OK, so let’s get real. Other than Lent, the hardest time for a Mobile gossip columnist to gather scoop is the time between New Year’s Eve and Senior Bowl. It hasn’t always been this way, because over the last five or so years, I’ve been lucky enough to have local spies and scoop from the college football National Championship games, but obviously not this year. Boo!

Alabama and Auburn football players, remember Boozie really needs you during this dark and quiet time. When you are working out, run that extra mile for her!
But I did the very best I could and scraped up what there was to scrape. So enjoy these little nibbles. No they aren’t as tantalizing as they usually are, but they will hold you over until Senior Bowl and the Gras.

Line up, Line up, Everybody Line Up!

The talk of the town this week has been the announcements of the line-ups for Hangout and Jazz Fests. Hangout is bringing back some old favorites with Zac Brown and the Foo Fighters, along with a newcomer to the festival, Beck. JazzFest is going to be insane this year with The Who, Jimmy Buffett, Widespread Panic, Ryan Adams, Pitbull, T.I and Elton John. And those are just a few of the many acts at both festivals.

But there is another new festival planned and will take place even closer to home. Mobile Aerofest will take over Brookley Field March 20-21.

“Aerofest is a festival celebrating our nation’s heroes: the injured military service members and veterans who have made enormous sacrifices in the name of a grateful nation,” according to the festival’s website.

The full line-up has yet to be announced, but none of than Lt. Dan himself, Gary Sinise, will be there with his band named — what else? — Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. The Gary Sinise Foundation is one of the festival’s sponsors. There will also be an arts component and sports events, including cycling and an MMA Titan fight. For more info on this fest, visit mobileaerofest.com.

Dahlia’s goes out in a Tase of glory

It is with a heavy heart, we report Dahlia’s Piano Bar on Dauphin Street closed its doors last weekend. After eight years, co-owners Scott and Beverly Morlock are moving on. But before the last ivory was tickled, they had one final celebration. Our spy said it was still packed at 3 a.m. in the wee hours of Sunday morning Jan. 11, and everyone enjoyed performances by Scott and also 92 ZEW’s Gene Murrell.

“I have no words to explain last night at Dahlia’s. It was just EPIC. It couldn’t have been any better. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard behind the bar and had so much fun doing it…The room was full of joyful people who waited patiently to get a drink and I know it took forever, they didn’t care — nobody cared. We raised the roof singing along with the band — it sounded awesome. So proud of that place, so honored at the amount of people that showed up. Blessed for the friendships born here. Really how can any ending get any better than this? It can’t,” wrote co-owner Beverly Morlock on Dahlia’s Facebook page.

But we also hear some unwanted guests showed up late Friday — the night before their farewell celebration, according to our spy.

A few folks were sitting around the bar late Friday night/early Saturday morning when they heard a crash. They were able to ascertain two “gentlemen” were attempting to break into the apartment and storage area above the bar.
These geniuses used a chair to break out a window and it went through with such force that it broke the front window and landed in the middle of Dauphin Street. The police were called and a chase ensued with the cops threatening to tase the intruders. One guy complied and was arrested without incident.

But as officers ordered the other gentleman to get down off of a fence, our spy said it was like you could read his mind. He sat there on the fence weighing his options until he finally decided to make a run for it. He jumped into the courtyard of neighboring bar, The Brickyard.

Our spy said his foot got caught in the fence and probably doesn’t feel so great. But once he got up, he started running for the front door. The Brickyard’s alert doorman had observed what was going on and was able to apprehend the suspect himself. We hear no taser was required. The cops quickly came and arrested him. Some times it takes a Village to take a bite out of crime, right McGruff?
Don’t worry you can still catch Scott on the keys over at Gambino’s in Fairhope, where they are transforming the lounge into a piano bar. We wish the Morlocks all the best. No word on the chair’s condition.

Azalea Trail Maids unite

Grab your frilly skirt, hats and parasols! If you were an Azalea Trail Maid, the Mobile Jaycees want you to head to The Grounds on Saturday, May 9 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. At the last reunion in 2004, over 600 former maids participated. Thank goodness it’s at the fairgrounds, that’s a lot of big skirts to have in one room. To RSVP or loan your dress for a display, email [email protected]

Well kids, that’s all I got. Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous, or some plain ol’ Gary Sinise lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!