On a recent Saturday, Rob went with Carley's Dad to a college football game at Ole Miss. Ole Miss is the informal name of University of Mississippi, which is the alma mater of Carley's brother Barrett, as well as several of her uncles, aunts and cousins. Since it's only about 45 minutes from our house (located in Oxford), it's easy for us to get over there for games and concerts. As is typical in the south, all kinds of people around here are crazy about college football!
For this particular Saturday, the fans were especially fired up, since the visiting opponent was the defending national champions, the Florida Gators. The Gators were favored to win by more than 2 touchdowns, but it turns out they were a little over-rated. The Ole Miss Rebels ended up making a close game out of it with two big 2nd-half touchdowns, and the stadium was absolutely rocking with the exuberance of the fans. The final score was Florida 30, Ole Miss 24.
A wealthy client of Carley's Dad hooked us up with our seats, which were located in his skybox looming high over the south end zone. In addition to a private bathroom and a stocked fridge, the skybox featured a full-on buffet. From our skybox seats we could see other wealthy folks in neighboring skyboxes, including the leading Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Phil Bryant (in the black jacket, pointing).
The view from our skybox seats was quite a bit different than what we're used to seeing on TV! From here it's much harder to see whether the players gained any yards on short plays, for one thing.
Game-day Saturdays in the south mean partying starts in the morning, and tens of thousands of people party gather in "The Grove", a lovely shaded area of the Ole Miss campus about a quarter-mile from the stadium. Under the thousands of canopies are every kind of tailgate food imaginable, but a couple of the favorites are sausage biscuits and cheese-grits-casserole.
Since it's an election year here in Mississippi, the high-profile candidates even come here to campaign. A couple of canopies over from us was the leading Democratic candidate for governer, John Arthur Eaves.
Hanna Cabana is the wooded lakeside home of Josh and Bonnie Hanna, a couple we met last spring (thanks to our good friends Emily and Todd). We both clicked right away with these two, and they have quickly become good friends.
Josh is a copy editor at the Daily Journal newspaper, where Todd and Emily work.
Bonnie (right, holding Lucas) is a 7th grade special education teacher at Guntown Middle School. Yes, there is a place called Guntown around here! It's a small, mostly rural community about 15 minutes north of Tupelo. With Rob and Bonnie both teaching in special education, they always have plenty of stories to tell each other!
The back deck of the "cabana" is a gorgeous place to chill on a weekend afternoon.
Gorgeous? How about sublime?
The hammock and firepit setup next to the lake is pretty sweet, too. Good thing these guys only live about 12 minutes away!
The kids all had a good time. Rowan even got a mohawk!
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