The Last hurrah of the 2002 season

Yesterdays game was exciting till the end, just like many other games we played this year, but the highlight of yesterdays game had to be the last tailgate party of the season, the last hurrah sort of speak till next year. It could all be summed up in the words of Michael Mills one of the Tailgate partiers and a regular on the SignonSandiego Forum as Lancer1, "When you come to the games the tailgating experience of NFL football is like popcorn at the movies."

Now when he first told me this I laughed and thought it was funny till in my car on the way home I thought about it. Every game for 30 years there have been tailgaters, BBQing, painting faces, drinking Beers, throwing footballs and just generally having a good time. Donna Gentz-Wallis another tailgater that I met at the party said she had been tailgating off and on for the last 10 years and the last 5 years she tailgated in the same Spot with another Forum regular Mike Elkins also known as YaBolts. He said they get around 20 people that normally show up and as Donna said, sometimes it can get as high as 35. I thought to myself at that time, "Wow, I have been going to games for 30 years but not until this year did I experience a tailgate party and both times it was at Mikes spot with his regular tailgaters plus the added little extra few of us forum regulars added."

See this party was special, it started as a thought of one of the forum regulars, DeadCat2 (Roger Boucher), and he started it just as a get together that grew, he said. When I asked him if he came up with everything himself he said, "No, a lot of people on the forum chipped in." I think in all about 15 People from the forum plus Mike's regular friends that share his spot turned it into one big Charger party.

Derron Ye (Dky55d) brought some of the best meat I have ever eaten in my life; I don't know what he marinated it in but boy when it came off the barbecue it just melted in your Mouth. Roger's wife, Rosemary made these Pecans that were spicy and terrific, I could not stop eating them and believe me (I hate nuts).

Every time I saw Rosemary she had this smile on her face and was having fun even though she did not know us guys from a hill of beans, so I asked her if she was (having a good time), and she said "Always having fun" and smiled some more.

You see that is what tailgating is all about, having fun cooking food, enjoying time with people you may only see once a week for 5 maybe 6 months out of the year, talking about their week at work, or what is going on, or just popping back a couple of beers and having a great time.

Jonathan Cuesta (714Chargers Fan), and Derron are good friends and have been to every game but the Denver game this year, they make the trek down from the Chino Hills area for the games. He describes the party as, "It is Bolt Sanctuary", now that is kind of prolific. It is a sanctuary, we all find peace and a calmness before the game and a place where we can open up and let ourselves and our feelings be heard after the game.

Tricia Abare (Charger Chick) and her Husband Jeff and Son Jeffery have been season ticket holders for 9 years. "Been to every game since Jeffery was 3 weeks old," she told me. Wow I thought to myself I am 36 and her son has been to more tailgate parties then I have!

There were many people there, some I got to talk to, some I did not, but the one thing I noticed was everyone had a beer in hand (except myself I don't drink), and a smile on their face talking to each other, shaking hands and a camaraderie of life long friendships, that have only truly been blessed for 6 or 7 years. We played catch with the football, talked sports, talked shop, and hoped the Chargers could finish out on top.

Unlike the Chargers I feel I finished my season off on a positive note I met many good friends with whom I shared a close bond with for 5 months across a computer screen. We ate, drank, and had a good time at the "Last Hurrah" for this season.

I can not wait till next season to begin, not just to see how the Chargers will do, I just cannot wait to get together with my friends again and talk, drink and oh yeah get some of Rosemary's delicious Pecans, and Derron's Marinated Meats, and his wife's terrific macaroni salad, and…

Boltaholic can be reached at: Boltaholic

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