Over the weekend, I scored a few tickets to the Auburn-Oklahoma State basketball game in Auburn.
I called my dad to see if he was interested in going. I already knew the answer, or thought I did. I have invited him to several sporting events over the last couple of years. The answer is usually the same: no.
Besides, this one was well past his bedtime -- and mine.
I couldn't reach him so I left a message with my stepmom. I was surprised when I listened to his voicemail.
"That sounds pretty good to me," he said.
It's been a while since we have done a road trip, even if it is only 45 minutes door to door.
Trips to sporting events are something we have done a lot over the years. I can remember loading up with friends and going to football games and golf tournaments. Heck, we even went to Montgomery in 1974 to watch the closed-circuit broadcast of daredevil Evil Knievel's attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon.
In the early days -- we're talking 1970s here -- we almost always stopped at Krystal for a sack full of burgers. It was a cheap way to feed a crowd. And in those days we usually had a crowd when we headed out for a ballgame or whatever.
Which brings us back to the Auburn game Saturday night. We decided to grab dinner before going to Auburn Arena.
We passed a Krystal and Dad said that looked pretty good.
It really did. And, why not?
And as we sat with a mutual friend who went with us, Dad got to tell one of his favorite stories about me. In the tradition of a good Alabama lawyer, my dad can spin a story in masterful ways.
This one involved the old Krystal on what was then Fourth Avenue just before you get to River Road. We were in a motor home on the way to Green Island Hills to watch the PGA tournament that was played there.
I was 14 or 15 at the time and Dad and I went into the restaurant and ordered 150 or more hamburgers. We were hungry and it was a bunch of us.
"Well, Chuck started laughing and the guy behind the counter wouldn't serve us," Dad said, telling the story. "He thought it was a joke."
Anyway, Dad got to re-tell that story and we all laughed.
It was that kind of night, a story here and there. Any time we go back to Auburn it stirs memories. He graduated in the late 1950s and played baseball there.
We parked near the baseball field. He spent a few seconds looking through the fence.
Anytime you can go somewhere and stir memories and stories from your parents, it's a good day. Even if you have to stay up a few hours past bedtime.
Chuck Williams, senior reporter, at email@example.com