Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009

This afternoon I met Mike Sweet at the Chickasaw Housing Authority to finalize the Community Yard Sale coming up this Saturday from 7 AM to 2 PM. We were asked to keep vehicles off of the grassy area of Miller Park and get them to park in the lot across Dumont Street. There will be an electrical feed for booth spaces that need 110 volts. It should turn out to be a fun day for all concerned. After that meeting I helped Jennifer White paint a banner for the event over at the library and visited with Teresa Goolsby awhile.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 29, 2009

I attended a Planning Meeting this afternoon where we dealt with changing some of the sign ordinances, fencing and driveways for new homes in residential neighborhoods and minimum sqare footage of those homes. No billboards will be allowed along I 65 or Highway 43 less than 1,000 ft from the roadway. All new homes must have concrete, brick or cemented paver driveways. This would eliminate any non-driveway residences as well as asphalt, gravel or sand
used for that purpose. Fences would not be allowed to enclose front yards past the front edge of the home. Homes would be required to meet minimum sizes: ie. 1,200 sq ft in Norwood and Woodlore and 2,000 sq. ft. in Pirates Cove.These changes will be discussed in an open forum meeting, before they are presented to the council for an ordinance vote.

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 28.2009

Todays speakers at Kiwanis were Elaine Henderson and Nikki Formwalt from the Child Advocacy Center. They handle over 3,00 cases of child abuse every year in Mobile. The horrific statistics are that 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. And what makes it worse is that 90% of the children never report their abuser. It is vital that parents take that, perhaps awkward, but important step to inform their children of this crime and the warning signs so they may be aware. I'm sure our group will vote to donate money to the Child Advocacy Center at a subsequent meeting.
This afternoon I attended the funeral for Mrs. Mildred Smallwood, one of the key stakeholders and influential citizens of Chickasaw. Some rather heart rendering rememberances were given by her sons and an appropriate eulogy was done by Dr. Ervin Dailey. Our state
representative, Randy Davis sang two beautiful songs and played a trumpet fanfare to her life at the end of the service.
Later this afternoon, the Utilities Board voted on an emergency repair for Highway 43 sewer line which was then additionaly voted and approved by the council. The top of the concrete pipe has collapsed due to Hydrogen Sulphide corrosion and the cost to repair will be $44,000.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

September 27, 2009

Deb is still visiting Courtney and Debbie Jo, so after church I decided to do something I had not done since college. . . . yes you guessed it from the pictures; I went to a circus. Cotton candy? No thanks. . . not particularly good for a type 2 diabetic. I believe I'll have one of those $3. Diet Dr Peppers please! The animals seemed very tired and the tumblers were adequate. You remember what they say about circuses? Don't get close enough where you can see the seams
in the ladies stockings. . . . it spoils the effect! Overall it wasn't horrible; just a bit "seedy" looking. If you are interested for the kids, it's is uder the Big Top (come one-come all) at Hank Arron Stadium off Government Street. By the way, I inquired and they didn't need an unbearded fat man.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 26, 2009

Deborah is on her way to meet Courtney and grand daughter Debbie Jo. For me, it was an early start, working at our church parishioners house trying to rebuild a wall that was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. Nothing about the concrete slab was level, so each 2x6" was custom cut and plumbed before nailing. Notice that we are following Chickasaw code by installing metal hangers everywhere a stud attaches to a header or sill plate. The next step will be inspection then an application of plastic and board and batten. TA-DA!

Friday, September 25, 2009

September 25, 2009

After doing some typing work for the Chickasaw Garden Club, I attended the Mobile Docks Maritime Meeting at the International Trade Club downtown. It was called to order by Smitty Thorn and Hal Hudgins VP of planning and security. The Port Of Mobile is the largest coal importer in the nation with most of it passing through McDuffie Coal Terminal. Smitty announced that the port facility on Pinto Island is scheduled to open in January. The massive 120 ft. cranes (larger than Mobiles current cranes) shipped out of China today and are on their way to Mobile. While the port moved 296,500 tons of aluminum this year, up from the 144,000 tons last year,; steel, however is down from 1.2 million tons to 437,000 tons this year. Coal is also down slightly due to the price of natural gas reaching a new low, making it profitable for power plants to switch over. It was announced that dredging is continuing for berths and the new "turn around" being built. The 2007 grants are being implemented, with 2008 grants offering 2.8 million dollars available.
Rick Schwein, new Alabama Director of the FBI gave a report that Bin Laden and Al Swaheiri are still alive and well in Northern Pakistan and continue with their plan to turn the middle east and then the rest of the world toward 13th century Islamic Radicalism. Terrorism is particularly active in Yemin, Ethiopia, and now Somalia. What we in lower Alabama must watch for is lower tier converts through the internet such as Al Riki from Daphne who recently moved to Afghanistan to become a propaganda expert for Bin Laden.
Finally the Swine Flu, N1H1, was discussed as a pandemic. With 6 billion doses of vacine requested WORLDWIDE, only 3 billion will be able to be delivered this year. They should arrive in mid October. Until that time, the Surgeon General is recommending that companies tell their employees: "If you feel sick. .. .stay home. If you have a fever, don't come to work until 24 hours after your fever has broken."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

September 24, 2009

This morning, sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 AM a truck apparently hauling pine straw or hay, burst into flames just before the southbound exit ramp off of I-65 to Exit 10 (W. Lee Street) It took almost every Chickasaw fire truck to extinguish the blaze and the crew remained there for several hours to make sure it was completely out. No one was seriously burnt, and the truck was not destroyed. Click here to see U-Tube on incident.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 23, 2009

I learned this week about an organization called ACT (Alliance for Community Trees) a group sponsoring: National Neighborwoods Month for the month of October. The mission is to support grassroots citizens dedicated to urban and community tree planting, their care and public education. This group has already united 175 cities to plan over 500 projects of tree planting during this coming month. The organization offers free banners, tool belts, ribbons and posters and is backed by The Home Depot which offers $500. mini-grants to make the event successful.
Chickasaw could use new trees, such as Cedar, Arborvitae and Crape Myrtle in places like Brooks Park and many subdivision entrances. I feel this would be a perfect project for the Chickasaw Garden Club to undertake. Speaking of the Garden Club, Marilyn Jones gave me a wonderful Night Blooming Cereus to surprise my wife today. Deborah is quite happy, needless to say.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 22, 2009

I spent a good portion of my day fielding phone calls about the Community Yard Sale coming Sat. Oct. 3rd. We now have a good number of booth spaces sold with many of them being non-Chickasaw citizens. It is fun to talk with them because almost every single caller grew up here in our city. If this is an indication of next years: Chickasaw "Coming Home" 2010 (Year Of Smalltowns), it should be a huge success. There is sad news from Saraland where I heard that DreamScapes (the Art Gallery) on Highway 43 is going out of business, due to the toll encumbered by the weak economy. Lucinda Ray informed me that all original art would be discounted 50% until it is gone. I will be attending the Chickasaw council meeting tonight.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September 21, 2009

This afternoon at Kiwanis, Dennis Brown, Vicar at St.Michaels Episcopal Church spoke to us about the Chrysalis Academy. Chrysalis is a non profit school that takes special needs children afflicted with ADD/HD, Asperger's Syndrome, Autism and Dyslexia. Some of these children have special gifts such as brilliance with math or music, but all of them realize their condition and tend to gravitate to their own kind or want to be alone. The use of computers allows them to gain knowledge at their own pace and encourages responsibility and a sucessful schooling experience. The teacher-student ratio at Chrysalis is very low (1:6) to guaranty personal attention and "hands-on" learning. More information on the great work this school is doing can be found at:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 20, 2009

Last night Deborah and I attended the Chickasaw Civic Theatre's production of "The Odd Couple", a Neil Simon play. It was good fun with a rambunctious cast of actors. (see pictures courtesy of Leonora Harrison) Deborah sold tee-shirts for the church picnic after mass this morning, but I slept-in until the 11:00AM mass. After a little lunch at Foosacklys, I decided to visit the Mobile museum on Langley Drive.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 19, 2009

You think your day was busy? You don't know busy! We had three events ALL starting at the same time. The Tomato Walk at Burrell Park for the Garden Club. . . The coastal Clean-Up at Brooks Park and work on reconstructing a wall at Mrs. Pierce's home, all at 8:00 AM. Ervin Dailey registered folk for the Tomato Walk, but left a little early for the clean-up and had to return for folks that came by late. The Coastal "pick up trash till you drop" also went fast and well since there was less debris than past years. Because I arrived late at the construction job, I was designated as the gopher. I had to "Go For" 6" anchor bolts, shovel, and broom. Then I was sent back out for an 80 lb sack of concrete and a trowel. We were able to get the sill plate cut and drilled, the concrete pad leveled and the anchor bolts into the concrete before the rain started.
Pictured are: Tomato Walkers, Land clean-up, Water clean-up.

Friday, September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009

This morning I met three of my friends from the Knights of Columbus down at Lowe's on the service road at 10:30 AM to buy 2x6" lumber and nails to erect a wall previously blown down by Hurricane Katrina. The wall is part of a home owned by one of our elderly parishioners of the church. We will rebuild it tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM. Last night we attended a municipal dinner in Bayou La Batre. Absolutely fabulous, gigantic shrimp and catfish were served along with a chance to converse with other city officials and board members. Tomorrow, at some point in the schedule I will check in on the Tomato Walk in Burrell Park and the Coastal Clean-Up in Brooks Park. Everyone is welcome and it the coolest way I know of to pick up a free tee-shirt and lunch, just for picking up a little trash. In fact, you may have time to talk a little trash.
Picture of last night's Chickasaw table and the evening speaker.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 17, 2009

Chickasaw Chamber Of Commerce met this morning with a hearty agenda of activities coming up as Chamber events. We voted to award a $50. bond and a like amount of school supplies to one of our Chickasaw schools deserving student. Oct. 3, the chamber, in conjunction with the 2010 Homecoming Committee, will have a yard sale at Miller Park from 7 AM until 2 PM. Today's luncheon was sponsored by Intertek with catering by Tyners. Those University Of South Alabama fans out there already know that Head Coach, Joey Jones, gave us an insightful
talk on where the Jaguar football team is headed and how he intends to get them there. He relys specifically on a family type of operation with each team member giving their top output and no room for individual "hot-doggers". Joey opened the floor to questions after his talk and fielded many interesting queries about the jaguars slate of opponents and advancment within the college divisions. Tonight is the Municipal Dinner in Bayou LaBatre. Top picture: Joey and our mayor, bottom picture: Your humble servant.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 16, 2009

This afternoon I was able to get a new business location in Chickasaw added to our Commercial and Industrial Board website: . I also received a call from Judi Smith at City Hall who had discovered the corporate books of a Chickasaw Commercial Board back in the 1970 and 80's. It was extremely interesting to look though them and see where the Board's interest was at that time. Most of it had to do with annexing the Port and obtaining a doctor for Chickasaw.
Tonight the Commercial Board met to vote on a new retail floor covering store named "Floors And More" to move into the space at 73 Kansas Street. The new owner, Don Foeltl, has 16 years experience in the business as an installer and should do very well with his showroom at that location. The vote was 4 to 0 in favor of granting him a permit and we wish him good luck.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 15, 2009

The Chickasaw Historic Society met last nigt and we were treated to a verbal historic tour by Jingle Jones Eslava, a former resident of Chickasaw who grew up in the 50's. Jingle recounted about the year the civic center was built and it's importance to the children of the community.
After you finished swimming you could find your quarter and buy a hot dog and a Coke right out of the kitchen at the Civic Center. Ms. Eslava currently lives in Daphne but most of her fondest memories are here in Chickasaw. A planning board meeting was scheduled for this morning, but got moved to September 29th. Several more people have called or brought me checks for the Community Yard Sale on October 3rd to be held in Miller Park.
Don't forget that Thursday September 17th is the Chamber lunch featuring Joey Jones, head coach of the USA Jaguars. That meeting will be sponsored by Intertek Laboratories now located
on Sutherland Dr. in their new headquarters and will be catered by Tyners.

Monday, September 14, 2009

September 14, 2009

Monday Kiwanis and we voted to Give St. Jude Foundation for children: $100. Allison Jackson had spoken to us and the Chamber last month about the important research and care St. Jude is providing. Our speaker for today was: Detective Brad Penton of the Chickasaw Police. He showed the members a DVD of Eddie Eagle, a cartoon character, who promotes and teaches
firearm safety to 4-12 year old children. The film, and the one week classroom support instruction, does not render any opinion about the use or handling of guns nor their value, but
gives children immediate response to finding a firearm at home or outdoors.
That (commit to memory) phase is: "Do not touch, back away and run to find an adult to help." This police grant program is essential to children in our community and will be taught in both of our schools. It is a shame that Chickasaw was the only South Alabama city to apply for this program. I certainly could have used it when I was about 5 or 6. I remember finding my fathers 22 caliber rifle in a closet when I was that age , taking it and a box of long-rifle bullets
to the garage and firing about six shots at some boards against the wall. The bullets went through the boards, the wall, into our neighbors garage and lodged in her opposite wall missing her body by about 5 inches. I won't discuss further what happened, but it has something to do with my father and a belt when he got home.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September 12, 2009

Tonight was opening night for the Mobile Symphony and as season ticket holders we were invited to a reception/cocktail party before the performance. Wine and hors de oeuvres, catered by Naman's, gave everyone a chance to mix with old friends. While "belly dancers" performed we spent some time with Mary Ann Gantt from Satsuma. The dancers were in keeping with the theme of "Scheherazade", one of the selections performed along with Gershwin's "American In Paris" and Shostakovich "Festive Overture" The musicians were well rested from a summer vacation and played to standing ovations. The Saenger Theatre is one of Mobiles restored treasures and should be visited often.
Pictured above are the Mobile Symphony, with Conductor Scott Speck and co-concertmaster Enen Yu following Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. I'm enjoying a chat with one of the dancers that entertained us during the preconcert reception in the second picture.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009

Eight years ago on this day, I was living in Atlanta and was drinking my last cup of coffee with Deborah before going over to open up my main store. The events of that morning were so shocking that 5 of my 7 employees called to ask if they should come to work since the twin towers had just been destroyed. I only remember telling them: "Heck yes, the worst thing you can do is let terrorists shut down the economy" It was a somber day, but it united the country, which is rare in a two-party political system. God had to have heard the millions of prayers that morning. . . .
This afternoon Deborah and I met at Radney Funeral Home to pay our respects to our fellow Kiwanian, George Givens, who's wifes mother passed away this week. Deb went back to work and I just continued down Dauphin St. to ART WALK 09. I stopped to have coffee at Spot Of Tea
at an outdoor table and ran into Sherrie Graham and Kathy Couey. And just to prove that you always meet people from Chickasaw, Ruby Thompson Moore (owner of Spot Of Tea) and her son Tony came out and sat down with us to talk about their big yearly reunion at the Civic Center in Chickasaw and how Ruby grew up on 7th Street and later Idlewood Drive. We sat for more than an hour discussing people we know and I got Ruby to promise to come to 2010 Smalltown Coming Home for Chickasaw next October. In fact she will be sending me her list of reunion friends, so we can invite them too.
Picture is me and Rainbow The Pretty Clown at the popular restaurant and some sculpture artwork.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009

Managed to finish my report of acoustic solutions for a client this morning and spent some time at the printers having the tickets printed for our Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast November 7, 2009.
We always have a good turnout and frankly our sausage, pancakes, syrup and coffee are pretty tasty. As always, with the Kiwanis, the money earned goes to benefit children's hospitals or programs that benefit or protect children.
Tonight, we were at the Civic Center for a meeting of the 2010 Smalltown committee and to discuss the final particulars of our Community Wide Yard Sale on October 3rd. We decided, upon agreement of the others, to run an ad in the Mobile Press right before the event publicizing the Miller Park, St. Thomas Catholic Church and St. Michaels Episcopal Church yard sales, ALL happening on the same day. This should turn out to be a bargain bonanza for many shoppers.
Display spaces are $10. for a 10X10 booth and the vendor pays no additional fees, unless they need electricity which is $5. extra.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009

Kiwanis, normally scheduled for noon on Monday's had been moved to today because of Labor Day. It was our business meeting and we voted to have a pancake breakfast on Saturday November 7th from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM at the Civic Center. The pancakes, coffee and sausage are always good and we normally have a great crowd. We will also be cooking hotdogs for the Coastal Clean-Up on Set. 19th and invite you to come help clean up our waterways. After Kiwanis, the code inspector and I went to his office to go over some plans for a potentially new business in town. That left me just enough time to make it to First Baptist for a Chamber Of Commerce By-Laws committee meeting.
Now I am on my way to St. Thomas Church to meet with the church council. Maybe tomorrow will be a bit less active.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8, 2009

The Saraland Chamber President invited me to attend today's Chamber Of Commerce meeting.
The entertainment was provided by the "Ramtonz's", a barbershop harmony quartet from the University Of Mobile. They did a version of the National Anthem that was outstanding. Lunch was catered by Wintzells Oyster House with shrimp, cheese grits, chicken and sweet potatoes. How can anything ever be wrong with that? Their speakers were Ken Williams, Mayor of Saraland, who spoke about the economy and seemed to damn the Racetrack with faint praise,
announcing that Dale Earnhart Jr. crew had "pulled out" and that the track was in Prichard, not Saraland anyway.
Commissioner Merceria Ludgood spoke about Mobile County praising the "pay as you go" road program and the introduction of 16 new traffic "circles" being constructed as safer intersections for the city. She also spoke about new water treatment and diversification stations being built in Mt Vernon to shift some of the waste water further north to another outlet. Ms. Ludgood was also praised by the Chamber President for obtaining funds for the Saraland Chamber of
Commerce to run (thirty-six) 15 second ads on Channel 10 for the city and Chamber. Their website received over seventeen thousand "hits" over the labor day weekend.
Tonight I shall attend the Council Meeting, where Mayor pro tem Henry Phillips will preside.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7, 2009

Labor Day gave me a chance to plant some fall flowers and fertilize the shrubs in the back. I received a call this morning from a friend inviting me and Deborah to a cook-out this afternoon, but my bride had to work until 6:00 PM so I decided to stick close to the back 40. I drove up to Brooks Park this afternoon and sure enough, a multitude of boaters and bass fisherpeople were
having a good time. That's what today is all about. . . . by the way be careful about drinking and driving: the Chickasaw "thin-blue line" is out and about this evening.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6, 2009

After church, I had a meeting of the Knights of Columbus, while Deborah met with the Ladies Auxilliary. The Knights decided to sell Smoked Hams, Turkeys, Ribs and Boston Butts for Thankgiving this year, while the ladies prepared for the annual St. Thomas Picnic
(usually held in the Saraland Park) by selling St. Thomas Picnic Tee-Shirts. We then finally went out for breakfast and came home for a nap. Deborah had wanted to see "Julie and Julia" at the theatre and I had successfully avoided it for a month. Well this afternoon, Deborah got her way (as if she doesn't always get her way) and I went kicking and screaming. Ya know. . . I really enjoyed it and Deb liked the story about Julia Child so much, she actually cried at the end. . . and it wasn't even sad. . . . . . . . Women!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

September 5, 2009

Looked like rain today as well, but I had to pick up my fall flowers for the yard and the Mauvilla Forest Estates sign, so I did all my Saturday chores and headed for Lowes. I picked up about 18 mum plants for the back yard and front stoop planter. Of course it never occured to me that I had already used up the planting soil so it's back out tomorrow for some quality dirt. I placed
four good sized mums in the sign base and should be able to finish the yard beautification on Sunday afternoon if the creek don't rise. On the way home, I stopped at the carwash to make sure it would rain, then went to Whataburger for an iced tea. Met up with a crew of music fans from the Chickasaw Country Music Association and we talked for a while. I need to check that place out on a Saturday night.

Friday, September 4, 2009

September 4, 2009

Rainy Friday! I had the opportunity to speak with the mayor today concerning a piece of property the Commercial Board can use for future plans. He will be taking a much needed vacation and Mr. Henry Phillips will be serving as Mayor Pro Tiem next Tuesday. The Grant Writer took us to lunch today and we discussed the Chambers role in promoting a "Youth Council"as an event later this fall. I spoke with two of my fellow board members before running to Dauphin Street on an errand and witnessing an SUV skid and roll up-side down in the rain. I tried to stop to render help but fast arriving police waved us on.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009

I was asked to take some photos of what is good in Chickasaw and what is "not so good" for a report that is being done for our Mayor. It was extremely easy to pick out my definitions of those two, but I will submit all 14 photos and let the city choose which ones they will use in the report. I have just selected four (4) for the blog. (2) good, (2) Ummmmm! You do the math!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2, 2009

Well today was Community Service work for Chickasaw. Earlier this summer Jenny Bourne had done a terrific job of enriching the soil and planting begonias and sweet potato vine in the Mauvilla Forest Estates sign just a few hudred feet from her home. What with many rainy days and that good soil, a multitude of vines, briars and generally choking weeds sprang up. So after hearing Deborah say a couple of dozen times: "When are we going to do something about the sign
on Sutherland?", I jumped up out of bed and said "Let's go!" (It was more like: "Do I have to?)
But it was all good! I guess we will plant some mums in keeping with the season, but the largest part of the work is done. . . Hoo Hah!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1, 2009

Spent some time finding audio product for a friend of mine, then attended the September meeting of the Garden Club at JC Davis Auditorium. The club is still trying to agree on what to plant in the median on N. Highway 43 just before it crosses the ChickasawBogue. It has to be very heat tolerant to survive in that area with nothing but natural rain. We agreed to hold our club dinner on Oct. 6th at Pintoli's Italian restaurant in Satsuma. Barbara Pulliam provided the refreshments and I presented the Resolution of Chickasaw adopting the Red Rose as the city's flower to our president, Ervin Dailey. The semi-annual TOMATO WALK is scheduled for September 19, 2009 at Burrell Park. After that, everyone will go to Brooks Park or Pirates
Cove to help gather paper and debris for the Coastal Clean-Up. Lunch will be provided courtesy of Byron Pittman and Carnes Craig.