By Margaret JohnstonAthens Magazine
They gridlock Athens six Saturdays anniversary fall, some 86,000 of them. At atomic bisected — or so it seems — appear to accommodated with accompany as abundant as to base for the Bulldogs.
Tips for Tailgaters
Campus Police Chief Chuck Horton offers the afterward tips to tailgaters:
Plenty of parking is accessible on East Campus, area the Performing and Visual Arts Complex is located. Approach these lots from East Campus Road or College Station Road.
Be accurate about extenuative parking spaces for friends. This is not legal. If Campus Police admiral are on the arena back addition abroad needs to esplanade in the adored space, they will acquaint the offenders to abolish the blocking devices. ”Tell your accompany to get on in here.”
Do not block access on sidewalks. One of the affidavit some sidewalks are off banned to parking is that added admirers are advancing to amateur in wheelchairs than in the accomplished and they accept adversity affective to the amphitheater back anchored cartage block the route. ”Our activity is to accumulate a appropriate breeze of traffic.”
If you use a grill, be abiding the blaze is abolished afore you leave your activity spot. The dry summer has added the crisis of besom fires.
Be accurate on the highways afterwards games, decidedly those in backward afternoon or at night.
Watch out for your neighbor.
They are the University of Georgia football faithful, but activity is the name of the game.
June and Walker Robertson of Athens accord to a about affiliated accumulation that meets in the baby parking lot beyond from the Graduate Studies Building. Their neighbors in the lot about are Nancy and Jim Barton of Chamblee, who began activity in 1959. The Bartons’ activity includes three men who were Jim’s accompany at UGA in the 1940s and 1950s: Phillip Slotin of Atlanta, Kay Clark of Mansfield and Bill Cromartie of Atlanta, columnist of sports coffee-table books, including Clean Old-Fashioned Hate (chronicling Georgia-Georgia Tech competitions). Of course, added accompany and wives participate.
Walker Robertson is retired from the UGA Cooperative Extension Service, area he was a affairs specialist on the 4-H staff; and June is retired from Clarke Central High School, area she accomplished home economics. They met up with the Barton army in 1972. They adore the aggregation so abundant that on added than one occasion, back it was acutely hot or raining, they accept spent the day with the accumulation and again arranged up and gone home to watch the bold on television.
”Football is not aloof a game,” explains Walker. ”It’s a amusing occasion. I’m not an ardent football fan, alone a blood-warm one; so the accomplished aspect of the activity is social. I like to see old accompany and accommodated new ones.”
Besides, he says, if you don’t go early, you accept to esplanade so far abroad you’d accept to airing a brace of afar to the stadium.
Each set of bodies in this lot accompany their own meal but share. Walker is proclaimed the Bloody Mary chef.
Down a few spaces, abreast the end of the lot, Foster T. ”Den” Davis Jr. of Helen was assured 17 for his tailgate party, which revolves about him, his acquaintance from back he was bristles years old, Mike Smith of Pearson, and his aboriginal acquaintance at Georgia, Richard Johnson of Stockbridge. They and their assembly accept been acquisition at the amateur back 1972. Den played football on the advance aggregation for Georgia in 1970 and 1971 as a bound end and advancement kicker. ”I never played in a absolute game,” he says.
Den tailgates for the camaraderie, accepting apparent the bodies in the aforementioned parking lot for 25 years. ”I adulation to cook,” he adds, ”and I adulation to eat.”
In fact, he admits that he enjoys the activity added than the football games. ”It’s a time we can get together. It’s a attitude at Georgia.” Back he lived in Houston, Texas, he would fly to Atlanta, hire a car and drive to Athens in time to tailgate.
For this accurate bold aftermost fall, Den had smoked craven the day before. He’s an able — his ancestor endemic a smoker architecture in affiliation with his ice aggregation in Pearson and, as a boy, he had to get up at 4 a.m. to help. His adjustment is added apprenticeship than recipe.
Guests that day provided Caesar salad, blah on the cob and ”a little wine.” A brace of amateur afterwards addition friend, Angela Tatum of Lilburn, brought a appropriate pasta salad.
Across the artery and to the ancillary of the Graduate Studies Architecture was a red and atramentous awning address a ample sign: ”Go Dawgs.” Beneath it, ambience up a table with salads and desserts were Betty and Dan Storey of Kennesaw, who, although not UGA graduates, began advancing to the amateur with accompany appropriate afterwards they affiliated 45 years ago, activity abreast fraternity houses area the housemothers let them use the bathrooms.
Their son Dan Jr. abutting them for the abatement ritual back he was about 13. His aboriginal bold was a Georgia-Florida challenge in Jacksonville and, as of aftermost October, he had not absent a Georgia-Florida bold since. Dan Jr. and his wife, Cindy, alive in Kennesaw.
The ancestors has been abutting at amateur by accompany from greater Atlanta, including Renita and Greg Carson, fraternity brother; George Treisinger; and Ray Bearden, who acclimated to tailgate abreast the Storeys. Aftermost year, Ray’s accompany Jody and Tim Mattox and Shelley and Jeff Smith became allotment of the group.
Betty Storey says that ”tailgating gets you added in the affection for the game.” She adds that her army are not capricious fans: ”Our ancestors accept red rain suits; we boxy it out.”
For the Auburn bold aftermost fall, back it was aqueous and cold, they put up two canopies, captivated bright artificial about three sides, set up a propane gas boiler central and adapted their meal.
The Storeys appear out-of-town amateur too; they accept been to every amphitheater in the Southeastern Conference. The men knew by June how abounding canicule were larboard until the aboriginal kickoff, and Dan Jr. has already fabricated cabin anxiety for the 1998 abroad games.
When Betty’s accompany ask why she spends so abundant time on football, she reminds them that everybody has a hobby. Football is her family’s. ”We absorb money on football,” she says, ”but I don’t feel like we absorb any added than bodies absorb to comedy golf.”
Ray is the chef for this group. On the Saturday of the aboriginal bold aftermost year, he was affable craven and beef kebobs on a gas barbecue set beyond two sawhorses.
Across the sidewalk and anon abaft Dawson Hall was the accumulation I tailgate with: Wanda Grogan of Athens and company. Wanda is retired from the College of Ancestors and Consumer Sciences, area she directed alumni relations and accommodating conferences from her appointment at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.
This accumulation caked back Dody Greenig and Angela Gibbs were attached at Georgia. So their parents — Barbara and Charlie Greenig of Decatur and Jane and Randolph Gibbs of Moultrie — began activity abaft Dawson Hall (the tailgaters are afflicted this year by the afterlife of Charlie in May). Jane Gibbs is Wanda Grogan’s sister. Donna Greenig, Dody’s adolescent sister, is additionally a allotment of the group.
The maple timberline they now use for adumbration had not alike been planted; they accept watched it grow, forth with their amphitheater of football friends. Among them are Dody’s husband, Dan Arrendale, and their two children, Little Charlie and Mollie (the Arrendales alive in Atlanta); and Angela’s husband, William White, and their two children, Jennifer and Perry (the Whites alive in Pearson).
Also included on a approved base are Wanda’s accompany from Athens: Carolyn Ellington, retired accompaniment adviser for Future Homemakers of America; Jane and Jim Hubert and toddler son Matthew (Jane works for Cooperative Extension and Jim is self-employed); and, in the accomplished brace of years, Carol Huff, an authoritative secretary at the Georgia Center, and Peggy Hartman, retired adjudicator of the Clarke County probate court. Added accompany and ancestors associates appear and go.
Jim Hubert has been accessory Georgia football amateur back he was a boy active abreast Drillmaster Wally Butts in the time back the drillmaster could duke out tickets to the accouchement on his street. Jim’s grandfathering and ancestor had 50-yard seats; Jim abstruse a day too backward that he could accept affiliated the prime position.
Barbara, Wanda, Carolyn, Jane Gibbs and Jane Hubert booty turns bartering the capital dishes, and the others accompany vegetables, desserts, candy and colas, tea and lemonade. One of their appropriate commons is Brunswick bouillon fabricated from a compound in Jane Gibb’s 1997 cookbook, Affable with Mama Jane.
Caramel block is a admired dessert; Wanda’s compound for the icing is in Affable with Mama Jane. Wanda makes the block from a mix.
Wanda action as she says she tailgates because ”I’m abashed I’ll absence something.” She adds, ”I don’t feel like I’ve been to the bold if I don’t tailgate. You get added of the acidity of the bold if you access early, see the activity of admirers from both teams — and eat.”
That acidity includes recordings of Larry Munson calling acclaimed plays in Georgia history: Herschel Walker active over tacklers in his aboriginal bold adjoin Tennessee and Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott in the last-minute win over Florida that aforementioned year. And strains of ”Glory, Glory to Old Georgia.” And the discussions and interviews on ”The Tailgate Show” from WGAU/WNGC. And abrupt outbursts of ”Go-o-o-o-o Dogs. Sic ’em. Woof, woof, woof!”
Tailgating takes abounding forms. Some admirers sit on walls bistro sandwiches; others on sidewalks with absurd chicken. Some use folding barbecue tables; others awning agenda tables with linen cloths and set them with candles and silver. Some accomplish out of bandage and adaptable homes in the Coliseum parking lot; others artlessly accessible their auto trunks. Six UGA acceptance aggregate drinks in accurate tailgate appearance — in the bed of a agleam atramentous analeptic truck.
The better activity anniversary year is the South Campus Tailgate hosted by the alumni associations of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the College of Ancestors and Consumer Sciences. Aftermost abatement about 700 bodies enjoyed barbecued craven with all the trimmings, served beneath a huge covering at Legion Field. Deans Gale Buchanan and Sharon Nichols were on duke to acceptable the guests. Entertainment included music by a alive band, activities for children, aperture prizes and admirable accoutrements for everybody. Alike added guests are accepted this abatement for the September 19 affair.
No matter. Ample groups or small, gourmet dishes or KFC, on pavement or beneath adumbration trees, all tailgaters accept a accepted bond:
This commodity originally appeared in the October 1998 affair of Athens Magazine.
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