With a nod to this newspaper’s annual "Bryan’s Favorites" contest — the winners are unveiled tonight in a business but casual shindig of sorts at the Richmond Hill City Center — I thought I’d uncork some of my own favorites, just like Bryan does.
I’m calling it Jeff’s Faves.
And, just like Bryan, I have lots of favorite things. There are so many I can’t get them all in this column, but I’ll try.
Favorite intersection to sit at and wonder why I’m always sitting at this intersection: That would be Highway 144 and Highway 17. Or Highway 17 and Highway 144, depending on which direction you’re stuck in traffic.
Some people call this intersection "The Crossroads." I think that’s because it makes drivers cross when they have to sit there watching drivers on the other road go on their merry way while they idle away another $5 worth of gas.
I think I’ve spent about three years of my life at that intersection over the last dozen years, and it makes me pine for the days when the only light in town blinked all the time and Dinky Miner was still in business.
Favorite elected official: That would probably be Judy Cook, mayor of Pembroke. I like and respect her predecessor, Mary Warnell, but Judy has a sort of combative, common sense down home Judy Cookness about her that makes you wish she would take over the world and make people stay on their own porch.
Favorite dream about public figures:
That happened the other night when for some reason I dreamt that Richmond Hill city council showed up for a council meeting naked, and they’d all gotten mohawk haircuts. Mayor Russ Carpenter’s mohawk was died Richmond Hill High School school colors and he’d pierced his nose.
I asked him why and he said "Dude, why not?" and then the other council members started saying "Dillly Dilly" like the Bud Light beer commercial. And then they chopped off a planning and zoning administrator’s head.
All time favorite quote by a public official: That time former Mayor Harold Fowler was making a speech about Caesarstone and thanked the company for annexing the city of Richmond Hill into its new industrial park. Or something like that.
Favorite public servant: Bryan County Emergency Services Chief Freddy "Freddie" Howell. Freddy "Freddie" Howell is my favorite public servant because he puts out fires and calls football games, in which ever order he has to.
I still think he’s missing a boat by not learning ventriloquism to teach fire safety. He could call the dummy Sparky "Sparkie" — if it had red hair and blue eyes — and go around schools scaring kindergartners out of playing with matches.
Favorite do-gooder: Wendy Sims, the head of Bryan County Family Connections. There are a host of do-gooders on the planet, but few do as much good as Wendy. If you doubt this, try finding her sometime. Wendy is always on the go, doing good at somebody. That’s because she’s overworked and under appreciated, just like me. The difference is people like her.
Favorite local event: I don’t like crowds, so probably the Seafood Fest, circa late 1980s (I think) when it seemed about 100 people showed up to drink beer and eat fried shrimp in a field while somebody played music. I mostly remember it was cold and the beer worked as antifreeze. Fun.
Favorite police report in recent history: This one: A Pembroke woman called deputies Tuesday night "in reference to headlights that often go part way up her driveway," a report said.
"Upon the deputies arrival, the complainant stated that a vehicle every night comes part way up her driveway and then backs out. 119 Storage is located in front of the complainant’s house. Deputies advised the complainant that the storage units are part of the patrol zone and the spot light from the deputies vehicle may be what she is seeing. The deputies advised the complainant that if an unwanted vehicle does come all the way up her driveway to call back."
Favorite police report of all time: That time a woman called the sheriff’s department because her friend started making obscene phone calls at her after they got into a disagreement over a soup recipe. The two women were in their 50s, I believe.
Favorite color: Green. Like grass, and water sometimes. And my new political party.
Favorite anti-social group: The Pembroke Football Mafia. These are a special bunch of men and women led by courageous sailor and North Bryan Navy Admiral B.J. Clark, who is also a big wheel in Pembroke American Legion Post 164. I would be remiss here were I not to note that B.J.’s better half, Marsha, is battling a case of pancreatitis that put her in the hospital about 11 days ago. She’s on the mend, thankfully, but it’s been a battle. Keep them in your hearts and prayers during what has been a difficult time for their family. As B.J. said Tuesday, "Thanks for all the prayers and kind thoughts for Marsha and my family. God bless!"
Favorite Confederate: That would be Frank Grimm, who is adjutant of the Immortal 600 Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Frank writes interesting emails about what life was like in the area when he was growing up and there were far less people. I am trying to get him to write a column
Favorite yankee: Right now it’s Ted O’Neil. He’s the guy I work with and a fine reporter. I do not always see eye to eye with Ted, but that’s usually when he stands up. Ted’s about 6-foot-5, I’m about 5-foot-6.