“I’ll Never Forget It.” Wetumpka’s Brent Turner recalls 1996 LSU-Auburn “Barn Burner”

The 1996 LSU-Auburn game is one that will go down in history and stand the test of time, but for one Wetumpka native and WHS Football coach, it’s one that he will remember for the rest of his days.

According to Brent Turner, an Auburn linebacker from 1995-1998, it’s much more personal than for others. Turner stated, “It was a fairly hot night, I didn’t even know I would be playing in it.” On Tuesday of the LSU game, Turner tore his hamstring, but didn’t let that hold him back.

He recalled the fire as if it happened yesterday. “I thought it was something inside the stadium, they never stopped play, nowadays they would definitely stop play.” Turner stated as he recalled September 21, 1996.

“It seemed like the stadium was covered in smoke.” The smoke, in fact, wasn’t coming from inside the stadium, but rather, outside of the stadium from a quanta building that housed the gymnastics team practices during Turner’s time on The Plains. “That whole night was weird, every time we played LSU, something strange always seemed to occur at some point during that week.”

“I hope I never witness that again.” He stated. For Turner, Tiger Stadium, also known as Death Valley, “was probably the loudest place I’ve ever played, they never sat down.” The Auburn Tigers ended up losing that night, 19-15. “It’s definitely something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.”

Pictures: Brent Turner.

Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma Sherry

The date was September 3rd, 1939, exactly 80 years ago today, when my Grandma Sherry first saw the light of day. I was blessed to spend 19 of my 21 years on earth with her. I often catch myself thinking about she would say or do if she could see where my life is today. I often reflect on the many conversations that the two of us shared on the back porch of both her days in Spanish Fort at 7 Yankee Trove and Wetumpka, where she lived when God called her home on December 30, 2017, six days after she fell ill on Christmas Eve of that year. I remember her saying multiple times “I love Kid Rock, I just wish he didn’t talk so ugly.” Many of our conversations involved some sort of life-lesson or one of her many sayings that should’ve been trademarked. One of those many sayings was “Nobody goes hungry under Mama’s watch.” One of her many valuable life-lessons that also should’ve been trademarked was “There is never a right time to do the wrong thing and never a wrong time to do the right thing.” She was always preaching about treating people with respect, no matter how wrong they were. In fact, recently a family friend came over to the house and said that she had talked to my aunt and my aunt said I needed to go with them to see Hank Williams Jr. and Kid Rock. I immediately began to think of how many times Grandma Sherry and I had talked about seeing Kid Rock if he was ever close. Sadly, she never got to see him, so I will go see him for her on September 21. Even though I selfishly wish she was still here, I know that she is not suffering and that she is finally back with Big Ken after 11 years of being apart, when he died of pancreatic cancer in 2006. I will write a piece dedicated to him at a later date. But for now, Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma Sherry, give Big Ken a hug for me. We will meet again one day soon.