Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Media Negative About Restaurant Chain’s Positive Principles While Ignoring Reality

eat-mor-chikinA couple of years ago fast-food chain Chick-fil-A made national headlines when company President Dan Cathy spoke out in support of traditional marriage causing liberals and gays to come unhinged and launch nationwide protests against the chain.  The Atlanta-based company was founded on Christian beliefs and today still staunchly follows those tenets in dealing with its customers and employees. So while protestors called for a boycott of the company, and even some loopy mayors said they wouldn’t allow any more Chick-fil-As to be built in their cities, their efforts backfired big time, with the chicken chain setting sales records with many locations selling out of food to the hundreds of thousands of its supporters.

For example, the Chick-fil-A in nearby Yulee, FL had cars backed up all day waiting to get into its restaurant.

So, I find it odd that when an organization does something that adheres to its doctrine of helping others and standing up for its creed, the only news that the media tends to cover is that which they perceive to be negative as seen through their liberal-tinted glasses.

The recent southern cold snap reminded me of last winter when an ice and snow storm hit the south and the media ignored the chicken chain’s “Good News” when it reported on the miles of cars stranded on frozen highways.

In all of the icy gloom and doom stories, the generous actions of a Chick-fil-A crew along Highway 280 in Birmingham, Alabama, was frozen out of media coverage, but I received so many emails about a particular item from Atlanta area friends that I checked it out and discovered it to be true. Here it is: Mark Meadows, owner of the Chick-fil-A closed early the day of the storm and told his employees to go home.  However, the employees and Meadows soon discovered that they were not going to be able to go anywhere with all of the stranded motorists stuck on the roads. Some of the cars near the restaurant had been stranded as long as seven hours. Audrey Pitt, manager of the Chick-fil-A described the conditions: “Our store is about a mile and a half from the interstate and it took me two hours to get there.  It was a parking lot as far as I could see.  At one point there were more people walking than driving.” Meadows and his employees fired up the kitchen and began preparing chicken sandwiches as fast as they could.  They prepared several hundred sandwiches and then Meadows and his staff headed out and began distributing the hot meals to the stranded motorists on both sides of Highway 280.

Some of the drivers tried to pay them for the sandwiches, but Meadows and his employees refused to take their money.  Pitt explained why:  “This company is based on taking care of people and loving people before you’re worried about money or profit.  We were just trying to follow the model that we’ve all worked under for so long and the model that we’ve come to love.  There was really nothing else we could have done but try to help people any way we could.” However, Meadows and Pitt were not through with their Good Samaritan efforts. They helped push cars off the roads, up inclines and whatever else they could do to help. Then they kept the restaurant open overnight so that stranded motorists could have a warm place to stay. A number of motorists slept in booths or on the benches. In the morning they once again fired up the kitchen and prepared chicken biscuits for their overnight guests and again refused to accept payment.

Their actions were generous and not easy as they also braved the frigid temperatures to hand out hundreds of hot meals to complete strangers.

If it had been a group of lesbian, gay, transgendered, bisexual or atheists feeding stranded and hungry motorists, would the story have made the news? I don’t know. But I bet it would have had a better chance than this Christian company doing something positive for so many.

Chick-fil-A did not publicize this gracious act by its employees and as a matter of policy has never capitalized on the misery of others to make itself look good. The information I gathered for this story came from a variety of sources, all of which I have verified.

By the way Meadows became the subject of another viral Internet story when he gave a homeless man a free meal and his own gloves, a deed that — unknown to him — was witnessed and photographed by an impressed customer who detailed it on Facebook.

Folks, this is a classy, highly successful business organization whose ads featuring cows urging people to eat more “chikin” have become icons of the advertising industry. They create the kind of environment in which you want your high school or college kids working and in which most adults wouldn’t mind toiling.

Personally I’m not a big fan of fast food, but the next time I cross the bridge and head toward Yulee, I’m stopping at the Chick-fil-A at 464004 FL-200, A1A for a bag of not-cow sandwiches.


A PR Pro: The past few days  – and continuing into this weekend — I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering along with friend, former reporter and PR colleague, Rick Scott, (no relation and not the governor) at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, helping register and assist members of the hundreds of national and international media covering this event. In my many year as a reporter, corporate communications executive and public relations agency owner, it’s been rare to come across individuals who are as no-nonsense, professional and talented as 25-year-old Slovakian native and IMG_5402employee Nina Snopkova (pictured on my left), the event’s media coordinator. Infiniti, which is sponsoring this year’s media office, is fortunate indeed to have such a talented, personable, unflappable, and hard-nosed pro running the center, which bears the car company’s name. Rick and I both admitted to each other that in our days of running PR operations we would not hesitate for a minute to hire the likes of Nina as she is one of the reasons this event runs so smoothly and efficiently.


And Now For Something Completely Different: In a scenario straight out of a Monty Python sketch Secretary of State John Kerry lamented Wednesday, February 24, about a terrorist the Obama administration released from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and subsequently returned to fight for al Qaeda, saying with a straight face to lawmakers: “He’s not supposed to be doing that.”

The only thing missing was Barack Obama hopping around on a make believe horse and Joe Biden smacking two coconuts together to make “clip clop” sounds.

Appearing before the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Kerry (aka the Addams’ Family’s Lurch) made the statement while testifying about the State Department’s budget request for fiscal year 2017.

During the hearing, Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) asked Kerry for his thoughts on Ibrahim al Qosi, the former Guantanamo detainee who is now a prominent al Qaeda leader, and had staffers hold up a picture of the terrorist for Kerry to see.

This recent development came shortly before President Obama announced his plan on Tuesday, February 23 to close Guantanamo by releasing many of the remaining 91 detainees to foreign countries and transferring the rest to a prison on U.S. soil.

While it is currently illegal to move any of the detainees to the United States, Obama is hoping Congress will change the law so he can implement the policy, although majorities in both houses of Congress oppose the move. In fact many of the Republican candidates have indicated that not only would they not close Guantanamo, but would expand it, a wise move designed to keep these dangerous lunatics off U.S soil.

While the U.S. is fighting Islamic terrorism we have a president who won’t even utter the words “Islamic terrorism.” And we have a military that is being told by this administration that despite the fact that their combat units are less effective with women in them they must adhere to this foolish and dangerous political correctness anyway.

Fat chance the Republican held senate will approve more of this madness anymore than they’ll discuss King Arthur’s Supreme Court nominee.

It appears we’re being governed by madmen and lunatics and with nonsense like this , it’s no wonder that Donald Trump’s anti-political correctness campaign has gained so much steam by successfully tapping into a main stream vein of anger and disgust.


Speaking Of Politics: Jeb Bush always looked to me like the reluctant kid who was pushed by dad to try out for quarterback of the high school football team because pop played that position and so did his older brother. Jeb came across as the fellow who’d be happier as captain of the school’s chess club. And before he bailed out of the GOP race he managed to spend $368 per vote in the primaries according to the Washington Post. The Post says Ted Cruz is averaging $193 per vote, Marco Rubio $153 and Ben Carson a whopping $795 before he called it quits. Donald Trump comes in at a low $64 per pulled lever thanks to a national media that hate him, but can’t stop providing him with massive coverage, and whose anti-Trump tirades just add fuel to the Trump bandwagon.


Speaking Of Local Politics: The last couple of times I was in the same restaurant/bar as former City Commissioner Charlie Corbett, he publically directed a litany of vulgarities toward me that are not printable in this blog or anywhere else, confirming to me that my anti-Corbett comments on this blog during his re-election campaign were more than justified and hopefully aided in relieving the commission of a vulgar, profane individual that was an embarrassment to the city and leaving him now as only an embarrassment to himself and his family. I was not a fan of former commissioners Pat Gass and Sarah Pelican and feel current Mayor Johnny Miller deceived the voters by not revealing his extreme environmental positions during his election campaign, and I’ve expressed those views here, but all three have always been gracious and civil publically and privately, admirable characteristics that place them squarely in the “ladies” and “gentlemen” category.


What’s The Difference Between A Nigerian Prince & A Mystery Shopper? I’m surprised the retail sector isn’t doing better since there appear to be thousands upon thousands of shoppers out there spending money testing the market if my emails are any indication. As close as I can figure I’ve received more than 1,000 offers to become a “mystery shopper” the past 12 month with two to three offers sometimes appearing daily. Mystery shopper jobs appear to have replaced the Nigerian prince’s offers to transfer millions of dollars to my bank account.


And What’s The Difference Between Al Sharpton & David Duke? Both Duke and Sharpton are racists, liars and failed political office seekers, but while the former KKK official, Duke, has been condemned and disavowed repeatedly by Republicans, Sharpton, a racist extortionist, who owes millions in back taxes, receives invitations to the White House, is sought out for advice by both Democratic Party presidential candidates. Why don’t the media demand that the Dem candidates disavow this vile con man.


It’s A Miracle: The Obama Administration says it has exceeded its goal for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It’s amazing what can be accomplished when the government declares something mandatory, then fines folks for not doing it, lowers the target numbers, and keeps extending the deadline. I’m so impressed!


Things I Wish I Had Said: “What is your fair share of what someone else has worked for?”Thomas Sowell. “Obama skipped Scalia funeral, now skipping Nancy Reagan funeral. If the guy was any more low rent, he’d be a Spring Break destination.” — Dennis Miller.


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The new downtown 20 S. 5th Street restaurant, Burlingame, owned by retired businessman Eric Fanelli opened its doors this past Tuesday with former Ritz Carlton Salt chef Chad Livingston running the kitchen. The eatery opens at 5:30 p.m., with the last seating at 9:30, Tuesday – Saturday. Call ’em at 904/432-7671. If you’re a gal looking to get a tan, hang out at the pool and make a few bucks, then tomorrow (Saturday, March 12) beginning at 1 p.m. put on a bikini top, a pair of shorts, and knee high socks and head over to the pool behind the Seabreeze at the Sadler Road Days Inn, as Marketing Director Kari Gardner is looking for five gals to be Seabreeze cocktail servers poolside, a job that entails fun, sun, water, and pay, not a bad deal. With the Concours d’Elegance, spring break, Shrimp Festival and tourist season all bunching up at one time, a number of restaurants and bars have altered their hours to accommodate the expected masses including downtown’ s South 3rd Street Green Turtle, which will now be opening Monday-Friday beginning at 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday starting at noon. Oh, and if you haven’t tried the Turtle’s Rueben and Cuban sandwiches, do so, as they are not only tasty, but a real bargain at $8 and $9 respectively. Their tiny kitchen is now also offering up fries with that. Rumors are abounding that Beef O’Brady’s on the corner of 14th and Sadler in the Island Walk Shopping Center will be closing within two weeks. It was for sale but apparently that hasn’t worked out and the lease is up.


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