Vintage Crimson

Adventures in Restoring Antebellum Houses in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Month: September, 2013

First Game Day!

College football is a dominant cultural force in my state.  People are identified not so much by race, religion,or even gender, but whether they are for Auburn University or The University of Alabama come football season.  It’s more than a sport, it’s a  an obsession.


The University of Alabama first fielded a team in 1892 and the Crimson Tide has played every fall since except for 1918 , when the season was cancelled for World War I.  For the most part, those have been good seasons for Alabama fans, yielding 15 National Championships.

The first home football game of the fall is a special time for fans of The University of Alabama Crimson Tide.  The weather is cooler, there are parties in every house and parking lot in Tuscaloosa, and the mood is festive.  It’s a time to see old friends and meet new ones.  Everyone comes together for the tradition of spending Saturday in the South tailgating and then heading to the game in storied Bryant-Denny Stadium.


Denny Stadium was first opened in 1929 and , at that time, it seated 12,000 fans,  It was named for University President George Denny.  The stadium was renamed Bryant-Denny Stadium in 1975 to honor Alabama’s legendary head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.  The stadium has undergone many additions in it’s history.  Now, it is the fifth largest stadium in the United States and seats 101,821.   Trust me, that’s a lot of people yelling “Roll Tide!”


Last Saturday the Crimson Tide defeated the Rams of Colorado State University 31-6.  It was a good night in Tuscaloosa.  And, it was made even more special for me because, after the game, I walked home to my old house.  It was such a pleasure to turn the corner and see the house with lights ablaze.   There was music pouring out onto the sidewalk and the laughter of happy young people enjoying the mld weather, each others company, and a special Saturday night.



I like to think of myself as an intelligent and observant person.  So, imagine my recent surprise upon discovering an enigma in my old house.  I have spent so much time in 815 17th Avenue that I should know every crack and cranny intimately.  Nevertheless, I have found this large keyhole-shaped opening.  What could it be?

As you can see, it is located just to the left of the front door on the interior.

It can’t actually be a keyhole.  It’s the wrong size and the in the wrong position.  Anyone know what this can be?

Animal House?

Southerners love to visit and to receive visitors.  It is a part of the grand tradition of “Southern Hospitality.”  We believe hostesses should be ready to welcome anyone who knocks on their door at a moment’s notice.

Well, this week some unexpected callers have appeared at my old house.  Maybe we should should start calling it “Animal House!” The first visitor is very welcome, the others – not so much.




This little charmer is our new house cat.  He wandered in the open door of 815 17th Avenue like he owned the place.  Apparently a stray, he has won all our hearts and a place in our family.   His name is “General Lee.”   Certainly, he is  appropriately named for the “cat-in-charge” of an antebellum home.

Our other new visitors have been fluttering around in the third floor central hall, and causing quite a fuss.  They are small dark brown bats.  I can’t discover how they are getting into the house.  There is no chimney in that area and the attic looks clear.   Can anyone help me identify them?  And, I get them out of the house?  I know bats are a beneficial species and I don’t wish to harm them, just encourage them to move elsewhere.  Any suggestions ya’ll have would be appreciated!




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