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English visitor turns Tiger fan

Maggie Allcorn never went to a football game until this year, at least not one like the Ironton Fighting Tigers play.

Saturday, September 30, 2000

Maggie Allcorn never went to a football game until this year, at least not one like the Ironton Fighting Tigers play.

Now, back home in East Sussex, England, she has more than stories about her trip to visit her penpal Carolyn Carter in Ironton. She has full status as an Ironton fan.

Mrs. Allcorn said that although she saw American football on television, she didn’t like it. That changed when she saw the Ironton Tigers play.

"The atmosphere was amazing," she said. "I loved the crowd. On television, I always thought that the cheerleaders were a bit silly, but seeing them changed my mind. They really do work hard."

Mrs. Allcorn said she was impressed with the high school campus and the covered stadium.

But football was not the only memory Mrs. Allcorn took back home with her this week after finishing a two-week visit. She got to see a little bit of the region, too.

Mrs. Carter took her on an historical tour of Ohio, traveling up to Hudson and back. An American history buff, Mrs. Allcorn visited the Jackson Apple Festival, Poage Landing Days and the Sorghum Festival. She then went south to Jessie Stuart Days.

"I’ve never been to an American festival," Mrs. Allcorn said. "They’re different from English festivals. The crafts are very different."

Mrs. Allcorn also noticed a difference in the types of houses here. In England, she lives in a Victorian-era home with high ceilings. The home has an outhouse, which she has converted into a tool shed.

She said that the homes with siding on them that are popular here in Ohio seem to be more individual, and have more space.

Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Allcorn have been penpals since March 1989. Mrs. Allcorn visited her letter-writing buddy once before, in 1994, while Mrs. Carter was living in Columbus.

During that trip. the two women toured Washington, D.C., The Blue Ridge Mountains, Appomatix, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

Mrs. Allcorn is planning another trip to the United States in 2003 so that she can see some of Ohio’s Bicentennial celebrations.

Before her return to England this week, Mrs. Allcorn said she will miss many aspects of her visit to Ironton, but the Tigers will always hold a special place in her heart, she said.

"I’m having one of Carolyn’s friends, Mary Murnahan to post the scores for the games so that I can keep up," she said.