Ramblin’ 11/2/16

We are now at “exceptional drought” level here in north Georgia. I can hear Johnny Carson attempting to elicit a response from his Tonight Show audience. “It is so dry here in ____. How dry is it?” Feel free to create your own answer. But it’s not funny, is it? Pray for rain.

I sincerely hope I don’t have to end up doing a rain dance, but I will.

Which segues nicely into the old Guess Who song, Rain Dance.

I really love the Guess Who. They were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1987, and it is yet another stunning omission from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Not even nominated.

Play/download the long version of American Woman. That song rocks!

Undun, These Eyes, No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature, Share The Land, No Time, Laughing, Hand Me Down World… Come on!

And, trust me, you don’t want to get me started on Jethro Tull having yet to be nominated.

I’m very curious to see where Auburn lands in the initial 2016 College Football Playoff poll tonight. My guess is nine or ten. WDE! Lotta football left to be played, though, and all fans from the great state of Alabama have much to be proud of. (I checked the grammar. It’s okay to end a sentence in a preposition in a note to friends.)

How was Halloween for everybody? We had very few ‘trick or treaters’ here in our neighborhood. Maybe a dozen. I gave them Dum-Dums which is what I give the kids at our church when it’s my turn to do the children’s sermon.

Children. I was a member of the Pied Pipers children’s theater group when I attended Troy State University. (Now Troy University). We did such stories as The Three Little Pigs, The Tar Baby, and Jack and the Beanstalk, among others.

My favorite role was that of Brer’ Fox from The Tar Baby. Never failed though. Brer’ Rabbit always “out-foxed” me and Brer’ Bear and we wound up throwing him, or her, as Brer’ Rabbit was most often played by a female, in the briar patch. EVERY single time.

Brer’ Bear was stump dumb. I would hit him and chastise him severely. Over the years I’ve thought about that story a good bit and created PG13  and R versions of it in my mind. I think that would be pretty darn funny.

Vanilla Fudge’s eponymous first album, from 1966, is now pounding away on Apple Music. Dang that’s good stuff! These guys aren’t given enough credit for their impact on hard rock, heavy metal, and prog rock.

Ah yes, those psychedelic days of yore.

The groups that truly catapulted me headlong into that arena were Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Steppenwolf.

There was a band from Tallassee that would occasionally play the National Guard Armory in my hometown of Camden, AL. The fist time I heard the song Fire, by Hendrix, it was done by by that group, The Fantastic Playboys. After a couple of set breaks, which resulted in subsequent trips to the car, I was primed and ready to bust a few moves to Fire, Proud Mary, and my favorite of their covers, Devil With The Blue Dress>Good Golly Miss Molly. That was a song popularized by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

Those were the days.

Please click below and try NOT to bust a move with me.

 

Love y’all! Peace out.

(Photo from December 1975. The last day of Pied Piper tour. Me in my Tutu.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Falling Leaves and Footballese

I was taking my daily walk, a week or so ago, when I felt a small rush of wind that was not summer like. This minor gust was a tinge cool and dry. It was then that a few dying leaves floated gently to the ground.

I immediately went into my shotgun stance, took the imaginary snap, and bolted toward right end on a zone read. I faked a pitch to my trailing tailback, tucked the pigskin, and dashed for 15 yards before I was knocked out of bounds.

First down!

It’s that time of year! For those of us who are rabid college football fans, excitement is abound. Every team is 0-0. No one has yet to lose a game. Anticipation is off the charts.

From “the loveliest village of the plains” to the bluegrass that surrounds Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky to the sprawling acreage of College Station, Texas. I can feel it, I can sense it, and I can almost smell the tantalizing scents of tailgate fare wafting on the breeze across the terrain of the sites where I will attend college football games this autumn.IMG_1037

“We’re on the cusp of a big year! Maybe we’ll make a New Year’s Day bowl. Can we win it all?”

But alas, the reality is those hopes, those 0-0’s will transform into 6 & 6’s, 5 & 7’s and, gulp, 4 & 8’s, for a great number of teams, by the conclusion of Thanksgiving weekend. There will not be many, if any, 12 & 0’s this fall.

Speculation. That is ALL we have right now.

Prediction. That is theme of the day.

Consternation. That is the mood of the pessimist and many a realist.

Exaltation. That is final word for all too few when the dust settles in January of 2016.

And that is a shame.

Everyone wants to know what lucky teams will make the College Football Playoff. What four teams will make it to Dallas and Miami? And the biggest question of all: What TWO teams will make the triumphant march to Glendale ?

It will be from that great Arizona desert that the players, alumni and fans of only ONE institution will hoist index fingers high above their heads and proclaim, “We’re number one!”

What happened to teams two through four who did, indeed, make the second installment of the College Football Playoff?

Many will leave the arenas of those great host cities with their heads hung low and their middle fingers raised high, or at least in their hearts and minds.

Again, that is a shame.

For all too often it is just about who is number one.

I have found myself in both of the above mentioned scenarios.

I reveled in the euphoria of victory on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, AZ.
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I wallowed in the dejection of defeat on January 6, 2014 in Pasadena, CA.

But you know what? With a bit of time and perspective I was able to put both of those experiences in their proper place. The result in Glendale was grand and glorious. The experience in Pasadena, and the greater LA area, was blissful.

My dear wife, Melodye, and I enjoyed both of these experiences immensely. Sure! We wanted ever so badly to win BOTH of those ball games, but we did not. But what we did, in each case, was revel in the moment.

Now please bear with me as I, ever the sentimentalist and nostalgist, savor and share a few small slices of those grand times…

High five-ing security, as they encouraged us to “bring it back home”, at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when we boarded our plane to Phoenix.

Singing, in my mind, Arlo Guthrie’s ‘Coming Into Los Angeles’ as we descended into LAX.

Dining on sugar-cured duck breast at The Roaring Fork restaurant in Scottsdale. Being questioned by our server, with a laugh, if that is what we Auburn fans would be having, seeing as how our opponent was Oregon. 😉

Securing our room in Redondo Beach, CA and discovering, much to our delight, that it was number 116. Our street number, in Acworth, GA, is 116. We took this as a good sign. It typically is just that.

Chatting with the staff at Los Olivos restaurant and laughing at their descriptions of Cam Newton and Nick Fairley, who had dined there just a couple of nights prior.

And driving from our beach motel, picking up a close friend in north LA, and following her directions to the the hallowed grounds of the Rose Bowl. I could hear Keith Jackson doing his intro to “the grandaddy of them all.” I was awestruck at the beauty of the San Gabriel mountains. And as we strolled those grounds, talking and gawking and exchanging “War Eagles”, our ‘little buddy'(a nickname I gave her many years ago) remarked, “You guys are family!”IMG_1292

We are. We are indeed.

It is this family, in times of victory or defeat, that helps make every college game day experience special.

From the pen of David Housel, an Auburn man…

“What Is Auburn?

Far be it from me to try to answer that question. There are as many definitions of Auburn as there are Auburn men and women.

It would be safe to say, however, that Auburn is much more than a football game. It is much more than winning and losing.

It is a spirit. It is an attitude. It is a way of looking at life and at one another. It is, almost, a way of living. Unless you have experienced it, you will never know what it is; you will never understand it. Once you have experienced it, you will never be the same. A part of you will, forevermore, be an Auburn man or an Auburn woman.”

As we kick off OUR season here at Campus Pressbox, I want to wish each and every one of you, and your respective teams, good luck. I hope that your seasons are filled with magical moments that will last a lifetime.

Now let’s all go make some memories (and win a few football games as well)!