Thursday, August 27, 2009

A hero laid to rest

WHEN? Thursday · August 27

WHERE? Olive Branch, Mississippi · find us on the map

Some unique experiences were part of a WWII veteran's funeral we recently attended. At the close of the service, our funeral procession traveled nearly 20 miles along a busy interstate to historic Elmwood Cemetery in Midtown Memphis. As each vehicle crossed the quaint stone bridge leading into the cemetery, the daredevil Memphis motorcycle officers who had escorted us stood at attention on either side and saluted until the last car had passed. Unexpected and touching.

I would have been very disappointed had not the video turned out as Taps was played at the cemetery. Since some of the deceased's large family were unable to attend, it was one of many photos and videos taken at Elmwood to share with them.

Day is done, Gone the sun,
From the lakes · From the hills · From the sky,
All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh

Fading light dims the sight,
And a star · Gems the sky · Gleaming bright,
From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night

Thanks and praise for our days,
Neath the sun · Neath the stars · Neath the sky,
As we go, this we know: God is nigh

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Magnolia River Bar & Grill

WHEN? Tuesday, August 11

WHERE? Magnolia Springs, Alabama · find us on the map

We had a very pleasant surprise today. We were served a free sample of gumbo that was the best gumbo I had ever eaten. Unfortunately, the recipe is not available. All I can tell you is that some of the ingredients include shrimp or chicken, wonderfully cooked rice, some hot sauce, and bay leaf.

This place is right on Highway 98 in Magnolia Springs, about half way in between Fairhope and Foley. Keep your eyes open for their sign. It's just one more good place to visit with friends with a cool one or to stuff yourself with some more Gulf Coast cuisine. You might even be talking to the person next to you and get a tip on a place to settle down in LA.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Remembering our friend Al

WHEN? Saturday · August 8

WHERE? Kelseys in Foley, Alabama · find us on the map

It wasn't that long ago, on May 6th, that we celebrated Al's 80th birthday at Kelseys. An even larger crowd gathered on Saturday, August 8th, to remember our friend Al.

Finger foods were served, and the bar was packed with those who had known Al a long time, along with others who had known him for a short while (yours truly).

Wayne Fuller played the guitar and sang Marshall Tucker Band's Can’t You See. Someone at Kelseys was actually recording a video of Wayne's performance. Here’s an early 70’s live version of this classic:

Al's friend Bob Arness composed a poem for the occasion:

Here’s to our buddy, here’s to our pal
It’s hard to believe, but his name is Al
Some words of wisdom, advice to follow
It may not be easy, just learn to swallow.

Al could be hard to take, a pain in your side
Just shake it all off, take it in stride
He was one of a kind, a real piece of art
Most of the time just a grumpy old fart.

We’re all here, you may wonder why
We’re just here to say good-bye.

Al, you are missed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Slovenian group

WHEN? Anytime

WHERE? The Internet

WHAT? Perpetuum Jazzile - Vokalna Ekstaza

I have an email correspondent from Slovenia, so I asked him about this group. He responded:

Oh, Perpetuum Jazzile is a group of professional Slovenian singers, many of them have a solo career. They're really good. They sing "a capella" (no instruments, everything is simulated with human voices), mostly adaptations of Slovenian songs, but some foreign songs as well. If they ever come to USA, don't miss them! ;-)

My wife and I were on a concert last fall, where Africa was performed for the first time (this is where YouTube recording is from) and it was fantastic (it's completely different hearing it live in a huge concert hall than now on YouTube, although it's still great).

Best regards, Kristof

Maybe you have seen the rainstorm part of this before but maybe not the choir doing Toto's Africa. Very entertaining. By all means, listen to the first part of this video of the rainstorm.

The beginning of this video is really striking. Group members simulate an African thunderstorm with their hands, then they sing. It's really something to see and hear.

Africa by Perpetuum Jazzile is performed live at Vokal Xtravaganzza 2008 (October 2008) - arranger Tomaž Kozlevčar.

The thunderstorm simulation effects were inspired by Kearsney choir (South Africa).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

MSU Bulldog Bash

WHEN? Sunday · August 2

WHERE? Gulf Breeze, Florida · find us on the map

We took another trip over to Florida in the Pensacola area. This time it was for (are you ready for this?) the MSU Bulldog Beach Bash & Send-off Party. Alumni and friends, incoming MSU students, and prospective students and parents were invited. Lots of work went into planning this event by members of the Northwest Florida Chapter of the Mississippi State University Alumni Association, and it was really good to get together with Mississippi State fans. The college football season is just about here!

Our photos from this event were taken by Wendell, and they are located here.