Going back to Tallahassee

Florida State University TallahasseeWe’ve been so busy the last few years on the autumn weekends with Fairhope High School band activities, that we haven’t been able to return to our Alma Mater in Tallahassee to see a college football game. But this weekend, we finally got to make the three and a half hour trip east to see the undefeated Seminoles play Boston College.

Yacht Rock ReviewBefore every home football game, the City of Tallahassee hosts the “Downtown Get Down” for fans. Food vendors, merchants, cheerleaders and bands are all on hand to provide a big kick-off to a weekend of fun. The band above,  Yacht Rock Review was performing, and much to our youngest son’s embarrassment, we rocked out, along with all the other old(ish) alumni. Dressed in their finest leisure suits, the band entertained the mainly over 30 crowd with hits from Prince, Michael Jackson, Boston, Huey Lewis and the News, Steely Dan and many more. They were awesome! I even caught Junior getting into the groove.


Oak Tree with Spanish Moss TallahasseeThe FSU campus is beautiful. Massive old oak trees with spanish moss are everywhere.


Game day started with what Floridians call, “Liquid Sunshine.” And it soon turned into a, “Monsoon of Sunshine.” We trudged through the drizzle, with my hair in a frizzle and made the best of it.

FSU Christmas SweatersI loved these ugly Christmas sweaters in the gift shop! Don’t you know a family portrait in these would look hilarious on a Christmas card?



This isn’t such a great photo, but it’s the very first time I’ve had positive proof that my youngest son is now taller than me. YIKES! At 5’8″ I’m now the shortest! The other kid is 6″2″, so I’m sure this one still has a way to go. We had to stop and feed him about every two hours, just like when he was a baby. Being from small-town Fairhope, he had never had the joy of eating in a Dairy Queen. A few hamburgers and a Peanut Buster Parfait later, he said he was going to open the first DQ franchise back home. (They just opened a new DQ in Mobile, and I’ve already checked it out).


Dodd Hall FSUDodd Hall has always been a beautiful building. I can remember going to classes on this side of campus to my favorites  . . . English Literature 101 and 102. I had Nan White and later, her husband Dan White as my instructors. I enjoyed their classes so much and now wish I had paid better attention, so I wouldn’t do things like over-use punctuation!!!!!!!!!!!!!


There was still an element of tension on campus due to the shooting that occurred the previous Thursday. An attorney who had received his law degree from another school, and his undergraduate from FSU, returned to Tallahassee and entered Strozier Library late at night while 400 students were studying for final exams and shot three innocent students. Thankfully, the students all survived, and the gunman was quickly stopped by the FSU Police. It’s such a crazy world.


There were signs and notes of thanks to the law enforcement officials throughout the campus and a moving tribute was made at the football game that night.

reynolds-spearAnd speaking of the game . .  . one of FSU’s favorite alumni returned to plant the spear in the ground at the beginning of the game. None other than Burt Reynolds! Burt is a former FSU football player and has supported FSU for years, encouraging students in the Drama Department, and now the Film School, which is currently ranked #1 in the country. A video tribute to Burt was shown, and when they flashed a scene from, “Smokey and the Bandit,” the crowd went wild. One of the best Southern movies ever made.


FSU football

(This is the part of my trip that Northern friends have told me they don’t understand. It involves a severe devotion to college football . . .)

And then . . . it rained harder. And harder. This is the view from within my plastic poncho. It’s how I watched most of the game. Before we had children, we had season tickets that didn’t require us to squeeze into the end zone. The things we give up to become parents!


We cheered especially hard for Seminole defensive back Nate Andrews who is a Fairhope High School graduate and one of the most valuable players on the FSU team.

Boiled PeanutsThe sky broke open, but hardly anyone left. The stands were full of plastic -covered screaming, stomping and singing fans. My cup of boiled peanuts filled up with raindrops, and yet we stayed and cheered on our Seminoles. It poured buckets of drenching, frog-chokin’ rain, and still, we stood our ground. Boston College put up an excellent fight and their fans were good sports and seemed like they were having a great time.

FSU game in the rainIt was a tight game, but in the end, what counts? Do you win, or do you loose?  We won.

For the 27th time in a row.

And I know that all my University of Alabama and Mississippi State University friends are looking for a chance to cut off that winning streak, and odds are going in the direction that one of them will soon have a chance.

But when you’ve got “The Bandit” on your side . . .

Smokey and the BanditEast bound and down, loaded up and truckin’
We gonna do what they say can’t be done!


Do tell, are you the kind of fan that would sit through a rainstorm for a football game?





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