Sunday, June 11, 2006

The next morning Jay and I were up and went early to the 11 am Clemson-University of North Carolina-Asheville game that had been postponed from the night before.

This time we parked in the Clemson football stadium lot. It is a large lot with lots of shade trees in it. We parked under one of the trees. I don't know what kind of donation is necessary to get to park here during football games but I know it is a thousands of dollars. There is a private parking lot some distance away where you can park on grass for $400 a season.

We walked up the incline to the stadium and walked around. Surprisingly the stadium was open but maybe that was because workmen were working on it. We didn't bother them and they didn't bother us.

When I think of Death Valley, I think of LSU's stadium. In fact, listening to ESPN radio on Saturday they said LSU's stadium is the loudest and worst place to play on Saturday night.

However, Clemson also calls their stadium Death Valley. At the south end of the stadium is a stand with a rock from DEath Valley, California, that the players rub before running onto the field. It had a locked cover on it so we could see it but could not touch.

After rubbing the rock the players run DOWN a hill in that end zone to get to the playing field. And it is down. I'm surprised someone doesn't break a leg.

At the baseball game I was surprised that, although Clemson won, it was a close game. I thought Clemson would blow them out.

We played UNC-Asheville and beat them 5-4. Both Jay and I were impressed with UNC-Asheville. We thought they must be the best number four seed in the tournament so I was suprised when James said their record was 28-31.

Saturday night Clemson played Elon and whupped them soundly. I had thought that was what they would have done to UNC-Asheville.

I just can't remember when we ate where so I will just describe our meals.

Clemson has a cute little downtown area that reminds me a lot of Tigertown, next to LSU. It has lots of restaurants and stores catering to students. We ate there twice. Once was at Firehouse Subs where I had the best sub I have ever eaten.

The Saturday afternoon game was very hot but a woman next to us had a contraption composed of a battery-operated fan with a spray bottle. When she shared and sprayed Jay and I it felt so good. She said she bought it at WalMart. Hers was in Clemson's colors which I didn't want but she said it also came in pink.

Sunday morning we decided to find a WalMart to buy some for the afternoon game. The WalMart in Seneca was open but they still have blue laws and the only thing you could buy until 1:30 on Sunday is food. We didn't mind. It's their town and they get to run it the way they want.

We went into Clemson and tried and tried to find WalMart. We asked several people but kept getting lost. When we finally did find one, they did not have the fan-spray bottle. We bought a regular spray bottle and it helped some in the hot afternoon.

We ate lunch at a Western Sizzling. Jay said he hadn't eaten there in years.

As we went through the Clemson campus, we stopped at Lightsey Apartments and took my picture in front of the sign. We wanted to see John C. Calhoun's home but the signs kept taking us to closed off roads so we finally gave up.

Sunday afternoon we played Elon and won easily. I blistered a bit.

We were sitting in my maroon folding chairs under a tree in the parking lot. It was getting dark again and I heard a Clemson man talking about rain. I went over and he said they were tarping the field.

It came a rain and the Clemson-MSU game did not start until close to 9:30.

It was not a good start. We were the home team for the game and in the top of the first inningthe Clemson lead-off batter hit the first pitch out for a home run. I thought it might be a long night.

Jay had to leave after a few innings to get back to Atlanta. I stayed and I was cold. I had put on another shirt and Jay had lent me a blanket out of his car. I kept it completely wrapped around me but still I was cold.

We did better and even led one time. However Clemson finally won that game and the series with a score of 8-6. I thought we did well in the tournament.

There is a sort of terrace over the right field fence at Clemson where some big spenders watch the game. They have some kind of machine that makes orange smoke. Usually the smoke just goes straight up. However Sunday night, maybe because of the rain, the smoke hovered close to the ground, went onto the field, and engulfed Jeff Butts, the MSU right fielder. It looked strange, like the horror movie The Fog.

Ron Polk went out and protested to the umpire to no avail. He went back to the dugout and the game resumed.

Then softly, the MSU fan sitting next to me said I can't believe that Ron Polk of all people conplained about smoke.

If you have never been to Dudy Noble in Starkville, I will explain that there is a smoky haze over the field from all the barbecue grills in the outfield.

I did not enjoy this game. We were losing, I was cold,and the game wasn't over until 12:30. I was so sleepy I just wanted it to be over. Luckily I got out of the parking lot and on the highway to Seneca fast.

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