Five things and then the Pembroke Mafia Football League.
1. If it were up to me — and happily it isn’t — there would be a moratorium on building until someone figures out what to do with the development already here. Especially in need of figuring out is what to do when the result of all that development gets behind the wheel and goes somewhere. Four lanes isn’t enough.
2. That said, Buckhead East residents protesting the addition of more homes might want to know some years back there probably were people against the building of their homes, many of which I suspect were constructed this decade or near to it. That’s kind of how it works. Unless you’re a Native American, it’s a safe bet at some point all of us and our forebears moved in and caused somebody else heartburn or worse.
3. Still, I am a stick in the mud when it comes to “growth.” It’s galling when somebody comes into your neck of the woods and builds houses all over places that didn’t use to have houses in them. I’m not sure what’s worse, the houses or the people who move into them, like those who go buy trampolines and install a dozen hollering juvenile delinquents on them all weekend, or the HOA commandos who live in a place two months and then try to tell you your shrubs are the wrong shape.
4. For some reason, all the outcry reminds me of a seminar I got roped into covering at the Richmond Hill City Center several years ago. It was given by a bunch of coastal wildlife lovers trying to save our region’s flora and fauna from “invasive species,” and that was pretty much the gist of it. I recall sitting briefly at a table with a snooty old battle axe with an up-north accent who sniffed that GPB shouldn’t be showing high school sports and it hit me then (again) that we in the South are probably worried about the wrong invasive species.
5. I again very nearly bought the farm on I-95. The first time was years back when the front driver’s side wheel on my old pickup (with 416,000 plus miles) decided to partially detach itself from the axle as I drove through the Pooler Triangle, as I’ve heard that scary stretch of interstate near the Pooler Parkway called. Long story short, the hobbled pickup somehow drug me across three lanes of rush hour traffic without my getting squashed. Fast forward to Tuesday and I was going south with the flow of traffic — meaning about 72 mph, probably — in the slow lane just north of the 204 exit. That’s when I saw a vehicle about 50 yards ahead of me suddenly get over into the middle lane. Then I saw why. There was a pickup towing a car trailer about 40 mph with no lights or flashers or anything and it was too close for me to do much other than run by it or over it.
I started to get into the middle lane, but couldn’t because there was someone already there and about to pass me. So I hit the brakes and headed for the shoulder. But it had been raining and the pavement was slick and so I took the long way, spinning back and forth across lanes and feeling totally out of control. How I didn’t get squashed, I do not know. I do recall thinking, “oh boy, this is going to hurt.”
Instead, my SUV skidded backwards from the fast lane to the middle lane back into the slow lane and then off into the grass, where it stopped. It probably took about 10 seconds total. Then I sat there, facing north in the south bound lanes of I-95 in the rain, thinking, “wow.” A guy in a baseball cap and shorts pulled his pickup over to see if I was ok. I guess he saw my veteran tag, or maybe the old Fort Stewart decal on the windshield, but after asking if I was OK he said “that was some Army driving right there.” Maybe it was, but I don’t plan on trying it again, I hope. So why am I telling you this? Drive safe. We need all the readers we can get.
Speaking of development, the rapid pace of growth in South Bryan has of course necessitated the widening of Highway 144, which turned power lines and begin the era we can all look back to as when that stretch of Bryan asphalt turned into the next Pooler Parkway, with all its neat bells and whistles.
But I digress. South Bryan resident Scott Moore sent me an email Monday afternoon which said, well, this:“Orange Barrel Blues Band Now playing for an extended engagement on Highway 144 Featuring all the hits we know and love: Survey(or) Says Work Zone Zone Double Fine Me Backhoes and Bulldozers Trees Be Gone Bury the Lines Dirt, Rock and Roll Flagman Standing Bridge over Sterling Creek Lane Closed Night Paver BlackTop Blues Y’all be careful now, ‘ya hear!”
Awesome. Thanks Scott. That OBBB engagement will probably run five years.
Now, on to the PMFL.
We’ll start with this week’s standings. Richmond Hill City Clerk Dawnne Greene is in first place after the first week’s picks in her first year with the PMFL. She missed three, proof positive Dawnne is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the PMFL. Her husband is a firefighter, by the way, and that’s an admirable profession. If I weren’t something close to 350 years old in dog years I’d like to be a firefighter.
There’s a three-way tie for second between Mike Clark, Mark Rogerson and the old King of the North himself, District 1 Commissioner Noah Covington. I think he picks by going outside naked at high noon and looking for his shadow. You can still do that in some parts of North Bryan, thanks to farsighted driveway ordinances that allow you to see your shadows whenever you want. Anyway, they’ve missed four each.
We have a logjam for third with five misses each involving PMFL Commissioner B.J. Clark, Bryan County Administrator Ben Clark, Bryan County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Trey Robertson, former Bryan County News Assistant Editor Ted O’Neil and yours truly, me.
In last is Pembroke First Baptist Church Pastor Brad Butler, with six misses, “but we’re all in striking distance.” I think the Rev. Brad is giving us a head start before he calls in the heavy artillery and smites us all into picking against Alabama.
Disclaimer: I am always doing disclaimers, it seems. Anyhow, for some reason B.J. didn’t include our American Legion running partner, Ernie Mitchell, in the recap for week one. Either that, or he did and I can’t find it. That’s why being in the PMFL is fun. I get no emails for a week, then half a dozen rambling cockeyed missives from B.J. about cage matches between Covington and Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter, and double cage matches between me and Floyd, and whether we could sell tickets if we gave senior citizen discounts and served fruit cups and Fritos.
On to this week’s picks:
UCLA vs. Oklahoma: Everybody goes with Oklahoma except for me.
I’m a fan of pastels.
Air Force vs. Florida Atlantic University: Ernie and Dawnne pick the Falcons. Everybody else takes the Lame Kiffens. Except me. I’ll reveal my pick next week, maybe.
University of Georgia at South Carolina: Oh boy. Everybody takes UGA except me. I know better but can’t help it, being a born-and-bred Gamecock. If Carolina wins, Bryan County Schools Financial Whiz Melanie James will have to wear a Gamecock T-Shirt for a month. If UGA wins, and the Bulldogs are favored, I will say Hunker Down You Hairy Dawgs and then drink a beer. I do not like beer. Please never give me beer. Do not bring it by the office, which is located at 10221 Ford Avenue, Suite 3, Richmond Hill, Ga., 31324. I will hate that. Thanks.
UMass vs. Georgia Southern:One win over a I-AA opponent does not convince me the Iggles are anywhere near back to their I-AA glory days, but maybe they’re on the right track. The entire PMFL membership thinks so, picking Southern to win.
I’ll go along with that.
Clemson vs. Texas A&M: Ever seen a yell leader? If not, my advice is to keep it that way. We’re talking a bunch of Texas Eddie Haskells running around the stadium like it’s 1959, and somehow that’s a tradition at A& M. On flip side, we have Clemson. I hate Clemson and will never pick them to win. When Clemson plays South Carolina, Bryan County Tsar Carter Infinger is going to wind up wearing a lot of Gamecock gear, but that’s down the road. For now, let’s just say everybody but me picks Clemson. I would abstain, but I don’t think it’s within the rules. So I will go it alone and pick the yell leaders, bless my heart.
Arkansas vs. Colorado State: Say Arkansas.
Doesn’t it just sound like a whole family of sun-burnt 350-pound lady wrestlers on their way home from Tybee rode up to your house in a beat up minivan with bald tires and asked to use your bathroom?
No, wait, that’s Clemson.
B.J., Mark, Dawnne and the Rev.
Brad pick Colorado State. The rest of us pick the Hogs. Pig sooey, as they say in Arkansas.
Kentucky vs. Florida: Dawnne and Noah pick Kentucky. Everybody else picks Mullet World.
USC vs. Stanford: Mark, Ernie, Noah, Ben, Rev. Brad, Dawnne select Stanford. Everybody else picks USC-W.
Michigan St. vs. Arizona State: Dawnne and Trey pick the Sun Devils. The rest of us take Michigan State, but nobody takes Michigan State like Ted takes Michigan State.
That’s his alma mater. He loves the place, wherever it is. And wherever it is, it isn’t Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is apparently not a good place to be. It’s full of hippies, or hippos, or something.
Penn State at Pitt: Here’s a game where you expect mud and snot and blood and guts and snow and people smacking each other over the head with lunch buckets like they used to do back when men were men and women stayed home and made sure men had nutritious pigs in a blanket to snack on while they watched football in dungarees on black and white TV screens about the size of a pizza box. And life, and football, was good. Noah and Trey take Pitt. The rest of us go with the Nittany Lions, which is Pennsylvania-ese for liverwurst and cheese on rye with a pickle and potato sticks, and a pop (Note to self: what’s a pop?).
UAB vs. Coastal Carolina: I think B.J. does this to make me mad.
Anyway, me and the Rev. Brad pick the Chanticleers. Everybody else picks the Dragons, including Alex — who said “who cares, I’ll take whoever Noah picks.” Alex can talk trash now because he was the only one in Bryan County picking Maryland to beat Texas. Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook was probably so surprised he got one right she’s about to declare this month “Alex Floyd Got a Pick Right Week” in the city limits.
Memphis at Navy: B.J., Mike, Ernie, Dawnne, Alex and I choose Navy, and that’s all you need to know until Noah sees his shadow and comes out for 15 more weeks of football, more or less. Go Gamecocks.