Tuesday, February 27, 2007

With a banjo on my knee

That's my whimsical response to the question "Are y'all still going to Alabama?" Indeed we are, and with alacrity.

My family and I will relocate to the Birmingham metro before mid-April, and rather than waiting until the night before the moving vans pull up, I wanted to impose upon you now. If you are one of those in the Birmingham area who frequent TBR (sounds official, doesn't it?), we need your help. Even if you're not there now, but know about the area, we could use your input as well. While my wife is more familiar with the area than I am, neither of us knows nearly enough about, for lack of a better term, "the best of Birmingham."

Is Hoover High School all it's cracked up to be? Where do you get good barbeque? What are some good Southern Baptist churches to visit, and how do they celebrate Easter and Christmas? (For the record, we've had friends recommend Gardendale's First Baptist--which we've visited, really enjoyed, and plan to visit again--along with Brook Hills, Hunter Street, and Valleydale.) Where's a good dry cleaner? Know any good babysitters? What's the best grocery store chain? How much more fun are Birmingham's golf courses than those in Memphis? Does anyone down there really use the abbreviation "B'ham"? Auburn, Alabama, or UAB? Oh, yes, and this one... Do you folks really still refer to it as "The War of Northern Aggression," or is someone just yanking my chain?

As you can tell, we're loaded down with questions--most of which I haven't listed, and probably don't even know to ask. Whether you'd like to respond in the Comments section or via e-mail, please respond. We're making our final house-hunting trip very soon, so Moving Day can come at virtually any time the Lord sees fit to orchestrate, and He's already made it clear we'll be there by Tax Day.

One other matter, of a very personal nature: I need a gig down there; freelancing's been interesting, but I could do without it. Networking has, to date, been slow yet productive; if you're connected to anyone in radio broadcasting or commercial production work, that's been my bread-and-butter since 1989, and I'd appreciate an opportunity to hook up. Or if you know anyone who could use a snarky blogger to do some writing, just let me know. Additionally, I act, teach Christian theater, and write plays; if you know of a Southern Baptist church (perhaps even one of the ones I listed earlier) that could keep me busy in those areas, I'd be obliged.

Cast a broad net, so the saying goes.

The broth for the "Bratton family stew" has been percolating for awhile, and it's now at a rolling, noisy boil. If you can toss some ingredients into the pot, to make the stew a bit more tasty--

Sorry. That analogy got away from me. Let's try that again.

We're ready for the next chapter in our lives, and if you can pass along any suggestions to make the transition easier, we would appreciate it.



Amy said...

Do you folks really still refer to it as "The War of Northern Aggression," or is someone just yanking my chain?

Actually, I was raised to call it the longest cease fire in the history of the world. ;)

If you haven't been house hunting yet, let me know. My neighbor is moving to Birmingham in June and is there all this week looking at schools, houses, etc...

Mike Bratton said...

Actually, Amy, we've made a couple of house-hunting trips and have been blessed to find a marvelous home--we're closing on it at the end of this month.

We've also had to do boatloads of research from everything to schools and neighborhoods to cable and cell-phone providers, so if your neighbor isn't too far along in the process, I'd be happy to share the information we've compiled so far--or compare notes.

"Cease fire"... Heh heh heh... Is that Charlie Daniels' "The South's Gonna Do It Again" I hear in the background? :)


Amy said...


When Amelia gets back I'll share what she knows and needs, and ya'll can go from there.
If I think of anymore "civil war" references you need to know I'll post them - I don't want you to start off on the wrong foot down there. I go to GBC (always have, not a former BBC member) and the Yankees burned down our first church when they occupied G'town So the old historic building is really our second building. They also burned down G'town Methodist, but the commanding officer was a Presbyterian so their original building remains. A