Broadmoor store offers alternative to malt liquor

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

The Hop In convenience store, also known .as the Chevron Mart, is offering an alternative to the malt liquor beer it sells to many the many customers who live in or near the Broadmoor neighborhood in Gulfport.

The new drink is branded as the Limitless Liquid Shot, a blend of herbs, vitamins and nootropics, the natural supplements for brain boosting.

A 2-ouncer is $7.99, quite expensive compared to the cost of a bottle of malt liquor, but the Limitless makers say their concoction won’t give you the jitters or anxiety associated with other drinks, such as the MLB.

Malt liquor is the preferred drink of the middle-aged bros who ride bikes up Kelly Avenue or loiter in empty lots. The top brands nationwide include Steel Reserve, Hurricane, Magnum and Panther, and they have a higher alcohol content by volume compared to other beers.

You can get malt liquor in 40-ounce bottles, or forties as the experts say, and the bottles are sold chilled and put in brown paper bags for patrons to have a refreshing afternoon at their favorite curbside spots.

The down side, according to a study, is that malt liquor drinkers are more likely to be homeless, unemployed, receive public assistance and tend to drink more alcohol more often than other types of drinkers.

The “more alcohol more often” part is because malt liquor is cheap. For example, a 12-pack of 12-ounce Steel Reserve cans is $10.99 and a 40-ounce bottle is $2.79.

Broadmoor needs to help its malt liquor addicts. The next time an MLB drinker on Kelly Avenue asks if you have a dollar, be generous and give the dollar but tell him to save it and other dollars he receives so he can have enough money to go the Limitless Liquid Shot route.

The Limitless website says that “our mood enhancement supplements are designed to slow the overactive parts of the brain to provide a wave of clarity, peace and unparalleled focus.

“Limitless promotes mood enhancement and motivation by slowing the impulses in our brain that don’t pertain to what we’re trying to accomplish, AKA the chit-chatter of the mind.”

The fine folks at Hop In will brown-bag Liquid Shot, just like they do with malt liquor, but the nootropics will prevent buyers from stumblin’, mumblin’ and bumblin’ their way to the street corner.

 

 

 

I’ve found something to like about Cruisin’ The Coast. Really!

The view from Bubba's 1957 Chevrolet Wagon on Highway 90 in Gulfport during Cruisin' The Coast on Oct. 2. JOHN E. BIALAS The view from Bubba's 1957 Chevrolet Wagon on Highway 90 in Gulfport during Cruisin' The Coast on Oct. 2. JOHN E. BIALAS

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

My friend and former newspaper colleague Bubba messaged me on Sept. 21.

“You up for a cruise?”

That’s a cruise as in Cruisin’ The Coast, and although I have the Cruisin’ hater rep because I mock the classic car event every chance I get,  I gladly accepted his invite.

I hadn’t seen Bubba since last fall’s Cruisin’ The Coast, when I rode with him and his wife Nancy in their 1957 Chevrolet Wagon for my Cruisin’ initiation.

So eight days ago, Bubba, Nancy and their friend Tammy swung by my house in Gulfport and we hit the beach road known as Highway 90 for a short hot-afternoon drive to the Armed Forces Retirement Home just west of Biloxi, a home that is in an area where I grew up back in the 1960s.

The home is on land that used to be the Keesler Air Force Base Annex, and it was there in 1966 that I worked as a 14-year-old summer camp counselor for the Keesler Recreation Department and learned that Bob Dylan had gone into hiding after he was badly injured in a motorcycle accident in upstate New York.

I might have to bring up that chapter in Dylan’s life as a trivia question for Bubba. We occasionally message each other about rock-music trivia, and he stumps me more often that I stump him. He knows his stuff.

He really knows cars and I know nothing about cars. I couldn’t tell you if my SUV has a carburetor or a carbohydrate.

All the Cruisers visiting the AFRH were car experts, I assume, and they put on quite a show for the military veterans who stood or sat outside the front of the home with friends and family. They waved at the Cruisers and thanked them, the Cruisers waved back and thanked them and it was a heartwarming experience. It was funny, too. There was a guy sitting in the back of a convertible and he was wearing a Tricky Dick Nixon mask and flashing victory signs.

All the camaraderie may stop me from poking fun at Cruisin’ The Coast. Really!

I’ve found something I like about it: Accepting Bubba’s invites.

 

 

 

This picture represents my biggest Cruisin’ dislike

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

See that photo at the top of this post? It represents what I despise most about Cruisin’ The Coast, the annual White Fall Break in which locals and out-of-towners clog Highway 90 and our main streets to show off their classic cars and attract the oohs and aahs of gawkers young and old.

The picture was taken on Monday at Highway 90 and Kelly Avenue in Gulfport, less than a mile from our house, and it shows vacationing squatters turning a post-Hurricane Katrina empty lot into their own beachfront parking lot for one week. I would think this is trespassing. I know this would be trespassing during Black Spring Break and the Sheriff’s Department wouldn’t have enough space to lock up offenders.

The picture is just a partial view of the site, which people took over under the cover of night on Sunday.

Here are two photos of the rest of the site because I’m an unprofessional shooter with no idea how to get the best wide angle on my iPhone.

Other makeshift parking lots on empty Katrina lots in both Gulfport and Biloxi are much bigger because they are in areas with the most traffic. Think of places around  Cowan Road or DeBuys or Edgewater Mall or the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. I’m surprised the Cruisin’ yahoos aren’t homesteading at Grass Lawn and Beauvoir. Maybe that’s in the future.

My biggest fear is Cruisers will one day squat right in the middle of our neighborhood of Broadmoor, a scenario that might boost such businesses as Your Place, Hop In and Chaibi but make things miserable for those of us who enjoy living here.

I suffer at home on my laptop on a Friday afternoon thinking about all this stuff, but Cruisin’ is almost over until next year and that leads me to what I say every fall at this time.

What’s my favorite Cruisin’ day? It’s the day after the final day. I look forward to Monday.

 

 

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.