Our cover story this week, features all of the most notable “hard news” stories of the year, but I know you guys want a little recap of this year’s hottest gossip too, so I put a little something, something together for you.
So without further adieu, I present the 2014 year in review, Boozie style.
January always means Senior Bowl. And Senior Bowl always means NFL coaches and staff filling all of our downtown watering holes. Rex (Jets) and Rob (Saints) Ryan were spotted at Wintzell’s, Callaghan’s, The Bike Shop and Veet’s. Rumors swirled that Rex bought drinks for the house at The Bike Shop.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett had dinner with Mobile mayor Sandy Stimpson. City Council president Gina Gregory did the gator chomp with her fellow University of Florida alum WR Soloman Patton. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton also made a stop in Callaghan’s, as did Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.
The Gras got going. The Krewe of Phoenix ball was a big hit at Fort Whiting. King Carl’s train descended from the ceiling and attendees were impressed by the elaborate costumes, especially “Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett.”
The Order of Osiris Ball’s theme “Magical Mythical Places” took guests to places like to Xanadu, Wonderland, Cloud 9, Neverland and Asgard.
The Dragons held their ball at the Cruise Terminal with the theme “Cruising Around.” The Prancing Elites performed and held up giant fans at the end, which they lowered to reveal the MCA Mardi Gras queen Madeleine Maury Downing.
The Comic Cowboys poked fun at former county commissioner Freeman Jockisch, who was arrested for electronic solicitation of a child for sex, including one that said “Impotent until Proven Guilty.” Jockisch had told a WPMI reporter he couldn’t be guilty because he was impotent. They also poked fun a couple of sex scandals going on the Mobile Police Department … “Crime is not the only thing going down in Precinct 69.”
Folks traded in their Mardi Gras beads for shamrocks and headed to Callaghan’s in the OGD to see St. Paul and the Broken Bones and also to O’Daly’s to see the Mulligan Brothers and Sister Hazel, as well as participate in their Green Dress Run.
On April 1, local talk radio host Sean Sullivan read a press release on FMTalk 106.5, saying the Mobile Police Department would be setting up roadblocks to check people’s cars for excessive trash paraphernalia as part of the new anti-littering campaign. Sullivan’s delivery was so spot on, several “fools” fell for the prank.
Lagniappe becomes a weekly newspaper on April 3, celebrating with a launch party at the USS Alabama. Shenanigans ensued and many staffers went “overboard,” if you know what I mean.
Former University of Alabama QB AJ McCarron proposes to girlfriend reality star/model Katherine Webb.
The Prancing Elites appeared on “Tosh .O.”
Ronald McDonald House’s Little Black Dress Event, SouthSounds, Arts Alive, Temporal City and Erin Go Paw festival were just a few of the events folks attended during a very busy April.
The death of “another Fred Richardson” started rumors that city councilman Fred Richardson had died. Councilman Richardson said he had received about 30 phone calls asking him if we was dead. He confirmed he was not.
Street parties and Kentucky Derby parties, along with St. Mary’s Casino Night were the big events in early May.
The Alabama Shakes stopped by Calllaghans to party on their way to the Jazz fest gig.
The Nicolas Cage flick “Tokarev,” which was filmed in the Port City, was leaked online before its release in the US. The film was ultimately re-named “Rage” and though the movie was not loved by critics, Mobile looked pretty fabulous in it.
The Hangout Festival turned out to be another huge success in Mid-May. “Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood was in attendance. There were several folks sporting really weird bathing suits, including one lady who had on a one-piece bathing suit with a shark’s mouth coming out of the “crotch area” and a man with a gorilla mask on.
Amos Lee had a gospel choir from Mobile accompany him. Diarrhea Planet had a bunch of inflatable doughnut rafts and the lead singer even had a solo while crowdsurfing in said doughnut. There was an altercation in front of the Queens of Stone Age set. A man hit a woman and lead singer Josh Homme saw it. He asked security to come escort him out and lead the crowd in a chorus of “Nanananana Nanananana Hey Hey Asshole.”
“The Great Food Truck Race” which airs on the Food Network made a stop downtown with their three remaining trucks. Lines were crazy long with producers of the show saying they were seeing the most folks they had seen all season.
The inaugural Dragon Boat Festival took place at Five Rivers on June 7. The unique event featured Chinese-style rowing boats, each manned by teams of folks from area schools, businesses, churches and other organizations. They raced down the Mobile River Delta, as one designated member tapped on a drum, as the others rowed their way to victory. We hear the drummer position was the most desirable.
Rumors were flying that Martha Stewart was in town for a local couple’s wedding.
US World Cup Team Striker Aon Johannson got some play in the game against Ghana. He also got Mobile some worldwide nods. Johannson was born in Mobile to Icelandic parents and the announcers mentioned this fact a couple of times.
AJ McCarron and Katherine Webb tie the knot at Orange Beach Methodist Church.
The Nappies took place at the Saenger on July 25. The Nappie Video included area restaurants and professionals reading “Mean Social Media” posts about themselves. The after-party was at Moe’s BBQ, where folks partied to the wee hours of the morning.
At the reenactment of the Battle of Mobile Bay down on Fort Morgan, our spies observed several Confederate soldier re-enactors getting a little impatient with how long it was taking the Union re-enactors to force them to surrender.
The men, who were dressed in heavy wool coats, pants and hats, were standing in the bathwater temps in the Gulf under the blazing hot sun and apparently it was taking too long for the Union sailors to get to them.
One soldier started yelling to organizers, “I don’t care who you get, just find someone for us to surrender to.”
Luckily, organizers were able to rustle up a few of Farragut’s rogue men so the Confederate soldiers could surrender to them. Unfortunately, the rogue Yank soldiers were unarmed, but they were still happy to accommodate the Rebels by picking up some nearby driftwood and taking them hostage with it.
A Mobile native Scarlett Coggin Simmons appears on the Bravo network show “Jersey Belle,” The show revolves around a New Jersey publicist, Jaime Primak Sullivan, who married a Mountain Brook man and who is gradually adjusting to life in the South.
An estimated 40,000 folks went to the Kenny Chesney concert at the Flora-Bama on Aug. 16.
Videos of just about everyone in town, “celebrity” or otherwise, doing the “Ice Bucket Challenge” for ALS research made their way around social media at the end of August.
BayFest said “ceeya” to CeeLo Green. The artist was originally scheduled to play at the October festival, but after tweeting out insensitive comments about a woman who had accused him of sexual assault, BayFest canceled his performance.
USA plays Mississippi State to a sold out crowd and there was tailgating galore.
The “Great Food Truck Race” featuring Mobile aired Sept. 21 on Food Network. There were plenty of sightings of familiar downtown spots, as well as the Bragg Mitchell mansion and the USS Alabama.
Bayfest took place on the streets on downtown Mobile. The Jane’s Addiciton show was much talked about as it featured a suspended burlesque show. They flew out of Mobile the next day (I’m told not even in first class), but before boarding the plane, they had their shoes shined by the Mobile Airport’s famous shiner, Nelson Easterling.
Legendary actor Robert de Niro films the flick “Bus 657” in town. He is spotted at NoJa and Ruth’s Chris and was said to be very nice. Kate Bosworth who is also starring in the film was spotted at The Bike Shop and The Royal Scam.
Luke Perry aka Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills 90210” fame, was in town with his girlfriend who is from Mobile for a wedding.
Halloween highlights included the Circus to Hell party in the OGD, featuring lots of creepy clowns, the “Hot Crazy Matrix Guy” at the Garage and a dance-off between Princess Buttercup and Snow White at Callaghan’s.
On Thursday, Nov. 6 the Mobile Museum of Art celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala and the kick-off of its new exhibit “The Art and Design of Mardi Gras.” My spies said this was the hottest ticket in town and was just fabulous. As you walked in the door, you were greeted with champagne and oysters and there was a giant birthday cake. The even had fire dancers as performers.
The Oyster Cook-off took place at The Hangout in Gulf Shores and was a huge success. Celebrity chefs were running around on Saturday, including the Food Network’s Martie Duncan, Ippy Aiona, Linke Marals, Michala Ragussis and Nikki Martin, as well as chefs from some of the top restaurants from New Orleans to New York.
Native Mobilian and documentarian Margaret Brown presented her latest work, “The Great Invisible,” which explores the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its aftermath, at the Saenger Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 20.
Brown’s 2008 documentary “The Order of Myths” also hit close to home, as it looked at the racial divide among Mobile’s Mardi Gras societies. Many audience members were moved to tears as survivors and the families of those who perished told their harrowing stories and the demons they have had to fight since the tragedy.
Just when you thought it was safe to turn your cable television back on, unfortunately the Investigation Discovery network decided to do a piece on former county commissioner Stephen Nodine and the tragic death of his mistress Angel Downs for a series called “Love the Way you Lie.”
I had numerous reports that a person dressed in a skin-tight Santa suit and very short pink shorts was spotted roller blading through Midtown and the OGD on Sunday, Dec. 7. This suave Santa even had a boom box on his shoulder that was playing Christmas music. With that suit, I think it’s safe to say, his bells were not jingling, if you know what I mean.
Mobile is named the “10th worst city for Singles” in the country by Wallethub. The metrics used in the study included the percentage of singles, the number of nightlife opportunities per capita and mobile dating opportunities.
And of course, The Village People will play at the MoonPie over Mobile celebration, along with Evelyn Champagne King on New Year’s Eve. There will certainly be much gossip from that performance in the next issue of Lagniappe, the first one of 2015.
Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous or some plain ol’ year in review lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!