When the University of South Carolina plays at home there are several hours of tailgating before hand, as with many places. Whether the team is good, bad, or indifferent, the tailgating is first-rate.
There are these things called "Cock-a-booses" that are old train cars that are lined up on an abandoned train track. They sell for more than my house and are done up for tailgating parties. I've seen pictures of one that has a marble floor, mahogany bar, silk wallpaper, etc. It looks like the car in the Wild, Wild, West. The TV show--- not the movie.
There is a new condominium complex built simply so people will have a place to party before and after the games. For the less fortunate, there are wide parking spaces in lots (some with potties) that you can rent by the season or the game. And there is some parking beside the road.
For miles and miles around the stadium, there are parked cars, people staggering around, and an altered traffic flow. The traffic flows almost all in to the stadium before the game and out after (DUH). Everyone in Columbia knows that on Saturdays with a game, you do not try to go within ten miles of the stadium.
OK, so yesterday (Thursday), I leave my office at 4:30 to pick up Bob downtown at 5:00. I take my usual route, down Shop Rd to Assembly to Huger to Gervais. I remember there is a sink hole at Huger & Blossom, so I call and ask Bob how to avoid that. He says to stay on Assembly until I get to Gervais. I say, of course, I should have thought about that.
As I drive down Shop Rd, I see people buying or selling tickets. I don't think anything about that, since my boss had sold his tickets since he's going out of town this weekend. As I drive further down Shop Rd... did I mention that the Stadium is at Shop, Bluff, Assembly and Rosewood? I notice more and more cars and people, then the parking lots, then the traffic, then the traffic cones, then the... oh no...Williams Brice Stadium.
I call Bob and say, "Is the game TONIGHT?" He says, "Oh yeah, it is." Then he giggles. I say, I'll see you when I see you.
I get turned off Assembly at Rosewood and have to go about ten miles out of my way to get back to Gervais without hitting game traffic. Then I hit the regular five o'clock "help, I'm in my car and I've forgotten how to drive" traffic on Gervais.
Since Columbia isn't a big city, this didn't take more than 40 minutes all together, but it certainly was a lesson. To me at least.
Where have you been?
5 years ago