Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Travels with Dad: Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee isn't that far of a drive from my hometown of Pensacola. It's a straight shot down an uneventful interstate for close to three hours. I ended up driving that road many times, but the trip that I remember the best was when I was not quite 17.

My sister was a member of the FSU Marching Chiefs. She was in the flag corps. Maverick got to travel to many places and attend plenty of bowl games. She did have to audition for the corps every year. The three of us woke up very early on a spring morning to get Maverick to her audition. I remember wondering what Dad and I were going to do while Maverick spent hours and hours doing whatever she was doing.

After dropping Maverick off at Tully Gym, Dad and I walked around a bit looking at the university grounds. We wandered near the baseball stadium discovering that a game was about to begin. Dad looked at me with excitement in his eyes, “Hey, Sarabeth, want to go?”

“Sure, but I don't want to sit in the cheap seats.” And, by that I meant the bleachers along the third base line. They didn't look very comfortable, and the game would be difficult to watch from that angle.

Dad made one of the noises that I just can explain well. It's a cross between a scoff and a guttural sound. He headed to the ticket booth where he learned that there were only cheap seats left. We took them.

Far from having a miserable time sitting on hard, metal benches, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The game was against a perennial rival, the University of Miami. The pitching was fantastic. The fielding was spectacular to watch. However, it was the crowd that really made the game. These people were there to watch and to cheer. No one was drunk or obnoxious (well, I can't speak for The Animals). Everyone was watching the game, which went into extra innings. I can't remember who won.

We were late picking up Maverick. She made the flag corps. I had a mild sunburn on my feet where the criss-cross straps of my sandals didn't cover. Dad was exhausted. I know he was tired because he let me drive all the way home. He fell asleep. That, to me, was the ultimate expression of his trust and faith in my driving skills.


e4c5 said...

That is a very touching anecdote. I lost my own father about five years ago and can relate. I have been to Charlottesville several times for classes and enjoyed it. Now I'm going to stop clogging up your blog!

Liz Self said...

Believe it or not, I've also watched a Florida State v Univ. of Miami baseball game at FSU. I went with my sister and bil when visited them in Tally -- and we sat along the third-base line on the bleachers! It was a good game, but there were students in the bleachers heckling the Miami players pretty hard.

Sarabeth said...

Ah, Liz, that is also the fun of baseball at a smaller level. The fans are close enough for the heckles to reach the players. To me, that was always part of the game.

A friend of ours, Chuck, was a great heckler. When a UM player missed a pop fly, he would yell "Hey buddy, that's what the big brown thing on your hand is for." I also remember some of The Animals getting a player so good with their heckles that the player was laughing along with the first base coach.

Kell said...

My father was once an umpire and referee for soccer, softball and baseball. I used to go (I was probably 10) to games with him - and listen as all the "fans" screamed at him - it was mildly upsetting at the time...

But since my father was always right, I took it with a grain of salt!