|13th Mobile Challenge of Champions
Open Division - April 1, 2005 at UMS Wright School
Invitational Division - April 2, 2005 at St. Paul's Episcopal School
Donna on the Side - before the meet
by Donna Dye
The Mobile Scene
This is the 5th year of Donna on the Side at the Mobile Challenge of Champions. During those years we've seen a lot of Mobile. We've been to historic downtown , the Spanish Plaza, Fort Conde. We've been out to the causeway, the battleships, the seafood restaurants. We saw the new government complex, the convention center. We've admired the Live Oak Trees. We've been out to the Bellingrath Gardens and Dauphin Island.
So what's to do this year? Well, we tried to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. But the only tickets available were the same time as meet time. Then we gave serious consideration to the Mobile Historic Home Tour but we thought trapsing around in serious thunderstorms was a bad idea and it didn't matter afterall because the event was cancelled for Friday and we couldn't go Saturday. Then we considered going to the Fairhope First Friday Artwalk. But we decided that was too far to go in stormy weather.
After all of this deliaberation, it was lunch time and we were hungry. Finally we figured out what to dew and headed for the Dew Drop Inn for the "World Famous Dew Drop Inn Hot Dog." Once there, Amy our upbeat and effecient server and 8 year veteran at the Dew Drop Inn, helped us make our selection.. While the menu is quite varied with sandwiches, Po Boys, dinners, seafood and daily specials, we settled for the hot dog, served with homemade chili, mustard, ketchup, kraut and a pickle slice and the Dew Drop Cheeseburger that came with homemade chili, mustard, ketchup and a pickle slice. Now, I don't eat hot dogs or cheeseburgers anymore. But I couldn't pass up these world famous delights that have been bragged about by such names as Jimmy Buffet in word and song.
Waiting for our lunch, we read the history of the Inn. on the menu. "The Dew Drop Inn has been a Mobile institution since 1924, when George L. Widney opened a little sandwich shop at 156 S. Ann Street near Government Street. Legend has it that Widney's restaurant offered the city its first taste of a revolutionary new sandwich called the hot dog. Widney was pronounced 'Hot Dog King' in 1939 article in the Mobile Press Register" In 1937 it was sold and relocated to its current location and away from an elementary school in order to get a beer license.
The restaurant boasts Jimmy Buffett as a fan. "Jimmy Buffett who grew up in Mobile and who writes in his Parrot Head Handbook that his 'burger lust was formulated' at the restaurant, which he lists first among the country's best cheese burgers."
We left the Dew Drop Inn to tour nearby treelined streets off Old Shell Road and Dauphin streets.
As we drove down Dauphin street, we came upon a Mobile landmark,the Wintzell's Oyster House.
A Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast was held Saturday morning. Motivational remarks were made by Bubba Crowder (talking) and Cornell Prince (sitting at head table). Bubba Crowder is the area representative of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Cornell is Minister at Destiny Center Church.
The Challenge of Champions gets good coverage in Mobile from the media including radio, TV and newspaper. Arthur Mack from the Mobile Register started the ball rolling with a preview article on Thursday. TV coverage followed at the press conference on Thursday and then at the Open meet Friday. On Saturday there was a radio show to preview the exciting Saturday events. The session was highlighted by athlete interviews with elite high school sprinters J Mee Samuels and Justin Oliver, competitors and friends.