MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – The City of Mobile has a rich and storied history. But not every story about the port city has been told. Author Amy Delcambre has uncovered a Secret Mobile that provides a guide to the weird, wonderful and obscure stories that not everyone has heard of. She joins Bill and Jessica on the Red Couch to talk about her discoveries.
Read the full interview below or watch it in the video above.
Bill: Well, sometimes what you see is what you get. But when you look at the city of Mobile, there’s a little more than meets the eye.
Jessica: Well, there is a secret Mobile and this morning we’re going to meet the woman who has provided a guide to the weird, wonderful and obscure stories of the port city. Author Amy Delcambre joins us this morning on the Red Couch. We’ve got your book in hand, Amy. This is a good one. We’re glad you’re here this morning.
Tell us how this idea came about.
Amy Delcambre, Author: So Reedy Press is a national publisher and they publish a lot of travel guides. And they targeted the city of Mobile. They reached out to see if there were any writers, travel writers who are interested. And I said, I’m very interested. And we went through some of the different kinds of guides that they do. And I chose secrets because I love secret stories.
I love doing secret tours and things like that. And Mobile has such a quirky history and even a quirky existing culture that some people don’t know about. Even lifelong locals like me. I can’t tell you how many things came up that I had no idea about, even when I was writing this book, even though I’ve lived here my entire 39 years.
Bill: Yeah. And you think you think you know things about the city of Mobile because, I mean, I’m a transplant I know a lot of things about city of Mobile, but I’m looking through this book and I’m going, Huh? I didn’t know that.
Jessica: Like the cow in the Middle Bay lighthouse.
The cow living in the lighthouse.
Amy Delcambre: That was an interesting story. So, of course, we know we have the Middle Bay lighthouse. And back then you had to have a live keeper there. And in this case, the owner and the lighthouse keeper, I guess, and his wife, they had a baby. She couldn’t nurse the baby. And so he brought a milking cow on board. That’s why they built that lower deck.
And they had a milking cow at the lighthouse to help feed the baby. Now, they only lived there for a while because in July of 1916 that was the year the hurricane came through and they had to evacuate. And this is interesting too, because this was one of the three hurricanes that came every ten years and contributed to sort of the demolition of Monroe Park, which was another thing that I did not know about.
I’ve lived in maybe all my whole life and I had no idea we had this Coney Island of a waterfront that used to be here
Bill: Yeah. John Nodar has mentioned that a time or two and told me about that. It’s such interesting. I tell you what, we can’t go through all of the secrets.
Jessica: You got to get the book and the timing out.
Bill: You’re going to have to get the book. But we do have some opportunities for folks to meet you and, uh, and a signing. That’s coming up tomorrow night.
Amy Delcambre: Yes. So tomorrow night at the West Regional Mobile Library, we have our Writers Guild meeting. It’s free to the public. Anybody can come. And then the following week, we’re going to do a laid back book launch at the Icebox bar. And so that will be a really fun and exciting way to meet both me and a friend of mine who wrote another book about Mobile.
Bill: That’s right. Jodi Cain Smith will be here on the Red Couch tomorrow, and she’ll be talking to us about her book. And we’re going to find out all about that. So a lot of great things to find out about Mobile. Amy Delcambre is our guest. Thanks very much for being here.
Amy Delcambre: Thank you for having me.