Exploring Wealthy Alabama

Feb 24, 2024 2.5M Views 7.1K Comments

Alabama is known for many things, but a beautiful and wealthy waterfront town doesn’t usually come to mind. Join me as we meet up with some locals in Fairhope, AL to see a side of the state that few outsiders know of.

► Contact Doug or Michelle if you want to get a place in Fairhope

► Doug’s social media:

► Michelle’s social media:

► Video edited by: Natalia Santenello

► Headlund – Small Mirage
► Peter Crosby – Nothin’ Left Blues
► Headlund – Red Moon Rising

[Peter] Good morning guys,
Alabama, a state known for many things
but usually wealthy neighborhoods
and beautiful beaches
don’t come to mind.
So today we’re meeting up
with a very colorful local
who said,
“Peter, I can get you into an Alabama
that virtually no outsiders know about.”
So that’s what we’re doing today.
My first day in this state.
I’m super excited.
Let’s do this.
[man] South Alabama, the panhandle
of Alabama is totally different.
We’re way more laid back
It’s like the other LA, Lower Alabama.
We’re California with a Southern accent
but conservative fiscally.
You know,
we don’t go around wasting money
but socially live and let live, I’d say.
Morgan Freeman comes in town
and stays at this hotel right here,
The Fairhope Inn.
Everybody kind of knows everybody
or they know the person
that knows that person.
This guy’s Master Joe, he’s from China,
him and his wife.
He’s a local celebrity.
He’s got this beautiful bed and breakfast.
Left his country, left everything,
ended up here,
and has made a huge success of himself,
and loves it.
-Guy would never leave this area.
-I mean I see why.
It’s quite beautiful down here.
-Yeah, Master Joe’s a good ol’ boy now.
There will be names on houses
and I know they’re old Mobile families.
Like old school.
And you’ll see a bunch of them,
and I’ll sit there and see a name,
I’ll go, “I know them, I know them.”
Mosteler, guy’s a doctor,
everybody in his family, doctors.
-So we’re talking
multi-generational families down here?
-Oh yeah, multi-generational.
-So it’s mostly old money?
-Yeah, now you’ve got the wealthy people
that have discovered it from out of town
You’re talking that’ll be 5 million-plus
depending on how much he builds.
-Right, but in California on the water
like that, that’s like 10, 15 million.
-Oh, yeah.
Like for us down here it’s a lot of money
but when you’re coming here
from a California,
it’s nothing.
-And you can drive golf carts around?
-Oh, yeah.
-Most people,
they move here, they get a golf cart.
You have to get a license plate for it
but golf cart’s probably
the best way to get around here.
-[Peter] Fairhope’s a bit funky, huh?
-[Doug] Yeah, so John…
He moved from Winter Park, Florida
and he’s a mechanic.
he moved here to Fairhope
and he works on cars.
He got into the coffee business.
-That’s cool, he kept the pumps.
-Yeah, man.
When you’re coming to Fairhope
and you wanna know what’s going on,
if you’re like a new guy,
don’t know what to do,
come by here.
-So the whole Southern hospitality,
Southern charm stuff
still exists down here?
If you have a decent personality
or are a friendly person
I don’t care what country you come from,
I don’t care what city you come from.
-You come to a town like Fairhope,
start a conversation with one person,
by the end of the day,
you know most of the locals.
Just gave away some bicycles today.
-[Doug] …left the rest.
-[man laughs]
All the literature on the bar top
I got from the house I purchased
about seven and a half years ago.
It was in the attic.
[Peter] Oh, that’s awesome.
-My dad was born in 1939
and when he retired
he was looking in Southern Living Magazine
because we get those in Florida
and he read Fairhope
was one of the top ten places to retire.
He come up here,
and checked it out, and loved it,
and we ended up moving up here,
moving them up here,
and I got to looking around,
and this place was super rad.
It was kind of like where I’m from,
a lot of the water.
It was kind of like Winter Park was
back in the ’70s.
People were super cool, clean.
I’ll never forget I bought a bag of ice
and they carried it out to my car.
So I was just like,
“Man, this is my place.”
[Doug] There’s a lot of the shop owners
that came through here by mistake
and fell in love, and decided,
“I’ll just open up a business here.”
This is a popular coffee shop, book store.
They have a lot of authors here.
You know, Winston Groom,
that wrote Forrest Gump lived here.
-Lived in Fairhope?
-Lived in Fairhope, yeah.
-He lived down in an area
that we’re gonna go through.
[Doug] They used to have a steam ship
that would come from Mobile across the bay
and dock right here at this pier.
-Okay, you can see Mobile
way out there, the skyscrapers there.
-Yeah, that’s Downtown Mobile.
[man] …Chuck Norris.
[Doug] I am Chuck Norris. [laughs]
-Y’all go on through.
-Thank you, man, ‘preciate it.
[Peter] How’s your Dodge received
here in town?
-People love it.
-They love it?
-Every day I get stopped
and somebody wants to buy it.
My response is, “Not for sale.”
You can’t find these old trucks.
If it all goes down,
I can get a lot of weaponry in this truck.
-I’m not gonna get stuck either.
-That’s true, take out that seat.
I could take out that seat
and put a couple big recliners in there.
[Peter] You lived in California,
you said Los Angeles?
-Santa Monica, okay.
They’d hear my accent, say,
“Where you from?”
I’d say Alabama
and they just would go,
“Oh, we’ve heard about Alabama.”
-I’m like, “What exactly have you heard?”
“Well you know,
y’all kind of got a reputation of
you know,
discriminating and all that stuff.”
I’m like, “Let me tell you something.”
“We’re kind of the original melting pot
down in the South.”
and a lot of people from different places
have lived around each other
for a long time
and we’ve worked it all out.
[Doug] It’s okay
to be ignorant about something.
If you’ve never been to a place
and all you’ve heard
is what somebody’s maybe said about it.
It’s kind of the nature of what you do.
You don’t let anybody tell you
about a place, you go find out about it.
-Yeah, you never know, and so Alabama,
and this is my first day in the state
ever in my life.
It’s many things.
It’s this.
It’s as far out in the sticks
as you can get.
It’s Montgomery, which is a big city.
It’s Huntsville which has
a lot of tech and engineers, it’s many…
The thing we do, as humans,
is we like to put a label on something
because then it’s easy
to categorize in our brain, right?
Like I don’t have to think about
Alabama is X or whatever it is
but the deeper,
especially with this content,
the more I get into these places,
the more people I meet,
it just keeps going deeper,
and deeper, and deeper.
You gotta love that, just keep
the truck running out front there.
-Yeah, let me know
if somebody tries to jump in it.
I’m faster than them.
-You do have the new Brooks.
-I’ve warned people,
I’ve said you’re not gonna catch me.
-So don’t even try.
-You’re in pretty good shape.
-I try, man.
[Doug in Arnold’s voice] All this training
in Venice Beach
when I was living in California.
-Hello, how you doing, Santa?
-How are y’all doing.
-I’m doing well, how are y’all doing?
[woman] Great!
-I’m a mutt
and that license plate says mutt.
[Peter] That is interesting,
what does that mean?
-Is there a deeper meaning?
-I don’t know, subliminal stuff going on.
[Peter] Okay,
so you’re from here, Fairhope?
-Not originally,
a transplant like most people, San Diego.
-How have the locals taken you?
-Oh my gosh, they’re wonderful
but Fairhope’s like the hippiest town
in Alabama.
-It’s hippie here?
-Oh yes.
-Well there’s all kinds
but it’s just artistic,
it’s just a different vibe
than what you think of Deep South.
-I didn’t think it’d be so beautiful
to be honest.
-Yeah, did you know before you came?
-You know, I was living in North Carolina.
-Came for a conference at the Grand Hotel.
-And this was my first time
in Alabama, I was like,
“Oh my gosh,
this is how people should live.”
This downtown area,
walkable, gorgeous, water, affordable.
You know, in my mindset
it was very affordable to live here.
Ooh, you know what
you need to know about is this movement.
It’s www.hopecommunityAL.org
We’re working on a teaching farm,
teaching kitchen.
We really want to make this
a blue zones area
where people live, have longevity.
You know, not with a lot of illness
because the community is walkable,
you can grow your own food,
there’s good sense of community
and a good sense of faith.
And that’s definitely all the components.
-Blue zone, living over 100,
is that what that means?
-Yeah, living in the 90s and 100s.
-Mediterranean diet?
-Mmm, Costa Rica…
-Sardinia in Italy?
-Sardinia is one.
And Loma Linda in California.
-Where the Seventh Day Adventists are.
-Right, because they’re healthy.
-Okinawa, Japan.
-They eat well and work out.
-They eat well,
work out, have a sense of community.
-Well Doug might be on his way,
Doug’s in his 50s.
-He’s looking great.
-Go 50s!
-What’s that?
-Go 50s, I’m in my 50s too.
Doesn’t he have
a Southern California vibe?
-A little bit.
I feel like he was–
-I know we have friends of friends,
I was like,
“He looks familiar.” I’m Lorie.
-What kind of movies do you watch,
young lady?
-What kind of movies do I watch?
-‘Cause when I lived in California…
-I did some questionable work.
-[Lorie laughs]
-You haven’t seen him?
-I’m telling you this is a fact.
I was terrified to get on Facebook.
‘Cause I’m like, man…
-Do you do online dating?
-Gosh, no,
it’d be all your neighbors here.
-All your neighbors,
so that must be tough.
-There’s many people I met
when I was super modeling…
[Lorie laughs]
-…all throughout Europe.
And super modeling
is not as easy as what people think.
-It’s a lot of work.
-Occasional gasoline fight.
They actually wanted to use that truck
for the gasoline fight in Zoolander
but I was like, “No, I don’t want
anything happening to my truck.”
-Isn’t that a cool truck.
Would you be happy if someone pulled up
for a first date in that truck?
-Absolutely, I’m a truck girl.
My dream is an old Ford Bronco,
like ’71, three on the tree.
I had one before I moved here
I was redoing and had to sell it.
I kick myself every day.
-Let me tell you
a Southern woman
in an old truck
there’s nothing sexier than that.
-Well you missed mine,
I’ve got mine in the back.
-I bet she knows how to shoot a gun?
-Yes, I do.
-But I’m not a Southern woman
I’m a Southern California woman.
-There you go, how cool is that?
Yeah, but native Californian is that.
Like all the native Californians I’ve met,
it’s that.
-Yeah, we’re boy-girls.
That’s how we grew up.
We were playing in the canyons,
making forts,
we were out until
the street lights came on.
People hollering
but the parents looked out for you
but there were no cell phones,
no trackers, no cameras,
no doorbell, you know?
And here you still kinda feel that way.
They can leave their kids out playing
and I still get a little hesitant though
when I see them walking
by themselves I’m like, [gasps].
‘Cause you’re not used to it.
[Doug] One of my dad’s clients had
a boat identical to that one right there,
that Hatteras.
-Oh, that big one?
-He lived on it.
He sold his house, moved down here,
lived at the Grand Hotel on his boat.
Not a bad way to go out.
[Doug] At the end of the Civil War
they turned this into a hospital
-This building here?
-Yeah, there were like 300 patients
in this old building
and at the end of World War II
there were 5,000 soldiers here
training for a secret mission they say.
And this was called the bootless camp.
Because all the soldiers would take
their boots off before they went inside
’cause they didn’t want to mess up
the wooden floors.
Now that’s Southern.
There’s a statue, I’ll show you,
the guy’s name was Bucky Miller
and he worked down here
at this hotel for 60 years
as a bartender
and he was just famous.
And their bar used to be called
The Birdcage.
They renamed it Bucky’s
and there’s a bronze statue of him.
Out here, he was the only thing
left standing after Hurricane Katrina.
Destroyed everything on the bay side
except his statue.
They polished it off, he was good to go.
[Peter] This is beautiful.
[Doug] All this art,
this guy’s a friend of mine.
He was one of Salvador Dali’s
only understudys
and he’s from Troy, Alabama.
-The guy that’s this artist? Okay.
Him and the King of Monaco
are super tight.
Some of his artwork’s in Monaco
and people take pictures of it
when they go to Monaco.
Then the guy lives here.
[in feminine Southern accent] He said,
“I’m not sure if I’m a French Riviera brat
or Redneck Riviera.”
But he lives here.
-This is called, the Redneck Riviera?
That’s Bucky?
-He made a strawberry mojito that
supposedly probably ended
a lot of marriages, truth be told.
-60 years bartending.
-61 years.
-61 years.
[Doug] Now this place
in the evening can get wild.
Lot of the locals come here,
sit around the piano bar.
I walked in here one night,
John Elway was sitting in here
with a bunch of NFL guys.
I mean…
And it’s just the drinks are out of sight.
-This is Bucky’s Bar?
-Yeah, this is Bucky’s Bar.
-61 years…
-How old school.
This is old.
-I love the old school feel around here.
-I love it.
-All the architecture is solid.
It’s real, it’s got character.
-Kind of like something you’d see
in New Orleans, you know?
-Just an old bar.
They’ve tried to keep
as much original here as possible.
They’ve obviously modernized
the hotel some but people loved it so much
that they’re just like don’t…
‘Cause they had to redo
a bunch of it after Katrina
and everybody was freaking out
about, “Don’t change it too much.”
You know somebody really has
the bling around here
when their pier has been rebuilt.
Because tropical storms and hurricanes
come in here and about every four
or five years they wreck everybody’s pier.
These things are expensive.
-And they’re not insured.
-Oh, I was gonna say.
-You can’t insure ’em.
-There’s no pier insurance?
So only the big boys rebuild their pier.
-Or like these structures
out on the water like that.
-What is that a boat house or something?
-Yeah, boat houses.
There’s one house down here
with an 800 square foot house.
Air conditioned, full-on house, house.
I mean you got people that got
a half a million dollar dock.
-Look at this stork here.
-That’s Charlie.
-Seriously, it has a name?
-Yeah, Charly.
-How close can you get to these?
Oh, that close.
-That close.
-I think you set a record.
-[Peter chuckles]
-If you had some food
you could get closer.
-Yeah, first impressions,
I gotta say there’s a real calming feel.
-It’s easy going.
-It’s easy going, yeah.
-People don’t get caught up
in the rat race.
-Well you have to have the money
to pull it off obviously.
-You do and there’s maybe a little fight
because people don’t want to but
some people
Some people have the money and they
don’t have to be part of the rat race.
-Younger folks like us, you know,
you still gotta figure it out
or be a gypsy like myself.
-You’re doing real estate though.
-Yeah, I do real estate
but I’ve got low overhead, you know?
I don’t have a bunch of outgoing.
-How many kids?
-How many wives?
One of them
will get their hooks in me one day though.
[Doug] All of these homes are gonna be
anywhere from 2, 3 million
to 5 million.
[Peter] These trees didn’t get taken out,
deep roots.
-Is there a metaphor for life there?
-That’s a metaphor for the South.
Deep roots.
-And you don’t get taken out?
-Strong… You don’t get taken out.
No matter where you go.
I got in more trouble in that house…
-What happened?
-A friend of mine’s grandmother,
that was her bay house
and I mean we would come down here
in the summer time and raise holy hell.
We’d run down to the Grand Hotel.
You had all these families
and all their good-lookin’ daughters…
-You’re just going
right down the sidewalk there?
-We used to grab
their nice outdoor chairs and…
They had these old sleeping porches
’cause it gets hot in the summer time.
So a lot of the original bay houses
had these screened-in sleeping porches
and there would literally be
ten beds on the porch.
-And people would sleep.
-Oh, okay.
-Before AC?
People slept out on the porch
to catch the breeze.
See you can see
that long screened-in porch?
-That’s one of
the old school sleeping porches.
So that is one of
the original houses down here.
-Do people still do that,
sleep on the porch?
-Oh yeah, I’m sure they do.
We talk about wine, like someone will go,
“Oh, is that wine any good?”
and they’ll say,
“Oh, it’s a good porch wine.”
for sitting out on the porch and drinking.
[in old timey Southern accent]
It’s good enough to be a porch wine.
-This is old school South right?
-This is old school, man.
You’re talking about a house
that’s been in a family for a long time.
[Peter] So in this part of the country,
in the state,
these are a lot of second homes.
Where are they living? Is it
like Mobile people coming over mostly?
-Well on this side of bay they used to not
really have grocery stores
and a lot of stuff you need,
it was more of a bedroom community.
Some people would work in Mobile
and come over here.
-Then they started getting
gas stations, grocery stores.
-So once they had that infrastructure
people started moving over here.
Moving everything.
-Moving their business, everything.
-Don’t go in full-time?
-My dad had a law firm in Mobile.
He moved over here,
he would commute to his office
and then he got to where,
“I’m not leaving my house.”
A lot of people are doing that
because the growth in population now,
you can actually open a business
and you’ve got a customer base here
’cause everybody’s moving here.
[Doug] It’s getting so popular
in the panhandle of Florida.
Alabama’s getting discovered.
The next play
is gonna be coastal Mississippi.
And they’ve got full blown casinos
in Mississippi.
Like Las Vegas style casinos
that are fantastic.
A lot of people that live here
go there for the weekend.
-Yeah, but if you want
this Pleasantville stuff
you don’t want casinos
near your house, right?
-Or you do?
-No… They never would be.
They would certainly horseshoe
those casinos somewhere
where they wouldn’t disturb the peace
but you’re talking about,
hey, it’s kinda quiet around here.
Don’t you want a little action?
New Orleans is two hours to the west.
You want action?
You go to New Orleans for the weekend.
Get it out of your system,
come back here and lick your wounds.
[Peter chuckles]
-You still doing that?
You still got it in you, Doug?
But I was so wild, I kinda really…
I’m a teetotaller.
-I don’t really drink much anymore.
-And once you don’t
you just kinda get used to not.
I mean I haven’t had a hangover
in over four years
I wouldn’t know how to deal with it.
-I couldn’t imagine anything worse
than a hangover at this point.
-No, I enjoy… I get up early, like 3:30.
-4:00 in the morning,
every day, it’s just my body clock.
Ever since I got back
from Australia in particular
it’s just how it is but I love it.
I love getting up that early.
I love feeling good,
working out every day.
I eat super clean, I always have.
But I’m addicted to the…
I’m a creature of habit.
When I was having that martini
every sunset…
-Hey, Paige.
-How are you.
-This is Peter, that’s Harper.
-Hey, Peter.
-How you ladies doing?
-Nice to meet you.
-We’re making a video today.
-I see that.
-Harper’s living in London now.
-Oh, cool.
-Is Doug a local legend?
-Local legend.
-Fair to say?
Doug has many characters he can be.
-A great impersonator.
-Full of jokes.
-Always good for a laugh.
-So you’re living in London now?
-How does it feel to come back?
-Great, I love home.
-Do you have to explain Alabama
when you go to London?
Do they get it?
-I don’t really say I’m from Alabama.
Why not?
-It gets a bad rap, they don’t understand
how good Fairhope is.
So it’s not worth saying.
I say I’m from Florida
’cause that’s the closest…
-Okay, yeah…
’cause that’s basically where we are.
-So if you say Alabama
you have to explain it?
“Do you have a grocery store there?”.
So it’s easier to say Florida.
It’s interesting
because she’s the younger generation.
Like me,
I’m gonna say where I’m from, you know?
And then so one generation
under me,
they’re not so comfortable
just to come out and say,
“I’m from Alabama.”
-Right, they don’t want
to deal with the stereotypes?
-Yeah, so there’s
a generational difference
that I just found out.
[Peter] What do you got? What do you got?
Little wheelie?
It’s good to see you on BMX bikes,
I grew up on a BMX bike.
[boy] Oh, that’s so bad.
[tires skidding]
-[Peter] Nice, guys.
-[boy] Thank you.
[Peter] Just stopped at this place
for lunch, beautiful setting.
Right on the water
Also want to mention to you guys
I have a platform outside of YouTube.
Would love you to be a part of it.
There, there are all sorts
of different videos behind the scenes,
Deeper dives into these topics,
the places, and people I meet up with….
Question and answer stuff.
There’s all sorts of content,
link down below.
Hope to see you there,
let’s go eat something.
[Peter] Thank you.
-Yeah, a friend of mine from Sydney
who’s in the fashion business
and so I’m like,
“Hey, why don’t you come to visit?”.
So he came over here, he was going
to New York to open a business
and we brought him here for brunch,
and he’s just sitting out here
and he’s like, [in Australian accent]
“Mate, this reminds me
so much of my home.”
He said,
“But everybody looks at you, mate,
they look at you in the eyes.”
-“Bloody Sydney, they won’t look at you.”
You’re used to it
but for him it was a huge deal.
[Doug] Let’s make it clear.
That was my recommendation, okay?
-That looks good.
You know, I mean Peter, if he wants
to absolutely destroy his body,
[Doug] What the hell?
[waitress] Y’all enjoy, guys.
-Thank you.
[as Arnold] “The guy doesn’t want
to have a six pack, it’s his business.”
“But I want to walk around
in a six pack and all these things
then I gotta make the sacrifices.”
-This’ll be my once a year fried food.
-Are you serious?
You’re a Southern boy
not eating fried food?
-No, never.
-You haven’t been deported from Alabama?
-No, not yet.
We know how to fry stuff.
We can take the most healthy food
in the South and make it bad for you.
We can do things to a vegetable that…
I mean it’ll give you a heart attack
just after one bite.
[Peter laughs]
I’m gonna wrap it up.
-We’re in the South
but it’s not deep fried as you can see.
-No deep fry.
-No one was hurt
in the making of this seafood wrap.
-We have a lettuce blowout.
-Let’s go in for more reinforcement.
-He’s never done this before, mate.
Reinforcement, bro, reinforcement.
Round two,
let’s get a knife in here for support
-It’s not looking good, mate.
-It’s not looking good.
-Here we go.
[Doug] Look at that,
he’s got a healthy bite.
He’s victorious, mate.
You should be proud of yourself.
He’s diving in.
-Non-fried Alabama seafood.
I’m in.
Let’s do a little of this,
crab meatball.
Get this guy over here.
Can we get up close here, camera man?
Here we go,
that’s the Deep South I’m looking for.
-Deep South on a plate.
-Oh, yeah.
I did raccoon up in Mississippi
but I prefer this to be honest.
-One for the home team.
[Doug] There’s a huge
aluminum manufacturing plant.
They’re building it in a little town
called Bay Minette,
30 miles from here.
The laydown yard
just for the construction,
meaning where they just sit the equipment.
It’s 40 acres.
It’s a massive operation
and it’s gonna employ
probably a couple thousand people
just there.
And it’ll probably require another
3,000 people just to support the business.
-The area is doing well?
This immediate area?
-Because in other parts
of the United States,
I was just in Mississippi in the Delta,
businesses have pulled out over the years.
You see some of these towns, total decay.
No jobs.
-That’s good to hear they’re coming.
-There are pockets where things
are really building right now.
-Its’ coming here.
-That’s cool.
-Well they’ve made it
really easy to operate.
Less regulations.
Talking about the South as opposed to,
say, California, for example.
They’re overregulated.
When you operate a business
every penny counts.
-The only thing with regulation,
you need a lot of it.
You don’t want battery acid
going into the water.
-100% agree.
-But then there is overdoing it
and that’s current California obviously.
-It’s so hard to build,
that’s why they’re short on housing.
It’s so difficult to build.
-Well as you could imagine,
down here with our delta and the bays,
they are extremely protective
of the water ways here.
‘Cause that’s a huge source of income
and we have a huge shrimping community,
oysters, we got recreation.
I mean having the waters pristine
is a source of money for tourism.
I mean so they…
One thing they do protect down here
is the environment.
[Doug] This is the bluff,
they’re having a party or something
where they’re setting up candles.
-Oh, cool.
-How cool is that?
I’m not sure what there doing,
if it’s a party or what.
[Doug] This is where all the people
with money send their kids.
It’s a private high school.
It’s about $20,000 a year.
But the public schools I can imagine
being pretty good here, right?
-They’re great.
They’re fantastic public schools.
It’s right on the bay.
They got their own pier.
-The high school has its own pier?
-So when the kids are in school
there are more expensive cars
in this parking lot than I’ve ever owned.
-[Peter] So this is your friend?
-[Doug] Yeah.
Michelle and her husband Bruce.
They’re awesome.
But she is… Southern.
What a property.
-Oh yeah, it’s beautiful.
-So the sunset’s gonna be…
-Oh, yeah.
[Michelle] Have you guys had a fun time?
-[Doug] Yeah, we’ve been covering ground.
-[Michelle] That’s awesome.
-That’s Peter.
-How you doing? Nice to meet you.
-I’m Michelle, nice to meet you.
-Bruce, thanks for having us over.
-Have you been here before?
-First time in Alabama, first day.
-Won’t be your last.
-Yeah, I’m loving it.
[Peter] Oh, what a place.
[Michelle] We have
incredible sunsets here.
Hopefully you’ll be able to see one.
[Peter] Oh, beautiful, what a pool.
[Doug in old timey accent]
Michelle, those leaves in the poll
obviously came over from Mobile.
[Michelle] Yeah, such a burden.
Baldwin County leaves got more courtesy
than to get in your swimming pool.
-How in the world
did you hook up with Doug?
-Doug found me,
which maybe that says something about me.
[both giggling]
[Michelle] This is our little guy’s
pirate play ship.
-That’s your son’s pirate ship?
-Yes, that’s his play set.
Okay, Pleasantville.
It is fully Pleasantville here.
It feels a bit like Truman show
but with nice architecture
and beautiful landscapes.
[Doug] Those ducks are a prop.
Michelle paid for those
because we knew you were coming.
I have this special whistle
to make ’em come.
[Peter] I gotta check this out,
look at this.
Pirate ship playground.
[Doug] I thought I had a good childhood
and I didn’t have a pirate ship.
[all chuckling]
[Michelle] I drew that on cocktail night.
[Doug] My therapist is gonna love that.
[Peter] What do you have to say
about this part of the state?
What do you think people don’t understand?
-We’re the friendliest people
you’ll ever meet.
It’s a very safe place,
wonderful place to raise a family.
We do a lot of things outdoors,
we go to the beach,
we fish.
We spend a lot of family time together
and I think that’s a lost thing
in today’s world.
People aren’t sitting down to dinner
every night together as a family.
-And we do that.
-That takes some skills,
you’re doing amazing work there.
-Okay, family values is a huge thing here?
-And that’s you guys
or the cultural current?
-I think it’s the culture here.
I mean people move to Fairhope
because they want a different kind
of family dynamic
They want to get back to basics, you know?
It’s a true utopia of an area, you know?
-How do you protect it?
Or it protects itself because people
come here wanting that lifestyle?
-I think that and I think the people here
are selective about what they allow
and what they disallow
in the downtown area.
-To protect the integrity of it.
-And I think that when people come here
they’re expecting
sort of this backwards mentality
and that’s not what they get.
They get more of a family,
back to basics kind of life.
-And it’s valued.
In the last few years since COVID
our secret has gotten out
but we are always ranked
top places to retire
and that’s why.
Because it’s just a slower pace.
A more gentile lifestyle.
[Peter] You said your son
and his boyfriend?
-And I think most people
from the outside would say,
“That would be
super frowned upon down here.”
What are your thoughts on that?
-No, I’m happy you asked that because
I’d like the opportunity to address that.
I think when my son was younger
he didn’t come out as gay
until he was older
but I mean I always sort of suspected.
But I’ve always wanted him to be
true and authentic to himself
and so many times people
that are homosexual,
they live in a community like this,
they wait until their mother’s dead.
Especially gay guys
tell me this all the time.
That they couldn’t come out
because they didn’t want to
disappoint their mother.
And my son and I are really close.
He was born on my birthday.
So we’re of the same zodiac sign
and everything.
So I think we’re very similar
personality wise
So I would I always say,
“You know I love you no matter what.”
I’d tell the kids and they’d say,
“If we did this would you love us?”.
-Right, right.
-And I was doing that for his benefit.
He laughs now and tells me,
“I know what you were doing.”
but I think it was harder
when he was younger here
but I’m very proud of the area
that they have a much larger support group
for homosexuals now,
and the gay community, and that’s great.
Much more accepting of that lifestyle
and people being authentic
to who they are.
Daniel felt… I think he felt like
he had to move to New York
to be accepted.
And now when he comes home…
And he couldn’t wait to leave here.
But now when he comes home
he loves it and realizes what he had here.
And I think he’s
much more comfortable here
but I think the whole community in general
has changed a lot over the last ten years.
Certainly over the last 20 years.
I think that the South in general,
not just Alabama but the South in general
is portrayed a certain way
in movies and whatnot
of a close-minded communities,
and very judgmental, and racist,
and you know…
In a negative connotation
and I don’t believe that to be true.
I think that it works for Hollywood.
Doesn’t matter who you are
or what you believe
and you know,
I prefer not to talk about politics
at family functions ever because there are
both sides at the dinner table
and usually causes a problem
when we bring it up.
-So I just–
-Well everything’s divided these days.
-I think that the media
has created a further divide
between people
because I don’t think that really exists.
I mean I think maybe small pockets of it
but in general…
But I think the media feeds that.
-Oh, 100%
because the reality on the ground,
I’m all over the country,
all different cultures, urban, rural,
I’m not seeing the friction at all, okay?
But then if you get online or watch TV,
“Wow, we’re all at each other.”
It’s not like that
and it’s unfortunate when people
don’t travel they can’t
see it for themselves.
So they’re believing that’s the reality.
-Well I believe that to be true.
I think that traveling
is the best medicine
to create more togetherness.
-You know, embracing each other
as human beings
and none of the other stuff really matters
but when you travel
and realise that people live differently
than you were brought up
in the area you live.
Certainly the area that I grew up in.
I mean travel
opens your eyes to everything
and it makes you more tolerant
to all different kinds of life
and all different kinds of people.
And Doug, did you plan the canoe
to come in at this exact time?
-I was just thanking for Bruce
to not only pay for the ducks
but to pay for these folks.
-There we go.
So this is Bayside Academy.
It’s a private school here in our area
and it’s right here on the bay.
Not many people can say
they go to school on Mobile Bay.
Some children arrive to school
in their boats.
Their parent’s boats,
they drop them off at the pier
and they have class out on the pier
and then they’ll come out
with a seine net and dredge,
and then take it to the science department
and do science experiments
on the things they get out of the bay.
-Wow, what an education.
-I don’t know if Doug told you about this
but we have jubilees.
Which is when there’s
a lack of oxygen in the water,
and the shrimp, and crab,
and everything come to the surface.
That happens when the moon is just right
and the tides are just right.
We’re only one of two places in the world
that that happens.
-It’s a natural phenomenon.
-And there’s a bell in their courtyard
where they would ring the bell years ago
to alert all the neighbors
that there was a jubilee happening,
and everyone would come out
with their ice chests
and just gather it up because you can
stand at the shore and just take nets,
and fill your cooler with shrimp and crab.
-Oh, that’s great.
Guys, thank you, locals,
for bringing us in.
-You’re welcome, thanks for coming.
-Thanks for dropping in.
You’ve got a good reason to come back,
we’ve got a beach
that’s a whole different area.
-Yeah, we didn’t go to that,
30 miles away.
-April, mullet toss, Floribama.
-It’s Mardi Gras on the beach.
And if someone’s coming here
they need to speak with you, correct?
-Or me.
-Oh, we have two realtors in the house.
-Yeah, Doug Kilborn and Michelle Bigler.
We’re both with the same company,
Wise Living in Fairhope.
Those links are down below.
-Thank you so much.
-Thank you, brother, it was a pleasure.
-My pleasure.
-Thanks for bringing us in,
it brings understanding
and gives us a visual
of what things are like
’cause it’s hard to imagine without this.
-One more thing… Roll Tide.
-Roll Tide.
-What’s Roll Tide?
-University of Alabama Crimson Tide,
best football team in the country.
[Michelle laughs]
-College football, that’s big here?
-It’s a lifestyle.
-It is.
-I think Mississippi’s
gonna get you this year.
Mississippi’s not even in the picture.
-That’s how much I know about football.
Thanks you guys, appreciate it.
Until the next one.

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