Since writing about my upcoming move to the city of McMinnville several weeks ago, there have been two questions people have been quick to ask me:
1) Why in the world would you want to move to the city?
2) Which house did you buy?
The easy question to answer is which house we bought. Instead of boring you with complicated directions, I decided instead to just include a picture of our cozy new home (at right). It’s a little bigger than our current house so there might be a little bit of an adjustment period, but I think we’re going to love it.
As for why we’re moving into the city, there are many, many reasons. For anyone who has ever lived on a dark, country road, my first reason for moving to the city is fairly simple – better street lighting. Umm, well that might not be the best example at this point.
I can tell you safety is always a concern wherever you live and I love the peace of mind of moving into a city where there are two fully staffed fire stations for my protection. OK, so maybe not.
One thing I can say for sure is I won’t have to travel on so many of those bumpy county roads when I move to the city. I’ll have the privilege of driving on McMinnville’s well-maintained city streets. Oh, the joy.
Moving on to other items, I want to point to this week’s sign that we’re over pampering our children. It comes to us from the lovely state of New Jersey where 5-year-old Jesse Koczon recently made YouTube fame with over 1 million views for his crying tirade.
In the homemade video clip, Jesse is sitting in his car seat and crying. When asked by an adult why he is so upset, Jesse says, “Because I want to be the governor and I can’t because I’m too small.”
OK, so that’s all in YouTube fun, but here’s where the story gets weird. On Wednesday, the real governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, signed a proclamation making Jesse honorary governor for the day. Jesse even got to appear in a news conference with Gov. Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
Gov. Christie said Jesse may be a natural for the state’s top job. When the governor asked if he remembered what to do about property taxes, Jesse replied: “Don’t raise them.” When Gov. Christie asked what would happen if he did increase taxes, Jesse answered: “I won’t be governor that long.”
Hmm, I wonder what would happen if the governor asked Jesse this question: “What happens if you make a 5-year-old honorary governor and waste the valuable time of the state’s top two officials with a silly news conference?”
If anyone wonders why our kids have lost their motivation, this is Example A. We hand them everything and don’t make them earn it. If they throw a fit and cry, they’re made honorary governor of New Jersey. In the words of Charlie Brown, good grief.
opens new facility
It’s been about two-and-a-half years since Mandy Hagan Willis, DVM, started her large-animal veterinary practice in Warren County. She’s done such a good job, it makes sense that she build her own office where she can care for farm animals and even perform surgery.
Mandy has just moved into such a facility in the Morrison area on Finger Bluff Road that’s equipped with everything she needs to board large animals and care for them. I even got to watch her prepare a calf for surgery on Friday morning.
“This is more sterile than having to go out and perform surgery on a farm and depending on the type of equipment that’s available, it’s usually a lot easier too,” said Mandy. “If you have a sick animal that has to be treated every day for five days, and they live 30 miles away, it’s not that feasible to do that so they can stay here during treatment.”
Mandy wants to stress she still does farm calls and has no plans to stop doing farm calls. However, her new office gives her another option. “It’s a place where I can give more intensive care,” she said.
When it comes to large animals, Mandy has treated llamas, alpacas, sheep, horses and cattle. She’s the only vet in Warren County who treats large animals. She will also do simple things like give vaccines to cats and dogs but that’s about the extent of her treatment for those animals.
I had the privilege of watching her prepare a 4-month-old calf for surgery Friday morning and it wasn’t exactly what I expected. For starters, the calf was bouncing all over the place and wasn’t too pleased to be restrained.
When the calf finally succumbed to sedation, there was a great deal of rope work required to get it in just the right position for surgery. When you’re dealing with a 350-pound animal, it’s difficult to get it in the proper position.
If you’d like to give Mandy a call for your large-animal care, her number is 409-3178.
Chris Cope closes
Bridge Side Market
After eight years in the Mt. Leo area, Chris Cope has said goodbye to his popular business Bridge Side Market. Friday was the last day of operation as he prepares to move across the county to reopen Crisp Springs Market, a property he recently purchased.
“It’s been almost eight years in this area,” said Chris. “You meet a lot of friends and get attached to people.”
If you’re wondering how long it will take Chris to get up and running at his new location, he’s not expecting a lengthy delay. He told me Friday afternoon he hopes to be open this Wednesday if everything goes well.
The business will be much the same as it’s been at his two Bridge Side Market locations, although there will be a few new twists.
“We’ll sell gas, beer and lottery tickets and we’ll carry a little more on the grocery side,” said Chris. “And we’ll still have the restaurant side.”
For years, Morton’s Horticulture operated a successful nursery sales yard on Smithville Highway. While not wanting to manage a dozen greenhouses, Jeff and Donna Keith have undertaken a similar venture with their new business called J&D Produce.
They have a variety of fresh vegetables, vegetable plants, shrubs, trees, baked goods, canned items and even a few hand-painted mailboxes, birdhouses and flower pots.
“We’re going to buy our corn, potatoes and vegetables from local gardeners as much as possible,” said Donna, who many people know from her years at Chicken Chef. “As the summer goes on, it will get a lot better.”
Donna has put a great deal of work into making the inside of her building look nice. That includes painting corn stalks on the wall for country charm.
When I stopped by Friday, the fruit and vegetable selection included cucumbers, squash, onions, oranges, cantaloupe, apples and bananas. As far as the baked goods, there were pies, banana bread and brownies.
Donna says the plan is to have the selection continue to grow and that includes more flowers and nursery stock. The business is open Tuesday thru Sunday.
“We’re planning on staying here,” said Donna. “Hopefully a lot more little businesses will show up here and help each other out.”
She says that because there is plenty of space for more businesses to locate on the flat piece of property and because Old South Diner just moved in next door.
That leads me to my next item of business.
Old South Diner
There’s room at the old Morton’s Horticulture nursery sales yard for several businesses. From the looks of it, Old South Diner and J&D Produce are going to make a nice one-two combination.
“We’ve gotten business from people buying vegetables and hopefully they’re getting business from us,” said Bob Guckel, who operates Old South Diner with his wife, Izzy. “There’s a lot of traffic on this highway and it’s real easy to get in and out of this parking lot.”
Old South Diner has a menu of home-cooked food that aims to please. The cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans are all made from scratch and the Guckels also smoke their own BBQ, which is one of their specialties.
They offer traditional fare such as burgers and hot dogs, but there will also be plate lunches featuring meatloaf, ribs and fish and side items like green beans and mashed potatoes.
“We can do a lot of cooking right here at this spot,” said Bob.
The current plan is to open for lunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday thru Saturday. Bob says the hours are likely to be extended to breakfast in the near future, mainly because he can make a mean biscuit and gravy.
“I could eat it everyday,” said Bob, who added there will be a full breakfast menu.
The great thing about Old South Diner is you can phone in your order and it will be waiting when you arrive. The phone number is 743-0609.
finds new location
It was about 20 months ago, I told you about Robert Anderson and his new business in Newtown called Anderson Welding. Well the business is still going strong, just in a new location in Newtown at 835 Bridge Builders Road.
“We’ve relocated to a much bigger building to better serve our customers,” said Robert, who runs the business with his son, Bubba. “From ornamental metal to bulldozers, we do it all. If it’s metal, we can handle it.”
The new building has 14-foot high doors so even tall trailers can be moved inside for work. Bubba says trailers and lawnmower decks are two of the most common items they repair, although they can do about anything.
Robert says a common question they receive involves aluminum welding, which is something they can do.
“We recently made a big investment in an aluminum welder so that’s something we can do,” said Robert. “From walk-in repairs to actual fabrication, no one around here that I know of can do the work we do.”
Anderson Welding is in a much bigger building but it’s trickier to find. If you’re traveling from McMinnville, don’t take the first turn onto Bridge Builders Road. Pass it and take the first right after Billy’s Restaurant onto Bridge Builders by the 911 Center. From there, follow the signs. The phone number is 235-7514.
That’s all folks
Call with tips, 473-2191.