They let that big bird loose!

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I don’t do travelogue stories. I am not Triple A, Expedia, Travelocity or Hotel Finder.com. I don’t hardly even know where I’ve been… so it would be silly of me to suggest where you go.

But if you ever take a hankering to see an Auburn University football game have I got a deal for you!

Call Rodney and Karen Herring.

You don’t have to do nothing else… I’d go a day or two early so you can enjoy the whole experience. They start feeding you the moment you show up. And I’m telling you, this ain’t no cold croissant and dry cereal place. It was bacon and eggs every morning. And hot Krispy Kreme donuts upon request.

The bedroom is extra nice and the thermostat works! Kate, one of the beautiful daughters, will come over at lunch with her two sons, appropriately named “Thing One” and “Thing Two,” and entertain you.

They leave no stone unturned. It is why Rod is my favorite in the Herring family.

There was an Auburn baseball scrimmage on Friday afternoon. Ronald, the oldest brother, picks us up and goes with us to the game. He is probably the smartest of the Herring boys. He “remembered” a story I had written from 1996 about my son and I playing pitch. Wow!

It’s no wonder Ron has always been my favorite.

And don’t worry about parking on a major college university campus on an SEC football weekend. The boys had a super nice guy waiting out in the street to wave us into a private team parking lot RIGHT NEXT to the baseball field.

Listen, if you decide to go, Scott will give you a personal tour of the coaches’ offices and team locker room before taking you into the baseball stadium. Of course, he’ll let you pick out any seat in the ballpark you want.

It is just better than you could ever imagine.

 And don’t bother with bringing any Auburn University apparel along on the trip. Rod and Karen will take you into a store that has nothing but Orange and Blue as far as the eye can see. You can “pick out” and “try on” till your heart’s content.

Don’t bring any money with you either. You won’t need it. The Herrings take care of everything!

They’ll even call in the middle brother Randy on Game Day to entertain you. It is truly a beautiful campus. And on a gorgeous fall day it was a special treat to stroll by Samford Hall while Randy told us about rounding up a cow in the middle of town that had jumped out of some lady’s trailer.

We toured Toomers Corner. And had lunch at the famous “Cheeburger, Cheeburger” in downtown Auburn. You won’t mind the 40-minute wait. Randy will tell you about raising game-chickens and the sliding glass slot between the kitchen and his man cave whereby his wife delivers his food during the football season.

Randy remembered my childhood heroes, Modeane Guntch and Rollin Trull; which clearly makes him my favorite.

Listen, don’t fill up on the cheeseburgers! Your culinary experiences are just beginning. Ron’s two sons, Rusty and Will, are chips off the old block. You will not meet two nicer young men… they are in charge of the tailgating tent. They will insist you try the beef brisket; your taste buds will think you are at The County Line barbeque in San Antonio, Texas.

Rod had a parking pass for the garage just across the street from the football field. Talk about convenient! And we didn’t have to climb any stairs. Rod also had an elevator ready to take us up to this private section… And more free food! I enjoyed the Swedish meatballs. And the pizza rolls. And gosh, you couldn’t pass on the chili dog with onions. They had one whole freezer with nothing but Diet Cokes.

Our seats were absolutely perfect. And let me tell you, I’ve seen teams run on the field through lined-up bands. I’ve seen spears stuck in the ground. I’ve seen cannons fire, Sooner Schooners, tigers in cages, bulldogs, Bluetick hounds, longhorn steers, buffaloes and little green Irishmen… but when that giant Eagle spread those wings and flew high above the crowd…

I appreciate Rod and Karen for making it come alive for us.

And you can’t believe how many folks went out of their way to make us feel not only welcome, but special. What an honor it was to be in their presence!

The game was exciting but really anticlimactic. This place and this trip were about the people.

It is the America we don’t see on TV or read about in the newspapers anymore.

So I say again, if you are looking for a genuine pearl to visit…

And, believe me, you won’t have to ask “What’s in my wallet?”

Respectfully,

Kes

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