Past Editions of "The Whitehursts' Dry Cleaning News"

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A Family Secret

February 2017

We’ve all got our family secrets. Mine was so secret that I didn’t even know it was a secret until a year ago.

My Mother, Jayne, died in 1998. She was an attractive, petite lady standing an inch or two under 5 feet tall. She was a small lady but she could hold her own against anyone. Back in the 1960s, a thug jumped in the car with her at an area department store and demanded her purse. Read More...

Thanksgiving and the Bucket List 

January 2017

We had never before planned a Thanksgiving away from home. We would traditionally enjoy the celebration at our home with whomever could be there. With multiple families to visit and sports for the kids, we aren’t always able to get everyone together for the holiday.  Read More...

Creating Christmas Memories

December 2016

As I was planning to write about my Christmas memories, I struggled a bit in coming
up with any distinctive memories. Maybe I’m just getting older and maybe my
memories have faded over time.

Fast Fashion

November 2016

Have you experienced the “Fast Fashion Industry?”

Perhaps you came across one of the chain stores offering trendy-looking pants or blouses for $5, $10 or maybe $20. They look as nice as some of the designer labels you’ve seen in your favorite store costing much more. A whole store like this! Wow! Read More...

Measuring Up - Benefits of a Tracker

October 2016

It’s crazy to think we can wear a device that will track our every step, record every heartbeat and even measure the quality and length of our sleep. But with technology of the trackers at our fingertips…or should I say on our wrist, this and more are possible.
Fifty years ago we would cry out about “Big Brother” watching us if someone besides Read More...

Normal Wear and Tear

September 2016

How we dress and the image we create with our appearance helps us in many ways. I’m a big believer in this. So when the Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network asks its partners to wear the official CRDN uniform at industry events, I’m all in. The white logo shirt and black pants stands out and impresses with a professional look. Read More...

That’s so from the”19’s”

August 2016

Talking recently to Anna Beth, our 14-year-old granddaughter, commented to me about her phone. Naturally, it’s a cell phone through which most of her life passes. The subject of a telephone cord came up and Anna Beth said telephone cords were “ from the 19’s.” She was referring to anything from past years with a 19 in front of it, like the year Ronald Regan was elected president, 1980. Read more...

A July 4th Celebration I Remember

July 2016

Have you ever done something really stupid?
It was a July 4th holiday when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old - over 50 years ago. It was a lazy holiday morning when no one had to go to work or to school. My Mom and Dad were in the itchen having their first cup of coffee. Read more...

Looking For The Magic

June 2016

Young kids view things differently than adults. Maybe the kids don’t have the clutter of daily life which lets them focus on what’s important or, at least, different. Maybe us adults just take things for granted too often. Read more...

The Doc and I

May 2016

The dreaded annual physical is a time when we get poked, prodded and stuck, but all for a good cause. And since it’s not really fun, it helps to have a little humor injected during the process. Read more...



April 2016

From the very first day we opened Champion Cleaners in 2002, our focus has been on quality cleaning and exceptional customer service. This wasn’t an accident. We didn’t just fall into that model. I knew that very few cleaners in the Birmingham area used that approach. This would be our way to be different from the other dry cleaners around. Read more...


Got Any Good’uns?

March 2016

It all started with Sherry and a microwave oven we bought back in the late 1980’s. When Scott set off for college in 1991, we decided to donate it to him (and upgrade ours at home) so he could at least warm up some leftover fast food. Five years later when Scott finished college, he sent it back home where it sat in our basement for a few years until we decided to take it to our lake house. It worked well for many years…doing exactly what it should do. Read more...


It’s Just So….

February 2016

Christmas is a magical time for kids. Our four-year-old granddaughter, Callie, had a wonderful time, jumping between gifts from the family, special moments at Church, and, of course, the special visit from Santa. And as we all know, kids will say whatever seems right at any moment. I thought I would share one of those moments…from what I believe to be Callie’s perspective Read more...


“We don’t meet people by Accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”


September 2015

I think there’s truth in this quote because I’ve benefited from it several times in my life. Like when, at 14 years old, I first meet Sherry on a Friday night at an arcade in Eastwood Mall. And like when I was doing some work for Louis Henderson, who five years later in 1981, became by boss and is still today my mentor. Read more...


Barbie Dolls and Canes for the Fourth

August 2015

Special moments in life don’t last long. I guess that’s why they call them “moments” and not special hours, days or weekends. The more special moments you have in your life, the more special thoughts you will carry over the years. Sherry and I had one of those special moments over the July 4th weekend. My son, Scott and his wife, Jeni, hosted the family at their home in Fairhope. Having a long weekend there along with my #2 son, Mark, and his wife, Jana, and all the grandkids…four girls and one boy, was great. It was great because we were all together for this weekend, at this point in time. Read more...


Dancing Girls vs. Baseball Games

July 2015

There's a side of life that Sherry and I didn't experience while raising three sons. 

But now with four granddaughters, we're getting a full dose of how the  "other half" lives. We're experiencing softball, soccer, gymnastics.. and DANCING. Our nine year old granddaughter, Campbell, is really into dancing and gymnastics. She goes flipping through the hours head over heels like a Slinky walking down steps. And when she's not flipping, she's likely to bust a move from Dancing with the Stars. Read more...


Our Temporary Return to Child Rearing

June 2015

It's been 12 years since we've had responsibility for a child living at home with us and 15 years since we had kids at home who couldn't drive themselves to school. So when my oldest son, Scott, asked us to take care of our granddaughters while he and Jeni were on a trip, I began having flashbacks. Read more...


A Salute to Wilson

May 2015

Cub Scouts salute with two fingers to the forehead and Boy Scouts with three fingers. Our military salutes with four fingers always out of respect for authority. So why is it that a little white-haired lady in Liberty Park saluted our Route Driver, Wilson? Read more...


Happier Than A Dead Pig in Sunshine

April 2015

Bertie was a country women, simple in needs and with a sharp wit. My Mother-in-Law passed away at age 90 5 years ago. She and my Father-in-Law, Homer, raided six great kids in a three bedroom, one bath house (which is a story for another day). Besides when she allowed me to date Sherry (for the first time on June 6, 1966,) one of my greatest memories of her was her way of saying things. She spoke with a common-sense "country" flair nurtured by her roots as a child in St. Clair County, Alabama, in the 1920's and 30's. Read more...


The Perfect Valentines Day

March 2015

With no kids at home requiring routine and a home-cooked meal, Sherry and I are free to dine as we please. And since we dine out frequently, we describe ourselves as "professional diners." Valentine's Day is like Amateur Night for us "professional diners." And all of the amateurs clog up our eateries starting late afternoon on this sweetheart night. Read more...


Goodbye to Champ

February 2015

Saying "goodbye" is something I don't do well. It seems so permanent. But I had to say "goodbye" to Champ because we lost him on New Year's Eve... one day shy of his 14th birthday. That's 98 in dog years. Read more...


Chaos and the Iron Bowl

January 2015

Even though Sherry and I root for the same team, the night of the Iron Bowl I found us in separate rooms watching the game. You see, we were keeping Matt's 7 month old Boxer puppy, Bodie, while Matt was at the game. Champ hasn't accepted the new canine into his home so Champ and I retreated to the bedroom to watch the game while Sherry and Bodie watched it from the den. Champ enjoyed the retreat by sleeping. Read more...


A Funeral, A Wedding and a Christmas Gift

December 2014

Two recent events occurred in our life. Both were celebrations.. and end and a renewal.

The usual emotion for me at a funeral is dealing with "goodbye." I'm terrible dealing with goodbye. I feel a similar emotion at weddings thinking about how people's lives are changing.. saying goodbye to how things were in the past. Read more...


You Never Know What Kids Will Say

November 2014

Kids and grandkids have been some of our greatest source of entertainment. the things they say are so coated such honesty that even Abe Lincoln would approve. Here are two recent examples and classic from several years ago. Read more...


That Moment of Realization

October 2014

It was just a small fire... a grease fire in the kitchen that didn't last too long and was quickly extinguished thanks to a properly working smoke alarm. No on e was injured and the visible damage was limited to the kitchen. It was nothing that a little paint wouldn't correct. Read more...


Don't Sniff The Boot

September 2014

My oldest granddaughter, 12 year old Anna Beth, loves to wear her Ugg boots when the temperatures cool down in Fairhope, maybe for a month or two every year. In Fairhope, some days start out cool but sometimes end up warm. Read more...


What My Coach Told Me

August 2014

Football is in the air! I can almost hear the band playing and smell the popcorn. It's a wonderful time of year. I can't wait for high school and college football to kick it off. Read More...


July 2014

Leave it to kids to teach us new ideas... and expressions.

My 12 year old granddaughter, Anna Beth, and her family from Fiarhope were staying with us during her softball tournament here. Anna Beth has a real skill at saying some of the funniest things. Here's just another example. Read more...

So What Does That Make Me?

June 2014

We just finished loading the car and were about to head south to Fairhope. Sherry and I were going to stay with our two granddaughters for a few days while their Mom and Dad were on a nice business trip. School, softball practice and games for both girls were about to put us back in the taxi business that we had retired from more than a decade ago. Read more...


My Wife...My Plumber

May 2014

Sherry unclogged that drain with the skill of a master plumber.  Fishing down the drain for less than a minute using nothing but a coat hanger with a special little crook with a twist in the end, she pulled out a lump that she first thought was an old mouse.  thankfully it wasn't an old was a...Read more...


The Puzzle of the Perfect Prom Dress

April 2014

Prom season is just about on us so all of the lovely ladies will be looking for the perfect prom dress.  I bet if I did a survey about what to look for when picking out a prom dress (besides not getting one that anyone else will be wearing at your prom), here are the three most important decisions you'll have to make:

The Look - this includes the color and style of the dress

The Fit - a dress must fit right in it won't make the cut (but our alterations seamstress can help with that)

The Cost - while all the lovely ladies might not care about the the proce, I suspect Mom (and sometimes Dad) might care

After these BIG 3 decisions are made...and before pulling out that credit card, do one more thing to solve the puzzle: Take a look at the care label.   Read more...


The Dusting of 2014 - Stories from Champion Cleaners

March 2014

Cars abandoned in the middle of the highway. People seeking shelter from the weather in the same cars or trudging through the snow and ice to get home or just to find and safe place.  Scenes from the "Dusing of 2014" reminded me of the post-apocalyptic science fiction television drama, "Revolution."  Read more...


Who Would You Rather Hunt With?

February 2014

“I saw the brush rustling and a huge 8-point buck stepped out of the woods about 100 yards away.  Louis said ‘Don’t wait long to take your shot.’  So I aimed, took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger.  That buck walked a few steps and went down.”  That’s how Anna Beth, my 11-year old granddaughter, described her hunt.  Read more...


Sometimes It Doesn't Pay To Plan
January 2013

I’ve always been a planner.  I like to know at the beginning of the day exactly what and when I’ll be doing the things I want to do that day.  That doesn’t mean that I will do exactly what I planned because I’m OK with changing plans.  Good thing!

My Thanksgiving Day Plan 


A Parent's Revenge
December 2013

Raising children is a huge responsibility made difficult because the child is the teacher.

We all try to raise our kids to play fair and by the rules.  But most kids don't play by the rules.  Heck, I'm not sure the kids actually have any rules short of survival and not losing television and video game privileges.  Read more...

The Single Biggest Mistake in Clothing Care
November 2013

Well, I did it!  I own a dry cleaner and I made the single biggest mistake possible in clothing care.  Read more...

A Camel, A Wife and Popcorn
October 2013

Have you ever seen a commercial that you can’t get off your mind, usually because it’s so funny or it hits close to your thoughts?  Companies spend huge amounts to get you to remember who they are and what they do.  The latest one for me is the “Guess What Day It Is” commercial with the Camel. Read more...

Where Did I leave It?
September 2013

Maybe I've found the secret to my personal well being...both mentally and physically.  It's not the Fountain of Youth...but it might be as close to theat as I can find.  I've mentioned before about the book, Younger Next Year, that explains the benefits of workouts to get your heart rate up and how this helps your body repair itself...and by doing so your body can become "younger next year."  I'm a disciple of the concepts in this book today.  Read more...

My Heros Are Still Named David
August 2013

When I was a kid growing up in the 1950's and '60's, my hero was Davy Crockett.  I thought it was really cool that I shared my name with a true American hero.  I even had to get a coonskin cap of my own.  With the Walt Disney show in the mid 1950's about Davy, he was the one I wanted to be when my friends and I played in the woods.  Read more...


The Shortest President
July 2013

My 9-year old grandson, Mason, is a reader with a trap mind.  He loves books and loves facts...and he remembers them.  For example, he memorized the NFL teams by conference and division within the conference.  When he had dinner at his favorite restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, he even found an error on their napkins listing a team in the wrong division.  I've learned it's fun to test Mason's knowledge but you're probably going to lose the argument if he disagrees with you on a subject that he studied.  Read more...

Fair Only Comes Once A Year
June 2013

Sherry and I took another trip to Fairhope to spend time with our son, Scott, our daughter-in-law, Jeni, and their kids.  We combined a softball game for 5-year old Mary Katherine, several games in a softball tournament for 10-year old Anna Beth, followed by Mary Katherine's dance recital.  A busy weekend indeed.  This time of year such a scene is played out by countless families.  Read more...




The Strength of A Mother

May 2013

With May 12 being Mother's Day, I was thinking back on my childhood and how may Mother influenced my life.  She's been gone 15 years now but her influence is not.

My Mother was small in stature at under 5 ft. tall.  But she had... Read More


A Month of Ups and Downs

April 2013

Life at my home for the last month has been a series of ups and downs...literally.  Let's Go Skiing; Let's Do Something Safe; Up and Over; The Rest of the Ride; Molly  Read More

A Quick Trip to Cancun - Dealing With The Little Things

March 2013

Sherry and I took a trip to Cancun, Mexico last month for some timely continuing education. Sure, I now how I sacrifice to learn more for YOU about the dry cleaning in- dustry. But as they say, “Somebody has to do it.” I guess it was our turn.   Read More

Lessons from a Legend - Coach Sammy Dunn

February 2013

I know that James Spann may not agree but it’s early spring to me. Every year about this time I start thinking about the early spring flowers pushing up through the winter mulch...and recalling the great memories Sherry and I have about our kids playing baseball. For so many years our lives revolved around our kids and baseball.  Read More

The New Year - Time to Commit to Get Fit

January 2013

If you read the book I mentioned in October, Younger Next Year, you understand the need for continuous exercise in your life. I think we all know that aerobic exercises like running, walking, biking are helpful for a long and productive life. But doing exercises like weight lifting, Pilates or Yoga is important to help keep us mobile and improve our quality of life. And you can’t start too soon...or too late!  Read More

Good Scrooge - Bad Scrooge

December 2012

I was due for an upgrade of my cell phone about the time the new iPhone5 came out (really cool technology). So I met with Champion Cleaners customer, Cliff Lumpkin, a Verizon Rep, at the new Verizon store on Highway 31 (the old Johnny Ray’s BBQ location ). I didn’t realize that I would be meeting Ebenezer Scrooge.  Read More

The Shortest 10 Years of My Life

November 2012

At 6:30 am on November 14, 2002, we opened the doors at Champion Cleaners for the first time.  To throw a few cliches at the subject, the "time flashed by," "it seems like only yesterday," and "don't blink."  They all apply.  But when Ric Pevey, Sheila Mims and Cindy Palmer showed up for work at our brand new dry cleaners in 2002, I was excited.  Read More

Younger Next Year

October, 2012

Great friends of mine, Will and Carolyn, gave me a book last month that really resonated with me. The book, Younger Next Year, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., sets out a path for your to improve your life into your 50s, 60s even into your 80s. It's a funny, easy read and not overly-technical. For some people, it can even be a life-changing experience. It was first published in 2007, so maybe this is old news to you. But Sherry and I so enjoyed the book that we shared ideas. I think it's worthwhile for everyone to read... Read More

What's Your "Dream Come True?"

September, 2012

I believe you should always think about living in your own "Dream Come True" life. Sure, no one can spend all of their time living the dream. After all, who would want to spend more than a year living in the Greek Isles, anyway (yeah, right!)... Read More

What I Learned As A Little League Coach

August, 2012

A couple of week ago, Sherry and I headed to Theodore, Alabama for a softball tournament involving Anna Beth's (our granddaughter's) 9-10 year old team out of Fairhope, Alabama. It was fun to watch. Being able to watch her softball games made me think about my years coaching the kids... Read More

Baby Girls...and A Brother

July, 2012

One of the real benefits of "gaining life experience" (aka getting older), is enjoying your kids raise their kids. Sherry and I just came back from spending five days in Ft. Walton with my son, Mark, our daughter-in-law, Jana, and their three kids, Mason (8), Campbell (5) and Callie (6 months)... Read More

Café Iz Is Special

June, 2012

It's no secret that I love the offerings of Café Iz down the street from my Rocky Ridge Dry Cleaning Center. They are a top flight bakery...and much more, including an outstanding catering business and light lunches and dinners that are delicious... Read More

Sherry said, "Stop with the stain articles!"?

May, 2012

My wife of almost 42 years told me to quit writing about stains. She said that "...stain removal was what we handle for everyone at Champion Cleaners so you should write about other things." So as any good husband would do... Read More

Another Stain in the Dirty Dozen -Tomato Based Sauces

April, 2012

Here's a very special technique that can help you remove tomato-based sauce stains from your clothing...unless, of course the care label says "Dry Clean Only." This tech-nique will work on barbecue sauce, steak sauce, ketchup, tomato sauce or paste stains... Read More

Those Pesky Wire Hangers...How About Recycling?

March, 2012

They pile up on closet floors, laundry room racks, the garage, basement…wherever… and after months of holding up clothes, they end up in an ugly, tangled mess. How could they possibly be good for anything? If you're like most Americans, you simply toss your hangers in the trash and forget they've ever existed... Read More

What Everybody Ought To Know About Cleaning The Perfect Dress Shirt

January, 2012

When I talk to new customers, a frequent reason they changed dry cleaners is because the shirts they were having cleaned and pressed were often dull and dingy. We have heard this so many times that our General Manager, Ric Pevey, began test-ing for the right formula for producing the perfect dress shirt... Read More