I donÂ’t do travelogue stories. I am not Triple A, Expedia,
Travelocity or Hotel Finder.com. I donÂ’t hardly even know where IÂ’ve beenÂ… so
it would be silly of me to suggest where you go.
But if you ever take a hankering to see an Auburn University
football game have I got a deal for you!
Call Rodney and Karen Herring.
You donÂ’t have to do nothing elseÂ… IÂ’d go a day or two early
so you can enjoy the whole experience. They start feeding you the moment you
show up. And IÂ’m telling you, this ainÂ’t no cold croissant and dry cereal
place. It was bacon and eggs every morning. And hot Krispy Kreme donuts upon
The bedroom is extra nice and the thermostat works! Kate,
one of the beautiful daughters, will come over at lunch with her two sons,
appropriately named Â“Thing OneÂ” and Â“Thing Two,Â” and entertain you.
They leave no stone unturned. It is why Rod is my favorite
in the Herring family.
There was an Auburn baseball scrimmage on Friday afternoon.
Ronald, the oldest brother, picks us up and goes with us to the game. He is
probably the smartest of the Herring boys. He Â“rememberedÂ” a story I had
written from 1996 about my son and I playing pitch. Wow!
ItÂ’s no wonder Ron has always been my favorite.
And donÂ’t worry about parking on a major college university
campus on an SEC football weekend. The boys had a super nice guy waiting out in
the street to wave us into a private team parking lot RIGHT NEXT to the
Listen, if you decide to go, Scott will give you a personal
tour of the coachesÂ’ offices and team locker room before taking you into the
baseball stadium. Of course, heÂ’ll let you pick out any seat in the ballpark
It is just better than you could ever imagine.
Â And donÂ’t bother with
bringing any Auburn University apparel along on the trip. Rod and Karen will
take you into a store that has nothing but Orange and Blue as far as the eye
can see. You can Â“pick outÂ” and Â“try onÂ” till your heartÂ’s content.
DonÂ’t bring any money with you either. You wonÂ’t need it.
The Herrings take care of everything!
TheyÂ’ll even call in the middle brother Randy on Game Day to
entertain you. It is truly a beautiful campus. And on a gorgeous fall day it
was a special treat to stroll by Samford Hall while Randy told us about
rounding up a cow in the middle of town that had jumped out of some ladyÂ’s
We toured Toomers Corner. And had lunch at the famous Â“Cheeburger,
CheeburgerÂ” in downtown Auburn. You wonÂ’t mind the 40-minute wait. Randy will
tell you about raising game-chickens and the sliding glass slot between the
kitchen and his man cave whereby his wife delivers his food during the football
Randy remembered my childhood heroes, Modeane Guntch and
Rollin Trull; which clearly makes him my favorite.
Listen, donÂ’t fill up on the cheeseburgers! Your culinary
experiences are just beginning. RonÂ’s two sons, Rusty and Will, are chips off
the old block. You will not meet two nicer young menÂ… they are in charge of the
tailgating tent. They will insist you try the beef brisket; your taste buds
will think you are at The County Line barbeque in San Antonio, Texas.
Rod had a parking pass for the garage just across the street
from the football field. Talk about convenient! And we didnÂ’t have to climb any
stairs. Rod also had an elevator ready to take us up to this private sectionÂ… And
more free food! I enjoyed the Swedish meatballs. And the pizza rolls. And gosh,
you couldnÂ’t pass on the chili dog with onions. They had one whole freezer with
nothing but Diet Cokes.
Our seats were absolutely perfect. And let me tell you, IÂ’ve
seen teams run on the field through lined-up bands. IÂ’ve seen spears stuck in
the ground. IÂ’ve seen cannons fire, Sooner Schooners, tigers in cages,
bulldogs, Bluetick hounds, longhorn steers, buffaloes and little green IrishmenÂ…
but when that giant Eagle spread those wings and flew high above the crowdÂ…
I appreciate Rod and Karen for making it come alive for us.
And you canÂ’t believe how many folks went out of their way
to make us feel not only welcome, but special. What an honor it was to be in
The game was exciting but really anticlimactic. This place
and this trip were about the people.
It is the America we donÂ’t see on TV or read about in the
So I say again, if you are looking for a genuine pearl to
And, believe me, you wonÂ’t have to ask Â“WhatÂ’s in my