One last reminder that the Grand Bay Watermelon Festival is 3-7 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 3 and 4. Held at Odd Fellows Festival Park off Highway 90 West, the event is open 3-7 p.m. on Friday with no charge for parking. However, visitors can purchase a program for $5 and show it at the gate on Saturday for free parking.
Events coordinator Patty Tripp said that most of the 40 vendors will be set up on Friday afternoon and a full slate of entertainers will be on hand. Among the children's events, for instance, will be the petting zoo, pony rides, Water Bubbles, a Bounce House, laser tag, water tag, Bungee Bounce, mechanical swings, a mechanical bull and train rides. A fire trailer will also be on the grounds with firefighters to train parents and children how to escape a house fire. Musical entertainment on Friday will be the McCrays from 3-5 p.m. and Camm Lewis from 5-7 p.m.
Saturday's events also include a children's area, arts and crafts, food vendors and the Odd Fellows from Lodge #73 dispensing delicious watermelon to visitors, free of charge. Admission on Saturday is $5 per vehicle, unless you have the program from the day before.
The Persuaders will provide the musical entertainment on Saturday. A Pretty Baby Contest begins at 9 a.m. and the Hope Puppets will perform at 10 a.m. The Shine and Show Open Car Show, with trophies sponsored by Sunny South Raceway, will bring pleasure to both exhibitors and viewers. And this year, Sunny South will have on display some of its race cars and go carts.
The beautiful Watermelon Queens will mingle with the crowd and they are Amanda McQurter, 16-18 year old and overall Grand Bay Watermelon Festival Queen; Kayleigh-Faye Tomlin, 13-15 year old Queen; Kara Shields, 10-12 year old Queen, Abigail Akridge, 7-8 year old Queen and Emma Lou Rogers, 4-6 year old Queen.
For more information, see www.grandbaywatermelonfestival.org or call Patty Tripp, 251-865-3456
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab invites everyone to be a part of the discovery and adventure in its summer excursions. Two different destinations are offered--Salt Marsh and Beach Dunes/Maritime Forrest--and for each of the trips, the Estuarium provides tools needed for investigation. Excursions are led by DISL's experienced and knowledgeable educators.
A description of what to expect, taken from the DISL's press release, is as follows:
"The terrain of Dauphin Island is filled with wildlife, and explorers are sure to catch glimpses of many creatures common to the island ecosystems, such as alligators, ospreys, lizards, frogs, fish, turtles, crabs and dolphins. The Forest excursion passes through the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, where many migratory birds rest for a final stop before migrating to South America, allowing sightings of rare birds that are not native to the area. Excursion members will also see a variety of flora around them, from pine trees to palm trees and everything in between."
Excursion dates remaining for this summer are July 2, July 22 and July 30 for the Salt Marsh adventure, and July 14 for the Dune and Forest excursion. Cost for each excursion is $12 per person, which does not include admission into the Estuarium. Groups depart from the Estuarium front desk at 9:45 a.m. and usually return by 12:15 p.m. The Sea Lab asks that children be accompanied by an adult and cautions participants to wear comfortable walking shoes and to bring along the sunscreen.
To register, call 251-861-2141 ext. 7574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.disl.org/educational-programs/programs-in-the-estuarium.
Families taking one of the Excursions offered by Dauphin Island Sea Lab this summer may catch a glimpse of creatures such as the turtle seen in the photo below
Excursion "tourists" can catch glimpses of many creatures common to the Dauphin Island ecosystems, such as alligators, ospreys, lizards, frogs, fish, crabs, dolphins and turtles, such as the one seen in this photo provided by Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Dauphin Island Sea Lab is offering several discovery and adventure excursions this summer. The Maritime Forest Excursions passes through the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, where many migratory birds rest for a final stop before migrating to South America.
"Veterans and Active Troops Appreciation Day," hosted by Lori Bosarge, is Saturday, July 11, noon-5 p.m. at the Coastal Response Center, 7385 Highway 188, Coden.
Bosarge is asking all citizens, churches, businesses and local and state governments to come together in fellowship to honor veterans, active military and fallen soldiers. "We invite you to bring a covered dish and be a part of serving the ones that have served us so well and enjoy this special day with these great men and women," Bosarge said.
Lunch will be served from noon until 2 p.m.; an honor ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Live entertainment will be provided by The Juke Box Band, The Band Kurisko and The Graham Crackers.
To make a donation, mail to South Bay Communities Alliance, P. O. Box 112, Coden, AL 36523. For more information, contact Bosarge, SBCA President, 251-206-9990 or Connie Hamilton, SBCA Marketing and Media, 251-209-3201.
The Last Saturday Community Breakfast and Omelet Buffet, sponsored by Citizens for a Better Grand Bay, was June 27 at Grand Bay-St. Elmo Community and Senior Center. Approximately 50-60 people attended this monthly event, where they heard Kimon Brown tell the latest news from the Compassionate Care Team and the group's efforts to decrease homelessness in the area.
Diners passing through the food line were entertained by the Pickers and Grinners--John Wilson, Ken de Angelo, Rachel Baxter and Dennis Tubbs--who cheered the early morning crowd with Bette Midler's "The Rose," John Denver's "Today" and Bob Wills' "Across the Alley from the Alamo."
Among those who made very short announcements were Bayou La Batre Mayor Brett Dungan, Monnie Tripp from the Grand Bay Fire Department Board of Trustees and Patty Tripp, Events Chair of the Grand Bay Watermelon Festival July 3 and 4. Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl was among the guests.
The next Community Breakfast will be Saturday, July 25, 9-10 a.m. A $5 donation per person goes to help support community projects of Citizens for a Better Grand Bay.
Hamilton Boudreaux and Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl use the coffee-and-chat half hour before Grand Bay Community Breakfast for a pleasant converation
The coffee-and-chat half-hour before the 9 a.m. Grand Bay Community Omelet and Breakfast Buffet lets friends such as Hamilton Boudreaux and Mobile County Commissioner Jery Carl engage in pleasant conversation. The next breakfast is July 15.
Among those enjoying the Citizens for a Better Grand Bay Community Breakfast on Saturday, June 27, were Robin Plasse and his sons, Chapin, 10 and Spencer.13. Behind them, other diners talk with Citizens for a Better Grand Bay president, Aleta Boudreaux
Citizens for a Better Grand Bay and the Compassionate Care Team of Grand Bay are sponsoring a series of four free cooking classes beginning in July. Call 251-865-7604 for starting date, for more information and to register.
Rachel Baxter, a certified Family and Consumer Science teacher, will conduct the classes at Grand Bay-St. Elmo Community and Senior Center, 11610 Highway 90 W., Mondays at 2 p.m. Each class will teach something new, all pertaining to stretching food dollars and preparing delicious family meals.
Classes are geared particularly to new cooks or low-income families so that they can learn how to spend SNAP or WIC food monies more efficiently. Week one will focus on food safety and budgeting; class two will teach knife skills and how to cut and prepare meats and vegetables. The third week will be on nutrition and how to follow a recipe, and week four will concentrate on how to stock a pantry and make simple sauces.
Register soon at above number; space is limited.
The Mobile Public Library branches continue to offer wonderful summer fare for children and teens. Below is just a sampling of events and the day they will be held at particular libraries. Visit www.mplonline.org to see what's happening at a branch near you.
"Oz the Great and Powerful" will be the subject for the Book and Movie Club meeting on Tuesday, June 30, 10:30 a.m. at Saraland Public Library. At Moorer Branch Spring Hill, Monday, July 6, 3 p.m., magicians Dr. Gee and Dasffodil will present "Superhero Santa." "Juggling with Ron Anglin" will be the "Super Performance" at Parkway Branch on Wednesday, July 1, 3 p.m.
At Semmes Library, June 30, 2 p.m. Jaime Lee will teach participants in the Teen Art Class how to make a "Comic Book Tote Bag." Call Theodore Oaks Branch Library, 653-5012, for information on its summer program or to register a group for "Parent and Child Storytimes." And check with Trinity Gardens Community Library, 457-5954, for information on its summer offerings.
The Movie of the Week at Toulminville Branch on Wednesday, July 1, 10 a.m. is "Box Trolls." And at West Regional Branch, parents should call 340-8571 to register their child for the American Girl Book Club, where "activities, crafts and snacks bring girls and their dolls together." On Tuesday, June 30, 3 p.m., activities will center on "Josefina Saves the Day."
Parents, if you have a talented child 5-18 years old, the Saturday, July 25th 2nd Annual Kids' Day Talent Show is their chance to shine. Whether they sing, dance, play music or do stand-up comedy, they can register to perform on stage and perhaps win a prize. The event will be held at Tillman's Corner Community Center, 5055 Carol Plantation Road during Kids' Day, 2-5 p.m., July 25. A $20 donation to SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce is required. Call 666-2488 for more information.
The movies on Dauphin Island's West End Beach this week include "E.T." on July 2 and "Jaws" on July 3. The films start at dark.
The noon business meeting of SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce is Wednesday, July 1, at Tillman's Corner Community Center, 5055 Carol Plantation Road. Call 666-2488 for luncheon reservations.
The works of artist Cynthia Oszuscik will be on display at Semmes Senior Center, 9635 Moffett Road, during July and August.
On June 30, 9:30-11:30 a.m., there'll be a health fair, fun and games, fresh fruit and vegetables and other activities at Parkway SAIL Senior Center, 1600 Boykin Boulevard.
Below are a few of the holiday celebrations, small and large, coming up July 2-4, 2015.
The Senior Adults at Saraland United Methodist Church, 415 McKeough Street, will have a 4th of July celebration on Thursday, July 2, 11:30 a.m. at the church. Veterans will be honored at the event. Call 675-2728 for information.
The seniors at Semmes Senior Center, 9635 Moffett Road, can look forward to a cookout and ice cream on Thursday, July 2, 11:30 a.m. Sign-up is requested; call 649-2010. The Center will be closed July 3.
And seniors at Tillman's Corner Center for Seniors, 5863 Nevius Road, have a covered-dish luncheon planned on Friday, July 3, 9 a.m.-noon. The Center is providing the chicken tenders, so those attending most likely will want to bring side dishes and desserts. For more information on the Center and the activities there, call site manager, Carolyn Lundy, 661-6600.
July 4th at Dauphin Island includes a patriotic and solemn ceremony hosted by the Dauphin Island Veterans Association. To be held at Water Tower Plaza. the event at 11 a.m. honors those who have served and continue to serve our country. The Town and Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring the Mobile Pops Band, which will fill the air with patriotic tunes, beginning at 7 p.m. at Dauphin Island School grounds. Admission is free. Then at 9 p.m., the sky will burst with color as the traditional, spectacular fireworks display takes place at the public beach near the fishing pier. The show can be seen from many vantage points on the Island.
Semmes Freedom Celebration is Friday, July 3, beginning at 5 p.m. at Mary G. Montgomery High School. This family-fun day to celebrate our nation's freedom offers children's activities, an arts and crafts show, hot air balloon rides, a concert, a car show and a fireworks display. For information, visit http://www.orchardassembly.com/semmes-freedom-celebration/
Grand Bay Watermelon Festival is Saturday, July 4, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Festival Park, Highway 90 in Grand Bay. Cost is $5 per vehicle. Visitors get free, ice cold sliced watermelon to eat on the premises. This annual event has something for everyone--family entertainment, children's area, a Pretty Baby contest, introduction to the Watermelon Festival Queens, a variety of food, games, arts and crafts.
Chickasaw's 7th Annual Independence Day Celebration will be Saturday, July 4th at Bill Brooks Park. There'll ve food, drinks, watermelon, music, the Hope Puppet Show and a Silly Game Contest. The fun begins at 5 p.m. A Kayak Paddle will start at 6 p.m. Call Kathy Couey, 452-6467, to register for the Paddle and watch the fireworks from the water.
The Bayou La Batre Chamber of Commerce is presenting the 2nd Annual Bayou La Batre Kayak Classic on August 1, 2015, and is seeking sponsors to help fund the event. Sponsor packages range in price from $50 to $1,000. Also needed are prizes, giveaways and in-kind donations.
The Kayak Classic fishing tournament is held along the coastline of Bayou La Batre and the Gulf of Mexico; competition begins with a shotgun start at 6 a.m.
Anglers will compete for more than 30 awards, which include both Master and Junior Angler division titles. For registration, visit http://www.bayoulabatrekayakclassic.org/page/Register.
Festivities will go on throughout the day and include fresh local seafood, cold drinks, live music and other events. For complete details on the Kayak Classic, see http://www.bayoulabatrekayalclassic.org or call the Chamber of Commerce, 824-4088.
Remember Nipper, the little black-and-white dog who sat by the RCA Victor phonograph with his ear cocked inquisitively, listening for "His Master's Voice"?
Well, Ray Harper of west Mobile remembers--to the tune of a collection of 554 of the mixed-breed, part Jack Russell Terrier pup.
Harper started collecting the dogs when he began working for RCA in 1959. As he amassed his collection of Nippers, he built a room onto his house to accommodate the canines, some of which are papier mache, some plastic, some chalk, metal, stuffed or ceramic. They measure anywhere from 1/2" to 3' tall.
The figures, Harper said, were used in advertising or were giveaways that dealers handed out to customers. He didn't really have a reason for collecting Nippers: "It was just something I did," he said.
(Editor's note: Wikipedia and other sites devoted to Nipper and RCA give a history of the dog, slogan and companies connected to the image. EBay has dozens of Nippers listed, with the asking prices ranging from about $5 to $2,000, depending on the condition and rarity of the item.)
Harper hasn't limited his collections to dogs. He has 5 antique automobiles, some with stories attached. A 1915 Model T, his oldest, is what he calls an RCA Depot Hack with Nipper prominently displayed on the side panels. A 1921 Model T belonged to a close friend, and when the friend got cancer, he called in Harper. "I want you to have the car," the friend said, offering it at a price "I couldn't refuse," Harper said. Two weeks after the sale, the friend died.
He also has a 1923 Model T and a 1929 Model A. But one of his favorites is a 1971 Monte Carlo that he purchased in Beatrice, Alabama. "My wife Katherine and I bought a brand new 1971 Monte Carlo when they came out, and we decided that if we ever saw one in good condition, we'd get it," he said.
Ray and Katherine Harper travel around the Southeast to car shows, towing whichever car they want to display. And at one time, Harper was one of a group of antique auto enthusiasts who held a charity event, "It's All About the Kids" to raise funds for survivors or victims of childhood cancers and other diseases.
On Thursday, June 25, United Way of Southwest Alabama's Board of Trustees awarded $15,000 to support youth-focused community programs. The funds, made available through the donations of students in Mobile County Public Schools, will be invested in programs that "address key social issues vital to improving outcomes for young people in the areas of health, education and life's basic essentials," according to a recent UWSWA press release.
The agencies scheduled to receive the awards are Bay Area Food Bank's Backpack Program, Mobile Preschool for the Sensory Impaired Preschool Program, Penelope House Family Violence Center's School-based Prevention Education Program and United Cerebral Palsy of Mobile's Preschool Program.
To decide the best way to use the funds, UWSWA worked with trained high school volunteers as part of the agency's Student Philanthropists Actively Reaching the Community (SPARC) program. "SPARC is designed to raise student awareness of community needs of youth, while engaging them in raising and distributing money to address those needs," the press release notes.
After reviewing all of the initial applications and selecting finalists, the students went on site visits to talk to the staff and observe some of the programs before making final recommendations to UWSWA's Board of Trustees.
Last Friday Art Night at Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Center is tonight, June 26, 6-8 p.m. Look for the work of Janie Zetsch and other Island artists
Tonight, June 26, 6-8 p.m. is Last Friday Art Night at Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Center, 918 Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island. One Island artist whose work can be seen in the Gallery is Janie Delchamps Zetsch, whose mediums include pure fine silver, polymer clay and mixed metal using recycled copper, brass and silver. All pieces are Island-inspired.
Look for Janie's work at Last Friday, June 26, or at any time the Center is open, Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, 12:30-4 p.m. For more information on DIHAC or Last Friday Art Night, call 861-3300. Also, watch for a piece on Janie Zetsch, her life and her art on this blog next week.
Shown is a mixed metal necklace using a cross and a heart, plus a spent bullet casing from one of the Honor Guard funerals that military veteran Janie participated in with American Legion Post #250.
Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council celebrates 2nd anniversary in conjunction with Last Friday Art Night, June 26, 6-8 p.m.
The Dauphin Island Heritage and Arts Council is celebrating its 2nd Anniversary along with Last Friday Art Night on June 26, 6-8 p.m. The Heritage and Art Gallery has been moved from 1008 Alabama Avenue to 918 Bienville Boulevard, diagonally across from the Water Tower.
A special art exhibit, "Looking South" by Ainsley McNeely, will be featured. Visitors can shop for local art at the Gallery,see art demonstrations by Regina Dol-Kollegger, enjoy food and wine, browse the Heritage Gallery and listen to live music by Chris Miller and Friends.
The event is free and open to the public, though a donation of $5 per person is requested to help cover expenses. For information, call 861-3300 or visit www.DauphinIslandArts.com.
The Wonderful Wednesdays at Bellingrath Gardens and Home program has been a huge success this summer, according to Sally Ericson, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Bellingrath.
The most recent event brought 76 guests to see and hear Steve Bender, Garden Editor of Southern Living magazine. Bender also signed copies of the new Southern Living garden book, which he edited. It's the first one out in 10 years, and though it sold out during the Wonderful Wednesday session, plans are to order more copies to be available in the Bellingrath Gift Shop.
Ericson noted that Wonderful Wednesdays will take a break for the July 4th week, but will resume July 8, 10:30-11:30 a.m. with a session on using succulents to create moss wreaths and picture frames. Leaders will be Sherry Melton and Molly Dickson from Zimlich's Patio Shop in Mobile. Registration is encouraged: call 251.973.2217.
Wonderful Wednesdays at Bellingrath Gardens and Home guest lecturer, Steve Bender, with Bellingrath's horticulturists Chuck Owens, Barbara Smith and Linda Guy
Seated is Steve Bender, guest lecturer at Bellingrath Gardens Wonderful Wednesdays event June 24. Standing, from left, are Bellingrath’s horticulturists--Chuck Owens, Barbara Smith and Linda Guy. (Courtesy of Sally Ericson)
The seniors have a covered-dish luncheon planned on Friday, July 3, 9 a.m.-noon. The Center is providing the chicken tenders, so those attending most likely will want to bring side dishes and desserts. For more information on the Center and the activities there, call site manager, Carolyn Lundy, 661-6600.
Ken Buck Farm of Irvington donated several bushels of fresh corn to the seniors at Tillman's Corner Center for Seniors on Nevius Road. The generous farm owners have also donated peaches and satsumas in season. Pictured from left are seniors Jeanette Tabb and George Sekowski and a Mobile County trusty.
"It's Better to Be a Has Been than to Be a Never Was," according to the former Distinguished Young Women who visited seniors at Parkway SAIL Center June 24th
"It's better to be a 'Has Been' than to be a 'Never Was'" is the philosophy of the former Distinguished Young Women who shared a morning of fun and activity with the senior citizens at Parkway SAIL Center on Wednesday, June 24th.
They sang and danced and played music for the seniors. They joined their elders in a game of train dominoes, karaoke, table tennis and conversation. The dozen or so young women came from North, South, East and West--from Alabama and Florida, Minnesota and South Dakota, Wyoming, Kentucky and New Jersey--and all had the same goal, to enjoy an hour and a half with men and women their grandparents' age.
While here in Mobile, the Has Beens have cooked a meal for residents at Ronald McDonald House, visited with those at L'Arche and played and entertained Parkway seniors. Perhaps one of their most valuable "jobs" is to mentor this year's class of America's Distinguished Young Women.