BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—There’s something righteous about trying to find a parking spot in a city parking structure and seeing vehicle after vehicle with fishing and other outdoors insignia wrapped or painted on them. Then, to get into the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel and see all kinds of Bassmaster Classic signs pointing the way here and there, well, that is just a tad overwhelming.
Yes, I am down South for the 50th Bassmaster Classic. It’s my third Classic and I will try to file updates and musings each evening, starting tonight with some ruminations on terrestrial radio.
Barreling south on I-57 this morning, I held the signal of The Score until well south of Effingham.
Every time, I say or type Effingham, I am reminded of the old joke. Two guys meet and the one asks the other where he is from. He says, “Effing Ham,” or at least that is what the other guy hears and he asks, “What’s wrong with ham?”
After the signal dropped, I fiddled around searching until I found the WSIU station. It’s a public radio station that has the kind of eclectic programming that I really enjoy. But today, it was “1A” going over the results and meaning of Super Tuesday. It happened to be broadcasting from Birmingham, Ala. Of course it was a coincidence, but an interesting one all the same.
Through Kentucky, I jumped stations, but when I crossed the line into Tennessee, I found an Outlaw country station, which featured old-time real country music. By that I mean music that came from the soul. It reminded me of not too many years ago when driving long distances I could sometimes find a local station playing real gospel music or bluegrass music.
Driving to the East Coast to visit my family, I sometimes have picked up baseball games, another regional delight, as varied as the Toledo Mud Hens, the Detroit Tigers, the Cincinnati Reds, the Cleveland Indians, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Baltimore Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies.
I don’t think terrestrial radio is dead, just changing the same as about everything else.
Even B.A.S.S tournaments are making a big change.
Early tomorrow morning, I drive out to Lake Logan Martin Lake to catch the takeoff off the first Huk B.A.S.S Nation Kayak Series powered by Tourney X. There’s a symmetry to that first the day before the 50th Classic. I’ll be back in Birmingham in time for the crush of media day for the Classic.
One last thing. Regular readers know I love food and drink. On the way down today, I swung into Nashville for a medium leg quarter, baked beans and a pint of potato salad at Prince’s Hot Chicken. (Our second son said I should have had the mac and cheese, maybe the next time.) Even the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday, it was nearly full of people.
Regional food, another delight I hope we don’t lose.