Thursday, April 8, 2010

From the Cornfield

In case you didn't hear, the Masters starts today.  We, as Georgians, hold a special affinity for the Masters.  Part is definately state pride, something many in the Midwest just don't get.  People here are much more likely to say the city they are from if they meet a stranger out of state. It is rare for someone to say they are from Piatt County or just Illinois.  Part is all Georgians know of at least one place near their home that Augusta national looks like.  The beautiful grass, the blooming azaleas.  What we see on TV, at least in part, is reflective of the beauty of Georgia.  There are few places in the world as beautiful as a nicely manicured yard with blooming azaleas.  There is no place in the world as beautiful as Augusta National during Tournament week.

The azalea part is personal.  My parents live a part of Pierce County called Otter Creek.   Their yard serves as a bench mark for directions, at least in the spring.  They have nearly four acres, two of which is the prettiest azalea garden outside of a professional gardner's home you will find.  Directions to nearly anything in Otter Creek will either involve the yard with all the azaleas or the community center.

The Masters: A Hole-by-Hole History of America's Golf Classic, Second Edition
The Masters: A Hole-by-Hole History
I actually heard there was going to be a golfer at Augusta National.  I saw his picture and thought, at least he grew a goatee to match his personality.  I bet he has a Virgo medallion on under his Nike golf shirt. Hey, the guy is a golfer.  Let him play.

This is a week for me to be extra proud of being a Georgian.  TV announcers will speak in hushed tones about patrons and second cut.  We won't be subjected to ridiculous tie ins with CBS or ESPN's other shows.  Commercials will be limited.  In short, it is a beautiful time, a time reminiscent of TV sports before Fox.  I admit, I'll get misty eyed seeing the blooming flowers, something that won't happen here for another three weeks (except for the lilies, we've got lilies out the ass). I'll get excited when someone wearing a UGA hat is perfectly framed in the shot of some miracle putt.  I'll be jealous when I get a text from someone I know on the grounds or see a TV shot of a familiar face.  No doubt, The Masters is on my bucket list.

Finally, I'll host my traditional Masters party on Sunday afternoon.  Pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches.  I require everyone to get quiet as the last two groups play Nandina and Holly.  I make my kids watch it.  They need to know what it means.  If you find yourself in Central Illinois, let me know.  The house is easy to find, just head out I-72, we are the house on the left, the only one within 400 miles with a UGA flag hanging in front of it.


  1. You said what I was thinking...again. Enjoy the Masters.

  2. Central Illinois IS in the cornfields. Spent some years near Kankakee(K3) in the 70s and still make and receive calls from friends there. When homesick for Georgia the relief realized in natural areas was found all around. My son, born in St Mary's/Athens learned to waterski on the Kankakee River. We made sojurns to Turkey Run State Park and took in Fall pageants from Wisconsin down through Indiana. Homemade apple butter from such areas is still a favorite. People in those areas are personable and as I've told many, reminded me of the graceful Southerners that I grew up around. Everyone knew, even in my corporate worldn, that I was a Georgia Bulldog and many admired our loyalty. Of course the accent was a dead giveaway, but in an area where loyalty to B-ball is paramount, the only football was found at South Bend-or so I thought. Southern IIl is the place to get a football fix as well as Purdue. I attended a couple of games at ND, but the most memorable one was when they played Tech. I yelled unashamedly for ND and after the game was confronted by a woman who had her family in tow, all with little yellow pennants. She proclaimed (with all the yankees listening and laughing), "We know you! We heard you yelling in the stands and we know you are from that other school. We will not forget this!" Ah, to be scorned publically by recognition of your animas for their program was like no other pleasure I've ever known. I'll bet even Touchdown Jesus smiled.

    But I understand your pining for the Georgia pines and flowering trees of Augusta. And those azaleas. You won't be forgotten on Sunday. Keep the flag flying, but don't be surprised at the good folks from Illinois dropping by to congratulate you after this football season. Somehow I think it will be a recognized attractant. GO DAWGS!!

  3. Thanks, this was great!

    Bobby Jones is perhaps the only Techster i give a pass to. I will always claim Jones as a Georgian despite his harsh father forcing him to attend that trade school.

    Will you be serving pimento cheese sandwiches at your party?

    Wish you could be in Athens Saturday/

  4. Bobby Jones to Tech was definitely a blow to UGA. Tommy Aaron to UF was another....who is this chick in the gallery giving instructions to Matt Kuchar (yet another Techie)?

    Let me get this straight...the pimento chees party is at 1 Monticello Road, Monticello. Is that correct? Are you going to have mint juleps too?