25 October 2011

Football time in Tennessee

What a weekend! We had a great time visiting our alma mater. Yes, I know, Tennessee has been in the doldrums for the past decade, but we still enjoy the camaraderie with fellow football fans regardless of team loyalties.

In fact, speaking of fans, we got to spend the weekend parked among LSU fans who made the trip to Knoxville, TN in their RV's. I have to say, they have very nice motor-homes. It was quite a sight to see  all  of the RV's parked on the top of three separate parking garages. We arrived Thursday night and planned to stay on the west side of town and grab a spot early the next morning. We settled into a little known place that provides free hookups for its customers. Although we are not customers, they gave us permission to stay for a night.

To get a jump on things, we decided to take a drive over to campus to scout out a spot for the weekend. Well, one of the garages was already full, the garage across the street was beginning to to fill up. Now mind you, this is approximately seven thirty in the evening on a Thursday. It appeared the RV spots were disappearing fast, so we quickly drove back out west to where our RV was parked and packed up and drove back to campus. We got a good spot next to an LSU couple who drove in from Olive Branch, MS. With no hookups, it meant we had to fill up the on-board fresh water tank, and dump every last bit of liquid from the black and grey water tanks.

With plenty of propane, and gas for the generator, we were set. The thing about this weekend, we had to conserve our resources because if we ran out of water, emptied the fuel for the generator, or filled up the grey or black tanks, we would be in a bind. To add to the drama, our friends from Kentucky who were meeting us for the weekend, had no luck in finding a hotel room. So we invited them to stay with us in the RV. We actually have plenty of room, so no worries.

Our friends and their son joined us bringing the total to four adults and three children. We made it easily, and one adult even had a quick shower. As a matter of fact, we still had a third of our water when we pulled out on Sunday morning. An LSU family, that our girls befriended, ran out of water because one of their girls held the toilet lever down too long trying to get the toilet paper to go down. They had to leave about ten o'clock Saturday evening for Batron Rouge, LA because their fresh water tank was dry.

Our plan was for Darla and her friend Michelle to attend the game while we guys stayed behind at the RV. An unexpected thing happened. Friday morning as more RV's were pulling in, a young man and his friends pulled into a spot near ours and had a small trailer that needed to be towed to campus for a tailgate party on Saturday. We began talking and I offered to tow it over to campus for him. So we hitched up his trailer, and off we went. We found a place to park the trailer and I offered to drive him to the store so he could get some additional "provisions" ;). He seemed somewhat amazed that I would be so generous and drive him around like it was nothing.

As we entered the Kroger's grocery store, I asked him if he would mind if I picked up groceries that Darla needed. As you would imagine, he obliged and we began to shop and talk. He is engaged to be married next year and works in the health care industry. He confided in me that he has developed a fear of flying. So I talked with him at length about his fears and explained to him all the training we go through as pilots and how an airplane is actually built and tested.

As we passed down the "chip" isle, he asked me if I was going to the game. I told him  that my wife and her friend were going and we guys were staying behind. He said "dude" I've got four tickets, how many do you need, their yours. I was blown away, the face value of the tickets were seventy dollars a piece. I told him two would be great, our son offered to watch the girls and Kyle our friends son is old enough to be left alone. So my buddy and I got to attend the game after all:)

The tickets were in the nose bleed section, I did not care one bit. A strange thing did happen though. You have to understand, the stadium seats nearly 110,000 people. There were perhaps 100,000 in attendance. We are sitting up in the clouds enjoying the game and this police officer comes climbing up the stairs with a few other KPD officers. He stops at our row and begins to stare in my direction. I look at him and think nothing of it. I noticed he was still looking in my direction after I turned away,  so I look towards him again, and now he is pointing in my direction and demanding that someone get up and come to him. I still think he is looking past me at someone else. So I look around and then back at him. He yells at me and says "yes you, come here". My heart drops to my stomach. I am thinking I got counterfeit tickets and I am in trouble. Everyone else, I'm thinking, believes I am a terrorist.

So as I crawl over people to the isle and take my place next to the officer, I'm running through my options and what I might want to say. Should I ask him if he knows my son who just resigned as a KPD officer, what if he didn't like him? What rights do I have? I then began to hear another officer say "no, it's not him". Then the officer who called me to his side, abruptly tells me to go sit down. No apology, nothing. So I crawl back over the people who thought I was going to blow the stadium up and take my seat.

A stadium security guard is a few seats over and behind me pointing at two young college students and then holds up a bottle of liquor. Now the KPD has their real man. Except this time, everyone starts yelling at the police officers that they are picking on them because they are LSU fans. Where was my sympathy? I could have been dragged down the stadium stairs and no one would have said a peep. Oh well.

As it turned out, the two guys they nabbed looked nothing like me. I had on a baseball cap and was wearing sunglasses. Neither of the two LSU fans they took away had on a hat or were wearing sunglasses. Oh well, back to the game.

We left the game after the third quarter, poor Tennessee is just not the same caliber of a team it once was, we still had a blast, minus the slight misunderstanding:)


Back at the parking garage/RV gala, we fired up the grill and cooked some dinner. The night was more subdued than the previous evening, but still plenty of music and post game celebration, for LSU.

Next stop, a birthday party......................

Darla and Michelle's seats

Must be nice to sit so close.....

Cooking pancakes Saturday morning, on top of a parking garage!

Two Volunteers, get it?

New friends, not sure which one held the toilet handle too long.

Another garage top full of RV's

Our garage top, see our red Saturn? That's us.

Michelle surfing the net in her pj's

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