A friendship renewed after the service turns into two decades of tailgating tradition at Kinnick

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Davenport natives are featured in the Hawkeye Headquarters Tailgate of the Week

If you’re over at Kinnick Stadium before Hawkeyes football games, there’s a chance you’ll see Mike Matson and Perry Glassgow.

The lifelong friends have been hosting a tailgate for nearly two decades. It started after Matson’s military service career ended.

“My friend Perry and I grew up in Davenport, went through elementary school and high school together,” said Matson, who’s running to be mayor of Davenport, Iowa. “And I said, ‘hey, do you have tickets … can we get tickets?’ He said yes, so we’ve been having season tickets here.”

The opportunity to reconnect has now become a Saturday tradition for the two friends.

“We just keep building and building. We went from getting KFC in the back of a trunk to now six, seven spots here. It’s been fantastic. It’s always a good time here. We spend the whole day here,” Glassgow said.

“People come from Chicago and Des Moines and Davenport. It’s just a tradition now that we all do it,” Matson said.

But tailgating for Hawkeyes games isn’t the only tradition in Matson’s family.

“My dad was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Army during World War I. I did 20 years and my son is a fourth-generation military,” Matson said. “So they brought my family on the field during the Ohio State game and honored my family.”

The honor during that 2017 game strengthening the connection between family, friends and the University of Iowa.

“This is the thing we do,” Matson said. “We’re people-people. We’re all here supporting Iowa.”

Forging new friendships and rekindling old ones in the process.

“Generation after generation, aunts and uncles come, it’s always a good time,” Glassgow said. “These Saturdays when I can get together with family and friends, it means everything.”

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