The Ghosts Of My Ole Miss Field Trip

So Mrs. LL and I journeyed up to Memphis for my nephew's wedding, and then ventured on down Saturday afternoon to the University of Mississippi for a football game.  Random Thoughts . . .

  • Everyone has always told me, being the fan of the college football road trip, that I had to go to Ole Miss and see the tailgating at The Grove. Verdict: It was beyond fantastic. I've been to games at LSU, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Clemson, Michigan, Aggieland, UT, -- those come to mind. But nothing comes close to this. I want to go back in time and enroll there. 
  • The campus has a few acres (the Grove)  in the middle of campus which is blanketed by old southern trees and every inch is taken over by tents on game day. And food. And alcohol. And friends.
  • This photo doesn't do it justice. This is just the beginning as you walk into the masses . . . 
  • Mrs. LL insisted on wearing a breezy dress (she did some research online), and I told her she was crazy. She, as is so often the case, was right. From the sorority girls to moms to grand-moms, they all wore dresses. I've never seen so many red dresses in my life.
  • If there was a uniform for the guys, it was a red shirt and khaki shorts. That's what I wore (as I dug through the closet before the trip to find a red shirt.) I just want to blend in and observe.
  • The hospitality of almost everyone was fantastic. But, as in all places, there are the problem children in the world. These two gals saw the huge dog and wanted their picture taken with it. Apparently the cigarette smoking boyfriend wasn't prompt enough as the girl in the red yelled, "Take my [expletive deleted] picture!!!]. Some guy will marry her one day. Some guy will regret it. 
  • But I did see an old guy with, perhaps, a mail order bride. In leather pants. In hot weather. I'm not judging. Promise. (Mrs. LL noticed that there was a price tag on the bottom of her shoe.)
  • And it was Mrs. LL who scurried up to take that photo by the way. I would never do such a thing. 
  • Lots of girls in heels. 
  • One thing I was very interested in was any historical references to James Meredith, the first black man to enroll at the university in 1962 which led to a riot one night.  I had heard that you could still see bullet holes in the administration building's bricks which were caused either by the National Guard or rednecks with rifles. It's true. I put my finger in three or four of them and almost teared up.
  • There's a statue of Meredith walking to a monument memorializing his enrollment. I thought it funny that three white boys were casually relaxing in it and had Mrs. LL snap a pic. One of them was bouncing a tennis ball against one of the columns. 
  • The game experience, against an opponent they were favored to beat by 54, was fantastic. The place was rockin'. And, dare I say, more electric that the LSU game I saw last year against Washington. 
  • The stadium has signage noting that Ole Miss won the National Championship in 1959, 1960, and 1962. It also has signs for the school's SEC championships which does not include 1959. I didn't notice that. Mrs. LL did. She asked me, "How did they win the National Championship but not win their conference in 1959?" That's a great question. I can kind of see it happening now (with a bit of a fluke) but back then? I've got to research that. 
  • It was a bit  of a delay to get in . . . 
  • I'll probably update this . . . but I'm tired.