The uniqueness of the Auburn Family never ceases to amaze me. Like thousands of Auburn fans the last couple of weeks, I was frantically looking for tickets to the BCS National Championship game.
I am a season ticket holder but I have broken my contribution record a couple of times over the years in order to sit with friends in a better location in the stadium. Although that decision seemed like a good one at the time, it proved not to be a prudent one.
When the school notified season ticket holders after the SEC Championship that they could purchase tickets if they had a cumulative giving total of $10,000.00; I knew I would not be eligible.
Therefore like thousands of other Tiger fans, I looked in vain everywhere I could for tickets. I even unsuccessfully bid up to $3,000.00 on eBay for a pair.
As game day drew near, I sent out an SOS email plea for help to some fellow season ticket holders. I heard back from several but they could offer little assistance.
Then I received a telephone call from a person that I have met just this year. Her family tailgates four spots down from us at Auburn.
Her name is Holly Byrd (‘80). Holly told me she was looking for extra tickets for some family members and that she would let me know if she could locate some for me as well. Of course, with the exorbitant and escalating prices, I did not think anything would come of it.
I had been visiting friends just west of Fort Worth, Texas over the New Year Holiday. My plan had been to acquire tickets and drive from there to Phoenix. When all my efforts failed, I packed up and left Texas on Saturday, the 8th of January to return home.
We had driven 400 miles to Monroe, Louisiana when I received an unexpected telephone call from Holly. She said, "PW if you still need tickets and you don't mind turning around, I have found you a couple."
While she was speaking and before I could say yes I was getting off the interstate and making a U turn back toward Texas.
The cheapest tickets by this time were going for $5,000.00 to $7,000.00 a pair on line. Yet Holly had found me two for the face value of $650.00.
I stopped in Weatherford, Texas and spent the night with my best friend Chuck Wetherbee. He and I left the next day for Glendale. While in route, Holly called me to say she had acquired accommodations for us in Phoenix as well as a parking pass at the stadium.
The experience was surreal. I just could not believe that someone would go to so much trouble to help me out this way.
So when I met Holly outside the stadium, I asked her why she had worked so hard to help me get into the game. "Your part of the Auburn family and I want to do what I can to help as many as I can get in the game. Family always helps family."
And now that I am on my way back to Georgia for the second time in a week, I am more thankful than ever to be a part of "The Auburn Family."