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Memorials considered for school mascot

The spirit of Mr. Green Devil lives.

St. Petersburg High School alumni have started talking about the best way to memorialize Bob Pfeiffer, the emerald-costumed mascot who energized school events for 31 years.

Pfeiffer, a member of the school's class of 1933, died Oct. 4 at age 86.

Soon afterward, conversations began. "It was the over-the-hill gang that so many of us who went to St. Pete High belong to," said Charles Kaniss, a 1935 graduate. "We said we ought to do something for the high school."

Plans are in very early stages. "When everybody gets back and gets the bills paid for Christmas, we can pull this together if there's some interest," Kaniss said.

The preliminary talk sounds ambitious. A computer center and a new football field concession stand are among the possibilities being mentioned.

Kaniss mentioned a possible $100,000 capital campaign to pay for a project. "It would be at least a start," he said.

Kaniss has a history of taking on challenges and spent years in public service, including stints as county elections supervisor, on the St. Petersburg City Council and as an administrator in several city departments. He spent 20 years in the National Guard and retired as a brigadier general.

Meanwhile, the school isn't likely to take on a new mascot to replace Pfeiffer, principal Linda Benware said.

"I guess that's a little premature. We're not quite ready to give up and totally accept that he's gone," Benware said.

Nick Hansen, Pfeiffer's grandson who graduated in June from SPHS, paid tribute at the Homecoming football game on Oct. 27, attending dressed in green garb similar to his grandfather's costume.

"I did it kind of to retire his uniform," said Hansen, now studying at the University of Florida.

The former SPHS student government president said people suggested he make the appearance a regular activity, but added that he has no plans to do so right now. "Maybe if I come back here to teach," he said.

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