Sunday, May 8, 2011

Let's Talk Derby 2011

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Let's Talk Derby 2011, a set on Flickr.

A fantastically organized event held at the home of Mary Sue Caranna in Gulfport, MS. The event was called Let's Talk Derby and was themed after the historic Kentucky Derby boasting some of the best attributes of the affluent horse race, including an authentic race horse. The night was called to order with the playing of "Call to Post", the Gulfport High School strings played during the first of the night and it was finished out by the band Rhythm and Rain from New Orleans. Food was served by Oak Crest Mansion, Nelson's Restaurant and Memorial Hospital. The weather was perfect and the event lasted into the night with the moon beaming through the southern oaks.

Let's Talk Derby was organized to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Forest Heights and was a total success raising money to help the kids be productive citizens. Take a look at the website at

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pink in the Rink with the Surge!

So football season is over and you can always look forward to an event going on here on the coast, but what is the best thing to replace that empty space in your heart where hard hitting sports usually fill? Come to a Mississippi Surge game at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, they would love to hear you cheer and support their wins. The Surge is always supporting community efforts and events, so I decided to feature just a few.

The game I cheered on, "Pink in the Rink", the Surge dawned pink jerseys on the ice against the Huntsville Havoc pulling a win of 3 to 1. The pink jerseys were then auctioned off at The Hard Rock Casino to help provide financial assistance to patients receiving breast diagnostic imaging services such as mammograms, breast ultrasounds and breast MRIs whom otherwise cannot afford these services. 100% of the contributions to this fund go directly to assist patients in our community. Thanks to the generosity of the fans, players and leadership over $75,000 has been raised through “Pink in the Rink”, mostly through the jersey auctions, and has assisted over 300 women in need of breast imaging.

Members of the Mississippi Surge hockey team also spent part of their day at Gulfport's Memorial Hospital Wednesday February 9th. They were there to meet with several breast cancer survivors and take a tour of the women's diagnostic center that specializes in detecting and treating breast cancer.

I was invited to that awesome game by Kim and Billy Driebergen, who are season ticket holders and huge supporters of our Mississippi hockey team. They also run a 501c nonprofit in the honor of their son Chris Driebergen whose flourishing and talented life was taken much too soon. The hope is through their Foundation, they can continue to inspire and encourage the youth of the Gulf Coast by raising funds for child advocacy and protection programs, music and arts enrichment, and athletic and academic development. The Surge helps them do that by working in coordination to help promote events like Vancleave Night Saturday February 19th at the hockey game.

Students from Vancleave Lower Elementary will kick the night off with their performance of the National Anthem, Elley Duhe will perform during intermission, and the Vancleave High School band will be there to provide music throughout the game. Money from the tickets sold goes to help build a soccer field for kids in Vancleave.

I encourage everyone to go out and support their Mississippi hockey team, because this is only a small testimony of what they have done for us. You can get a schedule of the games at the Mississippi Surge website. So come out and support YOUR Mississippi Surge!

Source: Mississippi Surge Webiste

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Peter Anderson Festival

In November on the Mississippi Gulf Coast the weather is still sunshine and warm, and in true coastal fashion we are still having as many events as we can. Well the Peter Anderson Festival in Ocean Springs is one of the last big events there is, and well worth it. It is ranked as one of the Southeast Tourism Society's top 20 events of the year, and it is all focused on the art. You can walk through over 350 vendors and find everything from vintage art to modern masterpieces. Just like how a small southern town should be, you can walk and socialize, look at art and socialize, listen to live music at Marshall Park and socialize, or just... socialize. This gives all of the talented artists in and around the area to get out and show off their stuff. I wanted to throw this plug in here since I referenced the festival in my last post.

Make plans to come out next year, but go ahead and pencil out the whole day, you will need it. For more information on the even go to Click the picture above to view more pictures from the 2010 event.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Billy Marter - OS Music Artist

It's been getting cold lately and everyone knows the bug has been going around, but that won't stop Billy Marter from playing at Mosiac Tapas Bar on Wednesday nights in Ocean Springs. The setting in Ocean Springs has always always been laid back and everything is within walking distance from one end of Government St. to the other. The atmosphere is welcoming and the music rings through the air from all directions. It is the perfect coastal small town with local artists that range from a holding a paint brush to taming a musical instrument, and in no way are they scared to perform. You can see that first hand during the Peter Anderson Festival, which drew in a said 150,000 people when it was held in November this past year.

Mosiac is just one of the many incredible food and adult beverage locations in Ocean Springs, but the only one that I know of that boasts over 30 superior martinis. During the warmer months there is an incredible patio overlooking the action on Government or you can duck for cover in the stage room and listen to one of the aspiring music artists.

Billy Marter is one of those artists. He is a singer, guitarist and a music teacher. He not only has a bachelors in music from the University of Southern Mississippi but a masters as well. He plays at Mosiac Tapas Bar every Wednesday night, and enjoys every minute of it. Never afraid to interact with the crowd and loves to take requests, challenging or not. He also has a gig playing at El Saltillo on Friday and Saturday nights from 6-9pm. Don't think that playing is his limits, he is also open to teach anyone the ways of the guitar, so if you are like me and have always wanted to learn, do it. Life only flows one way and so take advantage of the current.

I am a sucker for the blues, so I had to include this video. Good stuff!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Grass Lawn - Never Ending History

You know, if you really look at this picture and use your imagination, you can see some really neat things. Before there was Hwy 90 and beach running the length of the coast; when the salt water lapped on eroding grass and dirt, and livestock wandered through the fronts of homes scattered across Mississippi's original front yard; and from horse drawn carriages to Model T Fords and southern belles in wonderful Victorian gowns with their gentleman in top hats and canes. The history that runs through a home like the this one is endless.

Does it ever make you wonder how many times the same views that we look at now and find so beautiful were seen, untouched, by a man from the front porch holding whiskey and a cigar? What conversations were had, or life-changing decisions may have been made there? Some – perhaps many - might have even affected you. This is the energy you feel when visiting a home like Grass Lawn.

Grass Lawn, a Gulfport, Mississippi original, is located on East Beach overlooking the mesmerizing Gulf of Mexico. As old southern plantation type homes boast, Grass Lawn still has mighty oaks lining the way to the front door. It was originally built in 1836 as a summer home for a doctor out of Port Gibson, and was since totally destroyed by hurricane Katrina. After hard work and dedication, Gulfport had the home totally rebuilt: A symbol of going back to the way things were.

The house was constructed of hand-hewn pine and cypress timbers, and held together with wooden pegs. The 10 foot-wide galleries supported by two-story box columns were enclosed by wooden balustrades with balusters of triangular design—Grass Lawn's trademark.

The interior included three 20-by-20-foot rooms on each floor. The wide flooring was of edge grain heart pine. The mantels in the west rooms were of white marble and those in the east rooms, black marble. All were identically styled.

The original property included 235 acres of orchards and gardens. In 1905 after the property was subdivided, Grass Lawn was purchased by John Kennedy Milner who later became owner of the Coast Coca-Cola Bottling Company, one of the foremost firms of its kind in Mississippi.

Because of political, historical and architectural significance, Grass Lawn was placed on the national register of historic Places in 1972. It remained in the Milner Family until it was bought by the City of Gulfport in 1973.

Grass Lawn was the only structure in the United States of America that was granted that the National Park Service granted funding to make the rebuild possible.

There are not very many places you can come to gather, or even get married, and walk down the row of oaks to an absolutely perfect sand beach. So when you hear about the devastation left on that fateful day when hurricane Katrina made landfall on the coast, remember that once again people will have the chance to walk from that historic mansion to the Gulf of Mexico like so many have done in the past 175 years. Not all of the coast will be the same, but projects like this are what will bring that old fashioned style back to the coast. That really means something.