I have never gotten the full story on what happened, but rumors abound that the Cobb County government had done a poll on what would capture the interest of today’s youth, and the results showed that watching two mules plow in a field had beaten playing with their Nintendo by a large margin.
Alas, the project tanked before it got started because no one was willing to come up with the money for necessary renovations to the farm, including pushing over a couple of outhouses. Outhouse demolition can be very expensive.
The incident has impacted Jack more than Jill. Jack is very bitter and vows never to fly Delta Air Lines because he believes Bob Ott, a county commissioner and a Delta pilot, didn’t do more to defend them. Jill has tried to get her brother to understand that it didn’t matter what Commissioner Ott might have done or not done. Delta has a firm policy against mules flying on their airplanes. The airline evidently had some bad experiences with mules in the past.
The two keep up with current events in Cobb through the MDJ’s website and have been following closely the proposed move of the Atlanta Braves to the county in 2017. In fact, that was the reason for their call.
Jack got on the line first and asked if I knew anyone who worked for the Braves. I told him I knew a few of the people. Jack said I might want to inform them that they had better read their Memorandum of Understanding carefully, because it would be just like the Cobb Commission to decide after a year or so that they didn’t want the team around anymore and then sell them and move them to Montana or Canada or wherever.
I told Jack I didn’t think that would happen, but I would be sure and pass his comments along to any of the Braves officials who might be involved in the negotiations and who wanted to get a mule’s perspective.
I said it is my understanding that the team is already planning to clear the land where the stadium is to be located. Jack laughed scornfully and said wait until they find out that there are outhouses on the property and see what happens then. I wanted to tell him that since the site is in the Cumberland/Galleria area, I doubted seriously there were any outhouses around, but it is best not to be argumentative with Jack when he is in one of his moods.
Jill said she had read that financing the stadium seems to have brought about some controversy. I said I wasn’t involved in the process, but I would be surprised if the Cobb commission hadn’t figured out ahead of time that there would be opposition but were confident that they would ultimately prevail in the bond validation hearings.
I could hear Jack yelling in the background he had heard that story before. He said he and his sister had also been assured by the county their gig at Hyde Farm would prevail and now they are freezing their fannies off in Montana or Canada or wherever they are.
Jill said her biggest disappointment is that they were asked to leave Cobb County before they had even unpacked their yokes, but that no one came to their defense. I told her frankly defending two mules from Alabama wouldn’t get you near as much publicity as protesting a major league baseball team from Atlanta, and that a lot of the usual suspects remonstrating over the Braves move need media coverage like a moth needs a porch light. Jill said she hadn’t thought of that but it made a lot of sense.
As we winding up the conversation, I told Jack and Jill I make a number of speeches around the county and it is rare that someone in the audience doesn’t inquire about them. Jill said that was heart-warming to hear. Jack just scoffed. If folks are that interested in us, he growled, why don’t they come to Montana or Canada or wherever we are and freeze their fannies off with us? It is obvious that Jack is still very angry. That’s why I didn’t want to tell him there are no outhouses in the Cumberland/Galleria area. It would just make things worse.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139; online at dickyarbrough.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dickyarb.