Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31, 2009

Kiwanis Club program chairman, Steve Warren, presented our Mayor, Byron Pittman as a speaker this afternoon. Byron gave a "state of the city" touching on the ongoing projects such as Viaduct Road widening, Sewer renovation and repair and some of the new business we are attracting to the city. While this is a particularly frugal season for Chickasaw, the new business
tax ordinance should make a large difference in the first month of the new year. This afternoon,
a meeting of the Coastal Clean Up Committee should get us in-line for a cleaner community.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 29, 2009

Friday was a travel day for me with a 6-1/2 hour trip to Columbia, Tennessee where I attended Military School. I serve on the Alumni Board and the 29th was one of our semi-annual meetings to plan next years events. It is customary for us to meet at Legends Steak House for a bite to eat. (last picture) Saturday morning we met at 10:00 AM in Academy Hall to hear the new President of Columbia Academy, Dr. James Thomas, speak. (Columbia Military was purchased in 1979 by Columbia Academy, a Christian boys and girls school) Dr. Thomas wanted to seek the
old alumnus help in re-roofing Academy Hall. The projected cost is $52,000. and we voted to donate $5,000. to the Academy for that purpose. They are also going to apply for a historic grant and ask the County for help. Our group, two years ago, took on the task of completely renovating the old guard house built in 1890 and turning it into a museum. (see pictures of outside and inside of guard house)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 27, 2009

I talked to one of the Industrial Board members today and a board member from the Chamber of Commerce called to find out where we got the "Squiggle" pens we gave away at the joint Chamber of Commerce meeting Aug. 20th. She works at Prichard Water Board and is going to buy them to give to some of the senior customers. I mentioned to her that if their water bills were as high as some of the Chickasaw citizens, it would take a lot more than a ball-point pen to make them happy. Tonight we had a short directors meeting of the 2010/Founders Day Committee to hand out flyers and discuss concessions and registration for the event. Tomorrow I leave for Tennessee for an Alumni Board meeting on Saturday morning for our next reunion.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26, 2009

Last night, everyone in attendance at the council meeting was delighted when a representative from Wal-Mart showed up with a 2 ft by 5 ft. check made out to City Of Chickasaw for $1,500. I knew they would reward us for all the spending Deborah and I do up there someday. The council was also presented with the new business license ordinance for next year, to review by the next session and they adopted a resolution to make the red rose the city flower. Today was a "day-off" for Deborah so we got the Mazda Miata serviced and while Dean McCrary was doing their thing, we visited an old friend, Don Cole, who was in town doing video training at Atlantic Video. Don used to work for me at my Atlanta store and sold to all the big studios such as Akon,
Keith Sweat, Doppler and Southern Tracks. We drove downtown to Serda for coffee, then over to our favorite Swiss-German restaurant: La Rose in the GM&O building. Max Zeullig (the owner) is a fun person to talk with; He was a little depressed today because Ted Kennedy had passed away and he had cooked for Kennedy and Jimmy Carter several years ago. That led me into my story about installing a sound system, purchased by President Carter for his church in Plains, Georgia and we talked for almost an hour as we "wolfed-down" our delicious veal sausage and sauerkraut sandwiches. Max had even worked for the CIA at one time, but I knew if we got into that story we would still be in the GM&O bldg.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25, 2009

I met this morning with Jennifer White and Judi Smith to set up a bank account to handle funds for the upcoming yard sale fundraiser for 2010/Founders Day. This Thursday the 2010 committee will meet at 6:00 PM in the Civic Center. I spoke with two of the Commercial Board members regarding businesses opening in the city without a visit from the Code Inspector or authorization from the Commercial Board and went by to visit one of them. Tonight the council meets at City Hall, 7:00 PM.
No, that is not a Chickasaw council meeting, but it darned well could be!

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009

This was a busy morning. I was not able to attend Kiwanis because Sam Rawls and I had to meet the ADO sign-off representative for our Viaduct Rd bridge expansion project in Mobile at the Chamber Of Commerce. However, through our friend Cecilia Ann Dailey, I was able to participate in the outcome of the event and report its activity. If you were at the Chamber meeting Aug. 20th, you heard Allison Jackson and her four year old son Noah speaking about a 5K walk for St. Jude to be held at Eastern Shore Saturday Sept. 3rd from 8 AM till 10AM. A motion to write all the other Mobile area Kiwanis Clubs to participate in our efforts to raise $1,000. for St. Jude was voted and passed and will be undertaken by our secretary, Adam Bourne. Allison agreed to appear at the other clubs with Noah as part of their program if they desire. (Pictured is Allison Jackson at the Chamber meeting)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 23, 2009

After church this morning, Deborah had to leave for work and I wanted a good cup of coffee to keep me awake through the afternoon. Usually I head for Moka in Saraland, but I felt no restraint for time, so I drove downtown to Serda's. As I was leisurely reading Lagniappe Magazine, an army Sergeant, on leave, walked in for a cup and set down at the table next to mine. It turns out he has been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and he had some interesting stories. The main point I took away from the conversation is that the new regime can't make up it's mind how many troops are enough and he has been caught twice with seven or eight soldiers
taking on thirty or more terrorists at one time. Fortunately air support was quick enough to keep them alive, but just barely. Does America have the stomach to clean up these 911 jerks or just cut and run? Whoops! Maybe I've had too much coffee.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22, 2009

For those of you football fans of the University Of South Alabama, it is the Chickasaw Chamber's honor to announce that new coach, Joey Jones, will speak September 17, 2009 at the next meeting. Byron Pittmans company, Intertek, will sponsor the event. If you are not a member of the chamber, but would like to attend as my guest, please call me at 457-2707. If you are a member and have missed the last three or four meetings, you should be kicking yourself. The speakers have been fantastic and the lunch catering yummy. Now, after blatently shameless
advertising for our city's business organization, I will clean off the patio and pick up dry cleaning.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August 20, 2009

The joint Chamber Of Commerce for Chickasaw and Saraland turned out very well. A great sound system (pat on back) and some terrific speakers (human type) The lunch was sponsored by Mobile Gas and was catered by Tyners. They brought an automobile powered by natural gas and Keith Fordham spoke on the impact this could have on our energy import problem. Allison Jackson and her little boy who had just gone through thirteen weeks of chemotherapy at Jude's Childrens Hospital spoke next asking that we support their walk for cancer to be held at Eastern Shore next month. Before Ron Sparks spoke, our mayor recognized special guests in the audience such as Judge Don Davis, Representative Randy Davis, Saraland Chamber Pres. Mandy Trout and Councilman Adam Bourne. Secretary Of Agriculture Ron Sparks gave an excellent presentation about how Alabamas food products serve the world. Tonight the municipal dinner was in Citronelle and we were treated to a wonderful shrimp, catfish and oyster dinner. The speaker for the evening was Donald Dees of the Mobile Co Personnel Board informing the cities that labor unions for city employees is practically a "done deal" under House Bill HR-413. I'm glad at least the food was good. (Dees in top picture folowed by Ron Sparks and your-truly, then Mayor Pittman)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19, 2009

Good news. . . the system at J.C. Davis auditorium is finally installed (see last picture for location of speakers on either side of the stage) By the time I finished that, approximately 4:30 PM, I had just enough time to get to the cleaners and the store before heading to the Chickasaw Industrial Development Board. Tonights meeting featured Port Of Chickasaw Business owners and members of the Fire dept., Maintenance, and Council. We decided to schedule our next Consortium with the Port on November 18, 2009. Speaking to us tonight was Terry Gilchrist, Harbormaster, for the Port of Mobile. He addressed many questions about TWIC cards (a security identification for transportation workers) and Coast Guard as well as Department Of Home Security rules. (Top two pictures are Terry Gilchrist and members attending tonights event.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August 18, 2009

This morning maintenance installed the two speaker brackets for the Auditorium, but they put them up sideways. After some phone calls back and forth to Kathy, she made sure they were installed correctly. I donated a can of paint to make sure the conduit which goes up tomorrow gets covered with touch-up paint.
This afternoon as chaiman of the Commercial Board, I met with Alicia Flemming, who is interested in opening a snack shop (hot dogs, hamburgers, chili fries) in the old Cake Cottage building at Iroquois and West Lee. She will need a commercial grill with vent and a three-bay sink with grease trap to meet Chickasaw code. Below is a video courtesy of WAGA TV5 on the Jo Bonner Town Hall Meeting yesterday afternoon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009

Kiwanis today presented Dr. Dick Lightfoot from Victory Health Partners, a dedicated group of physicians and nurses who care for people who do not have health insurance, but need immediate medical care. Dr. Lightfoot related the story of a 20 year old patient of theirs that left a note for Jesus at the foot of a crucifix standing in the flower garden at Victory. The note explained how she had been locked in a garage, raped, beaten, burnt and abused as a child, but was giving her medical problems to Victory and her life to Jesus, because she did not want to deal with the guilt and shame anymore. Dr. Lightfoot and most of the Kiwanis had tears well up as he read the letter. We also shared the sad news of Louretha Nicholson's sister passed away last week. The wake will be Wednesday afternoon. This afternoon I attended a town hall meeting with Jo Bonner at City Hall. It was a packed house with police and fire dept having to refuse entry to any more citizens shortly before the start of the meeting. Questions were answered by Congressman Bonner from selected members of the audience. A very civil house listened to many very intelligent inquiries and the only negative responses were when Nancy Pelosi or Barney Frank's name was mentioned. The people, obviously anti Obama Health Plan
oriented were even courteous when a Prichard Concerned Citizen insinuated that Bonner wasn't keepiug the meeting on a "level" playing field. Pictured (top) Jo Bonner, (bottom) Dr Dick Lightfoot.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

August 16, 2009

After church, we decided to grab lunch in West Mobile, shop a little at Deborahs favorite store and take in a movie. We ended up at Hollywood Cinema to catch the matinee of "G.I. Joe". Lots
of action and a pretty fast-moving film.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 15, 2009

I heard something on the radio today that really "hit's the nail on the head" about how I feel about the Health Care. The guy said: "You know, it's not about the health plan. . . If it was, the devil would be in the details!" What he means is that the government doesn't care what health plan passes. . as long as one passes! They will alter costs and change benefits 100 times anyway, but once it passes, there is NO GOING BACK, It will never be repealed; that's not the way the government operates and guess what? We are then socialists. I know my democratic friends are going to say: "Tom what about the 46 million people that don't have insurance? Is that a reason to put the care of our life and souls in the hands of people that can't even keep the Postal Service out of the red? Besides, it has been proven that the 46 million includes illegal aliens and people on medicare. That drops the figure about 20 mill. I don't mind a program based around "walk in" charity care, but I am not going to ever let it be said by my grand babies, that I sold them out!
And that's the name of that tune!

Friday, August 14, 2009

August 14, 2009

I tested the main speakers and mixer for the new J. C. Davis auditorium this morning, but due to a malfunction in the city's scissors lift, we didn't get to hang them. I had to spend a good deal of the afternoon making up cables. This evening, almost by accident, Deborah happened to tune in to an hour special on Neil Diamond which we both thought was pretty awesome. I had the occasion to meet Neil back in 1976 when I was building speakers for a living. He was on the way from Cleveland, Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia for a concert at the Fox Theatre when his equipment truck overturned in southern Ohio and destroyed his 6 ft. tall bass subwoofers. His road manager called the Atlanta promoter and asked if there was a speaker builder available and my
name was given to him. There was only four days before the concert, but they overnighted the basic plans and I was lucky to find four of the exact model of JBL speakers in a local music store. The plan called for two side by side JBL 15" woofers mounted to a one inch plywood baffle with
two 3 ft. foot exponential flares on both sides covering about 3" of each side of the woofers. The best part of the story is: I delivered the subwoofers, got paid AND got second row tickets and backstage passes.
Mr. Diamond was gracious, friendly and thanked us profusely.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This afternoon was spent doing drawings for a client and attending a meeting with Kathy Couey, Charlie, and Cecil about the time frame concerning the auditorium sound system for next Thursday. The city needs more time to secure electrical bids, so we decided to go with the PA
equipment on stands for the Joint Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Tonight the Chickasaw Civic Theatre held their wine tasting fundraiser at "Taste" Wine Shop on Old Shell Road. It was a rousing success, drawing approximately 100 persons to enjoy the sampling. Most of the board members brought spouses or dates and the actors did impromptu skits from some of the better known plays of the season. Everyone appeared pleased with the 2-1/2 hour attitude adjustment period and left happy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August 12, 2009

This morning I talked with the mayor about our Viaduct Rd. bridge expansion and Kathy Couey about the auditorium sound system. Then I had to pay a little visit to Prichard Water and Sewer
to question my water bill. In the afternoon Sam from Maintenance called checking on the results from our trip to the Mobile Chamber of Commerce last week and I worked on the resolution for the council to adopt a city flower. Teresa called to let me know that the library received a grant for a video teleconferencing system. Deborah caught me working on some finances as we dined out this evening.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 11, 2009

Last evening Deborah and I attended the Historic Society meeting where we got to share an evening with Ed Baxley discussing the World War II years in this area. Many ships loaded with supplies for our armed forces overseas were sunk by German U-Boats patrolling the waters just a few miles from Mobile Bay. He recounted a book "Isle Of Saints" written by Andy Anderson which dealt with a woman who had lost her husband during the war and came upon a wounded German sailor on Orange Beach. At first she was overcome with rage and beat him as he lay there unconscious on the sand. Then seeing that he was still alive she dragged him to her home and decided to treat his wounds before she turned him in to the local police. Of course, as they got to know one another they fell in love and lived many years together. Ed would not reveal the ending, but suggested that we check out the library copy or purchase the book. It was good to have a full house for the event.
Tonight is council meeting at City Hall.

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009

Kiwanis had a very friendly young man speaking to us today about the decrease in organized Christian church attendance. His name is Don Woolley and he pastors the Westside Methodist and Pleasant Valley Methodist Church in Mobile. A graduate in Chemical Engineering (like my son) he raised some good points as how to bring Christ "to the people" as well as bringing people to the church. Along with that we had a suggestion from Chief Mike Reynolds that the Kiwanis sponsor the "Eddie Eagle" program, a video presentation to educate K-3 students about gun safety. This important program would inform children how dangerous hand guns and rifles can be if not respected as as lethal weapons.

Tonight is the Historical Society meeting at 6:00 PM at the Civic Center.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

August 8, 2009

Today was Deborah's birthday and the family cooked dinner for her. Of course like all mothers, she found lots to do around the house, but still got to spend quality time with grand daughter: Debbie Jo. Tonight Debbie Jo passed out the gifts and still had time to upstage everyone else.

Friday, August 7, 2009

August 7, 2009

Grand daughter Debbie Jo and her mom and dad arrived last night a little after midnight from Atlanta. While Deborah and Courtney took her around today to show Deborah's coworkers and generally shop Belaire Mall, Stuart and I went on a tour of Chickasaw and West Mobile. We
hit such special places as the Port, City Hall, Hobby Lobby, Mobile Country Club and Cheeseburger-Cheeseburger. Before we went out for seafood at Bayley's tonight, Debbie Jo performed a little "soft shoe" in my Georgia Tech slippers.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 6, 2009

I attended a meeting with Mayor Pittman, Mike Reynolds and one of Mobile's most respected real estate brokers this afternoon to find suitable property for some of our incoming business prospects. Then Sam Rawls from Public Works and I drove down to the Mobile Chamber Of Commerce to talk with Herman Tinsley about our final preparations to widen the second bridge on Viaduct Road for safer and wide-load capable trucks. This modification is needed to match up with the road widening already funded as a project for Viaduct Road.
I was particularly pleased to hear that Representative Randy Davis was sucessfully able to get Chickasaw the $59,000 needed to repair the roof of the library and civic center. These repairs have been sought after for some time. Tonight, the 2010 Smalltown committee headed by Jennifer White met to discuss preparation for this October's Sale event and the combination Founders Day / Smalltown Alabama week occuring in October 2010 at Millers Park.
In addition, my sweet little granddaughter arrives tonight with her mommy and daddy to spend the weekend with us. So, for the next three days expect candid shots of the little one.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 5, 2009

This morning I met Mr. Bowden and Charlie from Maintenance over at the J.C. Davis Auditorium to discuss mounting new speakers. Then the City Code Inspector called about meeting with Sam Rawls concerning the Viaduct Bridge Expansion. That will necessitate a trip to Mobile tomorrow afternoon. Corresponded with the mayor about new business for Chickasaw and spent the rest of the rainy afternoon with my bride while she made treats for the grandaughter due tomorrow afternoon.
Thought I would share what a friend sent. . . even pac-man has followers!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4, 2009

Today there was a meeting of the Chickasaw Garden Club where discussion of plantings in the medium of Highway 43 at Brooks Park reached a fevered pitch. There were those who wanted Crape Myrtle trees and those who wanted lower profile shrubs to avoid blocking anyones view that are turning west into the park. Good homemade sandwiches and lemonade were provided by Ed and Marilyn Jones.
Tonight was a culmination and summary by Ephraim Stockdale of Phase I of the city's Strategic Planning sessions, The key stakeholders and general public were invited to witness (2) two new businesses being voted into Chickasaw: Trappers Restaurant at 601 Hwy. 43 and Dollar General at 288 Hwy. 43. The Commercial Development Board finished their voting process before turning the floor of City Hall over to Sherrie Graham, Ephraim Stockdale of Alabama Power, Mayor Byron Pittman and Councilwoman Jennifer White. All four speakers made statements of Chickasaws progress over the last fifteen months and answered questions from the audience members who had received a strategy report. Pictured are Ephraim Stockdale addressing the meeting. The second photo is Stockdale, Pittman and Hayward.

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

Today at Kiwanis we held our monthly business meeting and heard from a youth counselor, Brook Duprey, a protege who's program we had helped to fund. We also learned, quite by accident, that while we were paying Kiwanis International right on schedule; we had missed Kiwanis Alabama. Who knew? Also under the heading of strange news, they had to call the police at our mayors new building when a landscaper showed up "higher than a kite" and began driving the tractor over top of the freshly sodded grass.
Later in the afternoon I met with the code inspector to pick up necessary paperwork on the new Dollar General store who wants to open on Highway 43 in front on the Pine Cone Apartments. They would like to be in occupancy by the last of November, so we will bring it up for a vote tomorrow night at the Commercial Development Board Meeting. One of the other board members looked at the paperwork this afternoon and I will email information to the rest so everyone will have advanced input on the project.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August 2, 2009

After 8:30 AM church service I had a Knights Of Columbus meeting where I was assigned program and communications chairman for the chapter. We ate lunch downtown and went by the Civic Center to see why the enormous number of cars were parked there. While we were in the area Deb took my picture at Ft. Conde. The Civic Center was having a large Jehovah's
Witness gathering. Then it was off to Brookley to check if my friend Jeff was flying his 310F this weekend. That apparently wasn't happening today, since the heavy cumulus clouds make for bumpy rides.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August 1, 2009

We traveled to Bienvbille Square this afternoon for Jazz Fest and I was amazed that we found a parking spot next to the park so quickly. It was only after I set down on a wet bench and asked a friendly "musician-type" bearded dude when the music was supposed to start that I was informed the event had changed venues to 351 Water Street. For those of you who have never been to Club 351, let me tell you that from the outside it looks a bit "seedy". Suprisingly enough, everyone inside was extremely friendly and I immediately felt comfortable, even more so when Donna Hyatt began blowing sax. Great little trio with drums and Hammond B-3 organ. They had moved over to the club due to impending rain all afternoon and no-one likes getting 110 VAC through their hand when they reach for a wet microphone. Can't blame them for that! Stayed for about an hour and a half and was pleased with all the great sounds.