A Voyage Home & The Great Mobile, AL Instagram Challenge
When I was but a wee lad, maybe one or two years old, my parents took a vacation from our home in Indiana down to visit some relatives living in Mobile, AL. On that trip, at some point, they visited one of Mobile’s most famous tourist attractions, the USS Alabama. A picture was taken during that trip of my father climbing the stairs of the ship, with me strapped to his chest. This is one of my favorite pictures, because it was a foreshadowing. It was a marker in time in which my soul was rooted partially to the city that would eventually become my home at the age of six, the Azalea City of Mobile.
I lived in Mobile until I graduated from high school, when I moved off to Montevallo, AL for college. being only three hours away, though, I still took plenty of trips back home. It wasn’t until I graduated from college in 2004 that my links to Mobile became more tenuous. By that time, most of my closest friends had become my fraternity brothers and other college friends. After I moved to Indianapolis for work, I came back to Alabama alot, but mostly just stopping in Birmingham and Montevallo. The trips back to Mobile became more and more infrequent.
Last year, before we moved to California, we took a road trip to Mobile. That was my first trip back in almost two years. Now, again, it’s been over a year since I’ve been home. Yet, that’s the key word, isn’t it – home. I wasn’t born there, and I haven’t lived there in over a decade now. Without a doubt, though, Mobile, AL is still my hometown.
On August 23rd, I’ll be boarding a plane for Indianapolis. After a quick stop at a friend’s wedding reception that Saturday, I’ll begin a roadtrip down to Mobile, AL. I won’t be alone, either; GVH will be my roadtrip partner for this voyage home to the motherland. It will be a great week for her to reconnect with her grandma and grandpa from her Daddy. A few weeks ago, I started thinking again about that picture of me as a baby aboard the USS Alabama. Thus, the idea for The Great Mobile, AL Instagram Challenge was born.
I want GVH, years, from now, to feel a similar link to my hometown. So for the week of August 26th – August 31st, I plan on taking GVH to as many landmarks as possible, and taking her picture there. Those pictures will be kept on my phone, but they will also be posted to Instagram and Facebook. Why? Because as we’ve learned, memories live forever now on the Internet, and I want GVH to be able to look back on a journey that she surely won’t remember, seeing as she’s only 17 months old.
It’s not just landmarks that we’re going to hit, though, and that’s where you all, my social media connections, come in. You see, when I look on Facebook, I have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook in Mobile. These are people who, through social media, know most everything going on in my (and GVHs) life. Yet many of you, I haven’t seen you in the flesh or talked to you in years. So whereas Part I of this Challenge involves landmarks and landscapes, Part II involves people. As many people as possible. I’m going to try and take as many pictures of Mobile people in my social media network as possible, all with GVH included. Some of you I’ll reach out to personally, and some of you I may just stalk at work (that’s your fault for posting your place of business on Facebook, sucka!).
Where you can help in this Challenge is simple – simply ping me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that you’re up to being a small bit player in this Challenge. Your message need be no longer than simply “I’m in.”. I’ll then arrange with you a time and place. Don’t worry – I’m not going to take up hours of your life (I’ve got a baby in tow, after all). It may be as simple as a five minutes break at Starbucks near where you work or live, maybe it’s a lunch, whatever you have time for that week. However, I want GVH to be able to look at this album 20 years from now and think, “Wow, I really met a lot of people in Mobile. That must be an important place for me just like it is for Dad.”
So now, the question is simply this – who’s in?
Thoughts at the Closing Bell:
- Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown and AL MVP last year. That was historic. And yet, he’s actually SURPASSING his numbers from last year this season. This guy is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and I’m just happy he’s in a Tigers uniform while he’s doing it.
- Drafted my fantasy football team this past Sunday, using an iPad while on the beach in Santa Cruz. Here’s an indicator of how I feel about my team – the highlight of the day is that I got a sunburn on my back.
- Just finished reading “Drift” by Rachel Maddow. If you have any interest about the current state of the US military and the future of the American military, I advise giving it a look. It’s a quick but great read.
- So Sydney Leathers, Anthony Weiner’s sext mistress, officially cashed in and filmed a porno. Soooo . . . good for her??
- Orange is the New Black on Netflix; worth your time on a binge this weekend, I promise.
- Breaking Bad on AMC; worth ALL AND ANY OF YOUR TIME WHENEVER.