Archive for October, 2012

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: Those Hard Times

Those Hard Times

Mama used to talk about hard times a lot. I didn’t pay much attention back then.

I had plenty to eat, a nice warm bed and a dog who came when I called him.

But I can remember. I can remember Mama watching me open my Christmas gifts as a child.

I didn’t get the air rifle or the expensive electric train I wanted one Christmas. Daddy was gone and Mama taught in a Georgia public school system in the ’50s. That’s why I didn’t get the air rifle or the expensive electric train I wanted.

I seem to remember what I got instead was a pair of skates and some underwear. I probably showed my disappointment.

Mama noticed and said, “Son, all we used to have when I was growing up was hard-candy Christmases.”

Mama grew up on a family budget that was based on what a few acres of red clay could produce. What the family didn’t eat, they sold or traded for other needs. A dozen fresh yard eggs for a bucket of syrup.

“All we got for Christmas,” Mama said, “was a few pieces of hard candy. Daddy just didn’t have the money for anything more.”

I can remember her talking with the other adults about the Great Depression, an Excedrin recession.

“Times were hard, but I guess we were lucky,” Mama would say. “We didn’t have any money, but we had some chickens and a cow, and Daddy was still able to grow a few things. At least we didn’t go hungry like a lot of other folks.”

Hard times. They come and they go. These are really the hardest times most of the people alive in this country today have ever known. My generation, the baby boomers, haven’t known any hard times before. I was able to pay for some of my college, but Mama saved shoe boxes full of ones and fives to help me get started.

Opportunities abounded when I graduated. I went to work for The Atlanta Journal for $150 a week in 1968, when I was 21. My mother made $120 a month teaching first grade in Senoia, Ga., in 1953.

Since I was 15, I’ve never been out of work, except when I chose to be out of work. I decided to devote all my energy to my tennis game back in 1974, so I quit my job at the Journal. No problem. I’d saved a few shekels and my wife worked for the apartment complex in which we lived. We got free rent. My forehand volley improved dramatically.

When I decided I’d never wind up on center court at Forest Hills, I went back to work. I had no problem finding another job. I got one at the Chicago Sun-Times in 1975, making $28,000 a year.

And I’m still one of the lucky ones. I’ve still got a job today. A lot of other people don’t, of course. Unemployment rates are up, to be sure, but we still can’t compare these hard times to those of our parents and grandparents.

We’re in a hole, but not nearly as deep a one as the country and its citizens have been in before.

What I’m wondering is, are we as strong and determined as our forebears were? They held up and held on and went through hell to get out of the deep well they were in.

Can we stick it out and remove ourselves from a comparative pothole?

Perhaps it’s easy for me to ask such questions. General Motors hasn’t laid me off. My employer hasn’t gone out of business.

But all of us have an example that was set by those who gave us life and reared us.

They blamed the politicians just like we’re doing. Damn Hoover. Do- nothing Bush.

They hurt. They cried. They despaired.

But they survived. And we can too.

It’s in our blood.

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Grantham’s stab at victory in Jacksonville

Grantham's stab at victory in Jacksonville

LSUfreek does it again….

Georgia-Florida 2012

What a weekend. Ain’t it great to be a Georgia Bulldog!

This was a special weekend for Bulldog Nation. I don’t really care to get into breaking the game down; this was one heck of a win. In the stadium, at least in my section, we were living and dying with every snap. Nevermind the turnovers and penalties; this was a tough, hate-filled football game that our Dawgs pulled out in spite of themselves. It was also a game that changed the tune of this wonderful rivalry. UGA has won two in a row from the swamp lizzards, something that hasn’t been done in many of your lifetimes. Mark Richt can officially close the door on the Steve Spurrier era of Georgia-Florida, even though it’s 3 coaches later. As Corbin told me time and time again, this was a program win, and I couldn’t agree more. Before I ramble some, let me pause to say that Jarvis Jones deserves every ounce of praise he’s received since the game; that was one awesome performance to watch live. Also, the intensity and emotion our Dawgs showed from the minute they ran out onto the field was long overdue yet special to watch. You could tell there was an added edge the minute the Gators ran out of their gate.

More than the game, this was one of the best Georgia-Florida weekends I can remember. The weather on SSI was windy and overcast, but until Sunday morning it wasn’t too cold. The fellowship was outstanding all weekend long. That said, I only heard one person say they thought UGA would win on Saturday night prior to the game. Basically, everyone just seemed to enjoy the fellowship of Bulldog Nation converging upon the Golden Isles. Saturday night after the game was the loudest I’ve ever heard the walkways out of Everbank Field. The missus has some neat video that I’ll try to post at some point this week. I did sit next to a young lady who had probably the filthiest mouth I’ve ever heard before. Her poor boyfriend was embarassed, and rightfully so, because this gal could spew it. An ex-Marine was sitting below us and agreed that he had never heard this type of language, even in all his years of service. That’s how bad it was. But honestly I don’t think she’ll remember much of it.

This win means alot to alot of folks. In particular, I think this win means the world to two individuals: Mark Richt and corbindawg. Mark Richt for obvious reasons; nobody with half a brain will be calling for his job any more (at least until 2013) and he has his team in beautiful position to win the SEC East for the second year in a row. But this win was sweet for corbindawg for a number of reasons as well, least of which is his undying loyalty to our Georgia Bulldogs and his never-ceasing optimism. He’s a modern day Dorsey Hill, if I do say so myself. There wasn’t anyone in Jacksonville happier than him on Saturday night, and it was fun to witness that pure joy.

I’ve rambled, so forgive me, but these are just some thoughts from an amazing weekend on the coast. I won’t ever be able to erase the memories of the Zook-Meyer era of Georgia-Florida, but neither will I ever forget how sweet this one was on Saturday night. Go Dawgs!

ucheedawg

God Is A Bulldog

It’s a tradition here at the TGT. Of all the things that could be said before taking on the jorts wearing swamp lizards, there is no better way to describe the greatest WLOCP moment than how Lewis did. 

Win or lose, we get to go home to Athens after Saturday and Florida fans don’t.

Jacksonville, Fla. – Dorsey Hill, the world’s biggest Bulldog fan, left here Sunday afternoon, bound for Auburn, Alabama, where Georgia’s undefeated football team next appears.

“I don’t think you can get from Jacksonville to Auburn,” I had said to him.

“You can change buses in Waycross and Columbus,” Dorsey answered.

“You aren’t going home first?”

“Home?” He screamed back. “I haven’t worked since Texas A&M, and I haven’t slept since Clemson. You expect me to go back home when we play Auburn in only six more days?”

I lost my head, I suppose.

A lot of people lost their heads here Saturday afternoon. Georgia played Florida. Georgia won the game, 26-21. It’s a lot more complicated than that, however.

Georgia came into the game ranked second in the nation. To continue to compete for its first Big Banana ever, the national championship, Georgia had to continue its winning streak. Florida ( “bunch of swamp lizards and beach bums,” according to Dorsey Hill), wanted to step on Georgia’s dream.

Dorsey arrived here Thursday afternoon with thousands of others who made the early departure south from various points in Georgia. Many of those individuals were as drunk as five eyed owls by the time they reached the Florida line.

As local wit Rex Edmondson says, the Georgia-Florida game is the “annual celebration of the repeal of prohibition.”

Dorsey waited until Friday to get into his serious pre-game drinking, however.

“I stopped at the New Perry Hotel Thursday for lunch and filled up on collards,” he said. “It’s hard to drink on a belly full of collards.”

Agreed.

Now that I have had time to digest all that did eventually happen in college football Saturday, I think I can say without fear of charges of blasphemy that the whole thing was a religious experience. “Deacon Dan” Magill, the “Baptist Bulldog,” read a prayer to the Georgia faithful in which he beseeched the Almighty to help the Bulldogs “smite the Florida Philistines.”

Then there was the game itself. Georgia behind 21-20, ninety-three yards away, time running out.

“We need a miracle!” screamed Dorsey Hill, now fortified with more than collards.

Georgia got its miracle. Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott, for ninety-three yards and the winning touchdown with only seconds remaining. If that wasn’t enough, there was the astounding news from Atlanta. Georgia Tech had tied No.1 Notre Dame. Surely, Georgia will be ranked first in America when the ratings are released.

“A tie was a gift from Heaven,” said Dorsey. “Notre Dame gets knocked out of number one but Tech doesn’t get a win. God is a Bulldog.”

Verily.

I must make one confession here. I did it, and I must suffer the consequences.

I gave up at Jacksonville Saturday afternoon. Florida had the ball. Florida had the lead. There was only three minutes to play. I left the stadium. I was in the street when the miracle came.

“You are a gutless disgrace,” Dorsey Hill said to me later.

He detailed my punishment: “We’re going to a tattoo parlor in this very town tonight,” he began. “And you’re going to have ’26’ tattooed on one of your cheeks in red. And you’re going to have ’21’ tattooed in black on the other cheek. I don’t want you to forget what you did.”

I won’t, but which cheeks is between me and the tattooist.

God bless those not as fortunate

Tonight is the calm before the storm and l hope everyone is spending tonight with their favorite people.

Earnest Hemingway

Emotions? Mike Bobo has a lot of them

Here’s the thing about the whole ‘coaches not showing emotion thing.’ Just because you may not see it on national tv, doesn’t mean it doesn’t take place….such as in this great video by UGA when Mike Bobo was mic’d up for the Tennessee game. 

Blame Bobo

Road Tripping: Florida Edition

This week is Christmas to a Georgia fan, even if it’s that Christmas that you didn’t get anything you wanted but damnit you’re going to enjoy it anyway. Georgia Florida is that weekend where you can escape the real world, enjoy the Golden Isles or Amelia and the last chance to soak in the sun at a football game and say “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause and if you don’t believe me ask Joe Cox

Who: University of Florida
Where: Jacksonville, Florida
Stadium: EverBank Field, seats 84,000, natural grass
Record: 7-0
Game Notes
Distance: 307 miles from Sanford Stadium but it’s a lot hotter down there
How to get there: 441, 15, or US-1 to I-16 and or I-95. If you’re reading this you’ve done it enough that it’s personal preference but let me say that taking US-78 to Thompson and then US-1 from Wrens will let you miss a metric ton of county mounties and a lot of traffic and headache.
Along the way: Well Lewis would say to grab some greens for only $3 but I’d much rather have an empty belly ready for Bourbon and branch. Who are we kidding, we put this out Wednesday so any God fearing Georgia fan can get south as quick as they can. Corbin, Uchee and myself all prefer Saint Simons but we have tried out Jacksonville, Kingsland, and Jekyll before. The Landing in Jacksonville is fun if you like Florida fans and waiting in line for a drink, Kingsland is great for the convince, Jekyll is a laid back family atmosphere but St. Simons is our choice.

Granite: I’m blessed/cursed with going to SSI multiple times during the year so as much as I love going to Crab Trap it’s the little things that stand out to me. Southern Soul has amazing ribs and if it’s not too crowded it’s worth BS’ing with the staff cause they know their stuff. Also if you have access to a bike head north for a very relaxing ride or toward the pier to Palm Coast Coffee for a very good beer. On Friday it’s worth heading out to East Beach just for a look at what we used to be. Near the Beach Club will be a packed beach of college kids with the rest of us on the edges and it’s worth a look. Also, you’re at the beach so get out and enjoy it, walk from the King and Prince to 15th Street and enjoy the sand beneath your toes, football ain’t everything. As for Saturday, read below and after the game I always stop by Sal’s Pizza on the way home for a simplistic greasy overly good for being on an island slice of pizza. That’s my weekend and as Lewis would say, God bless those not as fortunate as I.

Uchee: The Golden Isles are my favorite place on earth. Being able to go to SSI is a large part of the allure of Georgia-Florida. My favorite things include:

-World class golf. You have golf courses available to play all over the Golden Isles. They will be crowded this week, but you can probably find a tee time somewhere. For the money, my favorite courses are the 3 on Jekyll Island: Oleander, Indian Mounds and Pine Lakes. This is the site of the annual Georgia-Florida Classic, so finding a tee time on Thursday or Friday will be impossible before 3:30, leaving little time to play. If you’re in the Amelia Island/St. Augustine area, there are hundreds of courses that are home to some of the best golf in the US. If golf is your thing, the Georgia coast and NE Florida is the place to be.

-Food. Great food is abundant. Rather than spell out all the options, I’ll give you my favorite dish on the Golden Isles. Crabdaddy’s runs a special several nights a week: Blackened grouper over a bed of fried cheese grits, covered with shrimp etouffee. Finish with bread pudding for dessert and there’s no need for after supper drinks. Don’t miss a stop by Crabdaddy’s, but don’t go on Thursday, I want my table at 7:00.

-My wife loves the Gulf Coast for the white beaches but for my money, I’ll take the natural beauty of the Golden Isles any day of the week. I enjoy crossing over to Jekyll Island and driving the loop around the island, then stopping by Driftwood Beach for a walk. From this point, you can get a great view of SSI from across the bay. Nothing is more beautiful than the Georgia coast in my opinion.

-The Game. There’s not a better football game each year than Georgia-Florida. Regardless of records, this is the game of the year. I’ve sat in the endzone and was the last person in red, and I’ve sat on the 40 and seen the UF side painted in their orange and blue. The coming together of these two teams and their fan bases is incredible. It’s the kind of hate that you enjoy. I hate UF with every fiber of my being. But I enjoy spending this one day wallowing around with the swamp lizards in Jacksonville every year. It’s a weird feeling, but I’m sure most of you can understand.

Corbin: My favorite place to eat on SSI during GA FL is Bubba Garcia’s in the Red Fern Village. Good Mexican food, and even better margaritas. I’ve had too many GA/FL weekends where I spent too much time and money here but when you’re surrounded by great friends it’s worth it. Of course, parking in the ghetto trailer park and getting a chicken biscuit at Church’s Chicken off the Jekyll exit are highlights to any weekend.

In Jacksonville: On you’re way down to the game I’d recommend a stop at the Church’s chicken off exit 29 for lunch Saturday or at least a biscuit that morning. Lord know Georgia plays better when we all have chicken before the game. Once you get into Jacksonville you have a couple of choices depending on what time you get into town. If you’re there before 10:00, don’t worry about it, parking is anywhere you want around the stadium. Now if you come later or hate crowds, take 8th Street off MLK east or west to the stadium. You will miss all the traffic and that is the most efficient way out of any college football game I have ever attended, Athens included. Now I’m sure you have an opinion this weekend and I’d love to hear it below. Please let me know and for anyone who’s making the trip, travel safe and Go Dawgs.

Granite


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