Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Like Swallows Returning to Capistrano...

(FYI, not much writing here; lots of pics tho, so freshen up your coffee! *smile*)

So, this past Valentine's Day was the 30th anniversary of my first date with this beautiful Bama coed with gorgeous blue eyes. Just a little over 3 years later, we put rings on each other's fingers, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Even I, a relationally-challenged male (pardon the redundancy there), recognized that this was a biggie. In discussing what to do for the anniversary, here's what my Bama coed said: "Let's ride up to Tuscaloosa & poke around campus & eat some Dreamland ribs." I thought long & hard about this for 2, maybe 3 nano-seconds.

Private tour of Bryant-Denny Stadium? Check! (Including seeing the places where people who live in *vastly* different financial worlds than I sit to watch games...)

In our days @ UA, it seated 60-something thousand folks. Now it's 101,000+.

We like our football history @ Bama. Even the concession stands tell some history.

Despite the huge size, massive muscles, & obvious youthful blazing speed,
this is NOT one of Coach Saban's stud players. It's me, silly!

"Simply put, football is eyes, movement, and contact." Paul W. Bryant

The locker room. I was VERY fired up & ready to go out on the field & hit someone after
walking around in here. Instead, we went to eat...which is not exactly the same thing.

DT...still one of the best ever in both college and the pros. R.I.P. #55.

I love what they've done to the lockers. This was Mark Ingram's locker; my childhood hero Johnny Musso, the original Italian Stallion, also wore #22.

Once more, Greg McElroy's Mom was in HS with me.
Joe Namath & Kenny Stabler were All-Americans who also wore #12.

Julio Jones' locker. Despite standing here & staring a couple of minutes,
I'm neither taller nor faster. Strange...

Where the incredibly rich folk sit to watch a game.

Same box, looking away from the field.

And again.

"In Training"...Yeah, my childhood dream was to play for Coach Bryant;
alas, when one's 5'5" & about 115 @ age 18, + very slow/wimpy, such dreams die young...

It's a bit more crowded here on game day.

2 young Bama undergrads hanging out near Denny Chimes.
Wait...that might be Lisa & me; confusing us w/ undergrads is, of course, a natural mistake.

Around Denny Chimes, they put the hand & footprints of each year's captains.
Bobby Smith was Coach Bryant's 1st QB @ Bama.
He was also principal of Meigs Jr. High, which boasts one
Michael B. Madaris as a proud member of the class of 74.

The President's Home. Of course, it's been years since the UA President actually lived there, but it's still a pretty neat place.

From the Quad looking toward the stadium

Denny Chimes.

Denny Chimes from across the Quad. In another couple of weeks the campus (like many campuses in this part of the world!) will be beautiful with plants & trees blooming.

The Gorgas Library. This other Bama coed I know studied Library Sciences at UA & thus spent a lot of time in this building. After graduating, she & her hubby moved down to Ft. Walton Beach, FL & raised two sons. One of them blogs occasionally, and has been seen teaching Econ & Finance in Mississippi. *clears throat*

The building on the right is Bidgood Hall, which is one of the buildings housing the College of Commerce & Business Administration. (In our day, it was the *only* building housing CBA; now there are three) The building on the left is where these grad students in Econ & Finance used to have offices. One of those guys has been seen teaching Econ & Finance in South MS.
Random quad pic. Since it was a beautiful Spring-like day, there were a *bunch* of students playing frisbee, tossing a football around, walking dogs, playing music, or just lying there chilling.

My Bama coed hanging out on the Quad.

The Gorgas Home, rt in the middle of campus. Josiah Gorgas was chief artillery officer for the Confederate Army as I recall reading. When Mom was @ UA, there were still Gorgas descendants living here. It's a very neat place.

Michael B. Madaris, Economics, 1983. Lisa L. Mixon Madaris, Accounting, 1984.

Michael B. Madaris, M.A., Economics 1988; Ph.D. Financial Economics, 1990.

Bidgood Hall up close.

My last office in my Ph.D. studies days was the window directly over
where it says "Bidgood Hall."

Random Quad pic from in front of Bidgood.

Looking across the Quad.
My new Bama shirt: "A...How I Roll"

Our cholesterol had been a bit low; fortunately, there's Dreamland ribs to remedy that particular problem. In our day, there were only ribs on the menu; now they have sides too.
Still the same stylish interior decor.

Personalized autographed pic of the great Bart Starr, UA grad & Packer legend.
Above that, an autographed pic of UA grads & NFL legends Kenny Stabler & Ray Perkins (the pride of Petal, MS) Snake & Perkins combined for a bunch of passing yards for the Tide in the mid 60s.
The prelims: white bread & BBQ sauce. Nothing else is needed, really.
In our days @ UA, "Big Daddy" (pic by door) was still cooking the ribs here.

In 1980, this young beach hippie wanna-be moved to Tuscaloosa & roomed w/ a couple of guys from back home who already lived @ Forrester Gardens.

We lived in the one on the lower left that's boarded up. (Supply your own punchline here)
This beautiful coed from S. AL with gorgeous blue eyes lived in the one on the upper right.

Our church in downtown Tuscaloosa when we were newlyweds. Our pastor back then is now executive director of the AL Baptists. *Significant* life change & roots strengthening happened here in the mid 1980s. SO thankful...

Out in Holt a couple of miles outside of town, there's this trailer court. On this particular site was a used trailer back in the day. In that trailer lived this couple of newlyweds, in un-air-conditioned comfort. (Newlyweds do such foolish things...) That couple now lives in Hattiesburg, MS, but rolled back through Tuscaloosa a couple of weeks ago...
This driveway leads to the former home of my MUCH beloved Aunt & Uncle Daisy & George Styles. They were our landlords & lived just across the road from the trailer court. Being in their orbit @ the end of my single days & @ the beginning of our married days was a GREAT privilege that was HUGELY significant in making me who I am today as a man, husband, father, disciple, & church member. Uncle George's gorgeous tenor voice is now part of the heavenly choir praising the One he loved & sang to on earth. Aunt Daisy is still here.
Lisa & I just TREASURE their impact on us!

I even got a personal note welcoming me back to campus from the University Police. Well, it didn't exactly say "welcome back to campus"...more like "Don't ever park here again without a parking decal." But using the tools of postmodern debate & political discourse, I read it to say "Welcome back to campus." *smile*

And thus wraps up a photoblog of our return to Capistrano, er Tuscaloosa...

Roll Tide!