Well, my days of wondering what a Bash is like are over. I attended my first bash, Bash V, this past Saturday and I must say that it exceeded my wildest expectations.
I don't know exactly what I expected but everything I had heard about the bashes had been positive so it was with a great deal of confidence that I set out from Richmond with two friends Saturday morning to join with other Tar Heels in what has become a spring ritual for lovers of Carolina football. ( that sentence must have set a record for length- it's so bad, it's good.
I didn't let it spoil my day but parking was a hassle again but I have learned to live with this on my visits to Chapel Hill. Over the years I think I have parked everywhere in Chapel Hill that it is possible to park. Of course, some of the places disappear or become illegal so it is an activity in motion. My most recent parking location is at a beauty salon with a large parking area near downtown. Normally, the cost for a regular game is $10,00 which is a little steep but it's worth it to me because I like to patrol East Franklin St. prior to and after the games, so it makes it very convenient. University Mall is my preference for basketball games but it eliminates any possibility of visiting E. Franklin St. for someone of my age if you know what I mean. Too much walking.
Back to parking at the beauty salon. No one was manning the entrance which initially pleased me because I thought I was going to be able to save $10.00 but as I drove around in the lot I saw numerous signs that made it very clear that towing was not out of the question if deemed appropriate by the owners. Now the lady who normally mans the entrance is very nice and I felt like if she were the ultimate authority in the matter that I would be all right. But in this day of sub-contracting mania plus my skeptical nature prompted me to start thinking of a possible contract with a towing company and a situation where the sub-contractor could benefit financially from towing a large number of cars. This caused me to look for and find parking elsewhere but enough about parking.
Our group was a little late arriving at Kenan so I didn't get to hear Coaches Bunting and Doherty make their remarks to the EF group. I even declined to partake of the barbecue at Kenan on the grounds that I wanted to be good and hungry when I arrived at the bash. It was catered by a firm in Fayetteville and it looked good. I had also arranged to meet my nephew and web master at the Parker's barbecue setup and I knew Parker's barbecue was good from many pevious experiences I have have had with them. I was resolute though, and didn't eat at either of these places but you shouldn't think it was easy.
The game was enjoyable but it did bog down a little near the end. I know the spring game gives the coaching staff an opportunity to let some of the subs have their moment in the sun but when the 5th string quarterback who is a walk on throws more passes than any other quarterback, you can expect the quality of play to affected. I didn't check the stats that closely but somebody will probably inform me that the walk on outplayed all the other quarterbacks based on the numbers. I don't think so.
The bash was a fitting climax to a wonderful spring day in Chapel Hill. I often hear Carolina people talk about how beautiful Chapel Hill is in the spring and Saturday couldn't have been better for possibly bringing back pleasant memories of springs gone by. Anyone back in Chapel Hill on Saturday probably got their batteries recharged and I would recommend a trip to the Hill at this time of the year for those who want to be reminded of how beautiful the place really is. They don't call it the "Southern Part Of Heaven" for nothing.
Registration at the bash went smoothly and everybody interacted with each other like old friends. Of course, they may have been old friends but a person like myself attending for the first time couldn't help but notice how easily the attendees interacted with each other. I had a list of internet names that I wanted to seek out and meet and I did pretty well with the list. HOAG, Tenn. Tar Heel, Doc Ryan, Highnooner, Bobby Lee Swagger and Champ were on my list and I was able to meet them. One person whom I thought had signed up but who wasn't there was former player and I particularly wanted to meet him. He and I have exchanged emails about my efforts to locate Larry Miller and I wanted to see if he could provide any additional information since I have hit a stone wall in my efforts to locate LM. Someone said he now resides in Raleigh but I have been unable to confirm this.
The program went smoothly with HOAG serving a master of ceremonies and Bobby Lee Swagger as featured inspirationlist. Every group needs a BLS if it is going to have any vitality and I think he and I have become sort of instant soul brothers in trying to change some things about UNC athletics. We exchanged some observations about our dealings with the university and these experiences have, in some instances, left much to be desired. My most recent one was three weeks ago when I emailed Dick Baddour and asked him if he would provide me with the name of the individual who is in charge of the pre-game music in the Smith Center. When I didn't hear anything back after a week, I emailed his office a second time. I have yet to receive an acknowledgement of my emails and I know the address is correct because I have used it before. I finally called Neal Harrell in the EF office and he got me the name of Norwood Teague who replaced Bob Savod and we have had a conversation about the possibility of playing James Taylor's "In My Mind I'm Going To Carolina" before the home basketball games AGAIN. I'll keep you posted on our progress or lack of same on this subject. He is supposed to get back in touch with me this week.
BLS and I are together on "Aye Zigga Zoomba" being a call to arms for the Carolina faithful. I don't have room to repeat all that was said at the bash on this subject but suffice it to say that AZZ has become symbolic of the situation some of us are trying to change. One way or the other that song is going to be performed at the football games and Mr. Fuchs would be well advised to "get on board." Enough said.
I didn't win anything on the raffle and quit even checking my tickets after I didn't get within 100 of the winning number on the first 5. I didn't need an additional prize to an evening of enjoyment with Tar Heels who love Carolina football. It's something I took back to Richmond with me and mentally I will revisit the evening i frequently between now and the opening game with Miami of Ohio. Hope to see you there. I'll be the white haired geezer bellowing out Aye Zigga Zoomba, no band accompaniment needed, thank you.
I almost forgot. There was one negative moment when BLS said that his periodic articles on the internet routinely get 30,000 reads. I was speechless for sometime after hearing this and I feel I must now reevaluate my future as a website operator. Did you get that number? 30,000 and I believe him. BLS gets more reads with one article than I have gotten since forming this site in Oct. of 2000. My friends kept asking me what was wrong on the return trip to Richmond but I never told them. Maybe it's time to find a new hobby.