Tuesday, December 08, 2009

8 DEC 09: Doll Brawl

Yes sir -- you can tell the calendar has reached December, and a big day is close at hand. The Monday evening news included grown-ups fighting over a "Doll"....

In this case, the fight in U.S. Bankruptcy Court was over Rob Doll Nissan. A hearing on the dealership was continued, after a new potential bidder emerged. And everyone knows if you have three people fighting over something involving cars, there's bound to be a backseat driver.

The initial agreement was for Rob Doll to sell majority control of his Nissan dealership to the Jay Auto Group [30 Oct]. But then Carl Gregory came along and offered his own bid -- which admittedly surprised me, because the Jay car lots seem to be closer to that Whitesville Road white elephant with Doll's name on it.

Monday brought word of a third possible buyer, which WTVM identified as "SE Columbus Automotive." At first I thought a new car dealership in southeast Columbus would give visitors an unusual place to shop, during trips to the National Infantry Museum.

But then the 5:00 p.m. news explained -- SE Columbus Automotive apparently takes part of its name from the last name of its top officer. Nissan drivers should be relieved to hear this. After all, fitting Mercedes SE parts into a Nissan engine probably wouldn't be easy....

The attorney for Rob Doll Nissan says SE Columbus Automotive is owned by Shawn Sesahani. His resume includes the operation of Eastern Shore Toyota, in the Mobile suburb of Daphne. This is surprising on several counts - because I thought only Maryland was allowed to have an Eastern Shore.

Did I see the web site for Eastern Shore Toyota correctly -- that its service lounge includes a lunch counter where you can buy salads? Some Columbus car dealers aren't that hard-up for extra money. I know one which still dares to offer free doughnuts to customers in the morning.

(A check of the staff for Eastern Shore Toyota revealed one of the salespeople is a Mike Dubose. This has to be the biggest drop in employment in the history of Alabama football coaches....)

There's part of me that's pulling for SE Columbus Automotive to win the bidding for Rob Doll Nissan. It would keep the current ownership diversity in the local car business. Sometimes it seems there are more different owners of car lots in Columbus than owners of convenience stores.

The afternoon news also disclosed how much the two official bidders are offering for Rob Doll Nissan's assets. The Jay Auto Group filed a bid in bankruptcy court totaling $600,000. Carl Gregory's bid reportedly is for $450,000. Trouble is, the report did NOT include fine print about 0.9 percent financing or thousand-dollar rebate plans.

In a significant change, an attorney for the Nissan dealership told the Ledger-Enquirer Rob Doll will NOT be involved in ownership should Jay Auto Group buy it. So your only remaining chance for a "Cissy Doll" sighting in this area could occur in a booth at the Lee County Flea Market.

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: WRBL reports Monday's bankruptcy court hearing was delayed because Rob Doll's daughter died over the weekend in Florida. Our sympathies are with the Doll family.)

OVERHEARD OVER HERE: The college football regular season may be almost over, but the trash talking is not. An older man who picked Florida to win the Southeastern Conference title approached an Alabama fan Monday morning.

"I bet you were drunk all weekend, weren't you?"

Football talk is only part of our review of news and notes from the last couple of days....

+ Which local pastor is claiming she could be the successor to TV preacher Joyce Meyer? She'd better hurry, before her celebrity daughter moves out and tries to claim the title for herself....

+ Police reported someone stole a Salvation Army kettle from Columbus Park Crossing at gunpoint. If you're annoyed by the bell-ringing, please use some wisdom - and wear headphones in the store doorways instead.

+ Muscogee County District Attorney Julia Slater told WRBL she's reviewing the latest last-minute appeal by convicted "Stocking Strangler" Carlton Gary. Given what Slater has done with other cases this year, she might respond by sending Gary a Christmas card.

+ Another storm approached Columbus, to add to more than 70 inches of rain which has fallen this year. If you run to the store and buy enough buckets, you might be able to store enough water for all your spring cleaning.

+ The annual "Night of Lights" ceremony was held at the Phenix City Amphitheater. It was postponed four days because rain made the Chattahoochee River level rise too high - yet you'll notice no one proposing changing the event to the Night of Kayaks.

+ WLTZ interviewed a mother and daughter who will graduate together from Columbus State University tonight. Cynthia Wright and Camesha Tate took the exact same course schedule, and even joined the same campus organizations. Now that's a creative way of making sure your daughter dates the right guys.

+ The Columbus State men's basketball team came from behind to stun third-ranked Valdosta State 73-71. Coach Doug Branson said during his WDAK pre-game show his "word of the day" for the Cougars was "earn." Shouldn't this word wait until after the seniors finish their season, and try to enter the N.B.A. draft?

+ Auburn's Brendon Knox made a tip-in with 1.4 seconds left, for victory over Virginia 68-67. The guest analyst on the Auburn Radio Network was Hal Baird, and he did well in the second half. But Baird is the retired Tiger baseball coach - and I can't believe that many former basketball players fled the state.

+ Instant Message to all Alabama football fans: Yes, I noticed -- Nick Saban was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year. But no, I do NOT think Florida coach Urban Meyer broke down in tears when he heard the news.

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