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Blvd bachelors

I once read an anonymous quote that stated, "There are more difficult things in life than finding a good man. Nailing Jell-O to a tree, for instance."

Well, beachblvd readers must be quite adept at the task, because they didn’t seem to have much trouble finding a string of South Mississippi men to nominate as beachblvd bachelors. And the secret committee of three women who selected the five to be featured in this issue kept asking, “Do you have this one’s phone number?”

In true beachblvd style, neither the readers nor the judges were looking for beefy hunks, but much more. Nominators were challenged to select men who are everything that beachblvd is: soulful, reflective, inspiring.

Here are beachblvd’s readers’ 2010 bachelors.

Cree CantrellCantrell, 22, graduated from Millsaps College in May with big plans. He has crammed more into his four years of college than many of us do in a lifetime, including serving as Student Body president and owning and operating his own business, The Fundamentals of Football Summer Camp, which teaches children about the games of football and life. His sister describes him as "the living, breathing Southern gentleman and the bachelor every woman wants to call her own."

Funny or deep? “Personally, I try to come off as being funny. Humor is good for making any situation more comfortable. A little self-depreciation goes a long way in showing others than you're comfortable with yourself. Underneath, though, I'm pretty deep. In terms of women, I prefer deep. A woman who is thoughtful and intellectual is very impressive.”

What are you obsessed with?“ ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. That is by far the best TV show of all time. I love the classic style and intriguing social commentary.

Hidden talents?“Ballroom dancing. I dance a mean tango.”

To get my attention, a woman should …“… have great self-confidence and a classic old-school style.”

Favorite movie?“Nearly any romantic comedy. I know that's not a very masculine answer, but the predictability of the plot in romantic comedies is oddly comforting to me. I spend most of the day worried about school, work or what is going on in the world of politics, so its nice to be able to escape to a place where Matthew McConaughey always gets the girl.”

Dream job?“My dream job is serving Mississippians as governor of the state.”

Clay DanielsonDanielson, 25, is chief naval architect at Trinity Yachts. A classic romantic with high standards, he believes you can tell a lot about a woman by the style of shoes she is wearing. He's looking for someone he can laugh with and with whom he can share the tranquility he finds on the water.

Best place to meet women?“Not at the bar. Not at the islands. Not at work. Not online. Not at Home Depot. Not at the Long Beach Winn-Dixie ... . Where does that leave?”

My best quality is...“… my dry sense of humor.”

When I am on a date I like the woman to ... “… sit across from me, not on the same side of the table.”

Idea second date? “Depends on the time of year. Spring — day trip to New Orleans, walk around downtown, go the aquarium perhaps. Enjoy the springtime weather, lunch outside. Summer — day trip to Cat Island on my boat. Relax on the beach, swim, take a walk looking for neat things that wash up. Fishing is a plus, if she's into it. I cook lunch. Fall — sunset cruise on my boat. Winter — dinner in Mobile, walk through Bellingrath Gardens afterward. They always decorate the gardens with millions of Christmas lights and its very romantic.”

Online dating?“Not my style.”

Fix-ups by friends? “Absolutely, nobody knows me better than my friends.”

Dream vacation? “Weeklong Mediterranean cruise on a privately chartered luxury motor yacht.”

Bryan EllsberryEllsberry, 35, has his dream job, a sharp sense of humor and a firm understanding of who he is and where he's going. He is an avid outdoorsman with a softer side. He writes lyrics and plays the guitar. His mantra is tattooed on his left forearm: “No need to justifyEverything I do or everything I likeI won't apologize for who I've come to beBecause who am I, if I can't be meI can not live a lie, I am just what you see...I'm not the next of them, I am the first of me.”

First thing you notice about a woman?“Curves in all the right places.”

Ideal first date? “Comedy club or something to lighten the mood, maybe even the fair. The last thing I want is a really formal dinner with some beautiful girl, trying to enjoy the moment by knowing that both of us are worried there might be food stuck in our teeth! Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of time for formal dates, but just not the first one. I like to be in a situation where we can just relax and be ourselves.”

Online dating? “Yes, I have and I'm up for it but for 90 percent of us, it doesn't really work.”

Major turn-offs?“Smoking, drama, insecurity.”

Best quality?“Making people laugh and being determined to accomplish things I really want to accomplish.”

Rick McMurtryMcMurtry, 49, is a homebuilder who lives for the lighter side of life. He rarely meets a stranger and is looking for a positive, upbeat woman who enjoys living life as much as he does. He has two daughters, with whom he enjoys spending time and watching grow into happy and secure young women.

Why are you single?“ At the risk of sounding cheesy, I really am looking for my soul mate and I'm taking my time.”

Hidden talents? “Animals and kids love me. Oh! And I can dance!”

I would like to learn to ... “… scuba dive in the Caribbean.”

To get a woman's attention I ...

“… flirt with my eyes and dimples.”

Ideal first date? “Dinner and dancing.”

Favorite movies? “A comedy. ‘Dumb & Dumber’, ‘A Night at the Roxbury,’ ‘The Hangover.’

First thing you notice about a woman?“Her smile.”

Major turn-offs? “Poor hygiene.”

My best qualities are ... “… I'm straightforward and honest and my sense of humor.”

My personal mantra is...“… No shirt, no shoes, no problem.”

Walter "Gene" PoolePoole, 57, has spent the last 20 years working as an ICU nurse. A classic-car enthusiast and drag-car racer, he loves the great outdoors and claims to make a mean gumbo. He wants a lady who can kick up her heels on the dance floor and enjoy where life takes them on the next big adventure.

First thing you notice about a woman? “Smile, eyes, laugh. Got to have a nice laugh. I've seen plenty of nice-looking girls whose laugh just turns me off.”

Hobbies? “Boating, canoeing, collecting Indian artifacts and old bottles. I have an 1876 original Budweiser bottle I found. I also have a pro street '69 Nova that I race in Gulfport and Mobile.”

Why are you still single?“I'm not sure. I'm honest, loyal and dependable. I can cook and most people find me to be funny. I've had two or three relationships that I thought might stick, but...”

Dogs or cats? “Dogs. My dog's name is Chip, otherwise known as Pig. He will eat almost anything, including Jell-O. My vet is cringing right now.”

What are you obsessed with? “My camp adjacent to the Grand Bay NEER Wildlife Refuge on the Mississippi/Alabama line. It previously belonged to my parents. It is 14 acres of woods, with a stocked pond, deer and turkey. It’s quiet and peaceful in contrast to my stressful job.”

Hidden talents?“I once wrestled an alligator out of my pond — dang thing tried to bite me!”

I would die happy if ... “… the Saints won a Super Bowl. Wait a minute, they did!”