The year was 1980 and I was going to the Alabama-Auburn game with my Dad. The game was still being played at Legion Field in Birmingham. Even though we had lost two games already, one to Mississippi State and the other to Notre Dame; we were good. I don’t remember what Auburn’s record was that year, but fourth year coach Doug Barfield was walking on thin ice. Alabama won. I don’t remember the score and I don’t think it was a real nail-biter.
We had parked at what was the old Big B Warehouse at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Highway 11/the Bessemer Super Highway. Walking to the car after the game, Daddy and I got to the intersection of Hwy 11 and Eight Avenue where a policeman was in the middle of the intersection directing traffic. We were standing right at the curb and there were some folks right behind us. The light changed for us to walk, but the policeman had not stopped traffic on Hwy 11 for us to cross. So, we were a little hesitant to begin crossing.
Well a couple of Auburn fans behind us started yelling for us to go on ahead and cross and said, “it looks like we’re going to have to teach these Alabama fans how to cross the street.” The policeman did stop traffic and we crossed. When we got to the other side I turned around to the Auburn fans and said, “You can teach us how to cross the street and we’ll teach y’all how to play football”. The guys, who were cute, started laughing and said, “you got yourself a deal”. They were very anxious to get rid of Barfield and talked to us for a minute or two before we went our separate ways.
In the car, Daddy laughed and said he thought I was going to get us in a fight. When Daddy got home, he called everyone he knew just to tell them about our experience.
Daddy’s been dead for a while now, but that is a memory I will always cherish.