Chattahoochee Chatter: What's cooking downtown?

April 16, 2014 

Why don't we start Chatter with what's cooking next weekend in downtown Columbus?

Jan Greeff will be trying to set to the Guinness world record for grilling. Yep, grilling.

Turns out a South African currently holds the mark at 62 hours and 6 minutes. Greeff, using a CharBroil grill set up in the 1100 block of Broadway will start at 7 a.m. Thursday, April 24 and barbecue into Sunday.

"My goal is to go 72 hours and we will be bringing in a Guinness judge on Sunday," Greeff said.

He will be cooking chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn and Boerewors -- a South African sausauge -- all on a propane grill.

"I have to keep something on the grill at all times to set the record," Greeff said. "So, before I take something off, I have to put something else on the grill."

Greeff, a native South African who became a U.S. citizen last year, has been in Columbus 11 years. He works at Blue Cross Blue Shield.

He is doing the Grillathon as a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He is doing it in memory of his father in law, Dennis Starling, who suffered from Type-1 diabetes.

Donations can be made on site during the Grillathon or at thegrillathon.com

•••

This isn't a joke, but it sure starts off like one …

A man is purchasing a copy of USA Today at a grocery in Columbus. The cashier looks down at the front page and sees headlines about a killing in Kansas and a killing in the Ukraine. At the top of the page is a tease for a story about superheroes in the movies. There is Captain America, Thor and The Hulk. Pointing to them, the cashier says, "You know, with all the bad stuff going on these days, sometimes, you wish those guys were real."

•••

In a world that often seems to be spinning way too fast and spitting out way too much gloom, doom, tears and tragedy, it's sometimes a good thing to take a deep breath.

And those who know Terry Gumbert, a U.S. Army retiree and Midland resident, he's continually look

ing for the best in folks, while also looking out for his neighbors and animals, particularly through very frequent email updates of odd happenings in his area.

But a recent email caught our eye for one of the usual uplifting or philosophical verses Gumbert attaches to them. He quoted author José N. Harris from his book, "MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love."

It goes: "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

•••

It sounds like there's at least one driver in town who needs to subscribe to Gumbert's emails …

A car emblazoned with a Columbus Regional Health logo gave a whole new meaning to the company's slogan "Pursue you healthy" last Thursday.

Marked as "Veh 22" and tagged with a "How's My Driving? 706-660-6230" sign, the car for some reason had an irate pickup truck driver honk at it and zoom around it as they negotiated the zany curve coming from downtown before the 11th Street underpass.

We don't know who was at fault, and thankfully there wasn't an accident, but the pickup driver probably was going too fast to call that number.

We're still checking if it's healthy to be that angry. Stay tuned!

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