve only cooked hamburgers once, and maybe hotdogs for the kids. We always have a theme that varies to include food popular in a particular place. If the game is in Miami we’ll do Cuban sandwiches. At Clemson it’s pulled pork, and for special occasions like the Notre Dame game we might sauté lobster tails. We now keep the same things needed for tailgating in North Carolina as we have up here. We’ve got the same stove, grill, and flagpole. On November 2 for the Wake Forest game we’ll fly into Raleigh where Bob will pick us up with all the gear.