Thursday, July 9, 2009
Shocking and senseless
A fun-filled Independence Day ended in shock.
I spent several hours Saturday afternoon on the creek bank in Marion County, Ala., with family and friends.
My son Andy had just gotten home from camp that morning – after staying up all night Friday. He slept all the way to Alabama. And when we arrived, he found the hammock and slept another two hours.
Seven-year-old daughter Erin was already in Alabama. And she spent about four hours Saturday – 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. playing in the creek.
I filled up on a grilled hamburger with all the fixins’ and then relaxed a bit.
Before leaving the creek, I had to get into the water and have some fun myself.
I went to the truck for my Alabama Crimson Tide crocs and proceeded to get in a water fight with Erin and Loren, great-niece of my brother-in-law Roger.
They had me out-manned initially. They were using big water guns that shot a long distance. I had nothing.
Then Roger suggested a nearby “weapon” – a pail.
That’s when the fun really started. I suddenly had the upper hand.
The water fight lasted a good while. Even when I called timeout due to heavy breathing, they’d sneak up from behind and soak me. Later they grabbed smaller buckets for themselves. Once they almost stole my bucket and my crocs. But instead I escaped with their buckets.
Bottom line, the three of us left the creek soaked from head to toe and smiling. Thank goodness I carried some more clothes.
The trips to the creek bring back so many fond memories of my growing-up years in the country. As I said before, after college I longed for the modern conveniences of the city, but now I find myself often longing for the rural setting once again.
And those conveniences are now reaching the country. Roger and my sister Gayla just got high speed Internet.
We left Alabama about 7 p.m. Saturday. That’s when I learned of the tragic death of Steve McNair.
I grew up a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. And they’re still my favorite.
But I also became a fan of the Tennessee Titans – largely because of Mississippi’s Steve McNair. I was an admirer.
“Air McNair” played high school football at Mt. Olive, leading the school to a state championship, and college football at Alcorn State, where he won the 1994 Walter Payton Award as the top player in NCAA Division 1-AA.
He was drafted third overall by the NFL’s Houston Oilers in 1995. He became the Oilers’ regular starting quarterback in 1997, their first season in Tennessee, and remained the starting quarterback for the Titans until 2005. After the 2005 season, McNair was traded to the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he played for two seasons before retiring.
McNair led the Titans to the playoffs four times, and the Ravens once, and played in Super Bowl XXXIV with the Titans. McNair was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, and was All-Pro and co-MVP in 2003.
McNair, age 36, was murdered Saturday in Nashville. The investigation continues.
“It’s a shame that such a senseless act takes someone away this young,” said Al Del Greco, former Titans kicker.
My thoughts exactly. It’s still hard to believe. I’m very saddened.
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