Top 40 Countdown

In October Esposa and I decided to reprise our 2012 Tuscaloosa road trip to the Bama game. In 2012 Budman was a high school senior exploring college options and the Ags had Johnny Football. Seemed like a great time for a road trip.

This time Budman was a junior at A&M and had his own road trip plans, so we decided to go it solo. In true “grown up” fashion we decided that staying in Meridian, MS made sense. Rooms are scarce in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham is an hour in the wrong direction. Made sense at the time.

We found our parking spot at around 9:00 am and the day drinking began. We had a liter of Tito’s and a six pack of Red Bulls to pour up into our 32 oz. Raceway styrofoam cups for the hike in. That didn’t last long. We connected with the Budman crew, finding their tailgate. In true student fashion there was one tent, one table, 7 or 8 coolers full of alcohol and no food. We hooked them up with some chicken strip dinners from a food truck (it was awesome) and went on our way.

We made the rounds, grabbed some lunch ourselves and visited the bar that wouldn’t let us in after we beat Bama in 2012. Headed into the game and were just beaten down by the time the clock finally ran out on our Ags.

The long walk back to the truck. The long drive back to Meridian.

About an hour in we were flagging. I was watching the mile markers count down to the Mississippi state line. I saw mile marker 40 and was inspired. “I know, Top 40 Countdown. Every mile we talk about a top 40 highlight of our lives together” We alternated. First me, then her.

For that last 40 miles of Alabama we traded our most precious memories over the last 30 odd years since we met. Special loving moments, the kids and on and on for 40 miles.

It was the most special Top 40 ever.

In less than two months her life would change forever. So would mine.

And so that is how the last 40 miles of Alabama east of the Mississippi state line became my Number one memory of all time.

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