by Brad Koski
John Adams called to say he’d be visiting my town soon. He’d be speaking nearby, at a convention in New Orleans, and he wanted to have dinner with me at some point. He said something that made me laugh. I don’t remember what had been funny, but there was an awkward silence afterwards, and then I remembered that I had stolen his laugh. It made him stop cold in his tracks - he never regained the thread of our conversation.
John Adams was a rommate from college. He had been on the fast track since birth. I stole his laugh years after college, shortly after he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the youngest head coach to win the NCAA basketball championship.
I didn’t feel bad about stealing his laugh. John lived 800 miles away, and I knew he’d probably never find out. Besides, I had rationalized, he’d probably stolen it from somebody as well.
John called me the week before his arrival. He unveiled his plans regarding me: we’d meet for drinks Saturday, go to dinner, and visit some jazz clubs.
The day before John arrived I woke earlier than normal. In a series of previous apartments, it never
Last month, we posted a poll on our website to find out whether readers thought Gulf seafood was safe to eat a year after the oil spill. With the spill anniversary falling on April 20, the safety issue was at the forefront of minds across the country, and campaigns like "Serve the Gulf" in Alabama sprung up to fight the perception that seafood is still tainted by oil. The results of our poll show that Southerners are still eating their seafood (78%), while people in other parts of the country have concerns. This isn't surprising, since many of us who live near the coast probably know a fisherman or shrimper and have witnessed firsthand the quality of seafood coming out of our waters - and thoroughly enjoyed it on our plates. The findings below just prove that if you do believe Gulf seafood is safe to eat, then tell your friends and family members in other regions that it's safe to order Gulf seafood in a restaurant or buy it in the grocery store.
Gulf Seafood Poll Results PollsMicroPoll
78% of survey participants believe Gulf seafood is safe to eat.
22% believe Gulf seafood is not safe to eat.
Folks in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas,
A year after the oil spill, is Gulf seafood really safe to eat, and can we trust the people, like celebrity Chef Alton Brown, who tell us it is?
by Erin Z. Bass On April 20 of last year, news broke that more than 3 million barrels of crude oil were leaking into the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion on a BP rig offshore. On April 24, the Coast Guard announced that oil was leaking from two locations at a rate of 42,000 gallons a day. On April 25, that estimate was increased to 210,000 gallons, and BP announced that a third leak had been found. By April 29, the oil spill stretched 120 miles and had become a threat to the Louisiana coast, as well as the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Ten days later, only the smallest leak had been stopped, and engineers seriously discussed stopping the leak by stuffing in trash. Meanwhile, nearly 46,000 miles of Gulf waters became closed to fishing. By May 27, more than a month after the initial spill, the disaster was declared the largest spill in U.S. history and surpassed Exxon Valdez from 1989, which leaked about 11 million gallons into the Gulf.
by Erin Z. Bass
Since last year's oil spill, the safety of eating seafood from the Gulf has been in question. I personally have never stopped eating it. Shrimp, crabs and on special occasions, oysters, are a huge part of my diet here in South Louisiana, and I don't think I could live without them. But I realize that many of you have concerns about seafood coming from waters contaminated with oil, and I don't blame you. Maybe I should be more concerned, but those barbecued shrimp I had for dinner the other night were sooo good.
Many of you followed along last month with our trip to Dauphin Island, Alabama. A potential annual celebration for the island that combines seafood, science and celebrity, the weekend was heavy on the seafood. From a shrimp and crawfish boil on the dock at Bellingrath Gardens Friday night to plenty of seafood gumbo entries at the Gumbo Cookoff on Saturday and a bash that filled the rooms of the island's estuarium with everything from stuffed crabs to freshly shucked oysters and the aforementioned barbecued shrimp that night, I basically consumed as much seafood as one person possibly can in a weekend. As did celebrity Chef
by Erin Z. Bass
Deep South has been on a press trip in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach all weekend with the Traveling Mamas and a few other bloggers. We've been celebrating life along the Gulf Coast, along with the news that beaches are open and the water's fine! We started the weekend with a tweetup at Live Bait at The Wharf on Friday night, followed by breakfast at Tacky Jack's on Saturday morning and a full day of activities that included visits to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Waterville USA and kayaking with Alabama Kayak Adventures. The amazing meals continued throughout the weekend with lunch at famed seafood joint King Neptune's, drinks and apps at Lulu's, dinner at Wintzell's Oyster House and breakfast family-style at The Hangout.
Our accommodations at Phoenix All Suites Hotel West were condo-sized with all the amenities and service of a hotel. Managed by Brett Robinson, the hotel is only one of many affordable places to stay on the island. Current "hot deals" on the realty company's website include free tickets to Hank Williams Jr.'s Rowdy Friends Tour next month, Labor Day weekend specials and a Girls' Getaway package starting at $171.57 per person.
But rather than telling
Kids across the South are making lemonade to help wildlife affected by the oil spill.
by Erin Z. Bass
It's a story as old as time: a brother and sister decide to open a summertime lemonade stand. But this time their motive involved much more than boredom or earning a buck for the ice cream truck. In Alexandria, Louisiana, 8-year-old Mark Terrillion and his 6-year-old sister, Lizette, wanted to help the pelicans affected by the oil spill and set up shop in front of their aunt's gift shop, Southern Chic, on a Wednesday morning. In addition to lemonade, the kids also sold baked goods and t-shirts printed with lemons and the saying, "LemonAid for the Gulf." The stand was a hit, with shirts going fast and other kids coming with their piggy banks to donate. More shirts were printed the next day, and by Friday, the kids had raised over $2,000.
Since appearing on CNN with Anderson Cooper, Mark and Lizette have inspired kids all over the South to get on board and open their own stands. Outside of Alexandria, the city of Pineville was first with a stand in front of Fleur de Lis Boutique on Father's Day weekend. Acworth, Georgia, followed
by Erin Z. Bass
If you're still not sure about that upcoming beach vacation and having a hard time disbelieving all the oil spill impact rumors floating around, just watch this video taken yesterday, May 10, in Fort Morgan, Alabama. Posted by Meyer Real Estate and included in an email the company sent out to renters, the footage clearly shows that the coast's white, sandy beaches and shoreline contain no trace of oil. Meyer went on to say in the email that no coastal impact has occurred and none is expected. In fact, beaches are more beautiful and cleaner than ever!
by Erin Z. Bass
I know many of you, myself included, are concerned about your upcoming beach vacation to the Gulf Coast because of the oil spill. Should you cancel, plan on volunteering instead of lounging on the beach, or just wait it out? A few hours helping out while you're there is probably a good idea, but the message coming out of Gulf Coast tourism organizations and rental companies is that there is currently no oil on the beach, no smell, and guests should take a wait and see approach if possible. Bird's eye view courtesy of Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Public Relations Manager with the Gulf Coast CVB Kim Chapman sent us the following statement:
"Currently, there is no oil on the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. According to the NOAA forecasts, no shoreline impact is expected for this area for at least the next 72 hours. We are encouraging our guests to seek out official and confirmed information from the unified response team, which we are posting continuously at www.gulfshores.com/issues. All of the businesses along Pleasure Island are committed to ensuring a quality vacation for their guests. Please contact your rental company for additional details regarding