Wonder if Chaibi will sell lottery tickets

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Mississippi is getting a lottery and that makes me wonder if Chaibi will sell tickets after scratch-off games are approved, which could take about two years.

Chaibi is one of our back-to-back Broadmoor neighborhood convenience stores on the Kelly Avenue corridor in Gulfport, the other being Hop In, also known as the Chevron Mart.

I’m hoping for the day I can walk to Chaibi to buy scratch-offs while also getting a variety of cheap brown-bag beer, reasonably priced packs of incense and perhaps a nice ballcap.

Chaibi, formerly the Broadmoor Laundry, is looking its best after getting a new window. This is how things looked outside the shop Aug. 16 before the window was installed.

I have no idea what the heck happened to the old window. I presume no shooting or no looting, but you never know.

Maybe Skip and T.J. know because they are Chaibi regulars.

I’m just glad things are back to normal at one of my favorite places.

I hope Hop In, which faces the railroad tracks, doesn’t become a lottery-ticket seller.  I’m not a fan of the name, and though Chaibi has had problems with the Blue Lights, it seems at times that Hop In is a nightly magnet for the Blue Lights.

 

 

 

‘She Shed’ commercial inspires lame attempt at re-writing Beatles lyrics

IMDB

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

The State Farm “She Shed” television ad inspired my lame attempt last week at re-writing classic Beatles lyrics.

This post goes public with the results:

She said
Somebody burned down my she shed
Now I’m  getting a chichier she shed
After the agent said lightning struck my she shed
I said who put all those things in your she shed
Things that make you feel like you’re glad
Now this fire makes me feel like I’ll never have a he shed

 

All this dumb tongue-twisting stuff for a make-believe song I call “She Said He Shed” is because of the funny State Farm commercial in which a married woman calls an agent to report that her she shed is on fire.

The ad is when I became aware of she shed, the equivalent to a man cave.

Urban Dictionary defines a she shed as “a private room (at home) where a woman can relax, be alone and do whatever she pleases” and has an example of how a man would use the phrase.

My wife has turned the guest room into her own private She Shed. Its complete with angels, butterflies, incense, books, and flat screen TV. I am forbidden to enter!

A man cave, according to a hilarious Urban Dictionary definition, is “a term coined by metrosexuals who have forgotten what a garage is for.”

I don’t have a man cave, but Patty just had a she shed built for her behind our house, and Tilly hangs out there, too. Tilly thinks the she shed is hers as much as it is Patty’s. The 5-year-old basset will bark or cry day or night inside our home if she’s not included.

JOHN E. BIALAS
JOHN E. BIALAS

My “She Shed He Shed” lyrics are a stupid parody of the Beatles song “She Said, She Said” from “Revolver,” their 1966 album.

I found this cool demo on YouTube in which John Lennon sings the line “she’s making me feel like my trousers are gone.”

No one can compete with that.

I guess it’s time to light a fire to my “She Shed He Shed” lyrics.

See you later.

Featured image credit: IMDB

Dead fish come on shore in Gulfport, Miss.

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

So I was taking my daily walk Tuesday afternoon on the boardwalk that is really a miles-long cement block along the beach and Highway 90 in Gulfport, Miss., and lots of birds were flying for a landing in the sand among the few people chilling in the area south of Kelly Avenue and one mile east of the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.

Didn’t think much about this as I walked east to Hewes Avenue, but as I walked back to Kelly, all the birds were still there and so I walked on the beach to see why they were there.

It turns out lots of dead fish were coming ashore and the birds were feasting on them.

A mother of two children told me they saw stingrays and her son had a small one in what looked like a laundry basket. The mother also said she has a friend who wondered if the dead fish were catches released after they were brought to the rodeo.

I said I doubted it, but I’m no expert. I’ve never gone fishing in my 66 years.

I took iPhone photos of dead fish and I’m sharing this one right here in hopes that someone will see it and perhaps explain why this happened.

I’ll be taking a walk to the beach Wednesday about three hours before the Gulfport Fourth of July fireworks show and I’ll check out  the latest in the dead-fish situation.

See you later.

 

 

 

To celebrate America, drive by the Home of the Brave

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Sun Herald politics editor Paul Hampton calls it the “Home of the Brave,” and just look at it in the picture at the top of this quality Fourth of July post.

In the land of the free, someone years ago painted their Mississippi home red, white and blue and added flags, inspirational words and other reminders of patriotism, all in honor of America.

It’s a small home that pays a big tribute to the United States.

Check it our for yourself on this day or any other day.

The home is on the east side of 13th Avenue in Gulfport and it’s south of Pass Road and the Gulfport Little Theatre.  The house is the place where every day is Independence Day.

Happy birthday, y’all.

 

 

 

 

Why Jake Mangum’s last name sounds familiar

SEC NETWORK ON INSTAGRAM

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

The baseball player at left in the image at the top of this post is Mississippi State junior Jake Mangum of Pearl,  and right now he is the most famous person in his family, whose surname will sound familiar to many sports fans.

The center fielder and leadoff hitter for the 2018 College World Series-bound team is the son of John Wayne Mangum Jr., the nephew of Kris Mangum and the grandson of  the late John Mangum Sr., all three football standouts.

John Mangum Jr. was born in Magee, just up the road from Hattiesburg, and played as a defensive back for the Alabama Crimson Tide from 1986 to 1989 and the Chicago Bears from 1990 to 1998.  College highlights: All-American in 1989, All-SEC in 1988 and 1989, five interceptions in each of his last three seasons, 16 in his career and Alabama record holder for passes broken up in career. NFL highlights: This is where I take a break for an attempt at humor. I couldn’t find any highlights. Maybe you might know one. At least he player for the Bears, my all-time favorite NFL team. Off the field:  He joined CAPTRUST in 1999 in Jackson and is a senior vice president and financial advisor at the financial services corporation.

TOPPS

Kris, John Jr.’s brother, also born in Magee,  played as a tight end for the Crimson Tide, the Ole Miss Rebels and the Carolina Panthers. He was with the Panthers from 1997 to 2006 after All-SEC seasons at Ole Miss in 1995 and 1996. Other college highlights:  Special teamer on Bama’s 1992 national championship team. All-American in 1996,  he finished second among Ole Miss tight ends in carer receptions and third in receiving yards. NFL highlights:  Retired as the fifth-leading receiver in Panthers history and third in team history in games played. Off the field: He joined the management team of Magnolia State Bank in 2009 and was named CEO in 2016. The bank has seven branches, including the main in Bay Springs  and one in Hattiesburg.

SOUTHERN MISS SPORTS HALL OF FAME

John Mangum Sr., also from Magee, signed with Ole Miss and transferred to Southern Miss, where he was a tackle in the mid-1960s on one of the greatest defenses in school history. He  made the Blue-Gray Game in 1965 and the Senior Bowl in 1966 before playing two seasons for the Boston Patriots. He died in 1994 at the age of 51.

 

That’s quite a football legacy shared among two sons and their father, but in the days ahead, the Mangum family will hail State and Jake during the College World Series in Omaha.

Featured image credit: SEC Network on Instagram

 

What is your pet’s favorite birthday treat?

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Tilly, our basset hound, gets a treat only once a year.

She always been deprived of such snacks as Dingo Delights, Ruff Puffs, Animal Ears, Hooves, Milk-Bones and Waggin’ Trains.

Got to keep this delicate girl healthy. She’s on a strict diet because of her weight and her allergies. Her two meals a day are cups of Royal Canin, one early in the morning and the other at about 5 p.m.

The makers of Royal Canin say their food for dogs 55 to 99 pounds helps meet endurance and energy support requirements because these pets are adapted for hard work.

Does this dog look like she has the endurance and energy for hard work?

Tilly at 2 p.m. on Memorial Day. JOHN E. BIALAS
Tilly at 2 p.m. on Memorial Day. JOHN E. BIALAS

Tilly can barely walk around the block without her tongue hitting the street.

She treats herself to a bowl of water and a nice nap after what for her is strenuous exercise.

I’m sure she would also like ice cream before the post-walk nap, but the only time she gets ice cream is for her birthday. It’s always the same flavor and it’s always from the same place in our hometown of Gulfport.

Tilly turned 5 years old on May 25, and after a trip to the vet in Biloxi for a manicure, she received a small cup of Dairy Queen soft-cup vanilla ice cream from Patty, my wife and her mother, and Wade, our 6-year-old grandson.

As one of Patty’s relatives might say, “A little cream won’t hurt you none.”

I think Tilly still has some left in the freezer. Dairy Queen calls it the Pup Cup, which is usually free, although Patty paid for it. I call it the Tilly Cup because she is no longer a pup. I think she is 35 years old in dog years, almost as old as our daughter, Kristin.

Patty shot a home video capturing the anticipation and enjoyment of Tilly’s slurpilicious occasion last week, and this leads me to a question I hope my loyal readers will answer.

What is your pet’s favorite birthday treat?

I also hope readers will enjoy the video, where Tilly exerts the energy she gets from her Royal Canin regimen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite kind of trip to New Orleans

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

My favorite kind of trip to New Orleans is to go by myself, leave the house at the time I want to leave, go to the places I want to go and take my sweet old time at those places.

I’ve done this hundreds of times since I was in my late teens and my latest trip started at 2:20 p.m. from my home in Gulfport on  Saturday for the Magazine Street Champagne Stroll and Independent Bookstore Day, but I had other reasons to make the trip.

First stop:  The new Shipley Do-Nuts on Old Metairie Road in Old Metairie for vanilla cream- and chocolate-filled doughnuts that were as delicious as the ones I remember from the 1970s when I would go to the Shipley at Hewes Avenue and Pass Road in Gulfport, and I miss those visits because that Shipley has been history for a long time.

Second stop: Stein’s in the Lower Garden District on Magazine Street for the best challah around, as good as what my dad made at home, though I had to park two blocks from the deli and market because the lease for the Stein’s parking lot, above, was terminated April 30.

Third stop: Octavia Books on Octavia Street off Magazine to buy a signed copy of Ann Patchett’s little gem titled “The Care and Feeding of an Independent Bookstore,” and I saw so much more I wanted to buy, including Simon Griffin’s punctuation guide with a dirty word in the hilarious title.

Fourth stop: Antieau Gallery on Magazine, which features the work of artist Chris Roberts-Antieau, with beer for the Stroll.

Fifth stop: Young classical musicians were playing in front of a store just 350 feet down the street from the gallery. Never found out if they took requests, though I think they accepted tips. One possible request for next time: “How about a little ‘Eleanor Rigby’ for the all Catholic drinkers?”

Sixth stop: I completed my trifecta of daily dough with a bag of bagels at  La Boulangerie, a Magazine Street bakery, so I put it in my car with the doughnuts and challah.

Seventh stop: I think this pretty horse on Oak Street wanted to talk. We could have had a conversation.  I know drunks on Bourbon Street have had horse hallucinations, but I was sober and so was this creature.

Eighth stop: Surfin’ and turfin’ at Parkway Bakery and Tavern on Hagan Avenue with the best po-boy anywhere: Roast beef and fried shrimp.

I didn’t mean to offend my family and friends when I wrote the lead to this fine piece of quality journalism. They are always welcome to make a New Orleans trip with me, but just remember we will go to my places first and we might not have to go to your places.

Like Kramer said on “Seinfeld”:

I’m doin‘ what I do, the way I’ve always done it, and the way I’ll always do it.

Editor’s note: All the photos are mine and all were taken Saturday except for the featured image, which is from 2017.

 

 

 

 

This female basset is straight outta Broadmoor

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Tilly is a European basset hound straight outta Broadmoor, the Gulfport, Miss., neighborhood where she has lived with us since August 2013.

She was born in Cleveland, Tenn., and will turn 5 years old next month.

This blog is named after her, a play on The Who song “Pictures of Lily,” but in the months I’ve been writing on the site, I’ve never had a post with nine pictures of Tilly until now.

The “Straight Outta Broadmoor” Tilly meme comes from an online generator to help promote the 2015 film “Straight Outta Compton,” which is about the Los Angeles gangsta rap group N.W.A.

I uploaded a 2014 Tilly photo, taken in her dog run, to the “Straight Outta” meme generator to make her look gangsta, which is out of her character.

This is the photo I used.

It looks like she was in attack-dog training, but it was her way of playing.

She has lots of energy, though her image is quite the opposite because of photos showing her sleeping or just resting on a leather couch in the back room of the house. It’s not our couch. It’s Tilly’s couch, and it has her own bed and covers.

The couch is for her daytime sleeping. Next to the couch is her crate for sleeping at night. Sometimes she chooses to watch the Hallmark Channel from either spot, but most of her time is spent stretched out on the couch.

April 14, 2018 at 3 p.m.

April 11, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.

June 21, 2017 at 6 p.m.

April 4, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Nov. 7, 2016 at 5 p.m.

Jan. 21, 2015 at 3 p.m.

Jan. 24, 2014 at 2 p.m.

If it weren’t for Patty, my wife, we wouldn’t have Tilly.  Patty loves bassets.

She got a basset named Molly for our daughter, Kristin, in 1989. Molly was a Christmas present for Kristin, who was 8 years old at the time, and Kristin was in college when Molly passed away in 2002.

Ever since, Patty wanted another basset and it took more than 10 years for that to happen.

Patty does everything for Tilly and that includes trips to the vet in Biloxi, trips to the vet in Mandeville, La., and an occasional trip to Dairy Queen in Gulfport for a vanilla ice cream cone.

I’ve got a feeling a cone will be Tilly’s birthday present.

 

Make old Gulfport VA like Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I thought of the old Gulfport VA property last week when I made a day trip to Baton Rouge, with Perkins Rowe my last stop before I went back home.

Perkins Rowe is a mixed-used development that the old Gulfport VA, now Centennial Plaza, should become.

I’d like the beachfront area on Highway 90 to become the best Coast hub for shopping, dining and movies once the Holiday Inn Resort, Centennial Plaza’s first major anchor tenant, becomes reality on the site that was a Veterans Administration medical center until it was shut down in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina.

Ten historic Spanish Colonial Revival buildings, half going back to the 1920s, remain and two of them will become part of the Holiday Inn Resort.

Once the hotel is complete, developers should bring some Perkins Rowe flair to Centennial Plaza.

Here’s what I saw at Perkins Rowe and all these fine examples of quality photo journalism are mine.

Quite a landmark

Starbucks inside spacious B&N

Better looking than your Gulfport Cinemark

Lit well

Walkable

Pizza!!!

 

The trip to Baton Rouge was my first since 1993, and if Centennial Plaza never becomes the Perkins Rowe of the Coast, I will know where to stop the next time I’m in Red Stick.

And I won’t wait another 25 years to go back.

Last week, I also made two stops on Government Street, which is north of Perkins Rowe and reminds me of Midtown Memphis.

One of the Government Street stops was for a cheeseburger, fries and root beer.

Curbside

The other stop was to scout an old pizza joint.

Fleur de Lis Cocktail Lounge

I didn’t go inside Fleur de Lis, also known as The Pink Palace of Roman Pie, because I was on my way to Curbside, but now I can’t wait to try the pizza.

It’s been three weeks since my last pizza, so I’m revving up plans for the next Baton Rouge trip.

 

In retirement, print work is a nightmare

JOHN HAIN/PIXABAY

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I’ve been retired from my Sun Herald newspaper job in Gulfport, Miss., for more than a year, but I have work-related anxiety every night resulting from dreams of things going wrong at press time.

Some have to do with my computer locking up right before deadline in my work as a slot editor. Others are about page design in which I can never find an image to run with a story after hours of wasted searching.

Because of this, my teeth grind and my nerves wrack.  And once I sense calm, the feeling goes away. I hear an uptight editor yell at me to “SEND THE DAMN PAGE,” even though I’m dreaming that we have more than two hours before the presses start.

The bane of a sportswriter's existence in the 1980s. FLICKR
The bane of a sportswriter’s existence in the 1980s. FLICKR

I also have stressful dreams about covering sports, which I did for many years before moving to the editing side, and the sports dreams are about using a second-hand 20th-century Teleram Portabubble to transmit stories from  football, basketball and baseball games to my office during the 21st century.

The Portabubble was a portable computer and it haunts me more than 30 years after I last used one. I’m now jealous of sportswriters who have the pleasure of just emailing their stories.

The keyboard on a Portabubble was used to type a story and once the story was complete, a classic telephone handset was placed into acoustic couplers for delivery to the sports desk.

Sounds easy, but it wasn’t. I once shoved a handset so hard into the couplers that I might have damaged the Portabubble. All but the keys and the tiny screen were useless. The story would not bubble in unless I could reach a Teleram tech.

Good luck with that because it was 10:30 on a Wednesday night  in 1983 in the South Mississippi mini-metroplex of Wade-Hurley.

I ended up having to dictate my story to the frustration of the guy receiving the dictation.

A colleague the previous week also had to dictate because of a technical problem and then faced the embarrassment  of being summoned to the editor’s office two days later for a Portabubble demonstration.  The editor wanted to see what the sportswriter did wrong, but keep in mind the editor himself didn’t know how to use it. His point was to make the sportswriter look bad and feel worse.

Can’t blame the boss for expecting nothing but successful results from his investment, but the thing looked like it came from a pawn shop on Highway 49.

Somebody on eBay is trying to sell a Portabubble print ad right now for the ridiculous price of $14.95 plus shipping, but that may sound like a bargain to you if you’re nostalgic for pieces of crap.

My latest dream was about a night in which I went to distribution, on the first floor in back of the plant, to check the paper in my role as the slot editor. Copies of the paper roll into distribution from the second-floor pressroom starting at midnight and copies are gathered for carriers to bring to readers.

I check the paper for spelling in headlines, captions and other display type, and I end up missing a headline bust.

A pressroom guy ignores me about it, goes right to a distribution guy who knows nothing about editing and the pressroom guy tells the distribution guy, “Hey, there’s a misspelled headline. It’s supposed to be Ohio, not Ohi. Go ahead and fix that.”

Hey! WTH!

I go to the press guy and tell him, “That’s not distribution’s job. That’s my job. If you have any problems with headlines, you come to me and I’ll take care of them. I’m going to fix Ohi right now.”

I go back to my desk in the newsroom and get ready to use my computer to make the fix, but it turns out that my computer is frozen. It stays that way for 30 minutes, which is a lifetime when the pressroom is waiting for a remake.

Once my computer is unlocked, I make the correction and call the pressroom, and the press guy tells me, “We already have it. Distribution took care of it 25 minutes ago.”

WTF!

There is a bright side to this tale: I don’t have to go to work today, tomorrow, next week or even next year.

The dark side? The next workplace nightmare is coming around 3 a.m.

Image credit: JOHN HAIN/PIXABAY