Pelham thanks Rick and Bubba

Published 3:43 pm Monday, June 14, 2010

“We’re meeting at 6:30 in the morning at the Civic Complex and going to the radio station to surprise Bubba at the show,” said Chaney Mills, Pelham Racquet Club employee. “Mayor Murphy is going to issue a special proclamation for all that Bubba’s done to promote tennis in Pelham. You could come along.”

“Come along, come on in, come and play.” Those words are familiar to Pelham Racquet Club employees, who are always issuing welcomes and genuine hospitality just as they did to more than 300 participants in the Rick and Bubba Super Slam Weekend tournament last week. Players traveled from seven states to Pelham to play in the tournament.

The down-to-earth set, including Bubba Bussey and his family, enjoy the warmth of Pelham’s unique and impressive tennis facility.

Mills said Bussey is a huge supporter of the club and frequently lends his name and fame to promote the club’s events.

“We’re fortunate in Pelham to have a large facility that can handle big tournaments — thanks to nearby restaurants and hotels,” Mills said. “Being centrally located in the state and just off the interstate allows our club to accommodate everyone.”

Watching the Rick and Bubba radio show’s live feed on my computer, I saw Mills, Pelham Parks and Recreation Director Billy Crandall and Murphy portray Pelham as a place to have fun and enjoy the diverse facilities.

Officially proclaiming Rick and Bubba Week in Pelham gives our city something new to celebrate.

All of the amenities and the Pelham Racquet Club employees, including Mills and her co-workers, create the atmosphere that caused Bubba to remark, “There’s not a finer tennis facility in the country today than the Pelham Racquet Club.”

Mills is quick to give credit to her boss, Crandall, who was nicknamed “Crash” when he, Murphy and Mills were on the Rick and Bubba radio show Monday morning.

“Billy’s a good boss. We wouldn’t be where we are today without him,” Mills said.

“Mr. Billy loves his community and does everything he can for it.

He treats other people’s children like he treats his own, and he’s an all around amazing guy,” said Tracy Kimbrell, a Pelham High School junior.

Crandall is also earning his nickname.

When his dog got tangled up with him, Crandall took a fall to keep from hurting the dog. Today, Billy “Crash” Crandall has a broken tibia, a big walking boot and a seriously appropriate radio nickname.

Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at