Oh my goodness! As Phil Collins would say, I can feel it (spring) coming in the air tonight, oh lawd. Or something like that. Even though the weather has been wet and weird and sometimes, unlike Phil, jackets have still been required (who gets that reference?), the time change always puts a little pep in my step, well once I get adjusted to it. But apparently, it has put some pep in your steps too, as I have heard tales of rare Lenten misbehavior and we haven’t even gotten to St. Patrick’s Day yet. Yippee!

Arboreal showdown in the OGD
One of my favorite lines in local filmmaker Margaret Brown’s documentary “Order of Myths,” which takes a look at our segregated Mardi Gras, didn’t have anything to do with Mardi Gras or segregation, but rather our oak trees. I can’t remember who said it but some local said something to the effect of “we aren’t exactly Druids, but we love our trees.”

That has never been as obvious as it was last week when an extreme lack of communication led to an arboreal showdown in the OGD.

Leave our trees alone!

Leave our trees alone!

Apparently a group of “world class” arborists were in town for a convention and had a tree climbing contest planned in Washington Square, which required them to do a little trimming beforehand. Few of the Oakleigh residents were privy to this and it appeared to them like a utility company was just butchering their oaks.

Calls were made to local officials and media and eventually the arborists were stopped from having their contest in Oakleigh and sent downtown to Bienville Square to have their fun. The “experts” were upset saying they had made the trees healthier and performed thousands of dollars of free tree work for the neighborhood.

The residents who were key in getting it stopped still said these people were harming the oaks, despite their claims. But when a local gardening expert weighed in saying these guys were legit, some of the other residents began accusing the tree-defending residents of over-reacting and being inhospitable, causing all kinds of drama on their neighborhood Facebook page.

The Boozester is no tree expert, but I am pretty sure I am not going out on a limb here to say this was definitely handled very poorly by the “branch” of city government or department who approved this contest. A little communication to the residents would have cleared much of this up.

But also, it may suggest social media is perhaps not the best way to have a discussion with your neighbors. It just gets too heated and people bark at each other. Grab a bottle of wine and walk outside and have a nice conversation face to face. Maybe even bring a nice foie gras. That way, no one’s feelings will get hurt and everyone’s roots will want to stay firmly planted in your hood. (I’m sorry about the tree references; I just couldn’t resist.)

Robert Earl Keen quite the scene
Robert Earl keen played at the Saenger Friday night, March 6 to about 700 people. We hear it was a real lively atmosphere and there were some people there who were obviously having a good time, including one gentleman who was somehow able to wander backstage. Thankfully, he was just directed to leave rather than getting the Afroman concert treatment for entering a space he wasn’t supposed to be in.

After the show, we hear all kinds of drunken debauchery was displayed up and down Dauphin Street, more than usual. See, I knew you kids wouldn’t be able to behave for all of Lent.

Brunch and Brushes
Last Sunday, there was a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hosptial at Moe’s BBQ Downtown where over a hundred ladies and one dude came to paint their own magnificent works of abstract art. My personal favorites were one known as “Equality” and another known as “Freedom.”

We hear it was a fabulous time and a huge success for this very worthy charity. My spies said the one dude even won a door prize, a gift certificate to Sadie’s, a women’s boutique in Fairhope. Another spy said she did notice one funny Facebook post during the event that read, “if you are a guy come to Moe’s Downtown, 150 tipsy ladies will be hanging out.”

After the event was over, many of these tipsy ladies headed over to the Garage for their first Sunday crawfish boil of the season. Oh yes! It’s that time of year again.

Well kids, that’s all I have this week. Just remember, whether rain or shine, dramatic or scandalous, or some plain ol’ tree lovin’, I will be there. Ciao!