I don't remember when exactly I first met Nick, but I do remember how we met. We both posted on an Arkansas Razorback sports message board operated by KARK television. When I first started posting, I used my real name. Later everyone adopted clever handles like Zsa Zsa GaBoar, Tommy Hillpigger and Hamela Anderson. I became Petunia Pig. Nick posted as MalvernHog, since he was from Malvern, Arkansas.
We probably first met face to face at a Razorback football game. One year a bunch of the posters on The PigPen, the successor to the KARK board, met along I-20 and travelled to an Arkansas-SMU game in Dallas. We also formed a chapter of the Razorback Club, appropriately named the Webhogs Razorback Club. We held meetings online in a chat room. It would take hours for a meeting that should have lasted 30 minutes, since everything had to be typed.
When Arkansas played at Alabama or Auburn, Nick and sometimes J.R., Rick and Dee, and others would stay at our house. Often they would bring their dogs, Lucy, Ethel, Frank and Jack. I finally had to put my foot down when I returned from a trip after granting them use of the house to find dog hair all over my basement.
When my dad died in 2006, Nick drove from Malvern to Camden for the visitation. That meant a lot to me.
Nick has left Malvern. He now lives in Houston. We still keep in touch regularly, visiting on the phone and text messaging, and he will stay in our guest room when he comes to Birmingham in March for a class.
So Happy Birthday, Nick. Hope you have a most outstanding day.