Homecoming in Style

It’s been a weird season for us, the hosts of our tailgate gang. This will be our first game as tailgate hosts as a funeral and then injury prevented us from attending the first two games. So it will be nice to get back to Underhill with the gang and some burgers and brats. Also, the game times have been challenging – we’re more used to afternoon tailgating so this game will be great. Not being a morning person, the brunch tailgates have not been my cup of tea, but the gang has persevered with bagels and pastry which don’t go quite as well with wine and beer. Since it is our first game of the season, I’m forgoing cocktails and going for the champagne – it’s also a birthday tailgate so why not be festive. Highlight will be taking the ’71 Mercedes 220 to the game – it hasn’t been to a game in a couple of years so the conditions seemed to be right to take it on a road trip to Berkeley. This was my father-in-law’s car and he (and my mother-in-law) are post-war Cal grads. I restored it 5 years ago after it sat in my in-law’s basement for almost a decade. If any of you have tried to get an old car back on the road, it can be challenging and the breakthrough finally came when I connect two batteries together to give me enough cranking power to blow through all the crud that had accumulated in the fuel system. Unfortunately, I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of getting it started so I hadn’t opened the garage door. When the car mysteriously decided to turn over after several weeks of obstinate refusal, I had to keep it running long enough to clear the system, but no long enough to kill me with CO poisoning. The neighbors CO alarm went off and I did get out of the garage in time. But it was an adventure I’ll never forget. Since the restoration, it’s been to car shows, Lake Tahoe, a 4th of July parade (the American flags were a nice touch), and a few tailgate parties – it has a massive trunk for a relatively small car so can hold more tailgate gear than most cars. But alas we’re going to part with the old jalopy this year – too many things going on in our lives to maintain the classic – so this will be it’s farewell ride.

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