I’m a stewer. No, not someone who makes or consumes a lot of hearty soups, although I do enjoy a good beef or oyster one on an occasion. I’m the kind of stewer that if something starts bothering me, I roll it around in my head until I find some clarity. But more often than not, I realize there is just no way to make sense of the senseless.
I can stew on mundane things like why in the world would they make a wine-infused whipped cream, called Whipsy? But they do. What would you even put that on? Your late night bowl of Bluebell? Because nothing screams delicious like wine and ice cream.
And of course, I stew on more serious things like the issues plaguing our great city. And there have been plenty of those of late. From all these crazy folks taking and selling this “spice” poison to all of the homicides and violence, especially among our young people, there is a plenty to stew upon.
So In an effort to un-stew a little before the holiday weekend, I am going to unload a couple of these problems dancing around my noggin on you. Maybe you have the answers. Maybe you don’t either. But I just need to get some of it out.
So long Government Street Krispy Kreme, for you will be missed.
Last weekend, demo crews knocked down the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop on Government Street. It had been closed and boarded up for years and it had been recently announced it would be razed and a Dairy Queen would go there. A Dairy Queen with a drive-through, which is ironic because the KK closed because the owner said city regulations made it impossible to add what? Yep, a drive-through. Stew, stew, stew.
I have nothing against DQ. I love a Blizzard as much as the next gal, but oh how I loved that Krispy Kreme building. I have fond memories of going to it (and the one on McGregor and Airport) as a child with my mom and grandmother. Then in my 20s, coming home from downtown and making that stop there for a dozen glazed when the “Hot Doughnuts Now” light was turned on.
And once I had kids, I had hoped to make stops there part of our family tradition. I think I only got to take my oldest son there once, and he was still a little too young then. I hate he and now my younger daughter have been robbed from getting to sit at that neat little bar and enjoying a glazed with sprinkles and a cold chocolate milk.
I hope they will get to enjoy a similar experience up the street at the new locally owned doughnut company Sugar Rush, which is supposed to open in Midtown soon, across from Mellow Mushroom.
But I almost hate we lost that cool, funky old school Krispy Kreme building as much as the KK itself. When it first closed, I had hoped someone could at least preserve it, and open a cool little cafe or coffee shop. That building just fit with the vibe of the historic neighborhoods surrounding it. Now, with a brand-spanking new DQ and a quick oil change place right across the street, that vibe is starting to feel more similar to that of that horrible commercial corridor that leads to the Airport.
I suppose it is better than an empty, boarded-up building sitting there, and perhaps it wasn’t even feasible to save it, but what Midtowners love about Midtown is that it doesn’t feel like a sea of fast food restaurants and strip malls. I hope the planning commission and other development boards responsible for these decisions will do their best to maintain that charm we all cherish.
Oh Fred, please stop. Just stop.
The debacle between the Mobile City Council started a couple of weeks ago when four councilors (John Williams, Joel Daves, Bess Rich and Gina Gregory) voted against Councilman Fred Richardson’s MAWSS board member appointee, former mayor Sam Jones. Richardson, along with fellow councilmen Levon Manzie and C.J. Small, retaliated the next week by blocking some of the other councilors’ appointments and a neighborhood improvement project in one of their districts.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson was so angry, he walked out of the meeting. Richardson ranted and raved, wearing black, saying he was in mourning and referencing the Titanic and the Malaysian Air flight 370 that recently went down. (You do realize 239 people are still unaccounted for, right Councilman?)
This tasteless reference was prompted by his irritation that the council had always just voted for whoever a councilperson had put up for any of these boards, without question. “That’s just the way it has always been done” was the argument, and probably one of the most dangerous that has been used across the span of history. And one of the worst “policies” any representative body could have.
I would hope if one of the councilors put a career criminal or insane person up as their appointee to some board, my city councilperson, (who is Fred Richardson by the way), would absolutely vote them down. Instead of just saying, “Well I had to vote for that axe murderer, because that’s just the way it’s always been done.”
And no, I am not saying Sam Jones is crazy or a criminal or axe murderer.
This is really not about if he is qualified to sit on the board or not. And even though the vote fell along racial lines, this has absolutely nothing to do with race either. It has everything to do with old-versus-new leadership.
We just went through one of the most contentious mayoral races in modern Mobile history. Mobilians went to the polls and voted for change. They didn’t like the direction the city was headed or how it was being managed, and they made that clear in the voting booth.
But then, Richardson turns around and nominates the one person who represents the antithesis of the change that was demanded in late August.
Fred, we want to see progress; not ridiculous retaliatory political shenanigans that have nothing to do with us or improving our city. Why you want to stay mired in the past instead of helping make Mobile’s future brighter is beyond me.
This has become way more about the Fred Richardson Show than what the people of District One or the city at large wants. The rants and the antics and prepared speeches with tragic airplane crash references and “mourning” suits — it’s all just ridiculous and counterproductive and quite frankly, embarrassing. Remember who it is you are representing down there. Not yourself and not the former administration. It’s your constituents. Remember us? I promise, we’ll remember you the next time we step in that voting booth.
Great, now I have un-stwed and I don’t feel any better. Someone get me a can of Whipsy!