Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

Columbus is the Place For A Super Night Out

December 1, 2014


You don’t have to go to Atlanta or New York for first-rate entertainment.  It’s right here in good old Columbus, GA, and it costs less, a lot less.  In fact, a lot of it is  absolutely free.  Also, you don’t have to fight gridlocked traffic.

Ed  and Sidney Wilson, Jean McKee, Julie Bray, and me at Social.

Ed and Sidney Wilson, Jean McKee, Julie Bray, and me at Social.

Take Saturday night, for instance.  We had a really outstanding dinner at Social.  Of course, the good company played a large role in the enjoyable Social experience.  There were a lot of young people there, so they probably didn’t know that the building at 11th and Broadway was Lee’s Discount Drugs dating back to the 1940s.  I enjoy it much more as a restaurant and bar.

Bill  Heard Theater is all  decked out for the holidays.

Bill Heard Theater is all decked out for the holidays.

After dinner we headed over to Bill Heard Theater at the River Center to see Cirque Dreams Holiday.  It was sensational nonstop Christmas holiday fun as the performers did what seemed physically impossible to do in an artistic way.  The set and costumes were dazzling.  The dancing comedian, who engaged audience members in his act, had the audience howling. It was really great fun.

There are a lot more good live shows coming to the River Center and the Springer in the coming months,  and there is live music for every taste with a great symphony orchestra,  a college school of music second to none that features weekly, sometimes nightly, concerts with most of them free to the public, and there is the Columbus Community Orchestra and the fine Fort Benning Manuever Center of  Excellence Band.  Both of then have free Christmas concerts this month.

So, don’t sit around a mope when you can get out of the house and enjoy it all Tis, indeed to season to be jolly.

I Didn’t Know it was There

May 27, 2014
Green Mansion Restaurant

Green Manor  Restaurant

One thing you can usually count on when you take a  Columbus  Academy of Lifelong Learning, or  CALL,  trip is a locally owned, not-a-chain  restaurant.  While we didn’t eat lunch at a chain restaurant, we got a good  look at the home office of one. On our way to Atlanta to take a tour of the  Chick-fil-A Home Office, we stopped for lunch at the Green Manor Restaurant in Union City.

It’s not called Green Manor because of the ample greenery surrounding it, but because it’s named after the man who bought it in 1917, Dr. Albert Green.  His descendents still own it.  It’s a grand old mansion with 10 fireplaces, and things  like stained glass windows and doors.  The lunch buffet featured quite good Southern cooking, which you eat in style at tables with cloth table cloths.  All  in all it, was a satisfying dining experience. 

CHick-fil-A Home Office Atrium

Chick-fil-A Home Office Atrium

 The tour of the Chick-fil-A Home Office  turned out to  be a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.   The main building is a show place, with an atrium lobby that reminds me of the big, fancy Atlanta hotels. It also has an antique auto museum,  and two 1946 Fords, because Chil-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy started the chain in 1946 with a small diner called the Dwarf Grill, which was close to the now-closed Ford assembly plant under construction in Hapeville.  The plant opened and started putting Fords together in 1947.

1946 Ford

1946 Ford

You can read all about the Backstage Tour at the Chick-fil-A website.



Andrew, Me, and a Waco Biplane

May 8, 2012

That’s my step-grandson Andrew Champion standing with me in front of a classic Waco biplane right before we took off. The ride was a Christmas present for me and a 20th birthday present for  Andrew.  It was another example  of creative gifts provided by Ken and Katrina Champion, and my three other stepsons, Richard, Doug, and Mick.

Following pilot Bruce Dance’s instructions, I backed into the cockpit. After I finally got my long legs in, Andrew did the same thing to get his even longer legs in.

The big challenge of  the ride was Andrew and me shoehorning into the front cockpit which was quite roomy for one person, but a little  snug for two  adults. The pilot, Bruce Dance of Biplane Rides over Atlanta, who is also a flight instructor and crop duster, gave us specific instructions on how to back into the cockpit.  It wasn’t easy for an old arthritic guy like me and a young 6’4″ man like Andrew.  It was worth it, though. 

When one flies in an open cockpit biplane one really knows he is flying.  My stepson Richard, who is also a pilot, said that airline pilots fly biplanes when they want to fly for the  fun of it. 

The ride was a hoot.  We flew from Peachtree-Dekalb Airport, a general aviation facility that houses a lot of really expensive corporate jets, to  downtown Atlanta and back.  With the radial engine roaring right in front of us, and the wind blasting around us, we got super views of the downtown Atlanta area.  Bruce warned us to make sure we tightly held on to our camera straps.  “That wind will rip a camera right out of your hands,” he told us.  

Adding to the special experience was the 57th Fighter Group restaurant from where the biplanes operate.  It’s a World War II aviation themed eatery that’s a show in itself. Air Force memorabilia including pictures of WW II fighter pilots decorate it.  Even a trip to the “latrine” is entertaining.  There are sandbags along the walls of the hall leading to the restrooms.  Instead of background music being piped in, recorded speeches of Churchill and FDR were playing.  The background music in the rest of the restaurant was WW II era popular music.   There is a great view of the airport runways and the two biplanes stationed beside the restaurant, and the food is quite good.   

It was a fine family outing and I certainly recommend it for anyone  who loves  airplanes old and new. 

Stream of Consciousness

April 3, 2012

I have to hurry to get this in before  Monday is over since I pledged that I would try to have a new post by every Monday. I’m not thinking about any  single subject right now so I guess I’ll go with stream of consciousness.

I’m glad Dee Armstrong is doing the 6 p.m. news on TY again.  She’still good at it.

When I watch the candidates for  president rant on TV I am reminded of the old saw that “the outs view with alarm, and the ins point with pride.” That’s always true.

I wish Congress would spend more time concentrating on things needed to help our country and the rest of world and less on partisan warfare.

I wish state legislators would work more for the common good and less for lobbyists.

I wish there were an adult – no, I don’t mean pornographic – movie in one the theaters in Columbus. Well, there are a couple at the second-run Peachtree 8, but I’ve already seen them.

I wish Hollywood would make more adult movies, things like Midnight in Paris, The King’s Speech, and Hugo. Yes, I know that the star of Hugo is a child, but it’s still an intelligent, visually stunning  movie.

Chef Lee’s II is closed on Mondays I learned again tonight.

Doc Martin is quite entertaining.  It appears to be going on forever.

I’m getting sleepy so I’ll say good night.

LaGrange Revisited II

May 13, 2009

The memories poured back recently when I spent a couple of days in LaGrange.  Downtown  has changed since I was there,  but a lot is just like it was in 1950 when I was a 19-year-old radio announcer at WLAG.  My first major assignment at WLAG was to play Santa Claus and read letters to him. I faked a big deep voice and did a lot of ho,ho, hoing.  In my regular voice,  I also did  newscasts, disc-jockey work,  and commercials. 

WLAG, LAGrange

WLAG, LAGrange

WLAG is still on the air.  It’s an all-sports ESPN affiliate.  When I was there, it was a Mutual network affiliate.   It’s still on Broome Street,  but it’s across the street from where it was in 1950.  Standing where the old studio was located is the relatively new Promenade Parking garage that serves the downtown area.

Promanade Parking garage, downtown LaGrange, GA

Promanade Parking garage, downtown LaGrange, GA

 That parking garage and the rest of the downtown revitalization program has been made possible, in large part, by donations from the Callaway Foundation.   That foundation was established by Fuller Callaway, Jr.  in 1942 with a $1.5 million donation.  That $1.5 million, the only contribution ever made to the foundation,  has grown,  totally though investments,  to almost $200,000,000.

Main Street, LaGrange, GA

Main Street, LaGrange, GA

When we went over to Main Street, where more Callaway Foundation money has funded extensive renovations,  making historic old building viable for use today,  it looked a lot like it did in 1950.  There is a vast difference though.  Main Street now sports some fine restaurants. We tried Tulla’s Cajun Bar and Grill.  Outstanding food and ambiance.  

Another dining experience I would recommend is the Lemmon Tree, where we had lunch.  Best vegetables I have ever tasted,  and the corn bread is like “Mama use to make.”   

LaGrange 10 movie multiplex, LaGrange, GA

LaGrange 10 movie multiplex, LaGrange, GA

When I worked at WLAG,  I spent a lot of time at the LaGrange Theater, which was about a 20-second walk from the station. Among the great movies I saw there was “Twelve O’clock High,”  with Gregory Peck and Dean Jagger.  Jagger won the 1949 best supporting actor Oscar for his role in that one.     There is still a LaGrange theater at that location,  but it’s a lot bigger, sporting 10 screens.  Carmike Cinemas,  whose national headquarters is in Columbus, operates the multiplex, but even this was made possible by Callaway Foundation downtown revitalization money.  The city used the money to build it and leases it to Carmike. 

Callaway Mills are long gone from LaGrange – the late Fuller Callaway, Jr. sold the mills in 1968 –  but the legacy of mill profits that went into the Callaway Foundation lives on.  You see it everywhere in improvements that make LaGrange a nice place to live.  The latest beneficiary of that money is LaGrange College.  I’ll tell about that on a future post.