The 175 millimeter cannon that graced Ripon High football games for 26 years near the stadium’s eastern goal posts where it fired a single round after every touchdown is being retired.
It will take a place of honor on the side of the Veterans Memorial Museum at the corner of Locust and First streets in downtown Ripon.
The cannon served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam before ending up as salvage at Sharpe Army Depot. It was then purchased by Ripon’s JROTC for use in the varsity football games. JROTC Sgt. Butch Perry was instrumental in obtaining the cannon and having it painted red to reflect Ripon High’s school colors.
One Manteca High mom, Linda Sumrall, said that she remembers how exciting it was to hear the cannon fire off at MHS football games – “it was super fun” – when her son’s school would borrow it from Ripon High for their Friday night varsity home games. The Buffaloes later opted for a train horn they found that had been listed as obsolete for $600. It, too, has offered a resounding report after touchdowns on Gus Schmiedt Field for countless home games.
Veterans’ Memorial Museum docent Don Schaapman said that Burkett Pool Plastering Co. of Modesto has offered to sand blast the red paint off of the cannon. Vince Hobbs and his crew will be restoring it to its original military paint color. It will hopefully be ready to mount in a couple of months on a concrete base just to the south of the museum building with a small fence protecting it. Metal pads will be placed beneath the rubber tires so they won’t rot, Schaapman said.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email email@example.com.