You know you’re old when … Gregg Allman returned to Jacksonville, Florida, this week not to play music in the town where the Allman Brothers Band got its start but to get a liver transplant.  Meanwhile, dubbed Al Gore the “hottest bod” on the political scene after he made the National Enquirer over rumors he had tried to seduce a Portland, Oregon, masseuse. reported that Allman was recovering nicely at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville after three and a half hours of surgery to replace his liver damaged by Hepatitis C.  The hospital released a statement quoting the hard-living Allman as saying, “I changed my ways years ago, but we can’t turn back time. Every day is a gift, and I can’t wait to get back on the road making music with my friends.”

Allegations that Al Gore had “unwanted sexual contact” with a massage therapist in 2006 appeared headed nowhere.  Portland, Oregon, police said they found insufficient evidence to support the woman’s claim, and bloggers, who snickered at the charges, seemed to agree the allegations were pretty far-fetched.  Detailing the police report, the National Enquirer reported that the woman told police she didn’t flee because “she was fearful she might  be shot or tasered by the retired politician’s security detail.”  As Gore allegedly became more aggressive, the woman claimed, she told the former vice president that he was a “crazy sex poodle.”  According to the Enquirer, the woman alleged Gore tried to take off her top and then told her to come into the bedroom and listen on his iPod to a song by Pink “about the current president, Bush, that would shock me.”

More Southern oddities and entities

Tea partiers eat their own: When members of the established Central Florida Tea Party Council invaded a press conference called by the new Florida Tea Party, the event  “degenerated into a circus of shouts, interruptions and threats of assault charges,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.  The Central Florida Tea Party Council accuses the Florida Tea Party of being a front for Democratic candidates.  The Florida Tea Party accuses the Central Florida Tea Party Council of being part of the Republican establishment.  Neither should be confused with the People’s Front of Judea or the Judean People’s Front.

Too much truth? Arkansas State Sen. Joyce Elliott, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House, told the Political Animals Club in Little Rock that “any pinhead” can campaign on the idea of running against Washington and urged club members to be wary of candidates who say they’re not politicians. The key, Elliott said, is finding candidates who are good politicians.

Real South tourism: Tennessee tourism officials are hoping to tap into the NASCAR crowd by promoting the  White Lightning Trail, a self-guided drive through nine counties in northeast Tennessee where fast-driving moonshiners once thrived.

Dew Droplets: Atheists in North Carolina have erected a billboard on Billy Graham Parkway … Auburn University plans to build a campus in Danyang, China … North Carolina State University students dropped a 50-pound ball of Silly Putty off a 10-story building … Jimmy Buffett will hold a free concert in Gulf Shores, Alabama, to benefit oil-spill victims … The Frazier International History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, has bought the insanity commitment papers of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

Check out our News and Opinion Feeds for a lot more Southern happenings.

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.