“Mel, kiss my grits”

Greetings from the city that served as the setting for the longrunning 70s sitcom Alice. For those too young to remember, this was one of the funniest shows ever. It took place mostly in a greasy-spoon diner in downtown Phoenix called Mel’s, which was owned by the crusty Mel Sharples, who employed three waitresses named Alice, Flo and Vera. Flo was the sassy loudmouthed one who was frequently telling people (but mostly Mel) to “Kiss my grits.” She was played by an obscure actress named Polly Holliday, who would turn up years later as Tim Allen’s mother-in-law on Home Improvement. … This is unlike any day I have ever spent in Phoenix. It’s chilly, overcast and rainy, and the roof is closed in the ballpark. The D-Backs’ new ownership has gone to great lengths to eliminate any hint of anything that took place before it took over — including the 2001 World Series. Although there remains a small “World Champions 2001” sign above right-center field, there used to be several pictures hung on the press level from that World Series — including Luis Gonzalez leaping in the air after his walkoff single won Game 7 — but those are all gone now, as is the old purple and teal color scheme of the home team. That has been replaced by red and black. The D-backs are trickling onto the field for BP now, and I have to say they look amazingly like the Houston Astros with their brick-red BP jerseys. Going to be really confusing when those two play each other. … Hong-Chih Kuo was playing catch on flat ground when I came in about 45 minutes ago

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