Friday, August 1, 2008

Going Forward, Kicking and Screaming

I grew up in beautiful downtown Mobile, Alabama. I’m in love with the place. I haven’t always been in love with the folks that live there or some of their attitudes, but I have always loved the city. I think I have felt sorry for Mobile, it has been stuck in neutral for a long, long time.

When I was 12 years old we moved to the Garden District, downtown. When I was 16 I went to work at a clothing store on Royal Street that had been operating in the Port City for a long time. I watched it happen, I know what I’m talking about. This would have been 1978ish and downtown Mobile was fast becoming a waste land. Other than lawyers, banks and businesses that catered to the state docks, not much else was happening there. Mobile was a town of “old money” and the old money liked things just the way they were.

Now days with the help of new blood and some forward thinking people like David Bronner , (just click on his name and see read about some of the great things he has done for Mobile and the whole state of Alabama) Mobile has started to get itself together and started making some progress moving into the future. It didn’t hurt that hurricane Katrina wiped out so much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Many people and businesses have relocated to Mobile. That, along with some really large companies setting up plants in the area, Mobile is getting a very needed financial boost. And from what I read in the news paper this morning it seems attitudes are moving into the future as well.

Last night at the beautiful Saenger Theater, in beautiful downtown Mobile the documentary “The Order of the Myths” was screened. A film about the Mystic Societies and history of Mobiles Mardi Gras. Finally, all got a chance to see it. It has been on the film festival circuit for about a year now and is finally hitting some theaters. Much has been written about this film and the word controversial is always brought up. The folks back home have been worried that it was all about race and the unfortunate segregation of the Mardi Gras organizations.

Well I must tell you how happy I was to wake up this morning and read in the Mobile news paper that, The Order of Myths received a standing ovation after the reels stopped rolling last night. 1762 people attended and there was a Q and A session afterwards. From what I can get from the news paper folks were generally happy with it and I’m not surprised. Like I have said before, we’re southern not stupid. We get it, we know like every place on earth Mobile has problems and they need fixing. I’m just happy to see we are moving ahead, forward, into the future even if there is some kicking and screaming.

After all the negative I had heard from folks, even though they had not seen the film, I was moved to tears when I read this line. It was a comment about the Q and A session, it read “Some audience members used the question period to state their appreciation for the film - and their love of Mobile Mardi Gras.” These are the people that are gonna make Mobile a better place, people that can love it and know it’s got some growing to do.

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