Monday, October 12, 2009

12 OCT 09: Here for the Party?

OK, I made it back safely from vacation. In fact, I made it home right on time. So where's the big celebration today, to mark Columbus Day? I mean, other than the one which was advertised on national TV -- the storewide sale at Sears?

Columbus city government is closed to mark Columbus Day. So city employees could march in a holiday parade. In fact, there's no trash collection today - so garbage trucks could be displayed on the parade route. As long as prison inmates don't throw anything out of the trucks, toward the crowd....

City government employees were treated to a Columbus Day party on Bay Avenue two years ago [9 Oct 07]. But I don't recall one happening last year - and if there was a party last week, I couldn't find evidence of it online. Perhaps the 100 new police officers simply aren't fully trained yet in crowd control.

Columbus Councilor Jerry Barnes is promoting a Veterans Day parade in November, and there's nothing wrong with that. But where is the effort by city officials for a parade marking the man which gave Columbus its name? I really don't think many people will assume Christopher Columbus actually founded the city in 1828.

And please, do NOT try to tell me Saturday's parade downtown makes up for the lack of a Columbus Day event. That parade was all about the Tuskegee-Morehouse football game -- and Christopher Columbus didn't even bring any baseball players to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic.

Long-time Columbus residents remember when a music festival called "Uptown Jam" was held on the October holiday weekend. It might be worth trying again now -- and instead of bringing in big-name groups, use it as a showcase for Columbus State University fine arts students. Some of them already are jammed into downtown loft apartments, anyway....

Uptown Columbus staged what it called a "Columbus Day celebration" concert Friday night. It featured a group called "DNR: Do Not Resuscitate." Why some people want to avoid any connection with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, I have no idea.

But why mark Columbus Day on a Friday night, when it's a Monday holiday? The answer apparently is that it's NOT a holiday for everyone. Muscogee County Schools are in session today. My bank is open for business. And Italian restaurants such as Deorio's would have announced special hours, if anything was changing.

The Muscogee County School Board will do something different to mark Columbus Day. It will hold its first work session at the new administration building on Macon Road. I'm waiting for the district to announce public tours of this new building -- since after all, it cost residents so many millions of dollars. Is an "open house" planned after the Superintendent's private washroom is disguised?

E-MAIL UPDATE: While we attended a church convention in Panama City Beach, a reader sent this....

For years my family and I have joked that if the people that play "drinking games" took a drink each time someone in the local media, both broadcast and print, used the word "Auburn" this area would have the highest rate of alcoholics in the nation. We have come to believe that WTVM's management being so pro-Auburn must pay everyone, news, sports and weather to say the word and receive a ten dollar bonus for each time that they do...or maybe the City of Auburn chips in half. Never has such a small berg attracted more attention from an out of state news media than the ones in Columbus. H**k, Phenix City doesn't even make their weather maps, but Auburn sure does. Oh, and if they haven't figured it out by now, the temperature is always one to two degrees different from Columbus but we have to hear it every broadcast! I used the word four times in my vent...where do I pick up my forty dollars?

Now wait a minute here -- you're asking for 40 dollars from ME, simply for sending me an e-mail? Where's your boiler room located this month?

The title of this e-mail suggested our blog has "reached that level" when it comes to mentioning, uh, the city directly west of Opelika. So we took a joke count of the week before vacation. Auburn was mentioned in 14 jokes. Phenix City was mentioned in about 25. And many readers are relieved to know we've gone almost a month without mentioning Hurtsboro.

One other message will require some research (sigh) - so we'll move on to catch up on items we've missed from recent days:

+ I asked my next-door neighbor what I missed, and he responded: "Tuskegee beat Morehouse.... and they had a lot of cars outside the Civic Center." In other words, it was business as usual - on two counts.

+ Goldens' Foundry east of downtown announced it has filed for bankruptcy. And I thought the price of golden stuff had jumped above $1,000 an ounce....

+ The Columbus Museum hosted a family art day, with the focus on children making maps. WXTX "News at Ten" then showed a museum phone number -- except it was the number for the "Columbus Museum of Art" in Ohio. So apparently the next lesson is in reading maps, or maybe phone directories....

+ Rivertown Church on Schomburg Road began a series of sermons called "iGod." Hmmmm, that's interesting - since Cascade Hills Church did a series about four years ago with that very title, and practically the same logo. Yet the Rivertown bulletin's sermon titles do NOT mention anything about the stealing commandment.

+ The Josh McKoon campaign for State Senate announced it raised $6,500, through a 24-hour online "Money Bomb" event. Maybe that's why I don't make more money from blogging - I'm much too peaceful and anti-terrorist.

+ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced it will no longer endorse political candidates. Many of us won't miss this at all - because radio and TV talk show hosts still do it on a regular basis.

+ The Americus airport was renamed "Jimmy Carter Regional Airport," after the former President. Give the airport commission credit for one thing - it waited a short time after Mr. Carter's term, before deciding to do this.

+ Georgia Tech felled Florida State 49-44, in a college football game which ended at almost 1:00 a.m. ET. I was vacationing 100 miles from Tallahassee, so I was surprised to learn the game was delayed more than an hour by lightning. I assumed the game was stopped by Florida State trustees, demanding the resignation of Coach Bobby Bowden.

+ The Atlanta Falcons shellacked San Francisco 45-10, and set a team record with 35 first-half points. But I think there's an explanation for this. Plenty of San Francisco players and fans probably were out of town, at that equality march in Washington.

+ Instant Message to whomever put up a yard sign along 15th Street in Panama City saying, "Billboards are visual litter": What does that make your yard sign? Some kind of visual cigarette butt?

COMING THIS WEEK: A long kitchen experiment has a sad ending....

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