Saturday, September 21, 2013

O'zapft is!

Don't rush into the Halloween season just yet, y'all.

It's time for Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest began in 1810 as a horse race to amuse the public on the occasion of a Bavarian royal wedding. Wars and cholera epidemics have meant that Bavarians haven't always gotten their annual fill, but the land of plenty has managed to celebrate Oktoberfest 180 times in 203 years. Past Oktoberfests - the largest celebration of its kind in the world - have seen as many as 6 million "Masse," or liter beers in the Bavarian dialect, guzzled.
In the words of Ude, and two centuries of mayors who have preceded him (and surely whoever will replace him next year), "O'zapft is" - it's tapped.

And, of course, keeping with custom, SIGIS will be doing some serious Oktoberfest celebration and posting!

Tobegin, you should acquaint yourself with the Oktoberfest translation guide:

"Mehr bier, bitte!"

Here we go.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Guess What Time it Is?

Tomorrow is the start of Oktoberfest in Munich; it's my favorite holiday!  Who can't get behind a festival for beer, now, really?!

One day I'll get to Munich to see it, or even to Choctaw, Oklahoma, who puts on a pretty darn good festival:

Short of all that, I am planning to attend this years Oktoberfest at Barksdale Air Force base - the sixth year in a row.  For six years Steve and I have been the first to come and the last to go at the BAFB celebration!  Even better, it's for a great cause:  Operation Bright Holiday, which brings airmen home for Christmas.

If you have base access, plan on attending.  I promise, you'll have a great time!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Barksdale Mourns Loss of Hangar 2 "Bar Guard"

I think the first time I met Joy Morgan was the night she jumped over the bar at Hangar 2 to pull some "GI" off a table before he hit his head on the racks of beer mugs hanging from the ceiling, thus confirming her title of "Bar Guard."

That's Joy on the left.

She's a little bitty thing with a huge heart.

Hangar 2 is located on Barksdale Air Force Base and is where many a "GI" has been fed, mothered, and whipped into shape by a feisty Thai lady with a heart of gold.  It doesn't matter what branch of service you were in, how long, or of what rank, you were "GI."  Oh, the ranking officers were certainly shown proper respect and decorum, but Joy taught all the younger ones the ropes.

Steve and I used to go to Hangar 2 nearly every Wednesday and/or Friday night; Wednesday was steak night and Joy would make her famous Thai beef salad  -- if you didn't overcook your steak.
 If you cooked that baby too long she would ream you out and take no responsibility for the condition of your Thai salad.  But the Thai salad, with a rare piece of steak sliced very thin, was just fabulous.  Joy brought fresh tomatoes and mint from her garden to dress it up, and cucumbers in season.  All you had to do was cook your steak on the grill outside, bring it into the bar, and Joy would deftly slice it up, gold bangles jangling on her wrist, long lacquered nails flashing as she sliced.  Then she would toss the steak with her combination of salad fixings and Thai seasonings, set it on a bed of fresh lettuce, and put it all on a helping of steamed rice.  Just heavenly.

If you didn't order your salad "spicy," Joy felt some pity for you.  One regular ordered hers "mild" every week and Joy would say, "She can't handle the hot...poor thing!"

Friday nights were always crowded and often filled with good music from Larry the DJ, dancing, and good times.  We would often sit outside the back door with Joy and some other regulars while Joy would smoke and have a shot of something.  We'd listen to the kids yelling from the pool next door, hear the big B52s roaring overhead, and talk, just shooting the breeze, laughing, joking, and feeling fine.  Good times.

Hangar 2 sponsors Joy's Mug Club where you can buy your own large beer mug, have it engraved with the design of your choice at the Hobby Shop on base, and hang it at the bar.  I can promise you, up to her final days, Joy could tell you where your mug was hanging.  There are hundreds of mugs hanging in that place, and she knew exactly where yours was.  Always.  No matter where you were from, how long you had been gone, or how many times you had been to the bar, she knew where your mug was.  You were special.  You were home.

A couple of years ago Joy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Steve and I went in the Hangar
one night and the gloom was palpable; it was like the life had been sucked out of the place.  Everyone was sad.  Soon after, a jar appeared on the bar for donations for Joy, and it was always full.  She recovered and returned to work.  Amazing.

Steve and I sat up there many nights with her, trying to help out, insisting that she sit down, bucking her stubborn streak to try and lift kegs or bags of trash.  Her friends stepped in to help; Tay took over helping on steak night.  Rose organized visits and dinners to Joy's house to keep her spirits up.  Steve vacuumed that bar I don't know HOW many nights so Joy could leave and go home earlier.

Once there was a litter of stray kittens under the deck at the Hangar.  There were some who were determined to call the pound, trap the cats, and get rid of them, but not Joy.  Joy slipped bowls of food under the deck and bowls of water for them.  The cats were feral and wouldn't let anyone near them, but they eventually let Joy take care of them.

Just like the airmen.

And the naysayers caved; nobody wanted to cross Joy.  The cats stayed.

She was a nurturing soul.

Heart of gold.

Heaven got a new angel last night.  Her wings and halo were waiting on her; she'd already earned

If you knew Joy, her funeral service will be at 2:00, Saturday, at Hillcrest.  No flowers; her husband request all donations will go to St. Jude Children's Hospital.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Find O

A local family is missing their dog and needs your help finding him.

Meet "O" the pit bull.  "O" has been missing from the Haughton area since July 9, and not willing or able to give up on him, owners Heather and Kyle are still searching high and low for their beloved pet.

Here is their flyer:

$5000 REWARD! 

Lost male 1 yr old blue Pit Bull "O man" missing from Burns Cemetery Rd off Hwy 157 in Haughton, LA on July 9.May have been stolen, so may be with someone--please take a picture if you think you see him. Short and built like a bulldog with clipped ears. HE IS NOT AGGRESSIVE! Please grab him if you see him or follow him if he won't come to you; call Heather at 318-465-1130 or Kyle at 318-453-6007. He desperately needs his medication! Please help!

KTBS did a spot this week on the importance of microchipping and featured O in the story which you can read here: - Shreveport, LA  News, Weather and Sports

And this from O's Facebook page:
Distinguishing features:  HUGE head, tiny clipped ears, huge paws-flat like an alligator. wrinkly face, all black toenails, regular length (undocked) tail, bowed front legs, white on the tips of his two middle toes on one front foot and one back foot--other feet are solid blue (dark gray/dark silver). The white on his chest starts at his armpits--no white on his neck or face. He is very low to the ground. I realize some of these characteristics may have changed due to weigh loss. He may appear brown or even black if he is dirty. I've heard horror stories of people trying to disguise dogs by bleaching spots on them, cutting their tails, etc. Also he may or may not have a collar or even a microchip registered to someone else. He could have even been neutered by now. We don't want to rule anything out without seeing it, so please, take and send pictures. Even if he's with what appears to be his owner. We want to see them all. We follow up and appreciate every lead you give us. Thank you.

Pass this along, keep your eyes open, share the Facebook page.  Keep the phone numbers from the flyer at hand or in your phone in case you spot O.  There's no guarantee he is still in the Shreveport-Bossier area, so please keep looking wherever you are!

I can assure you that this dog is much loved and is part of the family for Heather and Kyle.