SI Vault
Dan Jenkins
August 05, 2008
Traveling to four football games in three days was pretty close to heaven for four of St. Darrell's disciples
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August 05, 2008

Perfect Weekend

Traveling to four football games in three days was pretty close to heaven for four of St. Darrell's disciples

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Through the night the party was both visible and audible before Joe parked the car. People were standing on the lawn, sitting on the steps of other apartment units or gathered around a clump of trees. The door was open. A Ray Charles twist record poured out. Inside there was a curious mixture of "stewardi," as Joe described the girls, along with SMU fans, Texas fans, Oklahoma fans, Dallas Cowboy fans, Dallas Cowboys, bartenders, musicians, entertainers from the city's private clubs, models and artists.

Joe observed the crowd and turned to Cecil and said, "Go anywhur, do anythang." And they inched toward the bar.

Joe saw a man he had been with in the Army. Mary Sue saw a girlfriend she was supposed to have met at the game. Cecil calmly studied the wall. On it were a Columbia pennant, a bizarre unidentified animal's head with a sign hanging around it that read JOE DON LOONEY, a bullfight poster and a hand-drawn sign that proclaimed IF THE LORD DIDN'T WANT MAN TO DRINK, HE WOULDN'T HAVE GIVE HIM A MOUTH. In the bathroom hung a replica of the Mona Lisa. Joe saw an old fraternity buddy from Austin, an SAE. "Sex Above Everything," said Joe, shaking hands. Somebody said strippers were coming over from the Carousel club. A man who kept introducing himself as Sandy Winfield and Troy Donahue said it had not turned out to be a bad party, considering he had not called anyone. No one ever found out who lived in the apartment.

JOE COFFMAN WAS MAKING COFFEE AT HOME by 7 a.m. Saturday morning on four hours' sleep. He stared blankly at the Fort Worth morning Star-Telegram, which had the starting lineups for the Texas-OU game, and said, half to his sons and half to the Western world, "They outweigh us, but we got too much character."

By 9 o'clock he was dressed and ready. Everything moved briskly now. Joe took the six-year-old, Bobby, to a party, and arranged for him to get home. Cecil called and said he was on the way with the car already gassed up and the beer iced down. The two couples were on the road at 10 a.m.

Cecil was plugging along nicely on the toll road when Pat reminded him that he was going 80 mph. The speed limit is 70.

"Can't get there too soon," said Joe. "Got to go hear Hank Thompson. He's always singing on the fairgrounds at noon. Can't beat it. Drink beer, listen to old Hank and then warp the Okies. Perfect day. I had to have about $50 worth of that 5� points."

"Did you bet, Joe?" said Mary Sue in a concerned voice.

"I 'magine."

Mary Sue looked out of the window.

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