Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

Game Day
by James Glaser
November 28, 2008

It is Saturday morning, and Wanda woke me at like 5am, and after a couple of days on the road hunting a turkey dinner, I was still tired. "What are you getting me up this early for?" I asked. To which she replied, "It's Game Day."

Here in the South, during football season people take game day seriously. Up North, if there happens to be a college football game in your town on a Saturday, the day might be referred to as game day, but never Game Day like it is down here.

Today, the Florida State Seminoles of Tallahassee are playing cross state rival, the University of Florida Gators from Gainesville. There is no bigger game in Tallahassee, and it only happens here every other year.

So, we got up early and headed out to eat breakfast and do our grocery shopping before the hordes of fans arrived. Soon every street and avenue will be bumper to bumper with cars heading to the stadium, and then there will be the miles of streets that are crowded with "tailgaters" starting their grills and opening that first beer of the day.

You might think that on game day the women would be out shopping at the malls, but then you would be thinking like a Yankee. In the South, women are every bit as rabid of fans as the men, and they wear whatever goofy fan outfit is in vogue this year.

This year the #4 Gators are favored over the #24 Seminoles, but in Tallahassee "Hope Springs Eternal" when it comes to football. A Tallahassee policeman once told me that if FSU wins he will be working late into the night policing the students and alumni who are celebrating the victory, but is the FSU loses, everyone is home early. He wouldn't say who he is rooting for.

It was supposed to rain today, but right now the sun is out, and I am hoping that people will be out shopping at my gallery. I never know what is going to be a good day. Some days it is cloudy and rainy and people come out and buy, and other days are warm and sunny and nobody stops in, but the reverse can be true, too.

All the 'big' stores are having super sales with up to 75% off, but I can't do that. I would lose on every sale, so I have to push the fact that my store has one-of-a-kind hand made things that cost a bit more. However, when you buy at my shop, the money stays in Tallahassee and supports local artists, who buy their art materials here locally, and who spend their money here, too.

People seem to like that, and they know they are buying something that no one else has. Also, I have gifts that even Dad or Uncle Bill will like, and that is always hard to find.

Well, I had better get going. Need to get my shop open before the football fans grid-lock up the streets.

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