Football time in the fall is the best time of the year.  Leaves start to change color, the weather turns cooler and many of us hit the road to follow our college teams.

My view from Camp Chimney in Cashiers, North Carolina.

Camp Chimney in the fall photo by Kathy Miller

I hope you are smiling right now.  I am.  I will get to the tailgating part soon.  First I would like to thank the family and friends who have been such a big part of this Tailgating Series.

My mom taught me to send thank you notes to the people who help you, give you a gift, or teach you lessons in life.  She is the beautiful lady in the middle (with the T on her shirt.)

Uhlma Lovett my mother, photo by Kathy Miller

  You never know when a thank you will open new doors for you.  I have a perfect example of going the extra mile when someone does something nice for you.

I received a freshman tuition scholarship offer from the University of Tennessee.  The letter stated who had given the scholarship, how much was given (it was  tuition only for 3 quarters) and to please send a thank you note to the donor.  I immediately sent a thank you note to Mr. Dwight McDonald, president of The White Stores, Inc. in Knoxville, Tennessee.  At the end of Fall Quarter, I sent Mr. McDonald a note, again thanking him and telling him my grades.  After Winter Quarter, I did the same.  I received a phone call and was told that Mr. McDonald would like to meet me.  I met him at his office.  After asking many questions about my studies and about campus life, he asked about my dorm life.   I told him I was living at home due to limited finances.  After an hour of conversation, he stated that his company would like to offer me a full, 4 year scholarship including tuition, residence hall room and board.  He became a mentor to me and all because I took the time to keep him informed and to thank him.  We stayed in touch throughout my UT career  until his death right after I graduated from UT.  He gave me a book he hoped would influence my life; The Magnificent Obsession, by Lloyd C. Douglas.  I felt that Mr. McDonald was telling me to not worry with paying him back, but to influence other people’s lives in the future.

Thank you to my family and friends, who encouraged me to proceed with the tailgating paintings.   What started out as a vague idea for a painting soon spiraled into an all encompassing passion, and my family and friends were right there with me.

My Sawgrass Girls, Ya Ya’s

Sawgrass Girls-ya ya girls photo by Kathy Miller

You would be bored to tears if I just listed all the names of those who have helped me.  Many of you have already been mentioned or pictured in my posts.  That is a thank you from me.  I will continue to send my thanks in every post!

Now back to Tailgating!

Dave and I will be hitting the tailgating road this weekend.  We will go to Gainesville to the Florida/Arkansas game.  I would love to meet up with Razorback fans!  If any of you have Arkansas friends, please guide them to my website and tailgating blog.  Wooo Pig Soiee!!!!

Wooo Pig Soiee!   Inn at Carnhall photo by Kathy Miller

 We will be watching Tennessee/ Georgia game before heading to The Swamp.  My heart will be with the Vols, but the Dawgs look very good this year.

The following week Dave, James, Aunt Vern and I travel to New Orleans and Baton Rouge for the Florida/LSU game.  We want to experience Tailgating On The Bayou!

Tailgating on the Bayou and at Tiger Stadium painting by Kathy Miller

 Louisiana cuisine is so distinctive.  All schools have barbecue, hammies, slaw and all the usual fixings, but due to the Cajun and Creole influences, there is nothing like Louisiana cooking!  I will not try to give lessons on the differences between the two, but think French influence, as in Geaux Tigers.  My painting includes many specialties including jambalaya, muffalettas, crawfish, gumbo and blackened alligator.

The Trinity is involved in so many dishes, the Trinity being not the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, but onions, green peppers and celery.

LSU fans we want to meet you and tailgate with you!

Next we travel to Natchez to pay a visit to Mississippi State graduate, Carol Jones. Carol works at the Monmouth Historic Inn.

Monmouth Historic Inn Natchez Mississippi photo by Kathy Miller

Dave did not travel with me to  the Ole Miss/Alabama game so we will make the trek to Oxford.

“Tailgating In The Grove”

Tailgating In The Grove Ole Miss painting by Kathy Miller

We have reservations for dinner at City Grocery.   Hope to meet lots of Ole Miss fans.  I will also take Dave to Taylor to experience Taylor Grocery.

Taylor Grocery  That Catfish Place photo by Kathy Miller

Then on to Starkville and Mississippi State.

 “Tailgating At The Junction”

Tailgating At The Junction, Mississippi State, Starkville, MS painting by Kathy Miller

I love the Cow Bells and want to see them ringing.  Also can’t wait to taste the Edam Cheese.

Next on to Tuscaloosa.

“Tailgating On The Quad”

Tailgating On The Quad, Tuscaloosa Alabama  painting by Kathy Miller

We hope to enjoy local food.  Our Bama friends have recommended Dreamland and Nick’s In The Sticks.  Any other suggestions?

We leave Tuscaloosa and head for the mountains.

In celebration of SEC college football and the fall season I will be meeting college football fans and signing prints at The Hen House in Highlands, North Carolina, Saturday, October 19, 2-4 PM.  Prints on premium satin paper and greeting cards featuring all 14 SEC schools will be available.

We will be on the road again, traveling back to Amelia Island.  The Florida/Georgia game in Jacksonville, Florida creates lots of activity on Amelia Island.  Many Georgia fans stay on the Island.

In celebration of the Florida Georgia game I will be  meeting fans and signing prints on the porch at The Plantation Shops at Palmetto Walk, on Amelia Island.  Friday, November 1, 10-4.  Prints on premium satin paper,  and greeting cards featuring all 14 SEC schools will be available.

For my Auburn friends and fans, the Auburn prints and cards are available at Southern Crossing in Opelika, Alabama.

Watch for upcoming stories from my tailgating travels.  I welcome your comments, recipes and any inside information on your favorite tailgating spots.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.


  • Dave Kempf says:

    Love this “life lesson” beginning as well as great info about signings, availability of prints etc. Enjoy your journey through the 2013 SEC.

    Dave Kempf

  • Clara Miller says:

    I look so forward to our tailgating trip that starts next week. It is always a fun experience tailgating with Kathy and of course you always have new friends once the tailgating is over.


  • sec1fan says:

    Thanks Dave. Thank you for all your help and support. We need to get to a Kentucky tailgate soon. Preferably when Keeneland is open!

  • sec1fan says:

    Vern, We are ready to go! Looking forward to great food, and more importantly meeting old friends and gathering new friends. So glad you are on the road with us!

  • Laura Huffman says:

    You are having so much fun at these tailgates/games! I want to tag along on one of your road trips!! Maybe next fall? Sounds like a great next couple of weeks – I just wish our timing were better for the mts.! xoxo

  • Gina Stromberg says:

    Tennessee almost beat Georgia. Great Game. I was thinking of you Kathy. Great Blog about a mentor. We will miss you in Art class.

  • sec1fan says:

    Laura wish you were on the road with us. Will miss you in the mountains

  • sec1fan says:

    Thanks Gina. Seems strange to be missing art class. Such special people and times.

  • Elliot Dore' says:

    So sorry I didn’t get to meet you during your visit to Baton Rouge. I was hosting your friends Lee and Patty Lawrence. It just so happens that my sister Diane MacDonell and her husband Denis (Mac) live on Amelia Island as I believe you do.

  • Dave Miller says:

    This blog post sets the stage for Kathy’s upcoming post on our trip around the SEC. We had great fun and met many wonderful people. I even got to assist at Kathy’s signing event in Highlands. Should be out tomorrow …. Stay tuned

  • sec1fan says:

    We are sorry to have missed your tailgate, Elliot. I do know your sister and hope to see you on Amelia Island sometime soon.

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