Alsay Incorporated Acquires Mid-South Water and Machine Works
Mid-South Water and Machine Works, LLC today announced that Alsay Incorporated of Houston, Texas, one of the larger ground water development organizations in the country, has acquired Mid-South Water and Machine Works, LLC of Cleveland, Mississippi through an asset purchase.
The new entity, Mid South Water, LLC, in addition to Texas, will be licensed to operate in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. Alsay Incorporated is one of the operating companies of Lone Star CRA Fund, L.P. and Venquest Capital Partners, L.P. both of Dallas, Texas.
H. Ed Coleman, President and owner of Mid-South Water and Machine Works, LLC stated, "We are pleased to join forces and to become a part of Alsay Incorporated's new LLC, Mid South Water. I have known and competed with the Alsay Company since the early 1960's and have always recognized them as one of the best companies in the industry. We look forward to developing an organization with them to take advantage of the opportunities for growth and expansion in the enormous groundwater supply business throughout the South. As previously planned, we are already in the process of expanding our coverage in Louisiana by the planned opening of a district office in Opelousas. It has been my goal since organizing Mid-South Water and Machine Works, LLC in 2004 to develop and maintain a company presence in Cleveland, Mississippi that would not only provide employment for many that I employed 35 or 40 years ago, but would also serve the water supply needs throughout the Mid-South area. From the largest municipal and industrial projects to a large or small farmer concerned with an irrigation system, Mid South Water, LLC will continue to provide that service. All of our employees including myself as President and Clayton Miller as General Manager look forward to our new relationship and growth potential with Alsay, Incorporated."
Jim L. Caldwell, President of Alsay Incorporated stated, "Alsay Incorporated has a proud tradition, going back to 1960 of producing, marketing and servicing products of the highest quality. It is a tradition of which we are quite proud and one that has played a major role in not only Alsay's growth, but also with all of the people at our new Mid South Water, LLC. We are very pleased to have Mid South Water, LLC as part of our organization and look forward to the continued growth and prosperity as has been the case over the years with the people from Mid-South Water and Alsay Incorporated."
Cotton Row Coffee
Carr starts new business
In a true entrepreneurial spirit, local attorney Mike Carr has recently begun a new endeavor — Cotton Row Coffee Company, a nod to his southern heritage and an eye-opening trip to Turkey.
With a thriving and growing law practice, one might wonder what pulled Carr in the direction of java.
CUP OF JOE: Mike Carr offers freshly ground coffee for enthusiasts everywhere.
“I wanted a side project that was something different than law practice. I’ve never been particularly good at more traditional hobbies such as music or woodworking or the like, but I’ve always enjoyed cooking,” he explained. “I decided I wanted to make a product for sale that most people weren’t making — something that had a decent shelf life, few ingredients and a market.
“After several not-so-successful efforts at home brew, I tried some of Bill Powell’s coffee at the Farmers Market this past summer,” he added. “It was excellent. I thought I would try to roast my own as well, with a few different methods and blends.”
Carr said the idea first started back during the summer when he got back from Turkey on a trip with artist Chet Oguz and Delta State University.
“The coffee there is excellent and has been part of the culture for more than 500 years. It’s not like here in the States where we seem to prefer volume over quality,” he explained. “In fact, coffee drinking in many cultures is ceremonial and provides time for people to stop, sit and talk. And us southerners are particularly good at that. So, it was a good fit.”
Carr also found the name of his new business a good fit for the area as well.
“I wanted something that reflected our growing downtown and the rich history we have right here. Every time people buy a package of this coffee, I want them to think of Cleveland — and to think of shopping here,” he said of his company’s name. “Cotton Row is one of the oldest streets in Cleveland, and the name is just appropriate.
“While Cotton Row Coffee Company is still a home-based business, maybe one day it will grow into a storefront, preferably on the street which is its namesake,” he added.
Carr is not a coffee junkie, he simply enjoys a good cup of joe.
“I have a cup before exercising in the morning, one with breakfast and one after lunch,” he said. “And, I have gone through several different coffee makers over the years, from basic drip coffee pots to fancy Keurig single serve machines. Honestly, the best coffee pot I have found is the simplest — the basic stovetop espresso percolator.
“Bialetti makes a good one for about $25. No moving parts. No electricity. Will last forever,” he added. “My dad has one he brought back from Australia in the ’70s, and still uses it everyday.”
Right now, Carr makes three flavors in addition to the original French Roast.
“The first is a New Orleans Style Chicory, which blends chicory root with the coffee to give it a smooth chocolate and caramel flavors,” he said. “The second is Turkish Cardamom, which adds a very fragrant and slightly sweet Middle Eastern aroma (and will really get you up and going) and finally Classic Cinnamon, which uses organic Korintje cinnamon powder to add a ton of flavor without adding sugar or artificial additives.
“Even for those of you who aren’t coffee drinkers, coffee makes great gifts for friends and family,” Carr noted.
Carr is operating this new venture as the Turkish people take their coffee — slow, with an emphasis on quality.
“Right now, the several varieties are sold at Delta Meat Market. Cole Ellis has been very helpful and his store is a great addition to Main Street (Sharpe Avenue,)” he added. “The coffee will also be available at Arts in the Alley, which is the first Thursday of every month in the alley next to Mosquito Burrito.
“I had my first booth last month and sold most of my product,” he said. “The Keep Cleveland Boring group continues to work hard to provide exposure to musicians, artists and people with home businesses — all free of charge. We are lucky to have them.”
Come check us out at www.cottonrowcoffeeco.com.
Talking About the T Bridge
Malvina’s piece de resistance
BUILDING BRIDGES: Malvina was once home to the only T bridge in the state of Mississippi. It gave residents passage over Bogue Phalia.
There probably aren’t many things that Malvina, Miss. and Paris, France, have in common but there is one, at least according to legend.
It is said that Malvina and Paris were, at one point, the only places in the world to have a “T bridge,” which is a bridge that crosses a body of water and has another bridge meet it in a perpendicular fashion.
The report of these being the only two T bridges to ever exist may not hold much water though, as there have been reports of one standing in Virginia and older drawings that show that the Princess Bridge in Melbourne, Australia, may have once been bisected, making it a T bridge as well.
Though not as rare as many have been told, the memories of the T Bridge that once stood in Malvina hold no less value.
“In Malvina, there’s a fork where the bogue (Bogue Phalia) and another bayou come together,” explained Don Conger, who was raised in the area. “The original bridge they built went straight across it and then halfway across, you could take a left and go another way.”
The Malvina T bridge ran north and south with the “t” joining it from the west.
Conger said that as children, they were forbidden to visit the bridge, so of course, it was the first place they would go. The group of young friends would dare each other to ride their bicycles across the bridge, as it was quite scary to a child.
The fear came from the fact that the expanse had potholes all the way through the wooden road that allowed for one to see the ground below. The only way to avoid these potholes was to ride close to the side of the structure, which had its rails removed long ago so farmers could get their equipment across its single lane.
The T bridge was torn down around 1972 as it was in need of replacement and was deemed unsafe. It was replaced by two concrete bridges, which allowed for easier and safer passage.
“That turn was difficult for tractors and farm equipment and stuff to make,” explained Conger. “I remember as a child, a farmer out there, Don Robertson, was bringing home a cotton trailer and trying to make that turn, that trailer went off the edge of the bridge and fell in the bogue.”
With tractors and other farm equipment only getting larger with time, it became obvious that the gravel covered one-lane bridge needed replacing.
“It was too expensive to build that one again. I wish they had left it,” said Conger. “They could have left it because where they (built a new bridge), they built two bridges, one across and then you went down a little ways and then another one.”
Though the bridge was quite the inconvenience, many believe that a new version of the T bridge should have been built or the old one left up but not used.
It was also very difficult for two cars to pass on the bridge at a time. If someone met a car coming, he or she would have to wait for the other car to cross before making the trip. If both cars happen to drive onto the bridge at the same time, one would be forced to back up before both could get on their way.
Despite this, there is only one recorded fatality to have ever taken place on the bridge. In the late 1960s, it is said that an unnamed man heading west drove off the end of the “t” and into the bogue.
Having been built in the late 1920s, the bridge survived for over 50 years before being torn down in favor of modernization, however the memories that came from those growing up around it will last a lifetime.
Pictured left is from 1938 when the waters of Bogue Phalia overflowed the bridge. Pictured middle is a drawing of the T bridge by Margaret Hogue Blanchard Keith. Pictured right is the T bridge from the early years.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
The old Kirk home in Waxhaw (between Rosedale and Gunnison), circa 1930.
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Delta Sunset and Mud Puddles
Photo by Talbot Brooks
Ag Expo, Bolivar County Expo Building
Lucy Howorth Awards Program, Capps Archives & Museum, 2:30 pm
Hey Joe’s: January 25, Light Beam Rider