What Makes Ronnie Roll: The Pick Of The Picklers

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

It was a milestone Monday, to be sure. Mayor Ronnie came bounding in, and we celebrated his Big 8-Oh with me belting out my blues version of “Happy Birthday,” hoping that there would be no violation of intellectual property in doing so. (If you are thinking, “What in the world?” there ended up being a $14 million dollar settlement paid by Warner/Chappell in 2016 that apparently ended the contention over rights to the song and moved it permanently into the realm of Public Domain) This meant that no one from the Copyright Cops was going to be banging on the mayor’s office door and take anybody out in cuffs! The actual date of his birth was June 30, and the entire weekend had been memorable.

One of the best parts was the pickleball tournament that had been held in connection with Relay-for-Life, and there were 160 participants. According to Wikipedia, “Pickleball, [is] a fun sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, has seen a massive surge in popularity in recent years. It’s accessible, easy to learn, and encourages social interaction, making it a hit among people of all ages.” It was invented on Bainbridge Island, Washington, by the 14th Lt. Governor, a man by the name of Joel Pritchard, and it is the fastest growing sport in the United States. “Pickleball is here to stay,” said Mayor Ronnie, and mentioned that one of the participants in the weekend’s tournament was actually on an athletic scholarship to Ole Miss.

The tournament was supervised by Chase Spitzer, who changed things up to add variety to the tournament and give people a chance to donate more to the Relay-for-Life cause. You could “bet” on your favorite team that had to take every swing and make every move while holding hands, much like when you are doing a three legged race at a picnic. There were other rounds where people had to play with their non-dominant hand; lefties played with their right hand and vice versa. “All kinds of people donated for all kinds of things,” said the mayor. Holly Hollman estimated that Relay garnered close to $15,000 in gifts and donations, and a grand time was had by all.

Friday night June 28 had been the June celebration of Fridays After Five, and the Courthouse area was packed. The band Steel out of Huntsville played, and people happily endured the heat.

Holly mentioned that High Cotton Arts is going to have a free street event with the band JED-Eye that will be held on Saturday, July 6 from 7-9 p.m. Food trucks will be on hand for the festivities.

On more serious notes, the Electric Cities Conference is coming up, bringing utilities staff from all over the United States to Gulf State Park at Gulf Shores, and at long last there have been new cemetery ordinances passed that include being able to put two vaults on top of each other. “We are running out of space, and it took some real work to get the new ordinances in place.

We talked briefly about the presidential debate and upcoming election, and did not need much inspiration to pray. So we did, and once again it was time for Ronnie to roll.

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner