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Buckmasters Expo 2002 was packed

A Saturday drive to Montgomery to attend my first ever Buckmasters Expo at the Montgomery Civic Center was not as long as I remembered the trip.

I decided to avoid Georgiana and stay on U.S. Highway 31 all the way to Greenville before hopping on the interstate and accelerating on my way to the state capital.

When I arrived at the civic center I could not believe my eyes. There were no parking spaces within a block of the civic center. Now, I knew Clay Walker was going to be in concert Saturday night but that was six hours away. Could all of these people really be here for the Expo?

I finally found a parking spot close enough that I was able to walk to the civic center before evaporating in the afternoon heat.

Upon entering the civic center, my eyes almost popped out of my head as my jaw dropped. The civic center was packed. It looked like an ant colony.

I flashed my press pass and made my way to the press room. I introduced myself to Ann Lewis and she immediately started asking me what I wanted to see. I took a photo from the balcony overlooking the hundreds of exhibits in the civic center and then asked about the Top Bow Indoor Championship.

She escorted me to the area where they were holding the archery competition and made arrangements for me to get a photo.

Then, she was patient enough to give me a brief outline of what was where at the Expo and then asked if I wanted to attend a 4 p.m. press conference with Clay Walker. She also asked if I wanted V.I.P. passes to the concert.

I declined because I wanted to get back to Andalusia.

My desire to get back to Andalusia, along with the crowd, prevented me from seeing everything at the Expo. I did, however, see plenty.

The Expo looked like a mall the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone had a shopping bag, and for good reason. The different exhibits had everything a hunter could want or even dream about.

The Young Bucks Outdoors Pavilion was another highlight of the Expo because of the air conditioning. It was also fun to watch all the children learn the basics of shooting by using air guns.

I missed the wild animal display and the scored deer heads on display at the Expo. I also failed to make it to the Riverside to check out all the boats and other gear.

My biggest regret is that I was in such a hurry to get back to Andalusia. Next year, however, I plan on spending the day at the Buckmasters Expo 2003 and I invite you to do the same.

Who knows maybe I can get us both a V.I.P. ticket to the concert.

John Wallace is the sports editor of, and columnist for, The Andalusia Star-News.