Big Picture Burgers offers bad movies and a good burger

Kathleen might be off the beaten path for some in Macon, but the area offers some nice new shopping areas as well as a wonderful theater and a number of restaurants. One of those restaurants is Big Picture Burgers.

Big Picture Burgers Dining
Big Picture Burgers has a screening of a movie or short film as you eat, generally pulled from the sci-fi genre. Photo by Doug Deal.

Big Pictures Burgers is a unique theme in Middle Georgia in that it is basically a dinner theater combining a screening of a movie  (usually some science fiction movie or short film) with burgers, sandwiches and wings.

Along the walls are murals and memorabilia of various science fiction and super hero franchise characters like Wonder Woman, Dr. Who and Star Trek. There are also references to classic dramas like the Godfather and the Maltese Falcon, as well as monster and horror movies such as Cujo. These references are also where they draw inspiration for the names of their menu (and off-menu) items.

Big Picture Godzilla
The Godzilla is a classic cheeseburger with double the bacon and double the cheese. Photo by Doug Deal.

For my burger, I selected the Godzilla, which is a half-pound patty of beef; the burger triumvirate of mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup; onions; and lettuce. To that base, they add what makes the burger special: double bacon and double American cheese. If you like a big messy burger, and who doesn’t, it’s a very good option as it doesn’t have anything that some people would consider unusual. My patty was tasty and not dry, perhaps a medium-well.  I am more of a fan of less cooked meat products, but I expect this from restaurants that serve burgers due to health recommendations and the like.  I save a medium for ground beef that I fix at home and a medium-rare for steaks.  So that is as expected. Continue reading “Big Picture Burgers offers bad movies and a good burger”

Second Impressions consignment sale in full swing

Isobel models a little girl's dress, for sale at Second Impressions.
Isobel models a little girl’s dress, for sale at Second Impressions.

Second Impressions consignment sale is open, today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Anderson Conference Center at 5171 Eisenhower Parkway in Macon.  Second Impressions is a gently-used clothing and toy sale for children, but they also have maternity clothing and a small selection of newborn necessities, like high chairs.

Macon Community News visited at the close of business Friday night, and the variety of clothing, toys, books, and other children’s items was impressive. Many of the items were still in their original packaging, and there were clothing items with original tags still on them. There were also lunchboxes, notebooks, and other school supplies for sale.

Parking and admission are free, and sales tax will also be free on qualifying items, including all clothing and school supplies.

Sam checking out one of the tables of toys at Second Impressions.
Sam checking out one of the tables of toys at Second Impressions.

Tomorrow, Sunday, July 31, 2016, many items are half-priced; these will be specially marked. Doors open at 9 a.m. and the sale will end at 6 p.m. The sale will be closed from 2-3 p.m. while the staff mark the special dollar deals. When the sale re-opens at 3 p.m., specially marked items will be sold for $1 each.

Bargain hunters, early Christmas shoppers, and families on a budget will find great deals on nice clothing and toys. While you are out enjoying tax-free shopping, add Second Impressions to your “must go” list.

There are a wide variety of toddler and preschool toys available at Second Impressions.
There are a wide variety of toddler and preschool toys available at Second Impressions.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources releases 2016-2017 deer hunting dates

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has released the deer hunting dates for the 2016-2017 season.

For Middle Georgians who hunt in Bibb, Peach, Houston, and Wilkinson counties, bow hunting begins September 10, 2016. Muzzleloader hunting begins October 15, 2016. Firearms days begin October 22, 2016. Either sex deer may be hunted on all days of the season, and deer season, for all weapons, end January 8, 2017.

A family of deer enjoying an evening snack in a Macon neighborhood. Photo by Jim Beall.
A family of deer enjoying an evening snack in a Macon neighborhood. Photo by Jim Beall.

For Middle Georgians who hunt in Crawford, Monroe, and Jones counties, bow hunting begins September 10, 2016, and from the beginning of the season through its end, on January 8, 2017, hunters using bows and crossbows can hunt either sex deer. However, in these counties, muzzleloader and modern firearms hunters will have antlered buck only days and either-sex days.

Muzzleloader days begin October 15, 2016, and until October 21st, either sex deer may be shot. October 22, 2016, modern firearms days begin, and until November 4th, both muzzleloader and firearms hunters can only shoot antlered bucks. Once modern firearms days begin, they share the same schedule as muzzleloader hunters.

From November 5, 2016, through November 13, 2016, either sex can be hunted. Only antlered bucks can be hunted from November 14th until November 20th, and then either sex deer can be hunted from November 21st through January 1st. The last few days of the season, from January 2, 2017, until January 8th,  are for antlered bucks only.

All hunting regulations for the 2016-2017 deer season, as well as state-wide maps of hunting zones and hunting permit information, are available at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website, at



Commentary: Race Embracing not Baiting

Before we begin singing “kumbaya” or getting drawn into the emotionalism of praising politically-driven messages of diversity, we need to take the time to engage in critical thinking, not ad campaigns.

When I was growing up living in Jacksonville, Florida, in a small neighborhood close to Mayport Naval Base, there were many kinds of kids to play with. I say “kinds,” and almost instantly race is triggered in our modern psyche.

Pastor L. W. Gainey
Pastor L. W. Gainey

What if I told you that while there was certainly an uber-diverse collection of races in my neighborhood, our “kinds” actually related to the neighborhood kids behavior? Trust me, in a Navy town you have groups of bullies, clowns, skaters, preps, and all KINDS of sociological subsets made up many of different ethnic groups.

I hung out with the latchkey kind of kids in my childhood. Most of our considerations growing up, in terms of what house we’d all stay the night at, was based on food and entertainment: who had the best food, nicest parents, best sound system, and maybe whose sister was having over the cutest friends. The most ethnic considerations were probably food and parental discipline.

My poor buddy Nguyen’s parents were from the Philippines and spoke primarily Tagalog, so when we stayed over at his house, we had no idea what was going on when his mom and grandmother would go off on a tangent as all parents do. But the food–WOW–it was fantastic.

Nguyen was the guy with all the best jokes in our group. Now, why did I say “poor” Nguyen? Was it because of his race? Indeed not. His family, like many of the families from the Philippines, kept the most immaculate lawn you can imagine. One of the steps in this was cutting the grass by hand, with scissors, and using shears for all the plants. Nguyen was always having to cut the grass before he could play…yeah, poor guy.

We may have had racial tensions like our kids do today if someone would have told us we should–but no one did, so we didn’t. We did, however, “embrace” the things that were different about each other’s families. These were cultural differences in some cases, like Nguyen having to hand cut the grass for his parents, but we just didn’t think of it that way. It really was about where we would enjoy ourselves the most, without always doing the same ol’ stuff.

What if we stopped being baited into thinking that ethnic groups are at war? What if it’s the movements, both political and social, that want us to remain in a perpetual state of “High Alert” for conflict born out of offense?

How boring would it be to go out for dinner with your buddy, intimate other, or family, and not have different restaurants influenced by uniquely ethnic contributions. How many times have you got in the car and set out saying “…I’m torn between Thai and Italian tonight?

I have a buddy in Macon whose late father was the Bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Leon Wilkeson. One day he took me to the Music Hall of Fame to talk with the museum curator

Lee Wilkeson
Lee Wilkeson, only son of Legendary Bassist Leon Wilkeson of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Photo courtesy Lee Wilkeson.

about some new contributions to the “Mad Hatter” display.

We had the infamous debate about where we should eat. He emphatically told me, “Buddy, we’re going to the best restaurant in all of Macon, my treat!” Instantly, I had visions of Morton’s Steak House or some swanky little French bistro.

We pull around to a street that’s not in a upper-class real estate market, and he slows the car, shouting, “There it is, Baby! Whooo!,”{like we were at the gates of the Magic Kingdom} Get ready to eat, son.” My eyes caught a small white sign, dangling from beneath an old mortar wall with chipping paint, that read “H&H.” I was less than full of great expectations, but by the time I got in the door, the smell of the food was intoxicating, and the place filled to the hilt with people.

A woman ran from around the counter, hugging Lee, and saying, “Ya’ll little white boys go sit down and let Mamma take care of y0u.”

Lee responded, “yes Ma’am.” I later discovered that he grew up eating at H&H.

Mama Louise Hudson
In Macon, “Mama Louise” Hudson’s cooking is a favorite of the Allman Brothers Band. Photo by Ken Krakow

Looking around I saw autographs everywhere and on everything from some of America’s top music artists. People from all walks of life and musical genres. This was IT! Food and music and people–not politics. The wealthy–and the everyday folks–had dined here for decades at the restaurant founded by “Mama Louise” Hudson and the late Inez Hill for fried chicken.

Imagine the impact on our country if we really grasped the value we all bring to the table, including the kitchen table. Kitchen tables are for more than eating: we discuss politics and social issues but we also talk to our friends and family.

Maybe America’s best hope is not in laws, programs, campaign ads, or robo-calling. What if it’s our attitude? Have we been programmed to knee jerk and take the “race bait” every time someone throws a “race card”? Now, even if we’ve been programmed to buy into this insidious way of responding to the world around us, I think we can “re-program” our attitudes, so that WE–as individuals–will look for the very best in others– as individuals.

American Innovation is powered by “E Pluribus Unum.” We are the one of many, who together have generated the greatest medical breakthroughs, aerospace discoveries, industrial & technological advancements of any nation.  We have always benefited from embracing the contributions of the many, thus converging into our American Greatness.

Honestly, we don’t need government to solve racial divides, we need to stop allowing the government to create them. Let’s Make America, America Again; wouldn’t that be great?

Rev. L.W. Gainey
Twitter @RevGainey

Events this week Thursday July 28 to August 3, 2016

Highlight of events in and around Macon and Middle Georgia for the week of July 28-August 3, 2016. This weekend includes Bragg Jam events for those who love live music and arts.

Thursday July 28, Bibb County Schools are hosting an Elementary School Open House from 4 PM – 7 PM at the respective elementary schools around the county. Parents and students are urged to visit their 2016-2017 classrooms to meet teachers and learn important information for the upcoming school year. Visit the Bibb County School website to see more information about supply lists and policies such as the dress code.

Streetline Camp Drums and Dreams Percussion Showcase will perform at Macon Terminal Station from 5:30 – 7 PM.  The fundraising event includes a spaghetti dinner. Camp Drums & Dreams is a collaborative initiative between StreetLine Percussion, Inc. and Neighborhood Academy.  Tickets are $5.

Concert on the Lawn at Colosseum North Hospital, 400 Charter Blvd in Macon, featuring The Grapevine. Concerts starts at 7 PM and runs until 9 PM.

Friday July 29, Second Impressions Consignment Expo kicks of for three days in the Anderson Conference Center at 5171 Eisenhower Pkwy from 10 AM to 7 PM.

Christian rock band Disciple will be in concert at Christ Chapel in Warner Robins with special guests The Persuaded. Tickets are available online and are $10-15.  Venue location is 2288 Moody Rd, Warner Robins. Concerts runs from 6 – 10 PM. This a family friendly event.

The Medical Center of Peach County will be hosting Free Movie Night at the hospital at 1960 Ga Hwy 247 Conn in Byron from 8 – 10 PM. Tonight’s feature is the touching Disney movie UP. Be sure to bring your blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets. This is an outdoor and family friendly event.

Bragg  Jam
The extremely popular music, arts and children’s festival returns Saturday July 30th in Macon. Events include music, arts and crafts and will be hosted in several venues around Macon. Image courtesy Bragg Jam.

Saturday July 30, The big event this weekend is Macon’s Bragg Jam. Venues throughout downtown (mostly around 3rd and Cherry) will host music and art events. Concert Crawl tickets are $30-$75 and can be purchased online. See their Concert Crawl schedule for times and locations of events.  There are over 20 stages, including Twangs, The Hummingbird, Cox Capitol Theater, Crazy Bull, Spark Macon and many others.

The Bragg Jam Arts and Kids Festival goes from 10 AM to 2 PM in the Cherry St. Plaza between the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and Tubman Museum buildings. This is a free event for all members of the family. Activities include music, face painting, sand art, and other crafts. Music will be tailored to be safe for kids and food trucks will also be available.

The sales tax free holiday starts up to aid families buying school supplies for the new school year. Be sure to read Jim Bealls’ column about maximizing your savings.

Second Impressions Consignment Expo continues and runs from 10 AM to 7 PM at the Anderson Conference Center at 5171 Eisenhower.

Sunday July 31, Second Impressions Consignment Expo finishes up at the Anderson Conference Center at 5171 Eisenhower. The expo runs from 9 AM to 6 PM and the last three hours will feature many items on sale for $1 or less.

The Georgia two day tax free holiday continues and ends today.

Monday August 1, It’s the first day of school for Bibb County Students. Check with the Bibb County Schools website for more information.