150 Years BOMB Series, Article #3, A Foodie’s Dream With So Much Seafood

Friday after I drove in from Lafayette Louisiana, I headed straight to the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay and didn’t really have time to grab a bite to eat. The cannon fire lasted until almost dark and I pulled out and headed for a Tacky Jack’s location across the island. Little did I know that there was one right by my condo. Did I go there? Nope I drove 40 minutes and wound up just getting in under the closing bell. I decided to sit at the bar, as it had a great advantage to watching TV and I was by myself. When the bartender approached me I told him I didn’t drink alcohol and just wanted water and the menu. I was hungry as a horse and wanted to savor the great taste of fresh seafood for the Gulf Coast.

 

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The Parking Lot at Tacky Jack’s

 

I asked the gentleman who I must say was very cordial, if I could have a Po-Boy with shrimp and oysters combined. They had both listed separately on the menu, but had no combination. Unfortunately he said no. I went with the shrimp and casually started to relax. About 10 minutes later he brings out this basket with the largest Po-Boy I had ever seen. It must have had 50 shrimp or more on the bun. In fact I had to ask for a large plate, that would hold all the sandwich. It was accompanied by a cup of horseradish, that you mixed ketchup with to create a kind of cocktail sauce. Then I took my first bite, Oh my God it was good. And surprise I was so hungry I completely forgot about taking photos so I could share this wonderful sandwich. I am doing this more and more it seems. I think it’s my age!

 

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The Patio and Entrance to Tacky Jack’s

 

Saturday I had coffee and nothing again during the day. I was too busy taking photos and videos at the event to eat anything and about 2:30 PM I got so hungry I left the event and again drove across the island to another recommended restaurant Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina, to grab a meal. The night before I asked what else was good at Tacky Jack’s and the bartender suggested I get an order of Crab Claws. That was right up my alley! I have loved platter’s of crab claw’s for most of my life.

 

Fischer's at Orange Beach Marina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina

 

I had an issue with the service and waited too long in my opinion. A young man finally asked if I had been helped and decided to wait on me. I ordered the Crab Claws and he proceeded to give me some of the best service I have ever had . Make sure if you go you ask for “Blake”. He is a great server and made up for my original server that abandoned me. The Crab Claws were unbelievable and I scarfed then down in under 15 minutes I am guessing. They were so good!

 

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Crab Claws From Heaven

 

Blake was funny and I asked him what his plan was after he discovered I had sons his age and was a travel blogger. He informed me that his ambition was to obtain a degree in Hospitality and then follow up with a Law degree or something to do with statistics. Then he volunteered his long term goal was to be the General Manager of the Dallas Mavericks and was dead serious. I couldn’t believe it.

 

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Lower Deck Dining Room at Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina

 

Everywhere I drove were additional seafood restaurants, but both of these were recommended for their quality. Both were in fact tremendous when it came to the taste and preparation of the food. I have no qualms reviewing either dining establishment and adding my name to a most favorable evaluation. When I go back I will make sure I visit these seafood houses and maybe this time I will get the full platter with all the trimmings!

 

 

***This trip was partially sponsored by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

150 Years BOMB Series, Article #2, The Personal Side of The Story

Right after I checked into my condo, The Dunes, Sunset Properties, I dropped off my luggage and headed downstairs to get to the 150th Anniversary of The Battle of Mobile Bay. As I exited the elevator I ran into these two wonderful people and learned their story. Their names were Maurice and Jo Richards and gladly told me they were from the Texas Hill Country Northwest of San Antonio. I thought it was fantastic that they came all the way to see this historic event and I asked Maurice the background of the trip.

 

His quote was “My daughter gave me the trip and David A Weeks was my Great Grandfather.  He enlisted (Private)  in the 1st Bat. Alabama Artillery in June 1863 and served at Ft. Morgan for about a year, then about May 1864 the army transferred him to the 21st Alabama Vol. Inf.  About July 1964 the 21st that sent him on detached duty to the 1st Louisiana Heavy artillery.  He was with the 1st Louisiana during the battle and when Morgan fell almost all of the 21st Inf. was taken prisoner. Since there wasn’t a 21st left, the Department of the Gulf permanently transferred him to the Louisiana outfit.  As near as I’ve been able to learn he stayed with them through the end of the war.”

 

Maurice "Rich" and Jo  Richards From The Texas Hill Country

Maurice “Rich” and Jo Richards From The Texas Hill Country

 

I was blown away that he had relatives that actually fought in the battle and his daughter thought enough of him that she gave him this very rewarding trip. They later dressed in period attire and I didn’t see them at the event somehow. I learned though, that many people came from different areas just to see where a relative fought or just to participate in the reenactment process. I learned that there is a dedicated segment of our population striving to keep the memories of the battles, the wars and basically our history alive.

 

Maurice "Rich" and Jo  Richards From The Texas Hill Country, in Period Attire

Maurice “Rich” and Jo Richards From The Texas Hill Country, in Period Attire 

 

Before the Naval Battle was to ensue I climbed many a flight of stairs and wondered all around the various parts of Fort Morgan. I had no idea that the State Historic Site was so large! One could almost get lost looking into all the rooms and peering out over the ocean. I was rambling along the wall overlooking the Bay, when I came across these two great people. William was taking a photo of Jessica and they were both dressed in period clothing.

 

As I was about to ask them if they wanted me to take their photo together, they spun and asked me if I would take their photo. I had to laugh as we were thinking the same thing. I struggled with their I-Phone and William helped me, as I took several photos. They told me they were from Biloxi Mississippi and sometimes participated in re-enactments. They had a great attitude and were both very hospitable. I just had to include them in my post!

 

William and Jessica, From Biloxi Mississippi

William and Jessica, From Biloxi Mississippi

 

The last day as I waited for the last round of cannon fire and watched as the infantrymen fired their black powder rifles I ran into Stephen Hinnart and Marissa Batchar from Pensacola Florida. Stephen stated that he participated in re-enacments at times, but had not signed up for this one. They told me they were Civil War buffs and couldn’t think of a better way to spend the weekend. Not your typical young adults. They were  enthusiastic, very respectful and patient with me, as I recorded their names and took notes. I told him I loved his beard and it must be nice to have color still in it. They were both great young people and gave this old man all the time I needed.

 

 

Stephen Hinnart and Marissa Batchar From Pensacola Florida

Stephen Hinnart and Marissa Batchar From Pensacola Florida

 

 

On Saturday night I while watching the nighttime cannon fire, I watched as this event staff person over and over had to ask people not to walk out into the field with explosives. Seems common sense to me. I decided to sit down and talk with Chistopher Kimball, as he told me how deep his love for the re-enactment proceedings was. We talked extensively between the rope violators (people who strayed onto the field of battle) and the explosives. He let me know that he was a 1830’s specialist and was really involved with the Seminole & Creek War Chronology and had a written a book on it. I was so enthralled to hear his story. He recently obtained a job, which has a library full of information below his office. It is on the next floor down and he is able to research additional facts, for a second book if I recall correctly, on a regular basis.

 

I asked him which side he “fought on” when they did the Seminole re-enactments on the Seminole reservation and he told me both sides. I was taken back, as that meant he had to purchase two sets of apparel and participate as needed each time. I asked him which was his favorite side and he told me the Seminole side as they always win. After all he said we are on their reservation when we do the re-enactments. I am guilty of getting so involved again with his story that I never got his photo. I can give you his web site for the book on the Seminole War with this link. Additionally if you use the code 3BSJY439 you will get a 15% discount.

 

In the end I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these people and many more that talked with me about their love for re-enactment and how they travel around the country appearing at various events and reliving history. I now have a great deal more appreciation for these people and their endeavors. The period costumes alone are rather expensive, much less all the travel, lodging and food they eat. In the end though, it is a passion and they are to be commended for participating in such historical re-enactments!

 

 

 

***This trip was partially sponsored by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

150 Years BOMB Series, Article #1, Cannons in the Evening

As most of you know I am somewhat of a history buff and appreciate our nations events and past. So when I was contacted by Global Marketing Solutions, who manages Gulf Shores and Orange Beach (Alabama) Tourism’s blogger outreach program, in regard to covering the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay celebration, I couldn’t respond quick enough!

 

 

This illustrious Naval Battle was an effort by the Union forces to capture the last major port not occupied by the Union Forces. Fort Morgan was on one side of the Bay entrance and Fort Gaines on the other side or entrance to the Bay. The actual battle transpired on August 5th 1864 and involved 5500 Union soldiers and 1500 Confederate forces. The Union Naval forces were led by Rear Admiral David Farragut famous for his quote “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”, as the battle commenced. The Confederates had planted torpedoes below the surface in an effort to destroy ships from the Union Naval forces.  The Confederate Naval forces were led by Admiral Franklin Buchanan.

 

Confederate Artillery Specialits

Confederate Artillery Specialists

 

The first night Friday August 1, 2014 was dedicated to the artillery displays, with several cannons re-enacting firing on the Union Naval Fleets. The cannon were fired with the primer, a shot, copper tube filled with powder, which was inserted into the gun’s touchhole with priming wire. Spiking a gun to prevent its use by the enemy was frequently accomplished by driving priming wire, into the gun’s touchhole and bending it with the rammer. Once the touchhole was blocked the gun could not be fired. At Fort Morgan, the touchholes were probably blocked with long, thin metal spikes which would have had to been drilled out, after the eventual surrender of the Confederate forces.

 

 

I was able to capture several rounds from the cannons on video and at times the blast literally shook you enough to make one stumble. I was glad to see that the event had safety in mind and kept informing all viewers to remain behind the stripes in the parking lot across from the area where the cannons were fired. Amazingly, many individuals still tried to walk right up in the middle of the action for a close up photo. One young lady journalist kept sneaking around to the side and trying to capture the flames as they exited the cannons. Every time she was apprehended and instructed to move back. Personally I would have gotten very upset, as she could have been substantially harmed and had no regard for her own safety.

 

Large Artillery Specialists

Large Artillery Specialists

 

It was my first exposure to the period costumes and the fact that many of the re-enactors follow a circuit and make many events each year. They definitely are enamored with this period of history and I was flabbergasted at the financial aspects involved in attending these functions and outfitting themselves. Sometimes they are asked to ensure they have uniforms or costumes for both sides, so double the cost in effect.

 

Volunteers

Volunteers

 

I was thoroughly impressed by the event staff and the quality and quantity of the participants. Authenticity was the word of the day. Most of the re-enactors would not have been caught dead with a outfit that didn’t fit the period or the time frame of The Battle of Mobile Bay. After the cannon firing Bobby Horton, a Birmingham, Alabama native performed Civil War-era music. He is known for his authentic Civil War recordings performed with instruments from that era.

 

 

 

***This trip was partially sponsored by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

 

 

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