It might have been the coldest night of my life, some time in December of 1977. The occasion was the annual Blue-Gray game in Montgomery. Our small marching band from P.L.A.S. had been invited to perform at the halftime show. It was exciting but what we found more exciting was that Bear Bryant was dining in the hotel restaurant just below us. When asking the band director if we could go down and meet him and receiving a very firm NO, we persisted and eventually won the battle. We agreed not to "make a scene" - to just walk past the restaurant to see him - that's all! Well...it didn't quite work out that way. As we arrived at the exit to the restaurant to get our look at him, he was at the register just inside the door, paying for his meal. Forget the promises we made to the band director! As we all gathered in the hallway to meet him, we knocked over the Christmas tree! Remember those silver trees with the color wheel? One of those! A brave one asked for his autograph. He was so very kind and stood there and signed autographs for each one of us. We took a brochure from beside the register and tore it into strips for him to sign. What a memory! Several years earlier, 1972, to be exact, I had written Coach Bryant a letter telling him that I was the "biggest Alabama fan in the whole wide world" - addressed to Bear Bryant, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He got it and you can see the letter I got back from him. For a 12 year old in Brundidge, Alabama, that was a big deal! Never did I ever think that I would meet the "Bear" face to face as we did that night in Montgomery. On January 26, 1983, as Coach Bryant was being laid to rest, I stood on the streets of downtown Tuscaloosa, with thousands of others (in a scene much like yesterday in State College, PA) to remember the man who took time for a young girl and her friends so many years ago.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Today's "Community Chef" feature in the Tuscaloosa News features a recipe that I have used for years. It was shared with me by my dear friend, Barbara Kucharski. I have used it countless times over the years for my family, for guests, and for friends (it is great dish to take to someone). Probably the most memorable occasion of serving Chicken Lasagna was several years ago. We were having an "all guy" dinner with friends from the Alabama and Auburn Radio Networks following and Alabama/Auburn baseball game. I'm not sure these guys were so sure about "chicken lasagna" when it was served; however, it was a big hit. They must have enjoyed it as Rod and Andy still talk about it after all these years! This recipe was also featured in the Sprayberry "Game Day Specialties" cookbook that debuted in 2008. Most recently, I shared it with a friend who just had surgery. She requested the recipe because her children liked it so much. Enjoyed by all - men, women and children - I hope you enjoy it as well!http://food.blogs.tuscaloosanews.com/10029/community-chef-carla-allen/
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
This is the beginning of a new adventure for me - the world of blogging! Not exactly sure what I am doing, but I gotta start somewhere! In December of 2003, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow, and told there was no cure. In January 2005, I had a bone marrow transpant, donating my own bone marrow. Long story short, last year, I was told that I could be in the "small percentage of patients who had an autologous transplant who was cured". Wow! I didn't know that was an option! Well, I should have known because I serve an awesome God who is so capable of such healing! I am thankful every day for God who granted me this continued life, for my husband and girls, my parents, my in-laws, all our family and the best friends in the world who have been beside me all the way! Now...I want my life experiences to inspire others! This is NOT about cancer. I pray that I'm done with that! This is about living life and enjoying what you do. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper, not harm, plans to give you hope and a future." 'Tis a blessing to be celebrating, cooking, creating and inspiring!