There are 27 states in the United States that have a populated area named Bristol. Today's puzzle takes us to one of them, in Rhode Island. My old hometown of Bristol, TN has had quite a week. As I've told you before, it's a double city, straddling the state-line and sharing many services with sister city Bristol, VA. My high school was Tennessee High, and our annual homecoming game (complete with large corsages of mums decorated with ribbons and pipe-cleaner letters) was always the game against Virginia High, regardless of which side of town was hosting the game. At home or away, the "V-T" game was always a big deal, and last week was the 100th such game, played in my school's stadium, the historic "Stone Castle" built as a WPA project back in the 1930's. Now, that alone would have made it a big week, but that event was dwarfed by the *other* Virginia vs. Tennessee football matchup that took place on Saturday at nearby Bristol Motor Speedway. Just under 157,000 fans came out to see the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the University of Tennessee Volunteers (previous attendance record for any American football game (NCAA or NFL): just over 115,000 in Michigan in 2013 ... just for perspective, the combined population of both Bristol, TN and Bristol, VA is about 45,000.) This project had been in the works for a long time (there was a count-down clock ticking away downtown for at least a couple of years) and it was a huge deal for the area. Billed as the "Battle at Bristol," this event definitely is going down in:
Tomorrow we'll be in California.