Good Hope Sizzlin’ Seniors hold 1st meeting in a year

Members of the Has-Beens- Greg Brown, Roy Graham, James Calvert, Eugene Bradford and Mayor Jerry Bartlett (Christy Perry for the Cullman Tribune) 

GOOD HOPE, Ala.- They’re back! The Sizzlin’ Seniors of Good Hope took a giant step toward a return to normalcy Tuesday as the group met for the first time since the pandemic shutdown more than a year ago. They had hoped to meet outside in the park’s pavilion, but the weather did not cooperate. Despite that, members were still able to laugh and catch up with friends.  

The group played bingo and enjoyed a lunch from Southern Hickory provided by the City of Good Hope. Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry even stopped by to visit and brought plenty of goodies for them to take home.  

Two of the Sizzlin Seniors found love during the shutdown. Newlyweds Billy and Dale Bradford, married six months, were excited to see friends and head out as a couple. Bonnie Bradford, who is married to Billy’s brother Eugene, said she was incredibly happy to be back.  

What did they do for a year?  

Said Bonnie Bradford, “We stayed home!” She said she was happy to be out again because, she said, she couldn’t afford to stay home much longer.  

“Right now, I have new countertops in the garage ready to go on. I got new tile in the kitchen, new tile in the bathroom and a new dining room suite ordered,” she laughed. “That’s what I do when I am at home. I redo the house.”  

Most of the senior center members had not seen each other in the past year and had lots of catching up to do. They still had the competitive spirit they are known for as the Sizzlin’ Ladies faced off once again with the HasBeens in a highscoring game of bean bag baseball.  

The ladies admitted to being a bit rusty,” while the men of the HasBeens seemed suspiciously calm and confident. The trash talking began right where it left off last year, and with the ladies winning the coin toss, the men were up to bat first.  

It was a slow start for the HasBeens, who quickly made three straight outs. The ladies looked like they would resume their winning ways with a leadoff triple to start the 2021 season. The hope of getting an early lead soon faded as they left a runner stranded on third.  

The HasBeens scored three runs in the top of the second inning thanks to Jerry “Wild Thang” Bartlett’s threerun homer. The women answered with a couple runs of their own in the coming innings and the taunting by the ladies escalated significantly. They soon regretted that decision.  

The HasBeens went on to score 22 runs against the Sizzlin’ Ladies, who were stopped at four runs. Rumors began to swirl as to whether the men had been holding secret practices in defiance of Governor Kay Ivey’s Safer at Home Order. They denied all accusations.  

Sizzlin’ Senior Director, scorekeeper and member of the HasBeens Greg Brown declared Mayor Bartlett the opening day MVP. Bartlett finished the day with four home runs. James “Hammer” Calvert was MVP runner-up with two home runs of his own to help elevate the HasBeens to victory.  

Brown chuckled, ”I am proud of them, but I felt sorry for the outclassed girls.” There’s no doubt the ladies will remember those words when the two teams face off again in April. Brown did add, “Fun was had by all!”  

The Sizzlin’ Seniors of Good Hope meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in the basement of Good Hope City Hall.  

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