By Nick England
It had simply been too long since I was in the great state of Alabama, and because every radio station (regardless of their genre) plays Sweet Home Alabama a few times a day I knew it was time to go back. So as big wheels keep on turnin’, I made my way out to Auburn to spend time with the chapter for a weekend. Our first stop that evening was dinner at Momma Goldberg’s, an Auburn delicacy specializing in nachos and sandwiches of all sorts. I had a great time with the men, catching up with them and talking about life in Auburn. In typical college student fashion, we stood around in the parking lot for a solid 15 minutes trying to decide what to do next. And it was at that point that the men came to the conclusion we would go see Paranormal Activity 2. I did not know it at the time, but that was easily the worst decision I made all weekend. Ok gang, for the three of you who actually keep up with my blogs, you will recall from my previous blog about UCA I ended up watching The Strangers one night there. Might I remind you that I was sitting three to a couch and sharing a blanket with another man. Ipso facto – watching Paranormal Activity 2 in theaters was awful. Partly because the movie was so freaking scary and partly because I was staying with Clint Brown and he lives in a single-wide trailer which is also freaking scary. Thus we returned to his mobile abode and played Call of Duty for quite some time.
The next morning I awoke and got ready in my Auburn gear to go watch the LSU/Auburn game with the rest of the men. We had to walk through the seven layers of the candy cane forest to get there from where Clint parked, but eventually we made it. I had a blast getting to watch the game with those guys, it was a lot of fun. Some of them told me that the energy in the stadium was the best it has ever been. We left from the game to go wrap Toomer’s corner in toilet paper, a famous Auburn tradition following a victory. The rest of the night consisted of Zaxby’s and watching more college football, including an OU loss which was so maddening that Clint and I went back to play an inordinate amount of Call of Duty again.
I woke up that Sunday and got ready to go to church with a bunch of the guys and then go to lunch at none other than McAlister’s. I am a huge McAlister’s fan and any time I get to eat there is always a joy. Even better than just eating there was the fact that I held a few of my meetings with officers there. That Sunday was a beautiful day to sit outside, drink sweet tea and challenge the men in how they lead the chapter. We had officer meeting that evening in a fancy board room on campus and then we left to go to Momma Goldberg’s again. It was quite an intellectual discussion ranging from topics like classic rock to the Patrick Swayze movie Red Dawn. Fun was had by all…and then Clint and I went back to his place to play more Call of Duty.
I awoke that Monday morning to begin meetings with a few more officers. I even got to have lunch at a restaurant called Jim Bob’s which is probably the best knock off of Raising Cane’s/Lane’s/Zaxby’s. It’s owned by Christians who have Scripture references all over their restaurant and make a mean plate of chicken fingers. After Ryan Wade and I finished up eating at Jim Bob’s, I went back on campus to meet with a potential pledge for the fall and then got to catch up with Auburn founding father, David Barnett. We had a great time catching up and I spent some time preparing my talk for chapter before going to meet the officers at Veggies To Go for dinner. I had been waiting for the past six months to eat their fried green tomatoes, but they were fresh out by time I ordered which was maddening. Dinner was great nonetheless and we went from there to chapter meeting at the Auburn chapel on campus. I encouraged the men and challenged them in my talk to serve BYX wholeheartedly and grow as a fraternity. They responded well and I even got to talk with a few of the men afterward about their role in the chapter. They also elected their 2011 officers that night and I had the honor of praying over them for the first time. It was a late night after everything was said and done, but not to worry, because Clint and I played Call of Duty until very late that night.
The next morning I woke up and met a bunch of the men for breakfast. We went to The Barbecue House and I invited the potential pledge I met with the day before. Breakfast was great and we had a good time talking about my visit among other things over a good meal. And from there I said my goodbyes and left to catch a plane back to Texas.
(Click on the picture to watch the great video update from the men of BYX at Auburn.)