June 2016 Druid City Living

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Tuscaloosa’s Premier Community Newspaper

June 2016 - Volume 3, Issue 6

Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest Returning to Tuscaloosa By Tori Linville

Live at the Plaza Summer Concert Series Returns

Full Story on PAGE 4

The Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest returns for its second year to Tuscaloosa’s Government Plaza on Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11. The festival, presented by the Community Foundation of West Alabama, will award a total of $7,500 in prizes for the top five winners in its 14 divisions. Admission is free. “It’s great entertainment,” said Glenn Taylor, executive director of the Community Foundation. “These kind of events draw bluegrass and old-time fiddle musicians from all over the Southeast, and many come to play and don’t actually compete. They just come to hook up with other musicians and play together.”

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Musicians from all over the Southeast will compete for prize money at the second annual Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest June 10-11. Photo: Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest

Former Tide Player Says Suiting Up Under Bear Bryant Helped Shape his Path to Ministry By Stan J. Griffin The legend of the late former University of Alabama football coach Paul William “Bear” Bryant is an enduring force, especially in the men that he coached, mentored, and motivated to be extraordinary, not only on the field but also in life. Alberta Baptist Church co-pastor Keith Pugh, a 58-year-old native of Evergreen, is one of those men personally impacted by the coaching icon, as he attended UA from 19751980 and played on Alabama teams that won national championships in 1978 and 1979 while also capturing three Southeastern Conference titles from 1977-79.

And while that success was certainly memorable, it was the more important life lessons learned from Bryant and a few others that helped shape him into an individual who would also seek to lead others toward a special path. “I grew up in a Christian home, and I called myself a Christian growing up and I was very active in church,” said Pugh, who now co-pastors Alberta Baptist with Colby Mouchette. “When I came to the University of Alabama, I got involved with a Bible study and I realized I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So as a freshman

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Photo: Shane Dorrill


June 2016

Photo of the Month


Josh Watkins (205) 529-5723 Josh@druidcitymedia.com


Laurie Mundy Perrigin (205) 246-2977 Laurie@druidcitymedia.com

Art Director

Christopher Edmunds (205) 541-7092 Christopher@druidcitymedia.com

Staff Writers Tori Linville Stan J. Griffin

Marketing Consultants Tom Sommerville (205) 393-6396 Tom@druidcitymedia.com

Britney McComb (256) 476-6888 Britney@druidcitymedia.com Allison Adams (205) 914-2400 allisonpadams@gmail.com

Legal: Druid City Living (DCL) is published monthly. Reproduction or use of graphical content without prior permission is prohibited. DCL is designed to inform the readers regarding community news and events. Information is gathered from sources that are considered reliable, however the accuracy is not guaranteed. All articles, photos, etc. submitted become the property of DCL. We reserve the right to edit as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish any material. Any inaccuracies should be brought to the attention of the editor.

Enthusiastic crowds turned out at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in May for two great concerts: The Avett Brothers on May 5 and the “I Love the 90s” concert on May 20. Fans dressed accordingly for the latter show in colorful, coordinated fashions of the day. Smiles and good vibes were everywhere as T-Town residents danced the night away. The fun continues at the Amp with Darius Rucker on June 16. For a full lineup of all the great happenings in our area this month, check out our June Calendar of Events on page 17. DCL was thrilled to be there for all the fun, and we hope to see you around town again in coming months. Here’s to a great Tuscaloosa summer! Photo: Josh Watkins







You can travel all over, and you won’t find Another town with our name or our frame of mind visittuscaloosa.com

Music plays under Southern Skies And all that you see is a feast for the eyes Tuscaloosa – The One and Only


June 2016

Live at the Plaza Returns for Summer 2016 Concert Series to be held Fridays in June, July By Tori Linville

Live at the Plaza, Tuscaloosa’s summer concert series, is back for its second year of musical acts and entertainment. The concert series will host a free concert at Government Plaza every Friday night in June and July from 6 to 9 p.m. The concerts were given an extra hour, changing from the scheduled 6 to 8 p.m. performances held the year before. Live at the Plaza is privately funded and no city funds are allocated to the initiative. The series kicks off with an event sponsored by BankFirst Financial Services, showcasing music from the Matt Jones Trio on June 3. Additional acts include a June 10 concert with bluegrass band Lickety Split and an open competition from the Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest. Acts are still in the process of being scheduled for the summer and will be announced as they are confirmed. City Councilor Matt Calderone said while Tuscaloosa is no stranger to festivals with an aim to celebrate culture, the concert series is keeping things simple. The series’ first year showed just how successful holding events in Tuscaloosa can be.

“Last summer was a huge success. The last event in July had more than 12,000 people and these people are visitors, people from Tuscaloosa, businessmen and businesswomen,” Calderone said. “It attracted people and brought people together, creating another layer to the cultural environment downtown. We’re going by the logic to keep it simple and hopefully people will visit.” The series has ideas for future events if Live at the Plaza continues to do well, including growing entertainment, incorporating a children’s theater or even a cooking competition. But nothing is set in stone. For now, Live at the Plaza remains a concert series allowing the audience to bring their own food and blankets. Alcohol is permitted as long as it remains within the plaza and is consumed during the time of the festival. “I’d say our goal is to keep it simple, accessible and free,” Calderone said. “Many goals with this initiative focused on getting peoples’ juices flowing for the events they can do on their own. Part of it is advertising to show that people can put on these kinds of events in Tuscaloosa.”

Tuscaloosa’s “Live at the Plaza” concert series kicks off on June 3 at Government Plaza. Photo: City of Tuscaloosa Instagram

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Serving Children with Developmental Delays Early intervention is a coordinated, family-focused system of resource access, supports and services for eligible infants and toddlers, ages birth to 3 years who have developmental delays. Our network of parents, service coordinators, service providers, and others build upon the natural learning opportunities that occur within the daily routines of a child and his or her family. Services are guided by the priorities, needs, and dreams of each family and are provided within a flexible range of options to best fit the unique needs of each child and family. Qualifications for Early Intervention is solely based on a child’s developmental delay/diagnosis and is not based on a family's income. The focus of EI is to train, equip and support parents/caregivers in being the first and best teachers for their child. If you think your child is a little late learning to crawl or walk or talk, don't worry, but don't wait. Call us at (205) 752-0476 for more information.

Educational Services Provide Children Birth to Five with a Head Start Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from lowincome families Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. In addition to education services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. Head Start services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage. Children are eligible for Head Start regardless of race, sex, creed or national origin as long as their family meets established criteria for enrollment which include: age, income, parent status, disability or other high risk factors. There is no cost to families whose children meet the eligibility guidelines for Head Start. To enroll your child in Head Start, call (205) 752-5429. For more information on these and other programs offered by Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc. call (205) 752-5429 or visit our website at www.cpswal.com. CSP provides resources and services, which resolve immediate needs and lead to long-term selfsufficiency in low income and vulnerable populations.

6 OPINION Give Life to Your Story: Letting Your Child Take Risks My family loves to go to Snow Hinton Park to climb the space-net web to the 38-foot tube slide. We’ve been there several times. My nine-year-old daughter climbs the net with ease. Her five year old sister had been eager to climb it ever since its construction. The only problem is that at her age, my wife and I had been reluctant to allow her to. I’ve even said, “Letting her climb this net is not good parenting. I’ve climbed it, and I know that there are certain areas that will greatly challenge her.” I told my daughter, “If you fall and hurt yourself, it would be hard for me to forgive myself.” Nonetheless, she continued to insist that we give her a chance. One month ago, my wife allowed her to climb it. The stipulation was that they would climb together, and my

daughter had to follow her mother’s every command. Although it took a while, they succeeded. A few weeks ago, she wanted to climb it again. My wife wasn’t there, and I had to solely make the decision this time. Even though she had climbed it once, I was still nervous about letting her do it again. I initially told her “no.” Then, her look of disappointment won me over. I took a deep breath and said, “Let’s climb.” She was overjoyed. As we approached the web, we saw parents carrying their little ones up the ropes. I looked over and said, “Just let me carry you on my back too!” For some reason, even though that was also risky, to me it was safer than trusting her arms, legs, and feet. My daughter refused to let me carry her. “I got this” she exclaimed. “Let’s just climb it together. If I get to a hard part, I’ll call you. I know you’ll give me your hand.” We began the climb, I helped her twice, and we made it to the top. That experience has taught me a few things. They’re Often Ready Long Before They’re Released My daughter had been asking for months if we would let her climb what she affectionately called “the spider web.” Obviously, she was ready. Her parents weren’t. Parents, it’s our job to raise our children to be productive, self-sufficient citizens. If we never

release them to face challenges or take risks, we could be positioning them to be completely dependent upon us forever. Your “Track” Record Influences Their “Try” Record When you are consistently there for your child, you cause them to trust that you will always be there. Realistically, you can’t always be there. However, your child will be less afraid to face

June 2016 by Romel Gibson

challenges if he/she knows that your hand of support is just a call away. My daughter won’t be a little girl forever. Hopefully, the older she gets, the less she’ll need my hand. Yes, she may fall from time to time. Even knowing that, I need her to feel secure enough to try. Romel Gibson is on staff with Tuscaloosa Youth For Christ. He and his wife, Q, have three beautiful girls.


June 2016

The Land of Oz: What Third Graders Know

by Derek Osborn

A monthly editorial piece of masterful opinionated writing (insert joke here) regarding life and times in the big town of Tuscaloosa coupled with the musings of a guy nicknamed “Oz.” What do third graders know? Here is the answer: A LOT. How do I know? Well, I am the proud owner of a third grader. I acquired her in a game of chance between myself and Mrs. Oz a little over ten years ago. 34 weeks later (it’s a long story), in a little room at St. Vincent’s Hospital, a bundle of joy was deeded to us that required filling out less paperwork than a rental agreement. How else do I know? Because at PRIDE (Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education), we implemented a prevention program for every third grader in the city and county of Tuscaloosa, which means that we get to meet almost all of them. It’s appropriately titled, “Have a Little PRIDE.” When we first started the program, and even to this day, many parents are stunned that we start drug prevention at such an early age. At the beginning, we were nervous about it too. But we found out rather quickly that these kids are smarter and are picking up on things about life at a much faster rate. Most of this is good. Some of it is not. Before you fall of the couch in disbelief, understand that our program does not consist of talking to kids about harsh drugs like cocaine or heroin. It’s about making healthy lifestyle choices, and what they want to be whenLipstick they grow and what their dreams Bradford Half Pgup, Ad_Layout 1 12/4/14 2:43 PM and goals are, and obstacles that can get in the way of achieving those goals.

Then we ask them if they know what tobacco is, and typically, every hand is raised. Some of them know a little bit. Some of them know name brands. But all of them know something, and this comes in a time where tobacco use is at its lowest point in years. Yet, they are aware of it (and quite intrigued). This opens a dialogue with them about making those healthy lifestyle choices, giving them an introductory, yet appropriate, definition of addiction. At the end of the presentation, we open the floor for questions, and some of things we hear would likely shock most of you. The majority of them have heard about marijuana and heroin, as these are two substances that are frequently reported on in the news. But many also know about meth and cocaine and synthetics. And this is why it is so important that we start prevention at an early age. The information superhighway is wide open, and our children are riding in the fast lane. Want to know how fast? Just ask them. I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34. Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica.

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8 OPINION Lake Living: Paradise on Lake Tuscaloosa Lake season is here! Happy Flag Day and Father’s Day to everyone. While out celebrating summer, I have noticed quite a few changes on Lake Tuscaloosa. There appear to be more boats on the water. The usual brands are accented with new, sporty models that we didn’t see as recently as last summer. One I might call a “mini-ship” puttered beside us as we were taking our first dip in the water last month. Smith’s Marina was doing a “changing of the rentals” at their dock as we gassed up the pontoon (yes, the “Pontoon” song is playing in my head as I write). Lake Tuscaloosa is bustling with family memory-making, with families gathered on the banks at Carroll’s Creek Island and flat spots along the shorelines. It’s wonderful. It’s also exciting that our little lake is being discovered by baby boomers in search of a place to nest. I sold a lake home to a couple from Georgia recently – they made an offer on Tuesday and closed on the following Tuesday. Those moments don’t happen often, but it makes me realize our lake is in demand. It’s also frustrating, as we search endlessly for a client’s special slice of paradise on the lake, only to find that, to date, there are fewer than 25 area lake homes available to show.

New construction is on the horizon, and proposed development is beginning to creep into the planning board agendas at the City of Tuscaloosa, promising more residences for those who wish to live the Lake Tuscaloosa dream. I have been following some of these, and while I want to see restaurants and fun events that make Lake Tuscaloosa unique (as I noted in my December column), I also treasure the quiet days when you pass only a few pontoons dragging screaming kids across small wakes. Lake Martin has Goat Island, a cliff to jump from, and rope swings, but it also has inherited massive waves that resemble a rocking bay when you attempt to cross the “big water.” Lake Tuscaloosa is unique, with easy navigation and sloughs to explore. The North River tributary is a great place to traverse, with areas deep within the narrow river for meandering that provide tree covered areas, views of cows grazing along-side, and an old iron bridge to discover. As the University of Alabama continues to grow, Lake Tuscaloosa is being discovered by parents from all over the country who love UA and all that it provides in year-round entertainment. The majority of owners on Lake Tuscaloosa are still local with permanent homes, but that dynamic is due to change.

June 2016 by Allison Adams

If you go out to celebrate on Lake Tuscaloosa this Father’s Day, you are sure to appreciate the quiet, peaceful escape that remains on our little “hidden” lake. Enjoy the serenity and the beauty of summer.

Blessings from Lake Tuscaloosa, Allison Adams Allison Adams is a Realtor who lives on Lake Tuscaloosa. You can reach her at aadams@lakehomes.com.

Photo: Allison Adams

COMMUNITY 9 Sassafras Center for Arts and Environment to Open New Park, Community Support Needed June 2016

The Sassafras Center for Arts and Environment is preparing to break ground on a 3.5-acre public park to open in east Tuscaloosa. “Sassafras Park will set the bar for public space design. It is a celebration of both people and nature in a space that is visually stunning,” revealed Interim-Executive Director Eric Courchesne. “It will be a space people want to come back to, and a model they’ll want to see replicated throughout Tuscaloosa.” Land has been secured and the future park design has been completed with help from both experts and the community. “Once constructed, this space will be completely financially self-sufficient – an innovative proposition for public green space in Alabama. With support from the community we can finish construction and open this unique space in Tuscaloosa. It will be a hub for creativity and entertainment that will inspire and delight,” said Courchesne. Features include rainwater cisterns and rain gardens throughout the park that distribute water to trees and flowering plants, including a native butterfly garden. “The plan for the park focuses on creating different useable spaces that are seamlessly designed with elements that promote biodiversity and environmental stewardship,” said Courchesne. The park will also include a sculpture garden, outdoor classroom, community garden, fruit orchard, large pavilion and a great lawn. The park will be available for rental for private functions, and public programs will include entertainment and music, workshops, community meetings and events.

“Sassafras Park represents an important new asset for our city because of its unique commitment to public land through private funding,” said Tuscaloosa City Council member Eddie Pugh. “I hope the community will see this and support the park.” “With the help of the community, we will build a one-of-a-kind event space that will draw artists, musicians and talent from around the country,” said Laurie Johns, president of the board of directors.

The nonprofit is seeking donations and in-kind contributions from the community to make the park a reality. Construction will begin as soon as funding is secured. Donations can be made via Sassafras Center’s website, sassafrascenter.org. Early supporters will receive unique benefits, including an invitation to an exclusive grand opening festival, naming rights at the park, and free reservations for use of the special event space.


June 2016

Tales of

Local author and historian Jim Ezell is busily writing a collection of historical stories about the Druid City and surrounding areas, in hopes of publishing a book ahead of Tuscaloosa’s bicentennial celebration in 2019. What began as genealogy search in 1992 quickly turned into a much larger project. As Ezell searched through over a century of newspapers at the University of Alabama’s Hoole Special Collections Library, he became fascinated by other articles from the Druid City.


By Jim Ezell

“Alabama Casts 24 Votes...”: June 30, 1924

A slightly built, mustachioed man stood atop a chair. His unamplified Southern voice boomed “Alabama casts 24 votes for Oscar W. Underwood!” The speaker was Alabama’s Gov. W. W. Brandon of Tuscaloosa. It was June 30, 1924 at the Democratic National Convention held in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The first presidential nominating ballot, the Roll Call of the States, had begun. Nineteen candidates received votes—no one got a majority. For nearly two weeks, the convention was deadlocked. At the beginning of each ballot Brandon mounted a chair and repeated without variation, “Alabama casts 24 votes for Oscar W. Underwood!” In frustration, thousands of delegates and radio listeners would intone the same words. They were frustrated because it took 103 ballots to finally nominate a relatively unknown compromise candidate—John W. Davis of West Virginia. Calvin Coolidge, the incumbent Republican President, won the general election. William W. Brandon was born in Talladega County and moved to Tuscaloosa at an early age. While a law student at the University of Alabama, he became Tuscaloosa City Clerk. Later, he led the Warrior Guards in the Spanish-American War and

in 1899, he became state Adjutant General. Under the Federal Militia Act of 1903, he reorganized the state’s militias into the National Guard. In addition to being Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge, Brandon served in the Alabama Legislature and as State Auditor. In 1918, he ran unsuccessfully for governor against Thomas Kilby, but in 1922, he became the only candidate to ever carry all 67 counties, winning by a three-to-one margin over Bibb Graves. The man for whom Brandon cast nominating votes was Senator Oscar W. Underwood—Alabama’s “favorite son” presidential candidate. His political career was remarkable. He was the only person to serve as majority leader in both Houses of Congress. At one point, he was chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. In 1912, he campaigned unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination after winning several Southern primaries. In 1916, he declined Woodrow Wilson’s invitation to share the Democratic ticket as the Vice-Presidential candidate. By 1924, the resurrected Ku Klux Klan had become a major political force, particularly in the northeast, west and mid-west. They made a strong attempt to influence the Democratic National

Convention. Underwood and Brandon, longtime foes of the Klan, led the anti-Klan forces. Underwood maintained they were a “national menace.” In 1964, the first episode of the NBC television series Profiles in Courage presented The Oscar W. Underwood Story, detailing how he likely lost the 1924 nomination because of his unwavering opposition to the Klan. In 1928, Underwood and Brandon supported the presidential campaign of Gov. Al Smith of New York, who was vehemently opposed by the Klan and others because he was an Irish Catholic. Their support helped the Democrats carry Alabama, but Herbert Hoover won nationally. In failing health, Brandon led Alabama’s delegation at the 1932 Democratic Convention. He answered the Roll Call of the States one last time and in a firm voice cried out, “Alabama casts 24 votes for Roosevelt”—the first votes for the man who would win four presidential terms. Over the decades, Brandon and Underwood gradually faded into obscurity. They are now little known outside history books. However, in their day, Brandon’s voice, Underwood’s name and their shared courage were well known.

Mementos of unsuccessful campaigns—a poster from Brandon’s 1918 gubernatorial race and a button from Underwood’s 1912 attempt for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Photos Courtesy of Jim Ezell


June 2016



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at Alabama, I gave my heart to Christ and got more involved with Bible study. I began to realize that what brought me the greatest joy was being in ministry.” After graduating from UA, he went to Trinity Presbyterian School, where he coached before serving for five years as state director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He then served as youth pastor, and then later, as pastor at First Baptist Church in Jackson, Alabama. He moved to Sylacauga, where he became pastor of First Baptist Church, and stayed 11 years before returning to Tuscaloosa in 2006 to become pastor of Open Door Baptist Church. Following the April 27, 2011, tornado that destroyed the former Alberta Baptist Church building, the congregation of that church was invited to worship at Open Door, a three-year fellowship which eventually led to a permanent merge in November 2014 between the churches once the new Alberta Baptist building was completed. “We built a real partnership there (while at Open Door),” said Pugh, married to his wife Teresa for 36 years. The couple’s three children, K.J., Katie and Kameron, are also involved in ministry. “It’s just really been a good union so far. (Mouchette) is a great young pastor, and a very talented and very gifted young man and a great communicator.” He said he will always be grateful for his experience as a Tide player, and suiting up in crimson-and-white under Bryant. “Playing football for Alabama provided me with a platform to share Christ. Coach Bryant was a great influence on my life, and a lot of the things I do now are a result of the way he taught us. It was not just about football and most of it was about life.”

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The festival will begin on Friday, June 10, at 5 p.m. with its harmonica, dulcimer and mandolin divisions followed by an open mic session. On Saturday, June 11, registration begins at 9 a.m. with the contest beginning at 10 a.m. The festival’s 14 divisions include contests in the harmonica, dulcimer, and mandolin, senior, adult, junior and “small frye” (age 10 and under) fiddle, bluegrass bands, guitar, banjo, and buck dancing for three age divisions and a “fiddle-off.” The location of the festival moved from Northport’s Kentuck Park to Tuscaloosa’s Government Plaza due to a scheduling conflict with Warrior Baseball. “We had a tremendous first year beginning in Kentuck Park with an estimated crowd of 1,000 and contestants as far away as Texas up to Missouri who competed for prizes,” said Taylor. “We have a conflict with Warrior Baseball using Kentuck Park the second weekend in June and a lot of these competitions go on throughout the Southeast, so you don’t want a conflict.” Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports reached out to the festival’s organizers wanting to know what it would take to have the festival moved to Government Plaza, Taylor said. Tuscaloosa’s Live at the Plaza concert series was also accommodating, offering up their Friday night concert for June 10 to the festival. “It’s been a good move and it’s really taken off. People are contacting us about becoming corporate sponsors and this is only our second year,” he said. The family-friendly event will have additional attractions, such as arts and crafts for children, including face painting.

Not only does the Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest promote a sense of regionalism, but it also helps to dissolve generational differences, Taylor said. “You’ll people around six and you’ll see people in their seventies and eighties and it’s really a neat thing to see a young boy at 12 or 14 playing instruments with a man in his seventies and they don’t even know each other,” he said. “It crosses the age barrier and our goal is to continue that heritage.” For a full list of rules, contest prizes and more information, visit alabamafiddle.com.

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June 2016

Transformation Complete, Drish House Reopening First wedding in a century held at historic home By Elizabeth Stanard The Historic Drish House, constructed in the 1800s, is well known for its distinctive architecture and legendary ghosts. But now, thanks to the tireless dedication of new owner Nika McCool and her expert restoration team, the mansion has transformed into one of Tuscaloosa’s premier event venues. On Saturday, May 14, the Drish House officially reopened its doors for a decadent inaugural event like no other. Locals Lindsey McCutchen and Bear Danford exchanged vows at their 1920s themed wedding, a celebration that could only be matched by the Great Gatsby himself. A crowd of flappers and gangsters gathered at sunset for the ceremony in the house’s renovated grand room, which boasts spectacular chandeliers and windows. And during the reception that immediately followed, the house was converted into a speakeasy. The wedding party enjoyed a feast from Jo Jo’s Food Trunk and “Prohibition-free” spirits from Band of Brothers and Druid City brewing companies. This memorable evening was just the beginning of many more fantastic events to come. Vikki Grodner, the marketing and events coordinator for the Drish House, is lining up arts exhibitions, live performances, Alabama game day parties, corporate functions, and formal dances and receptions, to name a few. The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce will hold its official ribbon cutting for the Drish House on June 9. A public tour of the home, highlighting its history and repurposed architecture, will follow. Added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2015, this Alabama treasure is not only a legacy of the past, with its Southern history and haunting folklore, but also opens a vibrant window into our future for making new memories and celebrating progress. To inquire about scheduling an event or tour at the Historic Drish House, contact Vikki Grodner at (205) 422-9713 or vikki@drishhouse.com. To see a complete gallery from the Drish House wedding, visit DruidCityLiving.com.

Top: Nika McCool lovingly restored the historic Drish Home, which was built in 1837 by Dr. John H. Drish. At Left: Lindsey McCutchen and Bear Danford exchanged vows at their 1920s themed wedding on May 14 at the Drish House. Photos: Elizabeth Stanard

Proposed Rendering

Gated Lake Luxury

Lots Available


June 2016 4 3

2 1

Tuscaloosa Business Happenings


Druid City Real Estate

List provided by the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors, “newest listing� on May 22, 2016. More listing available on tuscaloosamls.com.

Sponsored By: Ralph & Molly Lusian Ralph Lusian, a San Diego native, graduated from the University of Alabama as an accomplished baseball player. He is now active in the Tuscaloosa community, making time to teach music and life skills to local students in the nationally acclaimed Alabama Blues Project since its inception in 1995. 205-792-4692 Lusian earned his real estate license in 2006 and with his spouse, Molly, specializes in both residential and commercial real estate.



June 2016

Now Open 9 Round Fitness held a ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama on May 18. 9 Round, which offers a fast, effective full-body workout in 30 minutes, is located at 2370 Jack Warner Parkway NE A104 in Tuscaloosa. (205) 248-7641


Glenn’s Barber Shop on Main (423 Main Ave., Northport) is now open, offering “old school” barbering, including flat tops, fades, crew cuts, and more. Straight razor shaves and beard trims are also available. (205) 239-2852


Re/Max Premiere Group’s new location in

3 Tuscaloosa is now open. An open house was

held in May at the location (1825 McFarland Blvd. N. #140 in the Northridge Shopping Center). (205) 366-1999 Trinity Cleaning and Restoration held a ribbon cutting at their new office, located at 2675 37th St. in Northport on May 12. Trinity offers carpet, upholstery, tile and ground cleaning, along with floor care and more. (205) 799-0544; tuscalabamahomes.com


Verizon Tuscaloosa held a grand opening

5 at its new location in Tuscaloosa recently.

The store is located at 6513 Hwy 69 South. (205) 614-7569

News and Accomplishments College Hill Baptist Church held a groundbreaking celebration on April 25. The Alberta City church, which was destroyed in the April 27, 2011, tornado in Tuscaloosa, should be open within nine months. Dr. Jeanne Lipscomb has joined Comprehensive Sleep and Breathing Disorders Center PC in Tuscaloosa. Lipscomb has a special interest in COPD, asthma, lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. She is accepting new patients. Dr. Robert M. Donlan has joined the staff of The DCH Center for Occupational Health. Dr. Donlan, a sports medicine physiatrist, graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine with a fellowship in primary care sports medicine after completing a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (205) 333-4300 Patrick W. Champion has been named president of the Find HOPE Here Project, a non-profit organization that seeks to help the homeless in Tuscaloosa County. (205) 657-3824; thefindhopehereproject.org Kyle Office Solutions has purchased Kwik Kopy Printing Company in Tuscaloosa. Kwik Kopy will close its Skyland Blvd. office and will be merged into Kyle’s location (1020 21st Ave). The two businesses are working closely together to

If If you are a local Tuscaloosa business and want to share your news with the community, let us know.

Email: Editor@DruidCityLiving.com

ensure a smooth transition of all customer services. Kyleofficesolutions.com; (205) 345-5573 Allison Adams, Lake Homes Realty and Druid City Living’s “Lake Living” Columnist, received multiple awards at the recent Alabama Media Professionals Awards Banquet in Birmingham, including two honorable mentions for her DCL columns and a first place win for her book, “Twelve Days of Christmas Giving.” For a complete list of winners, visit alabamamediaprofessionals.com. Dr. Trisha Creamer has joined May Veterinary Clinic in Tuscaloosa. Creamer graduated from Mississippi State’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. She will see patients at May Northridge Monday-Thursday, and at May Veterinary Hospital on Greensboro Ave. on Tuesdays. Mayvet.com; (205) 752-6600 Med-Center Urgent Care is opening its first Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) Clinic in Fayette on June 15. The clinic (122 17th Court NE) will be open M-F (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m.-1 p.m.). CNRP’s Casey Bass and Bobbie Robertson will staff. medcenterurgentcare.com Sam Jackson’s Emporium, one of the area’s oldest businesses, closed its’ doors at the end of May. The family-owned business first opened in downtown Tuscaloosa in 1914. Village Nail Bar, which offers nail car for men and women, recently celebrated its grand opening in the Shoppes at Legacy Park. (205) 632-3764

June Calendar of Events

The Actor’s Charitable Theatre presents “Rock of Ages”: June 3-6, Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. Tickets: $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for students. For more information, including to purchase tickets and for show times, visit theact.info or call (205) 393-2800. City of Tuscaloosa Environmental Services Department Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day: June 4, 8 a.m.-noon. Public Safety Logistics building (3311 Kauloosa Ave.). Tuscaloosa County residents can drop off household hazardous waste, including discarded, unused or leftover portions, for free. For more information, including what hazardous wastes will or will not be accepted, call Tuscaloosa 311 or visit Tuscaloosa.com/ESD. 5th Street Vintage Market: June 5, 11 a.m.4 p.m., 4150 5th Street, Northport. The Vintage Market is a great place to find unusual and unique treasures, from vintage books, clothes, and jewelry to handmade items, vinyl records, and more. For more information, visit 5thstreetvintagemarket.com. Tuscaloosa Restaurant Week: June 6-12, various locations in Tuscaloosa and Northport. The West Alabama Food Bank has teamed up with sponsoring restaurants to offer “Hunger Bites!” pre-fixed menus and specials. Dine out while taking a bite out of hunger. For more, visit tuscaloosarestaurantweek.com Tuscaloosa County UA Alumni Crimson and White Wine Tasting: June 7, 6-8 p.m. Spirits Wine Cellar at The Shops of Lake Tuscaloosa. This event is free to members; non-members can join at the event. Proceeds go towards the Tuscaloosa County Chapter Scholarship Fund. For more, visit alumni.ua.edu. Sundown Lecture Series: June 9, 5:15-6:30 p.m. The Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society presents “Tuscaloosa Historic Preservation Commission,” with speaker Will D. Smith. This event is free to TCPS members; $5 for non-members. For more information, visit HistoricTuscaloosa.org. Black Warrior River Fiddle Festival: June 1011, Government Plaza, downtown Tuscaloosa. This event features musicians from all over the southeast competing for $7500 in prize money in 14 different divisions. Competitions include fiddling, harmonica,

dulcimer and more. Visit alabamafiddle.com. Highway 2 Hale Century Bicycle Ride: June 11, 7 a.m. (registration begins at 6 a.m.) Moundville. This bicycle ride, hosted by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Tuscaloosa, begins and ends at the Moundville Archaeological Park. It offers riders four distances. Rest stops include the Stewart community, Magnolia Grove in Greensboro and Payne Lake. For more information, visit highway2hale.com. First Tee of Tuscaloosa’s 14th Annual Benefit Scramble: June 11, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Ol’ Colony Golf Complex, Tuscaloosa. This annual event benefits First Tee, which seeks to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Entry fee: $700 per team ($175 per individual). For more information, call Mike Shivetts at (205) 562-3201. Advantage Realty Group Neptune Cup: June 13-19, NorthRiver Yacht Club. This men’s singles and doubles tennis event is played on weekdays from 5:30 p.m. – until and on Saturday, June 18 from 8:30 a.m. –until. Sunday play is only if necessary. Cost: $50 (plus $4.25 tennis link fee). For more information, call (205) 343-4558. Summer LEGO Camps at CHOM: June 16-July 28, Children’s Hands-On Museum, downtown Tuscaloosa. Three camps are being held. Pre-registration is strongly suggested. Visit chomonline.org. Darius Rucker with Dan + Shay and Michael Ray: June 16, 7 p.m. Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Ticket prices: $55.50, $45.50 and $26. Tickets available via Ticketmaster.com. For more info, call the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Box Office at (205) 248-5280. United Way of West Alabama Day of Action: June 17. Volunteers are needed for a community-wide day of service. Shifts are available. Projects include yard work, food service, school clean-up and more. UWWA is looking for individuals, families and corporate groups to participate. For more information, visit uwwa.org. Lemonade Day: June 18. Kids throughout Tuscaloosa will be operating their own businesses this day – in the form of lemonade stands. Lemonade Day

promotes entrepreneurship among youth, encouraging youngsters to find mentors, investors and stand locations. Workshops and events are held prior to Lemonade Day as well. For more information, visit Tuscaloosa.lemonadeday.org. DCH SportsMedicine Dirt, Sweat & Gears Trail Duathlon: June 25, 7:30 a.m. to noon. Lake Lurleen State Park. The DCH Foundation and DCH SportsMedicine’s inaugural event features a 10-mile trail bike ride on the Ridge Loop Trail followed by a 5K run on the Lakeside Trail. This duathlon also allows team competition. For more, call (205) 759-7349. Live at the Plaza: Fridays in June and July, 6-9 p.m. Government Plaza, downtown Tuscaloosa. The City of Tuscaloosa is once again hosting musical acts as part of this series. The concerts are free, and the atmosphere is family-friendly. Kids Clay Camps at Kentuck: Now through July 1, Kentuck Art Center, Northport. Registration is now open for June and July Kids Clay Camps at Kentuck. Classes for 6-8 year olds and 9-12 year olds, with six different sessions. Cost: $130 per session (includes 25 lbs. of clay, glazes, tools, and kiln firing). For more information, call (205) 758-1257. Tuscaloosa Farmer’s Market: Tuesdays and Saturdays, 7 a.m.-noon. Tuscaloosa River Market, 1900 Jack Warner Blvd, Tuscaloosa. Shop for fresh produce, grass fed beef, baked goods, cheeses and more. Buy fresh, buy local. For more information, visit tuscaloosarivermarket.com or call (205) 248-5295. Homegrown Alabama Farmer’s Market: Thursdays, 3-6 p.m. Canterbury Episcopal Chapel, Tuscaloosa. This University of Alabama student-run farmer’s market features vendors from all over the state, along with live music from local musicians. For more information, visit homegrownalabama.ua.edu. OLLI Partnership: Stillman College and The University of Alabama have partnered to bring the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) to more people than ever before. OLLI, which brings lifelong learning opportunities for older Alabamians, is now at the Stillman Campus. OLLI is open to all who enjoy learning, meeting new people and traveling. For more, olli.ua.edu or call 205-348-6482.

18 SCHOOLS DCL’s Teacher of the Month: Kayron Berry, Huntington Place Elementary School By Tori Linville

Kayron Berry began teaching in 1995 and has taught at Huntington Place Elementary for 20 years. The third-grade teacher says her biggest reward so far has been her experiences with her students. “All the students I have taught and touched in any way are my biggest accomplishments,” she said. “I love what I do and am always willing to learn new and better ways of teaching. I try and do the best job I can do each minute, day, and year.” Berry has been a Tuscaloosa native for 29 years. She attended Piedmont High School, Freed-Hardeman University and University of West Alabama. She finished her Masters in elementary education at Livingston University and plans to receive an administrative degree. “Listen to veteran teachers, and always treat your students like you would want your own children treated,” Berry said when asked what her advice was to new teachers. She said teaching is hard, but worth the reward. As a leader in the classroom, Berry said she admires her own leaders who are willing to get to know the

Photo Courtesy of Kayron Berry

teachers, parents and students and listen to their concerns. She said she is inspired by her mother the most, who has Alzheimer’s. “We are losing her a little at a time, but anytime I ask her how she feels, she always says ‘great,’” she said. “My prayer is for her to continue to know me and smile every time I visit.” If she wasn’t teaching, Berry would most likely be an artist due to her strong love of all things art. Since she is teaching, she said her favorite school supply is donations, so she can purchase whatever it is that her classroom needs.

June 2016

Tuscaloosa Public Library’s 2016 Summer Reading Program Offers Free Fun for Children The Tuscaloosa Public Library’s summer reading program, “On Your Mark, Get Set…Read!” kicked off on May 31. For parents looking for something fun for the kids to do while they’re out of school, TPL’s reading program offers plenty to keep the children entertained and busy. And best of all? The programs are free. “Summer Reading is TPL’s football season. We see a lot of patrons and have a lot of great programs. This is a great time of year for the Tuscaloosa Public Library,” said Vince Bellofatto, director of communications and public relations. This year’s Summer Reading program includes magicians and

magic shows, juggling, storytelling and animal shows, with plenty of activities to keep the kids happy for hours each week. The program is available at Tuscaloosa’s Main Library on Jack Warner Parkway, at the Weaver Bolden Branch on Lanier Avenue, and at the Brown Library Branch on Bobby Miller Parkway. The Summer Reading Program 2016 runs through Friday, July 29 at all Tuscaloosa Public Library locations. For specific activity dates and times, visit the TPL’s official website at tuscaloosa-library.org, and for more information or questions, call (205) 345-5820.

TPL Summer Reading Schedule 2016 Tuesdays: 9:30 a.m. – Weaver Bolden branch 2 p.m. – Main Library Wednesdays: 9:30 a.m. – Main Library 2 p.m. – Brown branch

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June 2016

DCH SportsMedicine Hosts Inaugural Duathlon By Stan J. Griffin The DCH Foundation and DCH SportsMedicine are urging all sports and recreation-minded individuals to get their cycling gear and running shoes ready. On Saturday, June 25, the system will be sponsoring the DCH SportsMedicine Dirt, Sweat & Gears Trail Duathlon at Lake Lurleen State Park. The event should translate into a fun day for all participants, as it will involve a 10-mile trail bike ride on the Ridge Loop Trail followed by a 5K run on the Lakeside Trail. For those who are not particularly adept with the bike or in terms of running, the event will also allow for team competition. Since 1999, the DCH SportsMedicine program has hosted a 5K run/1 mile fun walk for the community, but it is hoping that by introducing a duathlon to the equation, participants will find an enhanced new event to be especially challenging and rewarding at the same time. The actual events will begin at 8 a.m., and there will be a mandatory pre-race meeting at 7:30 a.m. at the starting line. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. on the day of the event. The minimum age for the bike trail is 12-years-old. The race will begin in front of the

Pavilion. Bike racers will ride to the Ridge Loop Trail and complete the trail twice (approximately 10 miles), and then ride back to the starting area. From there, the race will continue on to the Lakeside Trail for a 5K run, and then on to the finish. Snacks will be provided before and after the race for all participating

individuals, and water and sports drinks will be provided at the start/ finish area. There will be a designated water station at the turn-around point for the 5K, but participants are asked to bring camel packs and/or water bottles for the bike trails. Registration fee for Individuals is

$45 pre-registration and $55 for race day registration. The fee for teams is $80 pre-registration and $90 for race day registration. Awards will be given for the Top 3 male and Top 3 female finishers. All proceeds from the event will benefit the DCH SportsMedicine Fund. This DCH Foundation fund provides service and educational opportunities to area schools, colleges, recreational sports organizations and individuals. The fund also provides protective and preventive athletic equipment to area athletes, including breakaway safety bases for baseball and softball fields, face shields for little league baseball batting helmets, automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), and supplies/equipment for area high school athletic training rooms. In meeting its commitment to education, the DCH SportsMedicine Fund also sponsors scholarships for college student athletic trainers. The DCH Foundation is hoping for a good community-wide support for the event, and for the youth that will be assisted through the duathlon. Various levels of sponsorship are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and those seeking information about this or any other items related to the event can contact the DCH Foundation at (205) 759-7349.


June 2016

Epiphany Owner Opening New Downtown Eatery By Tori Linville

When Tres Jackson opened Epiphany, Innisfree was his next door neighbor and downtown Tuscaloosa served as a makeshift parking lot for football games. The farm-to-fork restaurant relied on Birmingham’s farmer’s market and had a slim selection of locally sourced food to choose from. “There was a process of developing enough relationships to continue to evolve and buy more locally, because there wasn’t one grower that was doing it right about ten years ago,” Jackson said. “Now we have times of the year where we buy from 20 farms in a week. It might be eggs from one person and honey from another.” Jackson is a strong believer in locally sourcing food, and he’s been preaching the practice for over a decade. Epiphany turns 13 in September. His newest brain child, A.B., is set to open in July next to the Children’s Hands-On Museum in downtown Tuscaloosa. The restaurant will be focused on street food for a different target audience. Plates will feature different kinds of street sandwiches, tacos, rice bowls, salads and more. “Not everybody’s going to come to Epiphany on a Thursday night and buy $28 big plates or $14 small plates. A.B. is super quick, it’s not going to have table service, it’s going to be

a true fast casual counter service,” he said. “We’re still going to buy sustainable and organic ingredients and try to continue to open peoples’ eyes to buying things local from the community.” Jackson pays attention to his demographic, and plans to expose busy students on a budget to the locally connected ingredients he works with every day. Where Epiphany’s menu is ever-changing, A.B.’s menu will slow its pace and feature specials. “The whole point is to expand people’s perceptions that you can buy things locally. Seven or eight years ago, we didn’t even have a valid farmers market in Tuscaloosa,” Jackson said. “Now we have what, three? So we have at least three days a week, year round pretty much, where people can go buy from truly legitimate local farmers. That’s how much it’s grown awareness-wise and we’re hoping to continue to build on that.” Jackson said A.B.’s atmosphere will be funky, with loud music and outdoor seating. Wine and beer will be on tap and seating will most likely accommodate for 40 customers dining in. Lauren Cardon, assistant professor at the University of Alabama and friend of Jackson, taught a food writing class during the spring 2016 semester that incorporated a food tasting for A.B.

“I wanted to teach this class as an experiential learning class, so that students are cooking, eating, tasting, writing about the process of cooking as well as the taste and texture of what they eat as a way of enhancing specific writing skills,” Cardon said. The tasting, provided to students by Jackson and Cardon, featured a variety of dishes Jackson was considering for A.B.’s menu. Students were required to craft their responses and evaluations to the dishes they tasted as a class assignment. “We agreed the taste and presentation were practically flawless,” Cardon said of Jackson’s dishes. “Chef Tres’s food always strikes the

right balance of flavors and textures, plus it always looks delicious – bright, fresh produce, well-prepared proteins, perfect garnishes.” Jackson said his unique twists to traditional dishes will just be the beginning for A.B. The fast casual eatery has its goal of providing meals with locally sourced ingredients to a wider Tuscaloosa audience always in mind. “[We are] just going to try to be more delicate with the food and more vegetable driven,” he said. “That continues to happen and evolve and that will never change. If you quit evolving, you might as well quit working.”

Spicy Chicken Tacos with peanut sauce were on the tasting menu for students. Photo: Lauren Cardon

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June 2016



Taste of Tuscaloosa Favorites: Three Dishes You Have to Try by Sheena Gregg I would bet good money on the statement that it’s impossible not to find something delicious to eat in Tuscaloosa. We’ve got our classic restaurants that have stood the test of time in town, but we’ve also got quite a few new kids on the block. As a dietitian, I’m a firm believer in eating not only for our health, but also for some downright pleasure. We’ve got some delightful food in Tuscaloosa, and I’m excited to share a few of my favorite dishes around town.

this breakfast has shot to the top of my favorites in Tuscaloosa. As someone who typically opts for bacon and eggs at breakfast, I was pleasantly shocked at just how delicious and satisfying oatmeal can be. Heritage House Coffee and Tea is open Monday-Saturday, offering a wide variety of gourmet coffee, gifts, desserts, and breakfast and lunch options. For more information, visit heritagehousecoffee.com.

Lunch: Crispy Brussels Sprouts from Maki Fresh This is the stuff that vegetable dreams are made of: Crispy, savory, and with a little hint of sweet from a balsamic glaze, this dish will make you a believer in Brussels sprouts. Don’t let the description as a side dish on the menu fool you – opt in for the added chicken, and this bowl turns into the perfect entrée, boasting

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal from Heritage House Coffee and Tea This warm, buttery, and sweet golden goodness will fill you up with the perfect cup of coffee. Topped with optional strawberries and bananas,

Photos: Sheena Gregg

perfectly cooked and seasoned Brussels sprouts, along with chicken and your choice of white or brown rice. Coming from a John Cassimus establishment, you know it’s got to be good! Maki Fresh is open daily, serving up a delicious rice bowls, sliders, and amazing sushi creations. For more information, visit makifresh.com. Dinner: Margherita Pizza from Post Office Pies I’ve got a few standing principles when it comes to pizza, with one of them founded on quality ingredients. If your ingredients are fresh, your pizza doesn’t have to be complicated. The Margherita pizza from Post Office Pies modestly boasts house-made mozzarella, fresh basil, perfectly seasoned roasted cherry tomatoes, and traditional parmesan. No need for pepperoni or cliché toppings here. Complete with a perfectly textured crust, this pizza is the epitome of the concept that simple is delicious. Post Office Pies is open daily with an assortment of tasty seasonal salads, pizzas, and a variety of alcoholic beverage accoutrements. For more information, visit postofficepies.com.



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June 2016


Summer Soup and Sweet Dip

Recipes and Photos by Amy Poore

As we head into the summer season, I though this nice, light soup might be a tasty treat. It’s healthy and hearty. And this dip is perfect for those last-minute gatherings when you want to whip up something sweet for all to enjoy. Have a great June and, as always, bon appétit! Amy Poore is a mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy’s delicious recipes, visit her blog, www.pooreamy.com

Pistachio Cheesecake Dip • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened and room temp • 8 oz. Cool Whip (*not* reduced fat), thawed • 3.5 oz. pistachio instant pudding mix (just the mix) • 1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts (optional) • Graham cracker sticks

With a hand mixer, mix first three ingredients on high until well combined. Fold in nuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Presentation: Top with whipped cream and a cherry and sprinkle with a few nuts. Serve with graham cracker sticks or animal crackers.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup • 1 lb. ground Italian Sausage • 1 cup Ditalini pasta, cooked • 2 tablespoon olive oil • 3 cloves of garlic • 1 onion, diced • 3 carrots, diced • 2 stalks celery, diced • 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz.) • 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz.) • 3 cups chicken broth • 1 teaspoon dried oregano • 1 teaspoon dried basil • 1 teaspoon ground thyme • 1 can red kidney beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained • 1 can great northern beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and brown the sausage, onion, garlic, celery and carrots together until the sausage is cooked through. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 15 mins. Then, add in cooked pasta and beans. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve with crusty garlic bread.

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Making Hospice a Home By Tori Linville Jeanne Miall was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2009 and checked into Hospice of West Alabama on April 27, 2011, the same day Tuscaloosa was struck by a devastating EF4 tornado. Four years later, Jeanne’s daughter, Melanie Allen, said Hospice of West Alabama filled the stressful time with comfort and relief to her family. “They [Hospice of West Alabama] were just very professional, very compassionate, loving and thorough,” Allen said. “They explained everything, and if I felt like I had any questions they were always there to answer them in a peaceful environment.” Jeanne and her husband, David Miall, moved to Colorado from their native country of Canada so David, a mining engineer, could study at the Colorado School of Mines. David and Jeanne started their family in Colorado and went on to celebrate 50 years of marriage. “My father got to focus on just loving and being there in her last few days, which is a true gift,” Melanie said. “I was wondering about his feelings since he wasn’t very vocal and he began to tell me he had such a peace that he couldn’t explain.” Jeanne had a special talent for gardening, and Hospice of West Alabama catered to her green thumb

even after she was checked into their facility. She was allowed as many plants as she wanted, played worship music all the time (courtesy of Allen) and enjoyed the fresh hot tea and cake available for anyone who wanted a cup and a slice. “I felt safe there, like I was really able to relax and be in the moment with my mom instead of worrying about anything with her. When company came, I was able to focus on them and her instead of worrying about keeping a house clean,” Allen said. “They [Hospice] were the hosts and we were the guests.” During Jeanne’s stay at Hospice of West Alabama, Allen’s daughter, Ainsley, was five years old. On May 3, 2011, Melanie and Ainsley made their daily trip to Hospice. “We both saw the huge rainbow that appeared that day. Ainsley said, ‘Look, Jesus sent a rainbow to come get Granny. He’s going to come get her tonight,’” Allen said. “She said it with such certainty and chills that it took my breath away.” Jeanne Miall passed away early in the morning, on May 5, 2011. “My dad told me that he saw the rainbow as he was driving in and he said he knew that the Lord was going to come take her home,” Allen said. “I told him what Ainsley said and we

Melanie Allen says Hospice’s nurses and staff went above and beyond to make Jeanne and the family comfortable. Photo: Melanie Allen

smiled and hugged and were thankful for the gift of peace.” In addition to caring for Jeanne and adding to her quality of life during her last days, Hospice of West Alabama helped with her funeral arrangements as well. “I don’t know that I worried about it – my dad might have, but they pretty much just took care of everything. It

makes things easier. You’re in a state where you’re not able to handle a whole lot and having [Hospice] to take care of the arrangements just makes it so much easier,” Melanie said. “We are just beyond thankful that my mom left this world with dignity. We felt happiness and comfort that Hospice was a place of solace for us.”

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