Iron Bowl Memories
by Chris Sieber
My oldest son Christopher graduated from the University of Texas several
years ago and is an orange blood Longhorn fan.
He invited me to this years Texas/OU game in Dallas, so I thought I would
return the favor and invited him to the Alabama/Auburn game in Tuscaloosa.
We flew into Birmingham on Friday and then drove down to Tuscaloosa. It's
the first time I'd been back Alabama since the mid 90's.
Spent Friday eating at Dreamland, visiting with family and marveling at all
the motor homes parked all over Tuscaloosa. Is it true that some Tide fans
drove RV's over to Hawaii? The game was awful, starting with the woman
behind me spilling her Coke down my back and ending with watching Auburn
fans celebrate in Bryant-Denny Stadium. My brother Daniel works at the
University right by the Stadium, so we got great parking and missed alot of
the traffic after the game. I remember how crazy Tuscaloosa got on game
days, and that was before the stadium expansions.
On Sunday, Christopher and I got up and talked Daniel into riding with us
down to Demopolis. We stayed off the interstate and drove down Hwy 43
through Eutaw and Forkland. Still very pretty country. Where did the
Schlitz beer can silos and the University of Greene County go? Jim Bird's
hay bale creations are amazing. The Statue of Liberty is really, really
good. Maybe someone could create a web gallery of his work. Coming into
town, I missed the old River Bridge, the Mug and Cone, and the Elk Food
Mart. Christopher grew up in Plano, Texas, just outside of Dallas, so
Demopolis was a big change for him. His high school senior class had over
1,800+ kids, so it was fun showing off the old high school and all the
sights. It was really good to see the town again and remember the history,
the special places and the special people.
It was a quick trip, since we had to be back in Birmingham that afternoon to
get home, but we did have time for lunch. We stopped at the Ellis V right
at noon. We didn't have to wait long for a table and had a great view of
the front door while having some really fine catfish. What struck me was
watching people coming in and saying hello to each table as they walked
through. And people leaving said hello to each table all the way out the
door. As much as I like anonymous, big city Dallas, it was good to
experience the small town courtesy and familiarity. We were actually
spotted by our back fence neighbors, Drew and Genida Johnson on their way
out and got to do a little catching up as we were leaving. Even though a
quick trip, it renewed old memories for me and certainly created new ones.
Chris Sieber, '71