I woke up on a Tuscaloosa barroom floor and the policeman knew my name. Twenty years ago, this week, I started the last full semester of my University of Alabama career. I was famous. Sort of. I can explain.
For over six years, from 1988 to 1994, I worked in radio and television as a news and sports reporter, disc jockey, and play by play announcer for baseball and women’s basketball. In my fiefdom of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham Alabama, people knew me by name. What did with that name when my back was turned? Well, go find their blogs. The life a lower than semi-famous media personality in the 139th market in 1992 was a few notches short of glamorous. An almost blog worthy story happened one night in the Oasis bar, made famous by Garth Brooks’ country song, Friends in Low Places. People assume that because the anti-christ of 90s pop country wrote a song about a bar, then the Oasis must have been a swanky joint. Not even close, kids. One letter of the Oasis was always broken. It was usually the i, which says a lot.
When the officer woke me by saying “Hey you’re Lance Burson from the radio, right? Well, you gotta go home.” It stirred me into realizing that I couldn’t even get arrested in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, because people knew me.
Yesterday I sat with two women from my daughter’s cheerleading team. For an hour and half we just talked like girlfriends about competition team breakfasts for the next ten or so saturday mornings and then we did our hair. Seriously, what struck me the most about the 90 minutes was my name wasn’t mentioned. Bobina’s husband, Tay’s father, “him”, but never a Lance was dropped. It occurred to me that after twenty years my identity had changed. People know who I am in many different ways, but the name has changed. By the way, I have another moniker, “Lanier High Longhorns Competition Cheer Squad Team Dad”. Recognize.
Earlier this morning I hit the “send” button on my master draft for The Ballad of Helene Troy. My editor, it sounds so cool to say I have an editor, is combing over the novel that has no author named to the manuscript. I forgot to put Lance Burson under the title. I hope my editor doesn’t assign Bobina’s husband, Tay’s father or Lanier Longhorns Team Dad to my author page. But if she does, you all will know who wrote the book.
Let’s take this song away from CSI. I stole my opening blog post line from a play on the opening one from this tune. Crank The Who’s Who Are You for six minutes…GO