Past Editions of "The Whitehursts' Dry Cleaning News"
In the world of fashion, the favored fabrics for pants have been dominated by cotton, polyester, and denim. Over the last few years, nylon has emerged on the scene as a popular alternative. Catching up with shirts and blouses, nylon pants have woven themselves in our daily lives from athleisure wear to high-end fashion for women and men.
This is due, in part, to the focus on sustainability due to the development of sustainable recycled nylon. But its popularity is also due to moisture-wicking, quick-drying characteristics which makes it an ideal choice for activewear, sports gear, and outdoor clothing, especially in the sunny South.
We’re here to guide you through the cleaning process with a gentle, fresh touch so you can enjoy your favorite pieces for years to come. Read More
Cotton and cotton/polyester fabrics are popular choices for pants due to their comfort, durability, and versatility. Various brands of Khakis, Chinos, and Jeans fit this category of cotton and cotton/polyester pants.
Here are some effective strategies to preserve the quality and appearance of your cotton-based pants, along with our insights and tips that will help you enjoy them for years to come. Read More
Cleaning an Heirloom Quilt: How to Keep Great-Grandma’s Masterpiece from Becoming a Washed-Up Disaster
So, you’ve got yourself an heirloom quilt that needs a good ol’ cleaning, huh? Well, fear not! I’ll guide you through the process. You can use these same guidelines for store-bought pieces that are not as delicate as Granny’s quilt, just with less risk.
Time for a critical analysis: Take a good, hard look at that quilt of yours. Are there any weak spots, loose threads, or signs of damage? Restitch any weak areas. You don’t want to accidentally destroy Granny’s handiwork, do you? Pay attention to those fragile areas throughout the cleaning process. Read More
While I haven’t made it to eight decades, I learned to appreciate my life experiences. When I read an article about life lessons from an octogenarian, I felt a need to share his lessons. Some of these might not be appropriate to some people today, but I still buy into them because that’s how I grew up.
Henry Cavill is a 39-year old British actor who played the role of Clark Kent in the 2013 Superman movie, “Man of Steel” and had lead roles in several other movies. Read More
Sherry told me that I made a bad odor.
I didn’t take it personal. After all, we’ve been married now for 53 years so she can call me pretty much whatever she wants.
She wasn’t saying that I stink. She was saying the dishrag I was using to wash the dishes smelled bad.
Fortunately for me (and most other men my age), my sense of smell is but another part of me that doesn’t work well anymore. The stench never caused my olfactory bulb to light up like it did Sherry’s, so I had to find a solution. Read More
“Spring” is not a dirty word except when it’s used with “Spring Cleaning.”
Spring means there is work to be done around the home. We have some tips to help you remove the dirt and stains in the Spring, starting with Upholstered Furniture and Draperies.
Since the fabric covering your upholstered furniture can’t be removed, you must clean the fabric while on the furniture. Cushions can sometimes be removed from their covers and cleaned. However, re-inserting the cushions may result in an improper fit. Read More
Ever heard the superstition that you shouldn’t wash your clothes on New Year’s Day?
According to the legend, if you wash your clothes on New Year’s Day you’ll be “washing for the dead” or washing a loved one away. This means that someone in your household could die in the coming year. No one wants to test out this legend so just shut down your washer and drying on January 1.
Once you get past the laundry chores going undone on New Year’s Day, here are some New Year’s Resolutions you can adopt to improve the success of your weekly laundry effort. Read More
With colder months rolling in, winter clothes are replacing summer and fall fashions and winter stains are replacing summer stains. Here are a few tips to consider when making this fashion migration – and how your stains will differ as we slosh through the winter.
Inspecting the Closet
After a long slumber, your fall and winter clothes need to be awakened and taken out of storage. Depending on how careful and attentive you were last spring when packing them away, you may have had some unwanted visitors over the summer months. You should check your garments for signs of insect damage. Read More
Does club soda really work on removing food stains?
Some people believe club soda is the ultimate remedy for instant stain removal. But is this true?
An in-depth study by Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (we are a member of this leading trade association), on the merits of club soda versus plain cold water in food stain removal. After all, club soda is merely water that has been carbonated using CO2 with minerals added. Read More
Ever wonder about the origins of the rule to not wear white after Labor Day? A little research to three different sources led me to a consistent story about this fashion conviction.
The most common theory says the rule was established in the nineteenth century by elitists to distinguish those with money from those without. Wearing white in the summer is a natural fashion decision as it provides a cooler alternative to dark clothing. But after summer, the well-to-do would leave their city homes for the warmer vacation spots where wearing white would remain fashionable. Wearing white after the traditional end of summer (Labor Day) represented that you could afford to get out of the city and vacation elsewhere. Read More
Think back to January when temperatures were chilling us with lows in the 20’s. You could hardly wait until the temperatures warmed up and summer arrived. Well, your wish came true. We’ve come through temps near 100° that feel like 110° with more to come. Elevated temperatures bring on challenges when caring for your summer attire. Here are some tips for these challenges. Read More
Does your grill have a crusty buildup of burnt-on mystery mess? I use a grill and a smoker a lot and mine need regular attention for several reasons.
The food buildup on your grill grates can affect the flavor. The mystery mess might be a build up of pork from that hunk of meat you smoked or grilled over Memorial Day. You don’t want that rib eye steak you’re gilling this weekend to taste like old pork butt. Read More
Maybe it was old Uncle Charlie or maybe it was Marmaduke. But someone peed on your bed and now you have the stink of an outhouse and the yellow stain of a diaper on your mattress.
Getting the smell and stain of pee out a mattress is not as hard as you might think. It takes a few steps but require tools and products you probably have at home. Read More
Since you have nice clothes, you need to care for them the right way. Here are some ideas to help extend the life of your wardrobe.
Clean Clothes Last Longer
I realize you may think this is a self-serving statement for us, but it’s true. If you clean your clothes regularly after wearing, they will look fresh and keep that look longer. Ground in dirt and soil act as abrasives and will damage the fibers. Stains that are not promptly removed will set with age. So you can help your clothes last longer and look fresher by cleaning them sooner. If you need help getting to your dry cleaner on a regular basis, use our FREE pickup and delivery service. Read more
When you drip some red white on your white silk blouse, what do you do next? To begin with, always check the care label. But sometimes that’s not enough when you’re talking about a favorite piece of your wardrobe.
Here’s the best advice I can give about removing stains from clothing yourself at home.
The first step in most every circumstance is to remove the excess spill immediately. Read More
Even though I was ten years old, I had been through my little league baseball try outs that was for eleven and twelve year old kids. They took a few ten year olds to fill in the teams. There was another league for ten and eleven year olds who didn’t get called up to the Bigs.
I made the big league as a ten year old catcher. It seems there was always a need for catchers. I thought that selection was the best thing that could happen to me. Read More
Who doesn’t love gooey, glazed doughnuts and “Mexican food with a southern soul?” If you live in the Greystone area, you might know where to find that combination.
Late last month, we moved our Greystone store to a new location behind Krispy Kreme next to Little Donkey on Highway 280 – just a couple of blocks west of our original location. This store offers easy access from both Highway 280 and Highway 119 – to the extent that getting around anywhere on 280 is easy. But once you find us, it will be easy. Read More
It was back in my day - spring 1958. I remember it well because that was the day my little league coach told me to put on the catcher’s equipment.
On that day, putting on that equipment, I felt special. It was like a coronation. That was the day I fell in love with baseball. I learned that the catcher should know where every player should be moving on each pitch and each hit. There’s strategy and teamwork in baseball. When played correctly, a baseball team moves as one - like a symphony. Read More
Details of my Christmases as a kid have leaked from my memory like water from a rusted bucket. I don’t recall a specific gift I received as a kid, although I know I received plenty. Trying hard to recall more details was asking too much for my sometimes feeble brain.
But the details aren’t that important. I remember the big picture, the important part, of the season – family, faith, and freedom. It’s not just about the guy in the red suit.
I’m sharing memories of my family traditions from my childhood and my early adult years. If you’re my age, you’ll understand these traditions because this is how many of us experienced the holidays back in my day. Read More
It was several years ago in the fall when we were invited to a cookout with some friends. The plan was to start cooking around noon and for us to show up with a good appetite. He (and his lovely wife, She) had a television outside so we could watch football games. He would have plenty of cold beverages of the adult variety.
It sounded like a perfect fall afternoon. We had a light breakfast so we would have a good appetite at noon.
When we got out of the car, the smell of smoke and barbecue was in the air. He said he had just put a six pound Boston Butt on the smoker. That’s not a huge butt in the universe of butts. I figured it might take a couple of hours to cook. Read More
Cooking at our house was mostly something to provide nutrition. Not a science or an art. Just good food. No complaints. Food was served. I ate it.
During the pandemic, I decided to take online cooking classes to learn the right way to cook. I needed help because my knowledge of cooking was limited to scrambled eggs and popcorn.
Along this trail, I learned a few really important things that I’ll share with you. For the rookie cook as I am, these were revelations. Experience is a great teacher so I thought I would share some of my new-found knowledge. Read More
As a kid, I grew up in a home that didn’t give hugs. We hugged our dogs but not the people in our family. That sounds pretty sad, but that’s just the way it was for me back in the 1950s.
I grew up in a home that was loving, but winning the lottery was more likely than hearing “I love you.” The funny thing is, I didn’t know what I was missing. My relationship with my parents was great.
As I was approaching high school, my parents taught me how to shake hands with other guys because that’s what guys did in the 1960s. Read More
She’s an attractive lady, a bit younger than me. I have known her for years and she’s always happy and friendly to everyone, even total strangers. She’s the person in the grocery store that a frantic guy would ask for help when searching for the right kind of lady product for his wife. But on that day, she had a distant look in her eyes. Read More
Ever wake up one day to realize you missed something?
This happened to me. The “something’ I had missed was not life-changing, like discovering that my wife is also my half-sister.
I realized I’ve lived without really hearing to the words of songs over my first seven decades. That began to change over the last year as my world slowed down. The pandemic, a personal health scare, and a couple of surgeries all combined to tell me to slow down and listen to a lot of things. Read More
Here I am, writing an article the day after Mother’s Day. We spent Sunday with the Mothers in my family (Sherry and our Daughters-in-Law) and I can’t help but think about my Mother, who died in 1998. She was a 4’11” firecracker. The alpha female in our house.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was constantly teaching me how to grow up. She did this not just by explaining what I should do. It was also a process of putting me in situations where I could experience things and learn from that experience. Read More
Motherhood is really about accepting the fact that you will be permanently worried for the rest of your life.
I received a text in March from Angela, our Crestline Store Manager. Her son is going through Marine basic training and she’s concerned for him. I felt her emotion. It woke me up two mornings in a row with Angela in my mind, so I decided to ease her pain -and mine - by writing this note to her. Read More
Spring has sprung and the flowers and trees are in full bloom. It’s gorgeous outside so I decided to head to the high school track for a few laps of walking. Fresh air, God’s artistry of nature, and some thinking time are a relaxing combination.
As I walked the track, the view from the far end overlooking the baseball field caught my attention. The pine trees past the outfield fence created a wall around the field that held so many memories. I stood there and just thought back to those times. As I looked
out over the field of green, my eyes moistened, probably due to pollen, I’m sure. Read More
Sweeping it under the carpet is not the way to handle the challenges you have in your life. For most of us, it is our first thought. It’s easier for a while because we make believe it’s not there. But as it sits there, it’s growing. And the longer we let it sit there the bigger and bigger it gets. Read More
About 15 years ago, Sherry said she was tired of cooking dinner every night. We had no kids at home. We just had to feed ourselves. That’s when we became professional diners and ate most of our meals at area restaurants.
When the Covid hit in March (Surprise!), eating out became more difficult and a bit risky. We ordered some take out and some delivery meals. We even tried some meal plans sent to our home. But there is a social side to dining out and we were missing that part of the experience. The food wasn’t as good that way with just the two of us. Read More
Can I be honest and personally transparent with you?
I’m generally an optimist and seldom see or feel the negative side of things. I’m not a person looking for what’s wrong. I’m happier looking for what’s right.
But since the Covid hit in March, things not always been right with me. I was feeling down from the isolation of our Governor’s “Safer at Home” mandate. We canceled two separate family Christmas events. We reduced the size of the family gathering at Thanksgiving. Some might say that we did the right thing because of the virus. But it’s been hard on a lot of us.
I guess I was experiencing a taste depression brought on by the events of 2020. Business was slow. Going to grandchildren’s events was out. I tried to shake the negative feelings, and sometimes I did. But not every time. Read More
I bet you know what it feels like to climb a tree. But do your kids or grandkids know about this simple pleasure if life?
You’re up there with the birds and squirrels. It’s a different view, a different breeze than safely on the ground. You dream about flying or jumping from limb to limb. Climbing gives you a different perspective on living - and a whole lot more. Read More
What have you learned from the people you’ve met? You’ve had lots of schoolteachers, but for this subject, they don’t count. I'm talking about all the other people besides those who were supposed to teach you.
I believe that everyone in your life was put there to teach you something. Some taught you knowing they were teaching you, the rest had no idea. They taught you by just being in your life and acting the way they did. From some of them, you learned how to act and from the rest, you learned how “not to” act. Read More
This story starts in late 1986 when Kathryn and Matt were only 2 years old.
Sherry and I moved in the house next door to Ann and Don Holmes in December 1986. That was the year of the Challenger disaster, Top
Gun was a hit, Mike Tyson won his first title, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were protecting the world, and the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl.
From an early age, Kathryn had a way about her to get what she wanted. It wasn’t by being forceful or demanding. Instead, she would play with Matt doing the things he liked with an expectation that later they would do the things she liked. Kathryn had a certain sass about her that, looking back, was evident even as a two year old. Read More
I think that quote is true. If you face your challenges head-on with the attitude that this is what life is made of, then you’ll conquer it. We are in one the biggest challenges in our lives now with the Coronavirus, certainly not as bad as wars over the last 75 years. But still high on the list of difficulties over that time.
What is life made up of? It’s made up of difficulties, challenges, roadblocks, hardship, setbacks, failure, or whatever you want to call it. Read More
It was a year ago that I had an idea of throwing a big celebration for our 50th anniversary on June 27, 2020. I wanted to make our anniversary celebration PERFECT.
We didn’t have a big wedding back in 1970. And the reception following the wedding was even smaller. No music. No fancy food or drink. Everyone just walked next door to the church fellowship hall, mixed and mingled a little and we were done. The menu consisted of mixed nuts, mints, wedding cake, and punch on that day in 1970. Read More
Thoughts and plans for retirement have been on my mind for a while now. My son, Mark, has been our General Manager for almost 4 years now and is well-positioned to take over the business. Truth is, he’s doing most of the heavy lifting now anyway. How nice my life would be if Sherry and I were retired and didn’t have the grind of the daily routine. At least that’s what I thought. Read More
Looking back to 1970, I took a risk and made the most important decision in my life. There are few decisions in life for anyone that are more important than this one. I made plenty of decisions in my life, as we all have. Career, starting a business, buying a home. All of those things are important, but none as important as picking a partner.
At twenty years old in 1970 Read More
Being isolated over Easter rather than with the usual family gathering, I was thinking back to my childhood for some more memorable Easter celebrations. One quickly came to mind.
It was back when I was maybe 10 to 12 years old. My parents always celebrated Easter by having a family gathering after church services. The gatherings included my parents, my sister, my grandmother and Aunt Peggy and Uncle Bill. It was the traditional Easter dinner - ham with all the trimmings followed by dessert, with a lot of talking while sitting around the dining room table. Read More
The best things in life you fact, it might be harder to get them if you have money. What in your life are you rich for? You know what they are. They might be hard to dig out, so I’ll give you a little help: your family, your friends, your spouse or significant other, your health, your moments of joy, your memories, your childhood, your career, those golf rounds, those quiet walks by yourself to contemplate life, the smell of fall, the joy of spring, the crispness of winter, and the freeness of summer, Read More
Here are four fundamental tips for caring for your clothes.
Clean Your Clothes Before Putting Them Away for the Season Perhaps the most important tip I can give is DO NOT put away your clothes
after the change in seasons without first cleaning them. Anything that’s been worn, even a little, has been exposed to the elements (dust, dirt, pollen) and perhaps food spills. If you have worn the clothes, it is practically impossible to not contact with your skin and, therefore, transfer body oil to your clothes. Read More of the News Letter
I think women have at least one extra sense that men can never understand. On the Friday before Christmas, I visited a local jewelry store for one last gift for Sherry. I was focused on a necklace and earrings. While looking at several different styles, I picked one up for a
closer look. It was nice. “Maybe that’s the one” I thought. Read More
Well into his 94th year, Bill’s gray hair was still holding tight, although often unkept. He wore the scars of life rippling through his face. He proudly wore his U. S. Navy hat recognizing his service in World War II. He was just as proud of his Dad and his Granddad, who were also sailors in the Navy. And I am proud of my Uncle. We talked about so many things over the last year as I kept him company in the nursing home. Mostly we talked about his life, his family, his sorrow and his joy. He was always positive, seldom wanting to talk about his struggles with the untimely death of his 30-year-old son killed by a drunk driver. Read More
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. ~ Andy Rooney
The smells, the colors, the sounds, the feelings, and the family are my favorite childhood Christmas memories. It’s the feeling we get on this day when everything around us slows down and we can focus on the things that are important. Read More
Andy Rooney once said, “I didn’t mind getting old, it just happened. If you’re lucky, it could happen to you.”
I feel that way – that suddenly I realize that I’m old. But looking back, it’s been piling up over a lot years. Read More
The hiring process for businesses today can be a hit or miss situation. Fortunately, we get some right. We always look for people who can connect with others.
As we were gearing up in 2002 to open our first location on Rocky Ridge Road, I hired Ric Pevey as our Plant Manager and his first task was to hire a Customer Service Manager.
That’s when Sheila Mims came into our lives. Sheila has a great talent for connecting with people on a personal level and that was, and still is, important to us. Read More
Nobody ever said that raising kids was easy. From teething, to potty training, all the way to teaching honesty, faithfulness, passion for others and love - parenting ain’t easy. But living with the chance of losing the children you have grown to love is torture to a parent.
Terry Hall, Plant Manager at our Rocky Ridge Cleaning Center, and his wife, Christy, have lived with Read More
Sherry and I have experienced a lot of ups and downs this year. It’s like we were running in an obstacle course and each time we conquered one obstacle, another was waiting for us. Read More
I played little league baseball as a kid. My coach saw me as one of the big kids and coaches put the big kids behind the plate. But I loved it. I was attracted by all the equipment. I was involved in every pitch and I was the only one on the field that could see the entire field. I even talked a little trash to the batters. That was fun. Read More
April 15, 2019: Tax Day. The day Notre Dame Cathedral burned. The day that Champion Cleaners at Greystone burned.
The Call It was about 9:30 pm and I was called from an unknown phone number and an unfamiliar voice. Read More
Have you known people who are truly independent? These are people who make their own decisions for their own reasons and can’t be swayed by others? In case you’ve never met someone like this, let me introduce you to Kitty, the personification of “independent.” I’ve known Kitty for about 20 years. She married my Dad in 2000 following my Mom’s passing in 1998. Unfortunately, my Dad passed away in 2002 but I continued my relationship with Kitty until her death this past December at age 95. Over those years, I learned she was kind, sharing, active, and quite independent. Read More
You never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives. Some people are on top of the world, and others are trying to climb up life’s ladder. And along the way, there are obstacles to overcome. Let me tell you about two people, Joni and Debbie. They both work at Champion Cleaners. Read More
I smiled and probably even laughed out loud when I heard a few months ago that my Granddaughter, Mary Katherine, was signed up to play volleyball for her 5th - 6th grade team in Daphne. You’ll understand my thoughts when you realize that MK is vertically challenged, like the rest of my offspring. Standing a little over 4 feet nothing, I was intrigued about her decision to play volleyball. Read More
I grew up in a time when perhaps the biggest advancement in technology was the lunar landing in 1969. I’m sure the technology getting us to the moon has affected my life, but I’m not sure how. Read More
He’s 93 and a veteran of World War II. A widower, his clock is winding down. He’s my Uncle. I smile a lot to Bill. I want to leave him with a positive memory between my visits to the nursing home. He smiles some but not so much anymore. Not many people smile at the nursing home. Read More
There comes a time in everyone's life when things change.
Whether is't changing schools, getting married or starting a new job, things change. Some changes are for the better and some are not. And some are just a natural progression from youth to adulthood (and the years in between). Read More
One of life’s disappointments for me is waking up on a Sunday morning each Spring and realizing it is an hour later than our body tells us. An hour in my life has vanished. Read More
Back in my high school days in the 1960s - following the last game of the season at Woodlawn High School – I pledged to myself that I would never, ever run again. I’d had enough! It wasn’t my strength. It wasn’t fun. Read More
Having three sons who loved sports and everything outdoors, it’s not surprising that we spent a lot of time around the water fishing and swimming. In 1997, we bought a lake house on Logan-Martin just to feed that passion with our kids. Read More
Ric Pevey was the first person I hired when we started Champion Cleaners 16 years ago. Over the years, I learned that Ric is one of the most positive people I’ve known and a great leader. It was an emotional time for me when he left us two years ago – an emotional flat tire for me. Read More
The sense of smell creates a lasting memory. The sweet smell of suntan lotion reminds me of the beach. Read More
Have you ever gotten the right outcome and you had no idea how it happened? Like slicing your drive on that par 3 into the trees and finding the ball on the green. That’s happened to me more times that I’d like to admit. Read More
Looking to get more from your work out – without spending more time working out? I was reading about compression clothes and decided that maybe I could get more done in the same amount of time just by wearing a new type of workout clothes. Read More
It was going to be a small memorial service, mainly family and the few friends of his who were still around. It was cold outside on that January afternoon. Read More...
A Saturday Night Memory
It was Saturday night about 11:00 when I was 16. I had been out with friends and I walked into a calamity at home. It’s been five decades since that night, but the memory is a part of who I am today. Read More...
Looking for the Good?
These are the typical headlines we wake up to each morning.
Bomber’s Past Revealed
President Tweets Again
Two Killed in Birmingham
I’d like to break the news that Everything is Not Wrong in this world. It’s not hard to find it. It’s all around us. You just gotta look a little. Read More...
If I Could Just Say Thank You
Having just come through Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, I was thinking about people in my life for whom I’m thankful. Of course, that includes my family, friends and co-workers for whom I am truly thankful. Read More...
It was the early 1960’s and my Mother knew I needed to develop my social skills so she enrolled me in dance lessons. Don’t laugh! Read More...
I Learned a Lot
It was a successful family owned business I walked into that day in 1989. The second generation had passed the baton to the third. And it seemed they needed someone with a financial background to come in a get their debits and credits organized. And the truth was, they needed the help. Read More...
Remembering a Southern Mom
I was talking to an attractive 60—something lady and a discussion of her early years flowed with her smile. Read More...
15 Years and Counting Happy Anniversary, Champion Cleaners!
I decided in 2002 to leave a perfectly good job and start my own business. After 32 years working for others first in financial roles and later in executive positions, I wanted to build my own business and be responsible primarily to my customers. Read More...
Friends ~ Ken and Dawn
You know you’ve made friends in your life when people from Birmingham, Ft.
Worth and Calgary fly to New York to join the celebration of your 70th birthday. Read More...
Born in 1925, the younger brother of my Mother, Bill is now 92 and still living by himself in an apartment in Homewood. He’s independent. And he wants to stay that way. But deep down he knows he can’t. Bill’s life is a chronicle of commitment. He’s been committed to doing the right thing all his life. Read More...
It's a Miracle- But Don't Tell Kathryn
This is all about Kathryn, a 30-something wife and a fantastic hairstylist. She built her business and had a good following of customers. She married Steve and adopted her beloved Franklin, a Cavalier King Charles. Life was grand! Read More...
If I had to live my life again
Wow! This is a good one! And it is so true. The people who get ahead the fastest in life are the ones who make the most mistakes. It’s the only way you learn. You don’t learn much from your successes--it’s the failures that really give you the schooling. Read More...
Bowling and Sweet Caroline
It wasn’t a surprise birthday party – it was a surprise on my birthday!
My daughter-n-law, Jeni, arranged a birthday party at the bowling alley along with 20 nine-year-old girls. But before you think this is getting weird, please understand that my nine-year-old granddaughter, Mary Katherine, and I share the same birthday so I was just joining in for her celebration. Read More...
A Family Secret
We’ve all got our family secrets. Mine was so secret that I didn’t even know it was a secret until a year ago.
My Mother, Jayne, died in 1998. She was an attractive, petite lady standing an inch or two under 5 feet tall. She was a small lady but she could hold her own against anyone. Back in the 1960s, a thug jumped in the car with her at an area department store and demanded her purse. Read More...
Thanksgiving and the Bucket List
We had never before planned a Thanksgiving away from home. We would traditionally enjoy the celebration at our home with whomever could be there. With multiple families to visit and sports for the kids, we aren’t always able to get everyone together for the holiday. Read More...
Creating Christmas Memories
As I was planning to write about my Christmas memories, I struggled a bit in coming up with any distinctive memories. Maybe I’m just getting older and maybe my memories have faded over time. Read More...
Have you experienced the “Fast Fashion Industry?”
Perhaps you came across one of the chain stores offering trendy-looking pants or blouses for $5, $10 or maybe $20. They look as nice as some of the designer labels you’ve seen in your favorite store costing much more. A whole store like this! Wow! Read More...
Measuring Up - Benefits of a Tracker
It’s crazy to think we can wear a device that will track our every step, record every heartbeat and even measure the quality and length of our sleep. But with technology of the trackers at our fingertips…or should I say on our wrist, this and more are possible.
Fifty years ago we would cry out about “Big Brother” watching us if someone besides. Read More...
Normal Wear and Tear
How we dress and the image we create with our appearance helps us in many ways. I’m a big believer in this. So when the Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network asks its partners to wear the official CRDN uniform at industry events, I’m all in. The white logo shirt and black pants stands out and impresses with a professional look. Read More...
That’s so from the”19’s”
Talking recently to Anna Beth, our 14-year-old granddaughter, commented to me about her phone. Naturally, it’s a cell phone through which most of her life passes. The subject of a telephone cord came up and Anna Beth said telephone cords were “...so from the 19’s.” She was referring to anything from past years with a 19 in front of it, like the year Ronald Regan was elected president, 1980. Read more...
A July 4th Celebration I Remember
Have you ever done something really stupid?
It was a July 4th holiday when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old - over 50 years ago. It was a lazy holiday morning when no one had to go to work or to school. My Mom and Dad were in the itchen having their first cup of coffee. Read more...
Looking For The Magic
Young kids view things differently than adults. Maybe the kids don’t have the clutter of daily life which lets them focus on what’s important or, at least, different. Maybe us adults just take things for granted too often. Read more...
The Doc and I
The dreaded annual physical is a time when we get poked, prodded and stuck, but all for a good cause. And since it’s not really fun, it helps to have a little humor injected during the process. Read more...
From the very first day we opened Champion Cleaners in 2002, our focus has been on quality cleaning and exceptional customer service. This wasn’t an accident. We didn’t just fall into that model. I knew that very few cleaners in the Birmingham area used that approach. This would be our way to be different from the other dry cleaners around. Read more...
Got Any Good’uns?
It all started with Sherry and a microwave oven we bought back in the late 1980’s. When Scott set off for college in 1991, we decided to donate it to him (and upgrade ours at home) so he could at least warm up some leftover fast food. Five years later when Scott finished college, he sent it back home where it sat in our basement for a few years until we decided to take it to our lake house. It worked well for many years…doing exactly what it should do. Read more...
It’s Just So….
Christmas is a magical time for kids. Our four-year-old granddaughter, Callie, had a wonderful time, jumping between gifts from the family, special moments at Church, and, of course, the special visit from Santa. And as we all know, kids will say whatever seems right at any moment. I thought I would share one of those moments…from what I believe to be Callie’s perspective Read more...
“We don’t meet people by Accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”
I think there’s truth in this quote because I’ve benefited from it several times in my life. Like when, at 14 years old, I first meet Sherry on a Friday night at an arcade in Eastwood Mall. And like when I was doing some work for Louis Henderson, who five years later in 1981, became by boss and is still today my mentor. Read more...
Barbie Dolls and Canes for the Fourth
Special moments in life don’t last long. I guess that’s why they call them “moments” and not special hours, days or weekends. The more special moments you have in your life, the more special thoughts you will carry over the years. Sherry and I had one of those special moments over the July 4th weekend. My son, Scott and his wife, Jeni, hosted the family at their home in Fairhope. Having a long weekend there along with my #2 son, Mark, and his wife, Jana, and all the grandkids…four girls and one boy, was great. It was great because we were all together for this weekend, at this point in time. Read more...
Dancing Girls vs. Baseball Games
There's a side of life that Sherry and I didn't experience while raising three sons.
But now with four granddaughters, we're getting a full dose of how the "other half" lives. We're experiencing softball, soccer, gymnastics.. and DANCING. Our nine year old granddaughter, Campbell, is really into dancing and gymnastics. She goes flipping through the hours head over heels like a Slinky walking down steps. And when she's not flipping, she's likely to bust a move from Dancing with the Stars. Read more...
Our Temporary Return to Child Rearing
It's been 12 years since we've had responsibility for a child living at home with us and 15 years since we had kids at home who couldn't drive themselves to school. So when my oldest son, Scott, asked us to take care of our granddaughters while he and Jeni were on a trip, I began having flashbacks. Read more...
A Salute to Wilson
Cub Scouts salute with two fingers to the forehead and Boy Scouts with three fingers. Our military salutes with four fingers always out of respect for authority. So why is it that a little white-haired lady in Liberty Park saluted our Route Driver, Wilson? Read more...
Happier Than A Dead Pig in Sunshine
Bertie was a country women, simple in needs and with a sharp wit. My Mother-in-Law passed away at age 90 5 years ago. She and my Father-in-Law, Homer, raided six great kids in a three bedroom, one bath house (which is a story for another day). Besides when she allowed me to date Sherry (for the first time on June 6, 1966,) one of my greatest memories of her was her way of saying things. She spoke with a common-sense "country" flair nurtured by her roots as a child in St. Clair County, Alabama, in the 1920's and 30's. Read more...
The Perfect Valentines Day
With no kids at home requiring routine and a home-cooked meal, Sherry and I are free to dine as we please. And since we dine out frequently, we describe ourselves as "professional diners." Valentine's Day is like Amateur Night for us "professional diners." And all of the amateurs clog up our eateries starting late afternoon on this sweetheart night. Read more...
Goodbye to Champ
Saying "goodbye" is something I don't do well. It seems so permanent. But I had to say "goodbye" to Champ because we lost him on New Year's Eve... one day shy of his 14th birthday. That's 98 in dog years. Read more...
Chaos and the Iron Bowl
Even though Sherry and I root for the same team, the night of the Iron Bowl I found us in separate rooms watching the game. You see, we were keeping Matt's 7 month old Boxer puppy, Bodie, while Matt was at the game. Champ hasn't accepted the new canine into his home so Champ and I retreated to the bedroom to watch the game while Sherry and Bodie watched it from the den. Champ enjoyed the retreat by sleeping. Read more...
A Funeral, A Wedding and a Christmas Gift
Two recent events occurred in our life. Both were celebrations.. and end and a renewal.
The usual emotion for me at a funeral is dealing with "goodbye." I'm terrible dealing with goodbye. I feel a similar emotion at weddings thinking about how people's lives are changing.. saying goodbye to how things were in the past. Read more...
You Never Know What Kids Will Say
Kids and grandkids have been some of our greatest source of entertainment. the things they say are so coated such honesty that even Abe Lincoln would approve. Here are two recent examples and classic from several years ago. Read more...
That Moment of Realization
It was just a small fire... a grease fire in the kitchen that didn't last too long and was quickly extinguished thanks to a properly working smoke alarm. No on e was injured and the visible damage was limited to the kitchen. It was nothing that a little paint wouldn't correct. Read more...
Don't Sniff The Boot
My oldest granddaughter, 12 year old Anna Beth, loves to wear her Ugg boots when the temperatures cool down in Fairhope, maybe for a month or two every year. In Fairhope, some days start out cool but sometimes end up warm. Read more...
What My Coach Told Me
Football is in the air! I can almost hear the band playing and smell the popcorn. It's a wonderful time of year. I can't wait for high school and college football to kick it off. Read More...
Leave it to kids to teach us new ideas... and expressions.
My 12 year old granddaughter, Anna Beth, and her family from Fiarhope were staying with us during her softball tournament here. Anna Beth has a real skill at saying some of the funniest things. Here's just another example. Read more...
So What Does That Make Me?
We just finished loading the car and were about to head south to Fairhope. Sherry and I were going to stay with our two granddaughters for a few days while their Mom and Dad were on a nice business trip. School, softball practice and games for both girls were about to put us back in the taxi business that we had retired from more than a decade ago. Read more...
My Wife...My Plumber
Sherry unclogged that drain with the skill of a master plumber. Fishing down the drain for less than a minute using nothing but a coat hanger with a special little crook with a twist in the end, she pulled out a lump that she first thought was an old mouse. thankfully it wasn't an old mouse...it was a...Read more...
The Puzzle of the Perfect Prom Dress
Prom season is just about on us so all of the lovely ladies will be looking for the perfect prom dress. I bet if I did a survey about what to look for when picking out a prom dress (besides not getting one that anyone else will be wearing at your prom), here are the three most important decisions you'll have to make:
The Look - this includes the color and style of the dress
The Fit - a dress must fit right in it won't make the cut (but our alterations seamstress can help with that)
The Cost - while all the lovely ladies might not care about the price, I suspect Mom (and sometimes Dad) might care
After these BIG 3 decisions are made...and before pulling out that credit card, do one more thing to solve the puzzle: Take a look at the care label. Read more...
The Dusting of 2014 - Stories from Champion Cleaners
Cars abandoned in the middle of the highway. People seeking shelter from the weather in the same cars or trudging through the snow and ice to get home or just to find and safe place. Scenes from the "Dusing of 2014" reminded me of the post-apocalyptic science fiction television drama, "Revolution." Read more...
Who Would You Rather Hunt With?
“I saw the brush rustling and a huge 8-point buck stepped out of the woods about 100 yards away. Louis said ‘Don’t wait long to take your shot.’ So I aimed, took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger. That buck walked a few steps and went down.” That’s how Anna Beth, my 11-year old granddaughter, described her hunt. Read more...
Sometimes It Doesn't Pay To Plan
I’ve always been a planner. I like to know at the beginning of the day exactly what and when I’ll be doing the things I want to do that day. That doesn’t mean that I will do exactly what I planned because I’m OK with changing plans. Good thing!
My Thanksgiving Day Plan. Read more...
A Parent's Revenge
Raising children is a huge responsibility made difficult because the child is the teacher.
We all try to raise our kids to play fair and by the rules. But most kids don't play by the rules. Heck, I'm not sure the kids actually have any rules short of survival and not losing television and video game privileges. Read more...
The Single Biggest Mistake in Clothing Care
Well, I did it! I own a dry cleaner and I made the single biggest mistake possible in clothing care. Read more...
A Camel, A Wife and Popcorn
Have you ever seen a commercial that you can’t get off your mind, usually because it’s so funny or it hits close to your thoughts? Companies spend huge amounts to get you to remember who they are and what they do. The latest one for me is the “Guess What Day It Is” commercial with the Camel. Read more...
Where Did I leave It?
Maybe I've found the secret to my personal well being...both mentally and physically. It's not the Fountain of Youth...but it might be as close to theat as I can find. I've mentioned before about the book, Younger Next Year, that explains the benefits of workouts to get your heart rate up and how this helps your body repair itself...and by doing so your body can become "younger next year." I'm a disciple of the concepts in this book today. Read more...
My Heros Are Still Named David
When I was a kid growing up in the 1950's and '60's, my hero was Davy Crockett. I thought it was really cool that I shared my name with a true American hero. I even had to get a coonskin cap of my own. With the Walt Disney show in the mid 1950's about Davy, he was the one I wanted to be when my friends and I played in the woods. Read more...
The Shortest President
My 9-year old grandson, Mason, is a reader with a trap mind. He loves books and loves facts...and he remembers them. For example, he memorized the NFL teams by conference and division within the conference. When he had dinner at his favorite restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, he even found an error on their napkins listing a team in the wrong division. I've learned it's fun to test Mason's knowledge but you're probably going to lose the argument if he disagrees with you on a subject that he studied. Read more...
Fair Only Comes Once A Year
Sherry and I took another trip to Fairhope to spend time with our son, Scott, our daughter-in-law, Jeni, and their kids. We combined a softball game for 5-year old Mary Katherine, several games in a softball tournament for 10-year old Anna Beth, followed by Mary Katherine's dance recital. A busy weekend indeed. This time of year such a scene is played out by countless families. Read more...
The Strength of A Mother
With May 12 being Mother's Day, I was thinking back on my childhood and how may Mother influenced my life. She's been gone 15 years now but her influence is not.
My Mother was small in stature at under 5 ft. tall. But she had... Read More
A Month of Ups and Downs
Life at my home for the last month has been a series of ups and downs...literally. Let's Go Skiing; Let's Do Something Safe; Up and Over; The Rest of the Ride; Molly Read More
A Quick Trip to Cancun - Dealing With The Little Things
Sherry and I took a trip to Cancun, Mexico last month for some timely continuing education. Sure, I now how I sacrifice to learn more for YOU about the dry cleaning industry. But as they say, “Somebody has to do it.” I guess it was our turn. Read More
Lessons from a Legend - Coach Sammy Dunn
I know that James Spann may not agree but it’s early spring to me. Every year about this time I start thinking about the early spring flowers pushing up through the winter mulch...and recalling the great memories Sherry and I have about our kids playing baseball. For so many years our lives revolved around our kids and baseball. Read More
The New Year - Time to Commit to Get Fit
If you read the book I mentioned in October, Younger Next Year, you understand the need for continuous exercise in your life. I think we all know that aerobic exercises like running, walking, biking are helpful for a long and productive life. But doing exercises like weight lifting, Pilates or Yoga is important to help keep us mobile and improve our quality of life. And you can’t start too soon...or too late! Read More
Good Scrooge - Bad Scrooge
I was due for an upgrade of my cell phone about the time the new iPhone5 came out (really cool technology). So I met with Champion Cleaners customer, Cliff Lumpkin, a Verizon Rep, at the new Verizon store on Highway 31 (the old Johnny Ray’s BBQ location ). I didn’t realize that I would be meeting Ebenezer Scrooge. Read More
The Shortest 10 Years of My Life
At 6:30 am on November 14, 2002, we opened the doors at Champion Cleaners for the first time. To throw a few cliches at the subject, the "time flashed by," "it seems like only yesterday," and "don't blink." They all apply. But when Ric Pevey, Sheila Mims and Cindy Palmer showed up for work at our brand new dry cleaners in 2002, I was excited. Read More
Younger Next Year
Great friends of mine, Will and Carolyn, gave me a book last month that really resonated with me. The book, Younger Next Year, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., sets out a path for your to improve your life into your 50s, 60s even into your 80s. It's a funny, easy read and not overly-technical. For some people, it can even be a life-changing experience. It was first published in 2007, so maybe this is old news to you. But Sherry and I so enjoyed the book that we shared ideas. I think it's worthwhile for everyone to read... Read More
What's Your "Dream Come True?"
I believe you should always think about living in your own "Dream Come True" life. Sure, no one can spend all of their time living the dream. After all, who would want to spend more than a year living in the Greek Isles, anyway (yeah, right!)... Read More
What I Learned As A Little League Coach
A couple of week ago, Sherry and I headed to Theodore, Alabama for a softball tournament involving Anna Beth's (our granddaughter's) 9-10 year old team out of Fairhope, Alabama. It was fun to watch. Being able to watch her softball games made me think about my years coaching the kids... Read More
Baby Girls...and A Brother
One of the real benefits of "gaining life experience" (aka getting older), is enjoying your kids raise their kids. Sherry and I just came back from spending five days in Ft. Walton with my son, Mark, our daughter-in-law, Jana, and their three kids, Mason (8), Campbell (5) and Callie (6 months)... Read More
Café Iz Is Special
It's no secret that I love the offerings of Café Iz down the street from my Rocky Ridge Dry Cleaning Center. They are a top flight bakery...and much more, including an outstanding catering business and light lunches and dinners that are delicious... Read More
Sherry said, "Stop with the stain articles!"?
My wife of almost 42 years told me to quit writing about stains. She said that "...stain removal was what we handle for everyone at Champion Cleaners, so you should write about other things." So as any good husband would do... Read More
Another Stain in the Dirty Dozen -Tomato Based Sauces
Here's a very special technique that can help you remove tomato-based sauce stains from your clothing...unless, of course the care label says "Dry Clean Only." This tech-nique will work on barbecue sauce, steak sauce, ketchup, tomato sauce or paste stains... Read More
Those Pesky Wire Hangers...How About Recycling?
They pile up on closet floors, laundry room racks, the garage, basement…wherever… and after months of holding up clothes, they end up in an ugly, tangled mess. How could they possibly be good for anything? If you're like most Americans, you simply toss your hangers in the trash and forget they've ever existed... Read More
What Everybody Ought To Know About Cleaning The Perfect Dress Shirt
When I talk to new customers, a frequent reason they changed dry cleaners is because the shirts they were having cleaned and pressed were often dull and dingy. We have heard this so many times that our General Manager, Ric Pevey, began test-ing for the right formula for producing the perfect dress shirt... Read More
David Whitehurst's Dry Cleaning News