Tag Archives: time square

Big weekend coming up

Around our house, this coming weekend is one of the big ones of the year. It is like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, New Years in Time Square, or the opening of deer hunting season in Pennsylvania.  It is the Florida-Georgia weekend. In this part of the world, this is more then a football game. It is a social and cultural event. As should be obvious, we are big Florida fans, but we live here “behind enemy lines” in Georgia.

There is a lot of history here. My first Florida game was in 1971. For the next 19 years, Georgia pretty much dominated the series. Vince Dooley, Buck Belue, Hershal Walker and the like “schooled” the Gators on a fairly regular basis. In 1990 the field shifted. Steve Spurrier came to Florida and since then the Gators have one 16 of the last 19 games.

Fla Ga 2

In recent years, the rivalry has intensified somewhat. In 2007, a group of UGA players stormed the field to celebrate their first touchdown. UGA fans credit that incident for psyching the Bulldogs to win that game. Last year, Florida had the game won when Urban Meyer called two time-outs in the final minute of the game to prolong Georgia’s agony. Payback is hell.

I have noticed a significant change in attitude among UGA fans this year. For most of the 17 years we have lived in Georgia, the UGA fans have been delightfully obnoxious before the game. They have never lacked for overconfidence.

“This year you are going down! Down, down down!”

In all but a handful of years, those boasts and predictions turned into muttered excuses and threats of ritual sepaku as the actual game progressed. However, this year, Georgia fans are acting humble, actually sounding defeatist.

My Bulldog friend, Sean, told me last night, “For the first time in as long as I can remember, I don’t think we have any chance in this game.”

That worries me. I much prefer the obnoxious, in-your-face Bulldog, who later walks away from the game with his stubby little tail between his legs.

On the other hand, I am not cocky about the game at all. There are too many games in this series when the favored team is sent home embarrassed. The Gators are ranked #1 and are unbeaten, but they aren’t hitting on all cylinders. The Poolman isn’t making any grand predictions. Crow is not one of my favorite foods.

Meanwhile, at the Poolman’s house, this has become one of our major party weekends of the year. We used to have tickets to the game, but lost our priority about ten years ago under circumstances too complicated to explain. So instead, Mrs. Poolman’s family comes to Savannah for a “house party.”  They are joined by a bunch of our friends, friends of friends, children’s friends, friends’ children, etc.

We’ll set up at least three TVs, inside and out. (Here is praying the prediction of dry weather continues to hold.)  The group is a good mixture of fans of both teams, and a ton of food and drink. Typically the Florida fans are in the family room and the Georgia fans out in the courtyard. The casual fans set up “beer pong” on the basketball court.  Mrs. Poolman is much more ecumenical than she has any need to be. She buys red and black napkins and paper plates to go along with the orange and blue.

This should be an interesting weekend. Go Gators!

“Start spreading the news…”

It’s been a busy week. This is the first opportunity I’ve to post the story of our trip to New York City last weekend.

Mrs. Poolman and I were both “Big Apple Virgins.” Neither of us had visited NYC. There is a story behind this, so bear with me.

Our hostess on this trip was a good friend who I’ve known since high school. Randi has stayed in touch with us and we have visited back and forth, but never to New York.

Also along was another couple. Marcia and Greg. Marcia and Randi have been best friends since grade school and we were all part of the same group of friends in high school. Marcia and I have stayed loosely in touch since then, mostly on a Christmas card exchange basis.

Several years ago, Marcia’s husband, Greg, an artist and art teacher, was diagnosed with ALS. At this point, he is confined to a motorized wheelchair with limited use of a thumb to control it. They took a southern vacation last spring and spent several days with us. Despite some initial trepidation, we had a great time. Marcia is the same fantastic person she was 35 years ago. Greg is simply a superman. For a guy who has a terribly crippling disease, his attitude is incredible. To talk to him, you would think he had nothing more serious than a sprained ankle. They are absolutely amazing!

We flew up on Thursday and stayed until Sunday evening. Marcia and Greg drove up from Philadelphia on Friday afternoon.

Randi is absolutely the “hostess with the mostest.” She had darn near every waking minute crammed with some activity. Our HQ was her apartment two blocks south of Central Park. We were unabashed tourists and loved it.

We rode the Staten Island Ferry.Staten Island Ferry

NYC Skyline_edited-1We even saw President Obama leave Manhattan after his UN visit.Obama

We went to Grand Central Station.Grand Central

We ate incredible meals. Meal

We visited Central Park.Central Park

We went to Time Square.Times Square

We walked the Brooklyn Bridge.Brooklyn Bridge

We went to a Broadway play.Billy Elliot

We watched the lights come on from the Top of the Rock.City Lights

With just an hour left before we had to leave to the airport, we even squeezed in a street fair.Street Fair

And we walked, and we walked, and we walked, even in the rain. .Walk in the rain

Great time had by all. Thank you Randi, Marcia and Greg for making it a fantastic weekend. We’ll be back!