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Archive for April, 2008

Market Street Festival – Columbus, Mississippi!

April 9th, 2008

I’m craving boiled peanuts. Must be Market Street Festival time!

Every April my mind drifts to Mississippi, and to a town that seems to have adopted me. My first visit was for Discovery Networks, representing Animal Planet for CableOne. They were just launching new Discovery product, and my show made a great reason to sign up for cable.

The response was so big that CableOne has invited me back year after year, and this one’s going to be bigger than ever. We’ve got a bigger tent so everyone can actually fit inside, and the festival itself just keeps getting more acclaim as one of the very best local festivals in the entire South.

This year’s dates are May 2-3. A band will play Friday night and Saturday is the big street festival, followed by another great band jamming into the evening. I’ll be doing three shows outside CableOne’s location on May 3.

Columbus is a great college town located on the Tombigbee river, a lush landscape filled with heritage and history. The festival boasts some of the best food from the area, plus booths with all kinds of interesting things that I only seem to see at this particular event. The entertainment is always excellent, and I’m very pleased to play my part in that.

The folks at CableOne have become like family to me, and it’s great to be invited back to the big party. They pulled off a genuine miracle a couple of years ago after a tornado hit the town, getting cable and high speed internet back online in a huge undertaking. This bunch is really top notch.

My entire fascination with snakes began in Mississippi, in my great-grandmother’s back yard in Jackson.  That little Speckled King snake really created a cascade effect.

So if you’re in the Columbus area be sure to catch the show, but if you’re in Memphis, or Tupelo, or maybe Jackson or Birmingham – why not load up the family and make the trip? I guarantee – you’ll love it.


April 3rd, 2008

I’ve just been notified that I’ll be returning to Mobile, AL for The Gulf Coast Exploreum. I’m excited about this on three fronts. First, Mobile is very cool. Coastal frontage, estuaries, beaches, historic neighborhoods, great food and new friends I’ve made.

Speaking of the food, a buddy in Houston told me I had to try the West Indies Salad at a restaurant there – and it was excellent. Turns out it’s the ultimate local dish, created in Mobile in 1947 by Bill Bailey (won’t you come home) but the chef wouldn’t divulge a thing that was in it. Several tries later, and I’ve nailed it. Lump crab, diced onion, marinaded 3 days in a vinaigrette – you get the idea. Served on crackers – yum. But I digress…

Second, last year was my first appearance at this extremely cool science museum – and we packed the house. I’m delighted to be invited back the very next season. Maybe it’ll become an annual event!

Third, it’ll be the triumphant return of Capone. I adopted him on my way out of Mobile last year, so while his adorable mug has been on TV from Baton Rouge to Houston to Tyler since then, Mobile audiences have yet to meet him.

While I was there, a wonderful lady named Pam called the museum and asked for the snake man. I called her back and learned that her husband had died in a tragic accident a few weeks earlier. Capone had been his baby. When she asked if I would consider adopting him, I told her I would be honored. And it has been amazing having him in the family.

He’s full of personality and the cameras love him. Even people who really hate snakes always seem to adore Capone. Many a place he has visited has fervently requested that I leave him behind. He is also the only reptile I have ever seen who can do an actual trick. Performing it is a delicate balance between man and beast, but believe me – it’s mostly him.Capone

Anyway, I’ll be in Mobile from July 18-20, so if you’re anywhere close (Gulf Shores, Pensacola, Biloxi, Pascagoula) be sure you don’t miss the show!

Check out Exploreum’s Blog entry about it: