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.

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

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.

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

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.

 

 

Please follow and like us:

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.

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

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.

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

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.

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

The end of Sun Herald sports as we know it

This old newspaper box is outside the Chevron Mart at the corner of Railroad Street and Kelly Avenue in Gulfport. JOHN E. BIALAS

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Newsroom reinvention means the end of Sun Herald sports as we know it.

I say we and maybe I just mean me, because I’m connected to the newspaper in my hometown of Gulfport, Miss.

I retired from the Sun Herald last year after a long career in which I was a sports writer, weekend sports editor, sports page designer, slot editor, copy editor and headline writer, and since March 3, 2017, I have stayed in touch with people who work there or used to work there.

Now the sports department is down to just one man, and you, dear reader, may not be aware of that.

Sports/features editor Scott Hawkins and James Jones, the paper’s longest-tenured sports writer, were laid off two weeks ago and sports writer Patrick Ochs was moved back to the news side, where he started at the Sun Herald.

That leaves Patrick Magee as the last sports writer standing.

These moves are part of McClatchy’s newsroom reinvention, McClatchy being the company that owns the Sun Herald and 30 other newspapers.

The reinvention includes a change made after I retired. Sun Herald page designers were assigned to the three regional hubs that serve all the McClatchy newspapers. The former Sun Herald designers work on pages for other papers and do it from the Gulfport office or at home.

The pressroom became history last month, with the newspaper being printed in Jackson instead of at the Gulfport plant. That change means earlier deadlines because Jackson is three hours away.

The emphasis is on digital and I like digital. I just wish I could remember the password for my sunherald.com subscription.

I don’t know if Magee has to take calls or read emails from digital subscribers needing password help, but I’m sure he will continue to do a fine job covering sports and I wish him all the best.

Actually, he does a fantastic job. Hell, he wrote all three stories for Wednesday’s sports front.

The picture running with this quality piece of blogging was taken outside the Chevron Mart at the corner of Railroad Street and Kelly Avenue in Gulfport on Wednesday afternoon. It must have been a good day for the Sun Herald because there were no copies inside the Chevron Mart.

I also wish Scott, James and Ochs all the best. Ochs just needs to work on improving his taste in music (Huey Lewis? Really?) and pizza (Imo’s? Yuck! ).

I’m not sure what James and Scott will do next. I have an idea for them.

They can both create the newsroom version of “Barney Miller” for Netflix.

They have years of comedic newspaper material. I can’t wait to see who might play Fish and Wojo.

Please follow and like us:

Pay to see Gulfport holiday lights? Bah humbug!

This is the third year for the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival. JOHN E. BIALAS

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

The third annual Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival at Jones Park is beautiful and helps set the holiday mood.

I’m just not willing to pay the cash-only $10 admission fee to see the lovely display of multicolored lights. I ain’t goin’ to do it. Bah humbug!

I can do a drive-by for free. I can head west on Highway 90, look left and admire the lights or I can head east on 90, look right and admire the lights.

The show hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., so I can drive by as many times as I want for four hours a night.

The festival should be free. Certainly the city and Island View Casino, two of the sponsors, can afford to pony up enough money to present a free show for all.

They should make this  a Christmas gift to the Mississippi Coast.

Once you pay admission to get in Jones Park, you also have to pay if you want tickets  for rides such as Santa’s Big Wheel and the Merry Go Round Carousel. It’ll cost you even more if you also want concession items.

When I’m not doing a free drive-by, I’ll stay home and be the hermit of my hood in Gulfport. If I feel like  looking at Christmas lights, I’ll take a walk and enjoy my neighbors’ creative displays.

The hood has been known to have such events as Festivus and to have such attractions as Santa’s Outhouse.

And it never costs me a thing.

This pole was part of the Festivus observance in my hood in 2013.
This pole was part of the Festivus observance in my hood in 2013. JOHN E. BIALAS
Santa's Outhouse is on 22nd Street. JOHN E. BIALAS
Santa’s Outhouse is on 22nd Street. JOHN E. BIALAS
Please follow and like us:

Gulfport pressmen did a fine job and they will be missed

Pressmen are going the way of the typewriter, never to be seen again.

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I saw the news on social media Wednesday that the pressmen I know will no longer be printing the newspaper in Gulfport beginning Jan. 15.

Their jobs will be outsourced. One of the pressmen is Gary, my next-door neighbor. His wife, Lisa, also works at the paper, from which I retired in March after a long newsroom life in which I was a sportswriter, weekend sports editor, interim copy desk chief, copy editor and slot editor.

I’ve always enjoyed my conversations with Gary and Lisa.

Of all the pressmen, I’ve known Todd the best and the longest.

Todd is a funny guy. He’s a character.  He can grow a beard that makes him look like Santa Claus.

Sometimes he would drive through my neighborhood with his friend Mark, who worked in the camera room, and Todd and Mark would throw empty beer bottles in my front yard.

As a member of the copy desk who checked the paper every night, I would call Todd to tell him whether a page would be re-sent to fix a head bust or factual error.

He would answer, “Johnny B!”

Sometimes I would say, “Uh, I’ve got a remake.”

Todd would say, “You have a comma out of place? Is that why you are re-sending the page?”

We would laugh, although I remember the days from long ago when you could re-send as many pages as you wanted and they would stop the press so that the remade pages would show up in print.

Eventually, it took an act of Congress to stop the press and the only way to expect the remake to get into print would be a web break, something that has nothing to do with the internet.

I re-sent so many pages in my career, I became known as “Captain Remake.”

When I saw the news about the outsourcing, I also thought of Dean and Matt and Rat and Brett and Charlie, friendly guys like Gary and Todd.

One pressman, who will go unnamed, enjoyed writing on the monthly employee birthday list posted in the break room and at the time clocks. What he would do was a merry prank and people got a kick out of it.

For example, he might scratch out the first name of  a reporter with the last name of “Lee” and write “Robert E.” in place of the first name. A guy named Charlie James would be “LeBron.”

I like to think I got along with pressmen because my Dad was one when he was young, or maybe he worked with pressmen. I’m not really sure what his printing job was.

I believe he worked at R.R. Donnelley in Chicago before he fought in World War II.  The company is the world’s largest commercial printer.

Other pressmen I’ve known are Bob, who passed away a few years ago; Stennis, who was a jogger; Brian, a hockey fan from Canada; and Mr. Melancon, whose son attended my high school.

I believe the grandfather of one of my longtime friends, David Lawrence, was a pressman at the paper many decades ago, long before I ever worked there. I think Mr. Bills was David’s grandfather. Bills was not his first name. It was his last name.

Ink is in my blood because of guys like Gary and Todd.

All of them have done a fine job for many years. They will be missed.

 

Please follow and like us:

Save the Great Southern Golf Club in Gulfport

The Great Southern Golf Club in Gulfport opened in 1908 as a nine-hole course and expanded to 18 in 1922.

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Save the Great Southern Golf Club in Gulfport.

Paul Hampton of the Sun Herald reported Tuesday that “the Great Southern Golf Club, the oldest course in Mississippi, could become a housing development if the club that owns the course sells it. But the president of the club and the course superintendent said they want it to remain a golf club.

“They believe most of the stockholders agree.”

You can go right here to read the rest of the story.

I have sentimental reasons for the Great Southern, a scenic spot that offers beach views, to remain a golf course instead of becoming a housing development.
My parents bought a house at 221 Venetian Gardens in 1964, and the house, which survived Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is right next to the course. The back yard is the seventh hole, a par 3.
When we were junior high and high school students, my brother Mike and I would sneak on the course before twilight to play three holes before the club pro, Charlie Webb, would try to chase us down in his European sports car.
Ol’ Charlie never caught us. We would hide on the back porch as he looked for us.
Other times, Mike and I would play football on Saturday afternoons with our friends on the fairway of the second hole and we would get irritated when golfers delayed our game as they hit chip shots to the green.
I’ve got other memories. The Mary Mills Classic was an LPGA Tour stop named for the Gulfport golf star, and we would watch some of the best players in the world try to birdie the seventh hole.
My most memorable moment living next to the course was the summer afternoon I heard a booming voice as I was watching a major-league baseball telecast in the living room.
I recognized the voice. It was distinctive.
I ran outside, and the man with the booming voice was in a foursome that included Gulfport attorney Boyce Holleman. Holleman’s group was putting on the seventh green and his partner was Dizzy Dean. Yes, that Dizzy Dean.
As he was walking off the green, I got Dizzy’s autograph and to this day I’m amazed I got to meet him in our back yard.
We lived near College Park, a neighborhood known for streets named after famous golfers because the area is close to the course. Palmer Drive. Demaret Drive. Middlecoff Drive. Ford Street. Sarazen Drive. Snead Street.
I stopped living at home in 1976, and years later, a fence was built to keep young rubes from sneaking on the course.
I take pride in believing that the fence was probably built because of what we did as teens.

 The Sun Herald reported that “the almost 130-acre site and clubhouse is listed by broker Lenny Sawyer for $9,750,000. The sale brochure pitches it as prime beachfront land for residential redevelopment with the highest beachfront elevations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

A potential buyer is interested is making the course a residential area and the club’s stockholders are considering the buyer’s offer.

The stockholders will likely have a vote in January on the offer.

Please, save the course.

Please follow and like us: