Recently, I drove south to visit my oldest daughter who is in her second year at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It was a long drive, but something I was looking forward to on the Veterans Day holiday weekend.
We stopped in Anderson, South Carolina on Thursday evening at close to midnight. I realized I had either missed “The Big Peach” in Gaffney, South Carolina due to the darkness or road construction or possibly being asleep. I hate to miss “The Big Peach.” It’s actually a water tower that looks like a peach (and a few other things).
It seems like a city would light it up if they had one (a Big Peach). Again, maybe they do and I missed it. If you ever get down that way, stop and enjoy it a little – you can almost smell it. The only thing that bothers me about it was that the City of Gaffney hired a fellow from New Jersey to paint the peach.
Tuscaloosa is a nice place unless you want to get a good night’s sleep in your daughter’s apartment that is close to the downtown bars and the football stadium. According to the realty lady, some students like to live close to the bars so they can walk home. (I called to complain.)
The realty lady makes the students that were up all night at the apartment complex, drunk out of their minds, standing on the apartment balconies shouting obscenities into the wee hours of the morning almost sound thoughtful.
I love college football, as much as anybody and I was even young once, but I still question these folks’ “thoughtfulness.”
Friday night was spent calling the police and stuffing things in my ears.
On Saturday, I was looking forward to the game and I was not disappointed in the weather, the crowd or the atmosphere. Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the University of Alabama know how to put on a football game.
My seats at the game were kind of high, kind of way up high. So high that you felt if you stood up, you might fall helplessly into the end zone. So high that I ducked when the T-38’s did their flyover before the game. However, I did enjoy the perspective. It reminded me of playing electric football as a kid and the little men vibrating all over the field. I wanted to help Alabama a couple of times by reaching down there and moving a couple of players on the field.
The game was entertaining, although the University of Alabama did suffer their first loss of the season.
True fans will tell me that Alabama played awful or question how I can say it was entertaining when “we” lost.
You needed to be sitting where I was sitting. Way up there in the stands, higher than the coaches in their coaching boxes talking to the other coaches down on the field.
At least I thought I was higher than the coaches.
As it turns out, I am pretty sure I had one of them behind me. He was a tall fellow who was very loud and shouted instructions the entire first half. He seemed tall, because from my seats, I could turn around and my nose would hit his kneecaps. I was way up high.
This fellow barked the whole first half, “Try doing something other than running on first down.” He also had a firm grasp on the receivers who needed to be covered on pass plays after the opposing Texas A&M Aggies would successfully complete a pass.
He was loud and mad and quite sure of himself.
Things seemed to be looking a little better for Alabama in the second half. I turned around and realized the tall, loud keeper of football knowledge was not there. I just figured he went down at half-time to share with the coaches and players his thoughts about the first half.
He made it back by the fourth quarter. It seemed logical; it would take that long to get back up to where we were sitting from the locker room.
As the game progressed, it was finally apparent that this would not be a happy ending for the University of Alabama football team. I was disappointed, but life was going to go on. The fellows would get drunk and shout obscenities from the balconies on Saturday and on this night be even more thankful for getting apartments so close to the watering holes in Tuscaloosa.
There was only an empty bottle of Early Times Whisky. If you didn’t know, alcohol affects mental work. This has been shown by the fact that a person whose brain has been dulled by alcohol cannot think so clearly to do common mathematics like adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing figures as accurately as he could without the partaking of alcohol.
Honestly, I seriously doubt that this tall fellow could do any math whether he was under the influence or not. The liquor probably did affect his decision making/coaching ability; maybe he will not bring his bottle for the next game.
I loved seeing my daughter and I will trade a loss, a coaching lesson or even two nights of thoughtful drunks yelling obscenities from their balconies to get to do it.
In my life, it’s a matter of priorities.
FYI – The manufacturer of Early Times Whisky (spelled correctly) was only one of five producers who were allowed to keep pumping out hard, the hard stuff during the Prohibition Era. They were able to do so because their whisky was designated as “medicinal whiskey.”
Maybe that tall coaching fellow was sick.
(One other note, in the FYI paragraph, I do say "hard" twice and it looks kind of funny. Read it like this: "The manufacturer (pronounced man-uh-factra) of Early Times Whisky was only one (slight pause) of five producers (slight pause) who were allowed (slight pause) to keep pumping out hard, (long pause) the hard stuff (slight pause) during the Prohibition (pronounced pro-bih-shun) Era.")
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I'm BN Heard and I like semicolons, dogs and college marching bands in the South.