If there was any doubt that Spring is here, this past weekend should have put to rest those doubts, but I already miss Winter.
Gainesville was awash in pollen, the Braves played a Sunday afternoon game under cloudless skies (sporting new orange jersies, no less), it was Masters weekend (and oh what a tournament it was), the charcoal grills were going, and the scent of new mown grass in the air.
The pollen, of course, I think most of us could do without. But, if I remember my biology correctly, it does serve a purpose. It just seems that its worse than it used to be, even though we supposedly have fewer trees because of all the growth - as vegetation is cleared and trees cut down to make way for buildings and homes and parking lots and streets.
What about the Braves and that splendid pitchers' duel between John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez? That is, until everything came unraveled for the Braves late in the game. But what a splendid afternoon for a ball game. I am among those who remember when all major league games - World Series included - were played in the afternoon. Of course, that was when the World Series was the only post-season series in the majors. Only in the minor leagues were games played at night. There's something magical and different in an afternoon ball game. And, there were always double-headers on Sunday afternoons in the majors and on holidays. Now, it's my understanding, the players union has seen to it that that's a "no no."
And, then there was the Masters.
I'm not a big fan of golf on television. But, I rarely miss watching the Masters, especially the final round. Having seen one round in person many years ago, I'm always drawn to it, and the Georgia connection has a certain appeal, I think. I usually give more attention to the BellSouth Classic in Duluth and the ladies tournament at Eagle's Landing than I do, say a tournament in Westchester, New York, or some place in the Midwest or far west. Sunday's Masters, of course, was a classic, as by now I'm sure you have heard.
We cranked up our charcoal grill last weekend for the first time since fall and I think others in the neighborhood did, too. Several of my neighbors also cranked up their lawn mowers. So, between the aroma of hamburgers cooking over a bed of coals and that of freshly cut grass, on top of everything else, it was quite obvious that spring was here.
But, as for me, I'm a cold weather fan. I love those frosty morns, a roaring fire in the fireplace, the smell of chimney smoke, a walk on a cold and windy day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and wearing my sweaters. Give me a 30-degree day anyday as opposed to an 80-degree one.
Just leave the ice and snow north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
In the meantime, bring on that first frost.
Ken Stanford is the News Director for radio stations WDUN NEWS TALK
550, 1240 SPORTS RADIO THE TICKET and MAJIC 1029 and Editor for