Friday, June 09, 2006


BLOGGER'S NOTE: Our apologies for the late post today, a result of maintenance by our blog server.)

Thursday's schedule for Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue said he would attend a "groundbreaking" ceremony for the new National Infantry Museum. Sure enough, he showed up -- so will that qualify for another "Sonny Did" commercial?

But somehow this announcement didn't sound quite right. After all these years, they were finally breaking ground for the National Infantry Museum?! This place has had so many news conferences and announcements, it might as well be a new Tom Cruise movie....

Sure enough, some checking revealed the National Infantry Museum already HAD a groundbreaking ceremony. It happened 21 months ago [22 Sep 04]. Had all the retired infantry members developed Alzheimer's disease, and forgotten this?

It turns out the Infantry Museum's promoters had given Thursday's event a different name. It was a "construction ceremony" -- presumably meaning they're actually going to start building something. Maybe Fort Benning had a Habitat for Humanity chapter, to help with this....

News coverage of Thursday's ceremony on South Lumpkin Road didn't show much work had been done on the National Infantry Museum. There was a gravel road called "World War II Street" - which I have to say seemed pretty authentic for the period.

Then a group of dignitaries stepped out from a tent - and looked for all the world like they were breaking ground for a museum. Maybe this was an extra scene for the DVD version?!

But a big difference followed. The dignitaries set off explosive charges, and a bulldozer rolled through. So it was a really loud groundbreaking - but I still didn't notice any construction going on. A portable bridge over something would have been enough for me....

In fact, the first phase for the Infantry Museum will be more like destruction. A group of trees will be torn down, to make way for a parade ground. Between this plan and Fort Benning's controlled burns, the power of "Trees Columbus" seems to end around Victory Drive.

Does it seem strange to you that there was a 21-month gap between the groundbreaking ceremony and Thursday's event? After all, way back in September 2004 most people actually thought the intervention in Iraq was a good idea....

To be honest, long gaps between groundbreaking day and construction work seem to happen often in Columbus. Take Heritage Park at 7th and Broadway -- which Uptown Columbus officials promised would take a year to build after its groundbreaking. They never mentioned the land would sit idle for a year, before work began.

Then there's Ben & Jerry's ice cream near Columbus Park Crossing. It was supposed to open back in January, but didn't until May. Promoters blamed it on the weather - and let's face it, people are more likely to eat ice cream when the weather's hot.

In the case of the National Infantry Foundation, retired Major General Jerry White says there's actually building the museum complex in stages. Phase I will have the parade ground for infantry ceremonies. The Coca-Cola Imax Theater might be phase II -- or should that be Coca-Cola phase zero?

Promoters say the new National Infantry Museum will take about two years to build. So maybe it will open in June 2008. Or then again, there may be a couple more dirt-turning event next year -- just to keep in practice.

So remember, you Kia watchers -- all that talk about a postponed groundbreaking ceremony in West Point really doesn't mean anything. They might as well send flower pots of dirt to the Hyundai chairman in that South Korean jail, and let him dig around in those.

E-MAIL UPDATE: A Smiths Station correspondent kept his own scorecard on Tuesday's Alabama primary:

Nice coverage on the Primary's from Both Channel 3 and 9

The 3 Polls in Smiths area had light turnout..comments have been made about City employees/council members working the Poll sites,,,was there an Offical day off - sick leave used? what gives - controlling everything ...Possibly . Is there nobody else to work at polls... no else cares...

Looks like a change with a school board member.

The Lucy and Bob show for the next 5 months..what will be dug up..Will "Lucy im Home again " be the theme or "Go play with your train Bob" be it....

Another Deadly accident on Lee Road 240 in lower Smiths area...Not a word from County commissioners on making it safer

What's the problem with having Smiths Station city employees handling elections? Would you prefer an outside team from the United Nations?

I'm not sure a change of one Lee County School Board member will make that big a difference. Look at Muscogee County's School Board - where after 18 months, I'm still waiting for Pastor Joseph Roberson to propose posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms.

So Columbus has a Jim-Bob race for mayor, and Alabama now has a Lucy-Bob race for Governor. Yet I still haven't heard any candidate talk about saving bobbin plants....

BIG PREDICTION: The N.B.A. Finals will be won by a team which plays home games at a site with "American Airlines" in its name.

While you think about that, we'll wrap up other notes from Thursday:

+ Georgia gubernatorial candidate Mark Taylor released a new commercial, in which.... he.... actually.... TALKS! We're glad after months of campaigning, he finally developed the courage to do this on television.

+ The prosecution rested its case in the Don Siegelman corruption trial. The former Alabama Governor says he wants to testify in his own defense - perhaps forgetting federal trials are NOT televised, so that campaign speech won't be heard, either.

+ Instant Message to the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Phenix City: Aw, c'mon - 50 cents a donut in the bakery? I thought you were notorious for keeping prices low. Are the donuts now imported from China, too?

SCHEDULED THIS WEEKEND: A poker game unlike any other.... and the perils of preparing pumpkin pie....

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