Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30, 2009

Most people would stay at home on a rainy day, but not us. Deborah had another day off and we headed to New Orleans. We walked the quarter and bought some pralines fro her work buddies, then hit a bunch of stores on Magazine St. Found some clothes for Debbie Jo
(grandaughter) and did a full tour of Whole Foods which is our favorite place to buy cheese and extra seeded rye bread. We shared a mufuletta and a beer at The Pearl Oyster Bar and headed back to Mobile town.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009

It was one of two days Deborah had off, so after we took down
all the Christmas decorations, we treated ourselves to a nice lunch and went to a movie. While I wanted to see "Avatar", being the gentleman that I am, I agreed to see: "It's complicated". It actually turned out to be a very funny movie about a divorced couple who realizes that they still have strong feelings for each other. Tomorrow we may take a little road trip.

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28, 2009

Pictured is our mayor and president of the planning commission signing a resolution for Complete Streets which provides for the city to pay special attention to bicycle paths, traffic islands, pedestrian crossing lights and other convenience and safety factors which will help make Chickasaw a people friendly city. At the present time you take your life in your hands if you try to cross Highway 43 or some parts of West Lee St. The planning commission, of which I am a member, in conjunction with Smart Coast, voted to adopt the resolution and send it on to the council for approval. I also spoke with two councilpersons and the executive Secretary of the Chamber about prospective Chamber members today.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 27, 2009

After mass at our beautifully decorated St. Thomas church, I had coffee with a couple of friends at Serda's downtown. While the topic centered around returning Christmas gifts and getting what they really want plus the state of the economy, I couldn't help but notice that there hasn't been much work done on the VanAntwerp Building. I'm not saying that the Mobile work force is slow; maybe just a little "laid-back". It's like if they just strap some nylon restraints to the facade (the industrial version of duct tape) maybe some easy way of fixing the thing will come to them. In the meantime, many businesses in the area must be screaming: "Can we do something to help you?" Mayor Jones needs to turn on the "bat signal" if the metropolis needs help. (click on picture to view restraining straps on right side)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26, 2009

Anniversary dinner for Tom and his bride. It's been twenty years and it couldn't have gone any faster. It seems like yesterday we were on our way to New York city by train to celebrate New Years Eve in Times Square. What a rush! When you are being squeezed together with 500,000 to 700,000 people, you move when and where the crowd wants you to move. We celebrated tonight at one of our favorite Mobile restaurants, The Pillars. Their Grouper Ponchartrain is exquisite. We are going to shoot for another twenty, but don't gamble on it!

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25, 2009

Heard from all the kids. Everyone enjoyed their gifts. It's been a good day.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009

How glorious the Christmas spirit that petty arguments and disagreements are forgotten and we embrace the celebration of the Lords birth. I have always felt that agnostics and atheists are missing one of the best experiences they will ever know when they scowl and
cast aside the joy of this time of the year. I have been about the city today finishing my shopping and want to report two observations. No. 1- Folks are more verbal and more courteous and No.2- The parking lot at the liquor store is packed.
(picture is the altar at St. Thomas Church in all its splendor)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009

It was a long day, not because of the early morning phone calls from Atlanta clients nor the need to pick up supplies for the Bonfire, but just the worry as to whether it would rain or not for tonights event. I must have been a good boy this year because at 4:18 PM the rain stopped dead. When I got to Brooks Park, Tom Ray was already setting up sound equipment for the Christmas carols and Cajun music. Tom's a good singer and belted out a few New Orleans style
spirit lifters then followed with some Cajun rip-roaring dance tunes. I welcomed the 120 or so people to the First annual Papa Noel Bonfire and introduced Ervin Daily who presented our own Karla Autrey, born in Baton Rouge, LA. As the fire leapt higher, Karla read the Papa Noel Christmas story where Papa doesn't have a Rudolph, but must depend on Alphonse the white alligator to navigate him down the bayou in his pirogue. Everyone had a good time and drank their share of hot chocolate. While this is my last official act as Chamber President this year, I'm looking forward to steering Papa Noel down past Chickasaw again next year on his trip to Louisiana.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

Today I talked to the Code Inspector and the Mayor about imprtant issues in Chickasaw. I also had calls from clients and and friends. The Knights of Columbus distributed their smoked ham and ribs this afternoon and I went by the church to get my order. Afterward I attended part of the Board Of Adjustments meeting where a fireworks sales operator was denied a permit to open a stand in Chickasaw.
Tonight we had the shortest council meeting I have ever attended. It was about 30 minutes long and most of it was wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. Tomorrow evening is the Papa Noel Bonfire. Come enjoy! 6PM. . . .

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009

Today Gerald Easley and I went to a meeting at Malcom Pirnie Engineering to discuss the Regional Waste Water System Development Group along with the city attorney, Jay Minus. The city of Mobile has been given a deadline to stop waste water flow into Three Mile Creek and it makes sense for Chickasaw to adhere to the same principles. There was a discussion and a vote at Kiwanis lunch in regard to the chapter being a charity for the bingo games in Chickasaw. We voted to allow the Kiwanis club, subject to National approval, to accept monies for our charities. Tonight Deborah and I attended her Mardi Gras group, Athena for a meeting and dinner at the Mobile Elks Club on Dauphin Island Parkway. Including the husbands, there
were about 200 persons in attendance.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009

Deb went to early Mass so she could get to work on time. I, being lazy, went to a later service. After service, I attended a Christmas get together hosted by Sarah Jane Whitley at her home. What a beautifully decorated abode. Food was great and so was the company. It wasn't long after that I had to be at Chickasaw First Baptist Church
for a choir and sound and lighting rehearsal. The Cantata was at 6:30 PM this evening and everyone seemed pleased. Several solos including a young boy who sang "Silent Night" from the balcony of the church and a little girl who belted out a violin rendition also brought a great deal of applause. Of course afterward there was more good food. Help!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19, 2009

Way too much fun at the Christmas Parade! Between Tim and I we went through two CASES of tootsie rolls, two CASES of moon pies, 1 giant bag of hard candy and more than 100 strings of Mardi Gras beads. But the people loved it and so did we. Behind the scenes, at the parade formation spot, some people forgot their candy, Henry Phillips rode around the parking lot on a motor cycle, one child fell off a truck bed (no it didn't hurt him) and Barbara Pulliam (Citizen Of The Year) didn't get her signs for her car until Debbie Harbin showed up 3 minutes before the parade pulled out. Great parade!! Couple of bummers occurred though; one classic car overheated and had to be pushed out of the parade route and an old house near the Chickasaw/Prichard city limits (right behind the Latter Rain Of God Church) on South Craft Highway caught fire and burnt to the ground, Fire Personnel from Chickasaw and Prichard were on the scene, but a great deal of time was spent trying to get the valve open on the nearest fire hydrant. Very exciting finish.

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009

Met with Carnes Craig our code inspector to discuss some paperwork that will need altering. Two trips to the bank and one to the post office finished up all the gift mailing the Haywards will be doing this week. A friend of mine so generously brought me 200 styrofoam cups for next Wednesday's hot chocolate at the Bonfire. I just wish that if it was going to be this cold, how about a little snow for Christmas? That would really help to keep me in the spirit. Here's
the picture I am hoping for.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17, 2009

Oil change day at the Haywards. Tommy's Pride station must hate to see us coming, since we always have to have the cars back in time for Deborah to go to work. From there, I proceeded to the Senior Luncheon at the "soon to be closed" Auditorium. Lots of folks there to share the Catfish Junction chicken, catfish and slaw. Mayor Pittman welcomed the crowd and Steve Warren, pastor of the Chickasaw United Methodist Church gave the invocation and message.
He spoke of the only real gift can be of ones self; an important message at this time when our every thought is the "hassle" of buying Christmas gifts. I was honored to sit with Pastor Creel,
Billy and Jewel Stone and several other baptist friends as well as Sherrie Graham, our grant writer. A relaxed time was enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009

I met Charlie from City Maintenance this morning to determine where the bonfire and the live band should be set up at Brooks Park. I then dropped by to see Mike Reynolds and Charlie Lyon to find out if the Chamber needed a permit for next Wednesday. They said we may also need a permit for the decorated boats to appear in the water as well. Spoke to Carnes Craig (our code inspector) who is starting to get excited about his upcoming nuptials at the end of the month.
Garnering my Chamber "Business of the Month" plaque, I made a visit to Allen Brown at GAO over at the Port Of Chickasaw. Allen has been instrumental in helping the Industrial
Board form a consortium of businesses designed to keep the port informed about grants and DHS rulings.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009

Today I worked on my many Knights Of Columbus reports that are due after the first of the year to National KOC. Tedium, get thou behind
me! But in the afternoon I took a break to indulge in some fine Moka coffee and send out Christmas gifts in large boxes to the children and grandchildren. Deborah had stayed up last night late to finish wrapping them in the professional style I've always admired. Tomorrow I will hang some "Bonfire" reminders if the weather permits.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009

This afternoon I had a meeting with our Mayor and as soon as I returned it was time to go to the Christmas Party thrown by my model train club. We had a choice of The Kiwanis Party at Catfish Junction, The St. Thomas Parish Council or the Civic Theatre. While I'm sure we would have enjoyed any of them immensely, I had reserved tickets for the railroad modelers several months ago at the Original Oyster House. You can't imagine how thick the fog was getting across the Causeway, but we made it due to the skillfull driving of my bride. Dinner was great with old friends and we actually won one of the door prizes which was a box of golf balls and tees engraved with the Norfolk Southern Railway logo. Besides, how can you beat crawfish and fried oysters?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009

After mass, St. Thomas had it's Christmas Lunch at the Parish Center. Absolutely packed to the rafters, spirits ran high with with friends and plenty of fried chicken and baked ham. Of course the climax of some great desert and coffee was raised with the appearance of Santa to hear the childrens impassioned needs for December 25th. Most, as pictured, were delighted with an audience including the chubby guy, but one little dude went plum beserk. Screaming and sobbing were in order until his mom came to the rescue. Santa said: "It's OK, I don't take it personally".

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 12. 2009

We didn't let the rain bother us. . . Deborah got away from the store early today, so the Mrs. and I went Christmas shopping. We decided to give West Mobile a shot and there was much to see and do. While we were wandering around, one must always stop for a good cup of coffee. In this case, Carpe Diem on Old Shell Rd. was just the ticket. If my expression appears to be serious, it is just "sticker shock" from the prices of Christmas goods. Cheers!

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009

This morning Kathy Couey cancelled the Christmas Parade, my afternoon meeting with the mayor and several attorneys was postponed because Byron was still in Houston and it will more than likely rain out Artwalk downtown. But did I pout?. . . . . no indeed! It was a perfect afternoon to put up the tree and call old friends in Atlanta and Louisville. I wished them all a Merry Christmas than set about placing ornaments and garland on that lit, green invader residing in the den. Ho-Ho.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10, 2009

Today I brought in all the Christmas decorations and got started first on the outside lights. After taking about 10 phone calls and assembling the Nativity set, it was time to get plants watered and start cleaning up the mess. Deborah, being a member of the mardi-gras crew Athena, went to get her costume fitted for the parade and I took my shower for tonights: Woman's Club Christmas Dinner. It was a terrific meal, catered by the people up in Calvert who bought out Naders Restaurant. Pictured is the president welcoming everyone and Bob and Nell Barnes (our neighbors) and Deborah and me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009

It was one of those "mixed-use" days with everything from writing a report of the board's activities in 2009 to buying gifts over the internet. I spoke with the mayor about the council meeting last night and concurred that questions and answers about the auditorium were kept quite civil and informative. The city just isn't able to keep it open, considering the enormous

utilities and maintenance expense. I feel that the fear of loss of a city hallmark was much more devastating than the future consideration of electronic bingo in the community. Of course I may be completely wrong, but it is my current opinion. Deborah and I left the cabin tonight for a little R&R. Notice the halo over my angelic head in the picture.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8, 2009

The Chamber Board of the Chickasaw Chamber Of Commerce met this morning to prepare for the coming year. Under old business we decided to have some flyers made up for the Bonfire event December 23 and post them in the significant areas of business. A great deal of the meeting was discussion about speakers for the 2010 yearly luncheons. The final votes were for Bradley Burns (republican running for Governor), Randy Davis, Senator Jeff Sessions, EMA director Ronnie Adair, Arturo Davis (democrat running for Governor) and Sen. Vivian Figures.
Plans for small business workshops, a chamber newsletter, a city map, Business After Hours and other ideas will be pressed into service this coming year.
Tonight we will be present for a much talked about council meeting.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009

The Kiwanis met this morning and approved six persons to ride on the float December 12 for the Christmas parade as well as six large containers of candy to be thrown at the event. We also wrote checks to St. Mary's Home and the The Tri-Coastal Community Outreach for $100 each.

Tonight, under the supervision of Carnes Craig, we approved a resolution adopting the Complete Streets project, opening the doors to large sidewalks and bicycle paths for our city streets. From our vote at the Planning Commission, the council will give the final OK.

At the Commercial Development Board meeting following the Planning Comm. we voted on two new businesses. One is an expansion of The Chickasaw Food Mart to incorporate a deli and a washateria open 8 AM til 10 PM employing an attendant. The other is a Motorcycle Accessories shop owned by a Mobile policeman to be located at Iriquois and West Lee Street

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009

This morning Deborah and I attended services at the Chickasaw First Baptist Church where I assisted Billy Stone on their new thirty-two channel mixing console. Pastor Creel was very kind and appreciative in thanking me in front of the entire congregation.
After the service we decided to eat lunch at Dick Russell's Barbeque in Tillmans Corner. We haven't been there in years. As we remembered, it was great. . . I used to take dates there in the 50's when my mom and dad first moved to Chickasaw.
Coming home, we pulled out a DVD movie we had not yet seen and spent the afternoon in the warm den, out of the brisk cool air.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 5, 2009

Several people called looking for advice on microphones for Christmas plays and cantatas. Of course budgets dictated the brand and style of wireless or choir-type mics since the range is quite wide.. Tonight we went to 5:30 PM Saturday Mass because of a business commitment tomorrow morning and then attended the Tour Of Homes.. All of the homes were beautifully decorated and a lot of effort was made to make the visitors feel welcome. The St. Thomas Catholic Church Parish Hall was the place to reconnoiter at the end of the tour and they were offering up luscious pies and tarts and cookies for refreshments. There was even a "Bread And Bough" shop where the tourists could buy baked goods and historical note cards. All good hometown charm.

Friday, December 4, 2009

December 4, 2009

It was a bitter-sweet day for me and Deborah. The kitty, (Cupid) that we have had for fourteen years was diagnosed with cancer and diabetes and we had to have her put to sleep. It was particularly hard on Deb and she held her while they gave her the injection. We brought her home and buried her in our shade garden.By this evening we felt a bit better and I went to the tree lighting ceremony where Mayor Pittman and Santa Clause officiated. Most of the council
and many, many citizens (including mayor exofficio, Jim Trout and his wife Barbara were there). Ervin Dailey read a Christmas story to the young'uns and the children told Santa each and every toy they wanted.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3, 2009

This morning I dropped by City Hall to check on my mail and the Chamber Of Commerce folder was overflowing. . . mostly junk mail wanting the Chamber to buy $30,000 worth of lighted Christmas ornaments for the city, etc. I was looking and hoping for a check from one of our city's fine businesses who had promised to sponsor our student bond and school supply program. That's OK, I'll just check again next week. I had a doctors appointment this afternoon and before I went downtown, I stopped at the Mobile Museum of Art to
see an exhibit of 19th and 20th century art. Judy Walton spoke to a group of us and it was fascinating to see the evolvement of style over that period. Doctors check-up was good and I was rewarded with several prescription forms to help keep the drug manufacturers in business.

Deborah works late tonight, so I will have a plate of my "soon to be famous" red beans, sausage and rice dinner ready for her arrival.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009

This morning I took our kitty to Wesson Animal Clinic on Cottage Hill Rd. She is now on antibiotics and pain medicine for her swollen jaw. Hopefully the blood tests will reveal just a simple infection.

The afternoon was devoted to working the "kinks" out of the sound system at First Baptist. We had a full array of deacons and pastors to do sound checks on all the mics. We did find a defective choir mic which I will send back to Shure for a repair.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

It has really been a frog strangler today. And I guess it will be much of the same for tomorrow because Senator Vivian Figures cancelled her town hall meeting for Chickasaw. She was scheduled for noon on Wednesday, but I suppose her record of no visits to our town has been kept in tact. Audio business was brisk today; I must have fielded about thirty calls. We were supposed to have a Commercial Board meeting tonight, but one of our members had a medical emergency so it will be rescheduled until next Monday evening. I will take our kitty to the vet tomorrow and help First Baptist Church clear up their sound problems in the afternoon. Stay dry.