August 2018 | Volume 6 | Issue 8 Tuscaloosa’s Premier Community Newspaper
BRINGING HOME THE
Gold PAGE 14
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
About Us.................2 Opinion...................4 Community.........10 Food......................20
City.........................3 Business................8 Schools...............17 Calendar.............23
PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID HATTIESBURG, MS PERMIT 142
MISS ALABAMA Callie Walker preps for next month’s Miss America pageant.
SEE PAGE 12
TASTE OF T-TOWN Real & Rosemary serves up fresh, home-cooked, healthy meals.
SEE PAGE 21
BACK TO SCHOOL SO SOON? Ready to head back to school? Local teachers have some advice.
SEE PAGE 17
NEED A NIGHT OUT? DATE NIGHT IDEAS FOR YOU PAGE 18
FROM THE EDITOR CEO/Publisher
Josh Watkins (205) 529-5723 email@example.com
Hanson Watkins (205) 835-0094 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Marketing Consultants Caroline Baxter Nathan Pearman
2018 Intern Faith Henley
Contact us at: (256) 346-5321 email@example.com
It’s hard to believe, but yep, it’s August. And I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t wait for the temps to cool and the football to start. This month’s issue of Druid City Living is packed. We’re catching up with the new Miss Alabama, Callie Walker, as she readies for the upcoming Miss America pageant. And, since students and parents have back-to-school on the brain, Faith Henley caught up with some past DCL Teachers of the Month for a little advice on how to make the transition a bit smoother for everyone. I must say, of all the stories we’ve brought you through the years, Amanda Roberts’ is a favorite. Roberts recently won gold and bronze at the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. Amanda, you are an inspiration to us all – and congratulations on your success.
One year after her ﬁrst Tone Up T-Town column ran in DCL, Sheena Gregg is still at it – keeping all of us ﬁt and happy. This month, she shares some great tips about working out during pregnancy. (Congratulations, Sheena!) If any of you have special stories you’d like to tell, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And, if you’d like to be considered for Photo of the Month, send us your photos – every one of them tells a story. Also, don’t forget to visit druidcityliving.com for all the latest daily news and happenings. As always, a special thanks to our readers, writers, contributors, and advertisers. Everyone here at Druid City Living appreciates your eﬀorts and support. Best,
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
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.
CORRECTIONS To report corrections and clarifications, email editor@ druidcitymedia.com
The Community Foundation of West Alabama named its 2018 class of Pillars of West Alabama in June at the Indian Hills Country Club. Each year, the board of directors selects recipients based on their life’s contribution to the West Alabama area. This year marked the 15th year of the program. The 2018 class of honorees included (front row) Billy McKinzey, Buddy Burton, Lyda Black, and Harrison Taylor; (back row) Jimmy Warren, Bev Leigh, and Glenn Crow.
If your legs hurt when you walk, you need to get screened for
PAD PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE IS SERIOUS.
PAD screening is painless and free. One in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD. If you’re feeling tired, have pain in your legs when you walk, or have a history of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, don’t risk it. Get tested for PAD now.
IT’S PAINLESS, NON-INVASIVE AND FREE. And it might just save your life.
To learn more about PAD and to schedule your FREE SCREENING go to PADAwarenessDCH.com or call 205-750-5521.
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The Mommy Chronicles: A Few Tips to Prepare for those Milestones, Mom
By Marlena Rice
As a child, I loved the movie Heavy Weights. And even though I was slim from competitive swimming (the movie is about kids at a “fat camp”), I absolutely wanted to go. Cabin living, swimming in an icky, green-colored lake, and staying awake all night with friends, sneaking sweets we’ve hidden away from the establishment? Yes, please! My ﬁve-year-old recently went to camp for the ﬁrst time. Thankfully, my friend and neighbor allowed her ﬁve-year-old to attend as well, and although it was only day camp, I think we both had our doubts. Are the boys safe? Are they old enough? Amplifying my worry, I noticed one of our boys’ counselors had braces! I’m only 33, but goodness, seeing that made me feel 65. While I’m thankful we’re not at the point where overnight camp is an option, I’ve come to terms that with every milestone he encounters, there will be a huge tug in my heart that comes along with every new thing my son experiences. When the doors to the auditorium opened, I watched him ﬁnd his counselor (after running back a few times for hugs he knew I needed). As he bounced and danced with a friend, I left… and I drove away wondering if I was ready for all the “ﬁrsts” we will encounter over the next few years. (Insert tears here.)
How should we prepare for our children’s milestones, whether they be camp, school, graduation, or something else entirely? Don’t worry mama, here are tips for you… Understand that motherhood is like continuing ed. Five years in, I’m still learning and evolving as a mom. Motherhood routinely tests your patience, your resilience, and your temperament. As your children grow and reach individual milestones, make sure to keep the dialogue open. Teach them as you learn, and stay open-minded – so you’ll learn from the change, too. Also, never allow your child’s age to trick you into thinking you cannot have a serious or profound conversation that beneﬁts you both. Kelly Ship, mother to 16-year-old Jackson, says that prayer plays a big role in preparing for her son’s milestones. “Kevin and I both speak very honestly to him about the responsibility that comes with new freedoms,” she said. “I even made him sign a contract before he started driving.” Banish worry and accept fear. Worry inhabits us when we dwell on what might happen. We’ve all been there: Will my child have friends at school? Who will sit with my child at lunch? Will the new teacher be ﬁrm, but also loving and kind? These are legitimate concerns,
but once worry takes over, the concerns become preoccupations that are more harmful than helpful. Fear, on the other hand, is great to have as a parent. Fearful impulses can protect our children from situations and people that may cause them danger. Welcome change. Your Beaux William (right) and his friends (from left to right), Sam and Silas Barrett, pose with an astronaut on the first morning of camp. Church of the Highlands’ annual summer child’s camp, “Summer Blast,” had a 2018 theme of “Outta this World.” Photo: Marlena Rice milestone means Marlena Rice is a busy mom and they’re entering a new stage of dewriter who lives in Tuscaloosa with velopment that will aﬀect the adult her husband, Rod, and their son, they’ll become. Welcome the growth Beaux William. Check out her blog at and what you’ve taught them! heartfullybuilt.com.
Give Life To Your Story: Just How Much is Actually Enough? By Mike Green How much “stuﬀ” is enough? All families struggle with this simple, yet profound question. In America today, there are always bigger homes, faster cars, and more powerful gadgets to exhaust a budget of any size. But how much should we have? Does there ever come a point in our accumulation of assets, toys, experiences, and bank
“IF A LONG-LOST RELATIVE DIED AND LEFT ME MILLIONS, WOULD I HOARD IT, OR USE IT TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE WORLD AROUND ME?” accounts that we ever say, “I have enough”? Nearly every day, I am bombarded with a wide array of opinions on the subject. Every 10 minutes of TV programming is punctuated with an attractive list of products that could improve my life and make me happy. The ads tend to say I need just a little bit more. Scattered throughout my day, I am also made keenly aware of the needs of others. By either physical contact with those in need, a solicitation in the mail, or a reminder from my pastor of a world that lives on pennies a day, I understand that I have been immensely blessed. I heard a radio report back in the spring about a player that would be
drafted in the top ﬁve of the NFL draft. I understand that this a 21-yearold kid, but I thought his comments were enlightening. He was asked if he cared which team would draft him. He said “no” – that he didn’t care. Very mature. He went on to say he just wanted to make enough money to “take care of his family.” I kid you not. Here was a guy who was about to sign a contract in excess of $10 million, and he was just hoping he and his agent could negotiate enough millions to eke out a livable wage to support the wife and kids. Obviously his “enough” has a lot of zeroes at the end of it. I also heard someone Mike Green serves as Executive Director of Tuscaloosa Youth For Christ. He and his wife have two great adult kids and two wonderful grandchildren. Photo: Mike Green recently talk about how he and his family had tripled my salary, would I just assume determined a dollar amount. Yep, they I deserved it all? Or would I see it as a had actually determined what was clear sign that I was being placed in a going to be enough for them. And position to do something more signifthey had committed as a family that icant for people and organizations in anything they received beyond that need? number they would give away. I don’t Have you stopped to determine know how large or small their number what your “enough” would be? Are was, or how they calculated it, but you content with what you have been it made me ask myself, do I have a given, or are you constantly seeking limit? If a long-lost relative died and more? Do you own your stuﬀ, or is left me millions, would I hoard it, or your stuﬀ owning you? I would love use it to meet the needs of the world to hear your thoughts. around me? If my employer suddenly
Lake Living: Where Did the Summer Go? Relish the Final Weeks By Allison Adams
We have ﬁve weeks in August. Don’t panic. Break it down! With summer vacation time coming to an end, you will already be focusing on schedules. Schedule time for yourself. Use week one to pack in the things you wanted to do this summer and didn’t get around to, like badminton, croquet, or some corn hole in the backyard. Spend that day on the lake. The kids won’t remember the dozens of days on Snapchat or in their beds, just that one that you made everyone get out and interact. Your time together doesn’t have to be fancy, just don’t let it slip away with the summer of 2018. After July wrapped up, I decided to focus on ﬁnding things that I love about being American and using things “Made In the USA.” Week two, see if you and the family can identify some. I found there were some challenges, but also several great things, like locally grown produce, fresh Alabama shrimp (coastal, and right in our own backyard), and towels – and we drove cars made in the USA. By week three, school is back in full swing. Ahh. Can you hear the silence? Embrace it, especially if yours has been a jam-packed summer. Start making some changes on the homefront to rediscover and nurture your soul. Set up your bedroom as a place of refuge. I don’t know why it took
me a year to nail up (yes, when he was out of town I sure did) a blackout curtain! I’m sleeping like a baby this week. Infuse water with fresh Alabama grown berries, lemons… whatever makes you feel healthy. Keep icy water by yours and the kids beds in one of the pretty pitchers you save for some special occasion. Stick a ﬂower from the yard in one of those “love” Coca-Cola bottles. Light a candle, close your door, and peruse Grab a pretty pitcher, fill it with berries and ice water, and kick back a bit before the summer comes to a close. all the magazines that Photo: Allison Adams you didn’t have time Add some music, a little natural light, to read while schlepand watch the end of the year be the Allison Adams is a mom of four and ping kids to activities. best part yet in the oﬃce. a Realtor with Lake Homes Realty Week four: Yes, work is calling, The last week begins with a full serving Lake Tuscaloosa. For combut you can also make changes there. moon. Make a date to catch a glimpse ments, email aadams@lakehomes. On your desk, add essential oils, or a of it every single night this week, until com. candle. The smell of lemon increases alertness. Rosemary helps ﬁght mental it leads you into Labor Day – your bonus for another chance for all things fatigue. Cinnamon improves focus. summertime. Peppermint brings clear thinking. It’s still your summer. Make it a Keep that water available at work to get the eight cups a day you neglected memorable one! Blessings, to get over the summer. A box or tray with dark chocolate and nuts within Allison reach will help keep the mind clear.
allisonadamsrealtor.com firstname.lastname@example.org 205.914.2400
PERSONAL SERVICE and PROFESSIONALISM IS IMPORTANT TO ME I take knowing the business of Real Estate seriously in order to best represent my clients. I would love to help you make your next move- selling or buying. Allison Adams, CRS, GRI, ABR, ePRO, RSPS, CHME, RENE Member of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and National Association of REALTORSEARNED DESIGNATIONS: • Women’s Council of REALTORS- Secretary, President Elect • GRI- Graduate Realtor Institute (continued education and closed sales) • ABR- Accredited Buyer’s Representative • ePRO Designation • RSPS- Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist- Lake Tuscaloosa • CHME- Certified Home Marketing Expert (continued education and closed sales) • CRS- Real Estates most prestigious designation • RENE certification- Real Estate Negotiation Expert
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The Land of Oz: Yes, It’s Time for the Annual Shameless Plug 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.” Once a year, it must be done. Don’t turn the page… I promise it will be worth it. If you read this famous column often, then you likely know that I am the director of a local non-proﬁt that serves the Tuscaloosa area. That organization is called the Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education (PRIDE). In short, we do drug prevention, and it’s come a long way since the “Just Say No” days from the 80s. Our organization has evolved drug prevention into a meaningful, evidence-based programming operation. There is no more lying or misleading kids, or attempting to scare them straight, or giving them ultimatums with no context. Those practices never really worked to begin with. And even if they did, every kid these days has a fact-checking, wi-ﬁ enabled device in their back pocket that they are likely using as you read this. The truth about drug culture in our society today is this… addiction is everywhere. Our oﬃce receives calls daily about friends and family members who have been experimenting with, or have already developed a habit to, either prescription drugs or nicotine products or alcohol or illegal substances. Odds are that you know someone who has been aﬀected. These days, almost everyone does. That’s where our eﬀorts begin. If we can make kids understand addiction before having an opportunity to become addicted, then we have at least given them a chance to avoid it altogether. I tell students all the time that no one wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, “today seems like a great day to get addicted.” It happens
gradually, is unintentional, and it can progress very quickly due to the potency of today’s substances. And this is the reason that we must do more. Over the past two years, we have expanded our programming to reach more students, more parents, more teachers, and more of the community as a whole. This issue doesn’t care what color you are, or where you live, or how much money you make. Combatting addiction is a community eﬀort, and we need all the help we can get. So, follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Instagram. And have us come do a presentation for you. We provide presentations to schools, churches, parent groups, youth groups, civic organizations, college students, and even businesses. Contact us and check out our website at prideoftuscaloosa.org. Thank you for indulging in the annual shameless plug. Next month, we will resume discussion on other issues that plague Tuscaloosa. Or maybe one that doesn’t… how about college football? I tweet insigniﬁcant things @ozborn34. Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and a writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and their daughters, Savannah and Anica. Top: PRIDE provides presentations to school nurses, including those from the Tuscaloosa City Schools, to educate students on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Bottom: West Alabama Narcotics Task Force (WANTF) officers (accompanied by K-9s) discuss legal repercussions of drug and alcohol abuse with area middle school students. Photos: PRIDE of Tuscaloosa
Why sit in a waiting room when you’re not feeling well? With our new online check-in, you don’t have to. We text your estimated wait time. When you reach the front of the line, you receive a text to let you know you’re next. Now you can wait where you want. SOUTH 5005 Oscar Baxter Dr. Tuscaloosa 205.343.2225
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Now Open and Opening Soon 1 1 Courtyard by Marriott in Tuscaloosa (4115 Courtney Drive) celebrated its grand re-opening on July 10. Tours of the newly remodeled hotel were provided during the event, held during the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama’s Business After Hours. marriott.com; (205) 750-8384 2 Farm Bowl + Juice Co. plans to open its
first Tuscaloosa location later this year at 1470 Northbank Parkway, in The Village at Northbank. The restaurant, which opened in Homewood in January 2018, features acai berry and oatmeal bowls, smoothies, and cold-pressed juices. 3 Shoe Station reopened in Tuscaloosa in July. The retailer is now located in McFarland Plaza (2600 McFarland Blvd. East Suite N), in the spot formerly occupied by Shoe Carnival. shoestation. com; (205) 469-6053 4 Turbo Coffee, a Florence-based cafe, plans to open in downtown Tuscaloosa this month. Turbo Coffee, which features fresh roasted coffee, in-house made cold-pressed juices, and more, will locate next door to the Greasy Hands Barber Shop, located at 2008 8th Street. turbocoffeeroasters. com
News and Happenings 1 Alabama One Credit Union won the 2018 League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) Credit Union of the Year award for CU’s with greater than $500 million or more in assets. The award recognizes a credit union that has exhibited excellence in operations, financial education, and community involvement. It was presented during the 2018 Southeast Credit Union Conference & Expo in June. 2 Several area businesses are nominees for
the Alabama Retail Association’s 2018 Alabama Retailer of the Year, including: Chick-fil-A (Northport), Left Hand Soap Co. (Tuscaloosa), The Locker Room (Tuscaloosa), Mobley & Sons (Tuscaloosa), The Shirt Shop (Tuscaloosa), and Piggly Wiggly (Tuscaloosa and Northport). Finalists will be honored at the annual Alabama Retail Day luncheon in Birmingham on Oct. 16. 3 Jennifer Naves has been named VP/Mortgage Banking Officer at BBVA Compass. Naves brings over 12 years’ experience in the banking and mortgage industry to her new role. She can be reached at email@example.com.
4 Mellow Mushroom is coming back to Tuscaloosa. The pizza restaurant closed its doors at its downtown Tuscaloosa location in August 2017, but plans are in the works for a new restaurant. Details about the exact location and an opening date are still being worked out.
Anniversaries 1 Ajian Sushi is celebrating its one-year anniversary. The restaurant, located in downtown Tuscaloosa, features sushi made to order – patrons pick the ingredients, sauces, and toppings on their sushi rolls. (205) 331-4542; ajian10.com 2 Dreamland BBQ is celebrating its 60th
birthday on Saturday, Aug. 25 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. at its original location (5535 15th Avenue, Tuscaloosa). (205) 758-8135; dreamlandbbq.com
Business you want to see here? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
5 World of Beer is now open in downtown Tuscaloosa (2107 University Boulevard). The craft tavern, which features more than 500 beers (50 on tap), also offers a full menu for lunch and dinner. worldofbeer.com/locations/Tuscaloosa; (205) 2104481 Jennifer Naves
closetsplus.com | 205.333.7300 Whether you are installing the closet yourself or using a professional taking stock is always step one. Counting clothing items and measuring hanging clothes is necessary for a good result. We have worked with over a thousand homes in the last 25 years. We can often look at a closet and know almost intuitively the best arrangement for your particular assortment of belongings. It may take a more methodical approach for a do it yourselfer. There are lots of lists online about how to count and measure for the closets you need. Our overall cost is typically only about 5 percent more than doing it yourself from a big box store. For example, 5% is $25 on an average job. Without the aggravation and time to learn how to do what we do expertly.
Tuscaloosa Natives Father/Daughter Team Ray Glenn & Renee Agee
Family Counseling Service: Why Do Divorce Rates Spike Following Summer and the Holidays? By Larry Deavers Divorce rates tend to spike in the weeks following the Christmas holidays and during August, following the summer vacation season. This spike may be due to couples wanting to protect their children or other family from their marital problems during important family get-togethers or vacations. For some, their family vacation during the summer may be their ﬁnal attempt to save their marriage. There is also the additional stress on the marriage that comes from having extensive involvement with extended family, or from coordinating the family vacation, which can exacerbate an already stressful relationship. Making a hasty decision to divorce following a stressful family experience is likely more reactive and emotionally driven, than proactive and carefully considered. Knowing that the stress of holidays, or a family vacation, is likely to add to the pressures on the marriage, it is best to hold oﬀ on making any ﬁnal decisions while under the additional stress. It is normal for holidays and vacations to fail to live up to our expectations. Even though it’s common to experience disappointment along with the joys of the seasons, our hopefulness that things will be better this year often creates a sense of optimism that overlooks previous stressors. To help reduce the eﬀects these stressors might have, it’s important to think about what
normally generates the stress, and plan ways, as a couple, to help reduce those during family activities. Close, continuous, and unstructured time for days on end, even with family members you enjoy most, is stressful. These can lead to emotionally charged situations. Because the stress of a holiday or vacation season can expose any weaknesses or unresolved issues in your relationship, it may be best to build in some kind of “safety valves” into your plans to let one another decompress when stress strikes. A proactive plan may include pre-arranged signals to indicate to each other when you need a timeout, and an agreement to allow the other person to retreat from one another or other family members for a short time.
“IT IS NORMAL FOR HOLIDAYS AND VACATIONS TO FAIL TO LIVE UP TO OUR EXPECTATIONS.” A “short time” doesn’t mean avoiding everyone for hours or days, but taking the time you really need to gather your thoughts and emotions and regain your composure. Total avoidance creates its
own kind of stress on the marriage and on the family. The important point is to remember not to make any major life decisions if your ability to think clearly is compromised by your emotional reaction to stress. If you plan ahead going into these family situations, and allow one another the space you each need to be alone and decompress, you can increase the chances of enjoying the pleasures the holidays or vacation season can bring, while minimizing the stressors. If you can both focus more on the positive aspects of what you have as a family, you increase the chances that you can approach your marriage with the renewed optimism and energy you will need to make other necessary changes.
Larry Deavers is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Executive Director of Family Counseling Service in Tuscaloosa. April L. Stevens, LICSW, PIP, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and counselor with Family Counseling Service in Tuscaloosa.
CALL TODAY! 205-553-4433
Tone-Up T-Town: Pregnancy Fitness Edition By Sheena Gregg
Check out any daycare waiting list in Tuscaloosa, and you’ll quickly ﬁnd out that Tuscaloosa is having a baby boom right now. Sure, those waiting lists have always been on the long side, but folks in the childcare industry tell me this is one of the biggest baby booms this city has seen in recent years. And, if you’ve run into me at the grocery store lately, you might have noticed… my expanding belly has now morphed from “food baby” to “baby baby!” As pregnant ladies, we get the constant message from our doctor to stay active. But as we journey from one trimester to the next, that recommendation often seems easier said than done. But fear not, my fellow pregnant gals, I’ve spoken to the experts in town, and I’ve got some tips for us all.
“For women who were not exercising before getting pregnant, and who get clearance from their doctor, I’d recommend getting moving as soon as you feel up to it by beginning a walking program, swimming (yay for buoyancy!) or stationary cycling,” said Nix.
Respect Your Belly
As you advance from one trimester to the next, your physical activity will change as your body becomes more limited. Understand the Beneﬁts of “Once you are Exercise During Pregnancy mid-way through I don’t know about you, but I don’t the second trimeslike people telling me what to do ter, and in the third without an explanation. Thankfully, trimester, certain exercises will bemy doctors and my trainers have come diﬃcult, and been clear – staying physically active during pregnancy not only you will need to avoid those activihelps you and baby while in the womb, it also helps you prepare for ties,” said Whitney that monumental event called labor Pape, a group exercise coordinator and delivery! at The University Cat Noble, a pregnancy and post-natal ﬁtness specialist, as well of Alabama. “The as owner and master trainer of biggest thing to The Barre Code, says that exercise avoid during these Low impact exercises, like barre, have been my movement of choice while pregnant, along with power walking Tuscaloosa’s during pregnancy oﬀers multiple times are exercises beautiful Riverwalk and downtown areas. Photo: Sheena Gregg involving lying beneﬁts for mom and baby. tical to anyone else’s, nor should on your back or stomach. You will it be. On days when you don’t feel “Exercise helps you sleep better, lowers your chances for complica- need to avoid all abdominal and like you’re making progress, don’t low back exercises. Planks are still look a certain way, or feel good at tions like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, and in general can ﬁne with modiﬁcations as needed.” all, know that you are creating a just ease some of the discomforts Pape also recommends attending human and that is enough. You are of pregnancy,” states Noble. a pre-natal yoga class and walking enough,” Noble said.” frequently to increase blood ﬂow. “And don’t you dare ever search
Consider Your Pre-Pregnancy Fitness Level Give Your Body Grace (and Talking with your doctor and being Avoid Comparison) realistic about your current ﬁtness level is incredibly important, according to Certiﬁed Health Education Specialist and personal trainer Neika Nix. If you weren’t training to become a contestant on America’s Ninja Warrior prior to pregnancy, you probably don’t want to start now that you’re with child.
Yes, exercise has multiple positive eﬀects for mom and baby, but always remember that your body and pregnancy are completely unique from someone else’s experience. Cat Noble explains it this way. “Be kind to yourself. You are literally growing a life inside your body. Your pregnancy is not iden-
#ﬁtpregnancy on Instagram unless you’re planning on training for the CrossFit games two weeks after birth.” For more information regarding physical activity during pregnancy, visit americanpregnancy.org, and always consult with your doctor about exercising during your pregnancy.
Callie Walker Prepping for Next Month’s Miss America Pageant By Faith Henley This past June, dozens of women from across the state competed for the coveted title of Miss Alabama, but it was Miss Tuscaloosa and former Miss University of Alabama Callie Walker who earned the crown. Even after years of competing in pageants, the Miss Alabama title didn’t come easy for Walker. In both 2016 and 2017, she was chosen as the runner-up, losing to Hayley Barber and Jessica Procter, respectively. Walker didn’t give up, and at the 2018 pageant, her hard work paid oﬀ. “It was all about perseverance,” Walker said. “It was truly was a moment I will never forget. At the end of the day, I knew I had done everything I could, and the result was incredible.”
Getting Ready for Miss America
In addition to a packed schedule of interviews and appearances, Walker is busy preparing to compete in Miss America. The annual pageant of women representing each state takes place on September 9 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. “I am constantly working on my talent at the dance studio, preparing for interview with mock interviews, and staying active to feel my best on the Miss America stage,” Walker said. “My mom is my ballet teacher, so she has always told me ‘Prepare, prepare, and prepare so that you can enjoy the ride.’” Pageantry is a family aﬀair in the Walker household. Walker’s mother, Angela Tower Walker, was crowned Miss Alabama in 1985. She came in fourth runner-up at the Miss America Pageant later that year. Since 1921, Miss Alabama has only placed in the top ﬁve at Miss America 22 times and won three times.
Top: Miss Alabama, Callie Walker, shares a touching moment with her mother, Angela Tower Walker (Miss Alabama 1985), shortly after being crowned. Bottom: Callie Walker became the new Miss Alabama during the pageant held at Samford University on June 9. She will compete for the Miss America title in September. Photos: Miss Alabama Pageant, Inc.
And talent runs deep in the Walker family. Walker’s older sister, Scarlett Walker, is a University of Alabama graduate who recently made her Broadway debut in Carousel. Like her sister, the 21-year-old Walker is a musical theater major at UA.
An Important Platform
Each Miss Alabama chooses a cause she feels is important that she feels is important to champion during her reign. Walker’s chosen platform is about teaching young people to live an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. “I would love to implement a sustainability program in as many elementary schools as possible,” Walker said. “I truly think educating elementary school age children about the importance of living a green lifestyle will help create good stewards of the planet for generations to come.” Walker has already begun teaching local children the importance of the three R’s of sustainability – reduce, reuse, and recycle – through her campaign “Let’s Talk Trash – Green Kids for a Green Planet.” She thinks a better environment and future for Alabama starts with our youth. “It is a fact that the state of Alabama is behind when it comes to addressing sustainability. This is incredibly important to guarantee that our state, as well as our nation, continue to be beautiful and clean.” You can watch Miss Alabama Callie Walker in the 2019 Miss America Pageant on Sunday, September 9 on ABC.
Callie Walker visits with youngsters at a recent “Let’s Talk Trash” event. Walker’s Miss Alabama platform stresses the importance of living a green lifestyle. Photos: Miss Alabama Pageant, Inc.
Local Swimmer Amanda Roberts Wins Gold and Bronze at 2018 Special Olympics USA Games By Shane Dorrill
Amanda Roberts and members of her family enjoy the National Olympic Forest, while visiting Seattle, WA for the Special Olympics USA Games. Twenty-one members of Roberts’ family attended the games. Right: Amanda Roberts won two gold and a bronze medal at the Special Olympics 2018 USA Games in Seattle, WA in July. Front Page: Amanda Roberts with her parents, Kim and Marc, at the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, WA in July. Photos: Kim Roberts
Amanda Roberts’ personality is as bright as the Olympic medals she wears around her neck. In July, the Tuscaloosa native was one of about 4,000 athletes from across the nation that competed at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington. Roberts won a gold medal in the 4x25-meter freestyle relay and a bronze medal in the 50-meter breaststroke. But the medal she likes to talk about the most is the gold she won for the 50-meter freestyle.“That’s the one where I smoked everybody,” Roberts said. She did, in fact, smoke the competition, winning the race by almost ﬁve seconds. As Amanda and her mother, Kim, relived the victory again while watching a video, Kim became misty-eyed.“I’ve done a
lot of crying,” she said. “I’m just so proud.” Twenty-nine years ago, Kim and her husband Marc adopted Amanda, who had special needs. It wouldn’t be until Amanda was in high school that she was oﬃcially diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.“When we got Amanda, she was six years old and she was malnourished, and weighed about 33 pounds,” Kim said. “Amanda went through a lot of struggles learning to talk and do school work.” “I have very little hand-eye coordination because of my autism,” Amanda admits. However, her parents quickly realized that Amanda ﬂourished in the water.“ What happened when we put you in the pool?” Kim asked Amanda.“I was a ﬁsh,” Amanda happily replied.“We always said
she was our little ﬁsh, because she learned very quickly how to swim,” Kim added. With all of the struggles that Amanda has faced, Kim said swimming was one way that her daughter could succeed. “You have to measure success in baby steps sometimes,” Kim said. “We’ve always had pools at our houses, and it’s always been a great family activity. Compared to all of the other struggles that she was going through, that was kind of a time to relax and play and be successful.” In 2006, Amanda started swimming competitively on the Special Olympics swim team through PARA’s Therapeutic Recreation program, where she has been coached by Amy Williamson. Williamson said Amanda is always eager to learn and improve her swimming.
“She’s very competitive. She wants to do everything right, which is really fun to coach.” Through the years, Amanda has won numerous gold medals in Special Olympics competitions in Alabama, which qualiﬁed her for the trip. “When she got the letter, she immediately called me, sent me a picture and text message,” Williamson said. The two began meeting several times a week to train. “Amanda worked really hard, because when you get to Nationals, they are much stricter about technique,” Kim Roberts said. “She worked really hard over these last several months to ﬁne-tune her technique.” The hard work that Amanda put into getting ready for the competition was no surprise to her mother. She stayed at Hillcrest High School an extra year
to complete the exams she needed to earn a regular diploma. “Amanda was one that never gave up,” Kim said. “She was always a hard, little worker. It’s not surprising where she is now.” Amanda didn’t make the trip alone. In addition to more than 100 athletes from Alabama, 21 members of Amanda’s family ﬂew to Seattle to watch her compete and win. While there, the family enjoyed visiting the Space Needle, the Olympic National Forest, and, Amanda’s favorite, seeing whales on Puget Sound. Since returning home, the Special Olympian has resumed her duties at her parent’s bed-and-breakfast
“WE ALWAYS SAID SHE WAS OUR LITTLE FISH, BECAUSE SHE LEARNED VERY QUICKLY HOW TO SWIM.” business, and she will soon return to her duties as the director’s assistant at Valley View Baptist Church’s preschool program. She will resume training in September in hopes of being chosen for the Summer Special Olympics World Games in 2023. Amanda said the best part of the trip for her was, “Beating everybody.” And standing on the podium to receive her medals, well, she added, “It was awesome.”
Tales of Tuscaloosa A Case of the “Monkeys” (August 31, 1886) By Jim Ezell
It was Tuesday evening, and the Tuscaloosa Citizens Cornet Band was playing, when suddenly their practice room ﬁlled with ﬂuttering birds. The “aﬀrighted” creatures had been shaken from their roosts in trees outside an open window. All over town people ﬂed outside, fearing their houses would fall. During the next days, Tuscaloosans would learn more details of an earthquake whose epicenter was near Charleston, South Carolina. The quake killed scores. It was felt as far away as Boston, Bermuda, Cuba, Chicago, and, in particular, central Alabama. The United States Geological Survey considers it to be the most powerful quake ever recorded in the Southeast, rating it at 7.3 on the Richter Scale. Before the sobering news of death and destruction reached Tuscaloosa, amusing tales quickly circulated about initial reactions to the shaking earth. The Tuskaloosa Gazette noted that in addition to the ﬂapping ﬂock: One or two business young men thought they had a case of the “monkeys,” “snakes,” “rats,” or anything you may choose to call ‘em. No names given this time, but lookout for the next earthquake boys. A certain lady we could mention, thinking the house was being burglarized, proceeded to practice target shooting at the door knob. Dan Farmer took out his shotgun and pulled down on the plagued thing, or there is no telling how much damage would have been done. Dan says it takes a ﬁne marksman to hit an earthquake. He is going to have it fried for breakfast next Sunday! A facetious gentleman explains the phenomenon by saying it was “only the bottom falling out of Birmingham real estate.” Charleston suﬀered massive destruction. Local damage was minor in comparison, and included fallen plaster, cracked walls, collapsed chimneys, and frayed nerves. However, the damage in Tuscaloosa and central Alabama was more noticeable than in some other areas a similar distance from the epicenter. In the Charleston area, there were reports of unusual occurrences, such as sand blows and sinkholes. Locally, Mr. Robert Nelson reported an unusual sight that could have been attributed to the quake. Several miles downstream of the city, on the Black Warrior River, a large stream of cold spring
water, several inches in diameter, was seen gushing from the riverbank at a point that was dry before the shaking. According to contemporary reports, the earthquake struck Charleston at about 9:50 p.m. and Tuscaloosa at 9:30 p.m. Since time zones were not then in use, these were probably local times that were then based local noon – when the sun was directly overhead. Adjustment of Charleston time to Tuscaloosa time indicates the shock waves took about 10 minutes to cover the 440-mile straight-line distance. This would be equivalent to a speed of about 2600 miles per hour, or 1.2 kilometers per second, and it appears to be within the accepted range of earthquake shock wave velocities. In general, earthquakes are a rare phenomenon for much of Alabama. But the quake of August 31, 1886, demonstrated that many structures, even masonry ones, may need additional reinforcement – even in areas like Tuscaloosa, that were previously thought to be safe.
About the Author Jim Ezell is a retired engineer, historian, and author. His newest novel, The Cistern, was published in Dec. 2017. The Cistern is an adventure/crime novel set in Tuscaloosa and ﬁctional Tombigbee County in the Alabama Black Belt. The Cistern is available on Amazon. com.
Top: A collapsed business in Charleston, South Carolina. Image courtesy of the US Geological Survey Photographic Collection. Middle: A partially collapsed residence in Charleston, South Carolina. Image courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Collection. Bottom: A structural bolt on Clark Hall erected on the University of Alabama campus in 1884. These bolts were installed in the 1940s to stiffen the building and pull the walls into a vertical position in a similar manner to work pioneered in Charleston after the 1886 earthquake. Photo by the author.
SCHOOLS 17 Justin Ray, Hillcrest High School/Northside High School
By Faith Henley Shortly before Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Justin Ray and his wife were living in New Orleans. While living in such an economically and culturally diverse city, he says he learned that access to a great education shouldn’t be limited to anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. Ray brought that mindset with him and used it to become the teacher he feels Tuscaloosa students need to succeed. “I have seen students overcome immeasurable obstacles to succeed and break horriﬁc cycles of familial behavior, insisting that their life should amount to more,” Ray said. “When I see how hard they work, and how willing they are to face life’s hurdles, it makes me want to endeavor to my utmost to ensure that they have every tool I can give them to make their eﬀorts successful.” Ray has returned to his hometown of Tuscaloosa, where he taught at Hillcrest High School for seven years. This fall, he’ll begin a new chapter, teaching high school English at Northside High School. With almost a decade’s worth of experience, Ray’s attention has turned to encouraging and mentoring the younger teachers he meets.
“I advise new teachers to focus on the skills that some won’t learn at “INFLUENCING Photo courtesy of Nikki Hill home. Inﬂuencing students to bereason they got into teaching in the ﬁrst STUDENTS TO BECOME place—the students,” Ray said. “Focus come functioning adults is as important on the small, day-to-day victories that as inﬂuencing them to become functionFUNCTIONING ADULTS students experience in your class, and ing, life-long learners.” IS AS IMPORTANT AS it will make the long hours of planning Every student who enters Ray’s and grading worthwhile.” classroom is challenged, encouraged, INFLUENCING THEM Long hours are certainly something and pushed to learn in a way that stays TO BECOME Ray is used to, as he has earned multiple with them beyond his classroom walls. Once his students realize education leads degrees from some of the top schools FUNCTIONING, LIFEto a greater discussion of the world and in Alabama. He obtained his master’s LONG LEARNERS.” degree from the University of Monteval- more than just an ‘A’ on a test, Ray says lo and a bachelor’s from The University his job is done. of Alabama. Before that, he attended and “Learning is an opportunity to step graduated from Tuscaloosa County High through an open door,” he said. “Whether it’s changing your station in life, or School. Ray has lived in Tuscaloosa for a total changing the world around you, education is the best way we have to ensure of 35 years. And, like any good teacher, he knows he’s not just teaching students lasting and beneﬁcial change.” about great literature – he’s also teaching them valuable life skills. “A more subtle, and, indeed, more lasting inﬂuence, perhaps, is the unspoken lessons a teacher bestows on his or her students,” Ray said. “Lessons on manners, civility, conﬂict-resolution, and even Justin Ray with one of his past classes at Hillcrest High School. Photo courtesy of Justin Ray. day-to-day
It’s Back-to-School Time: Teachers Offer Tips to Make This the Best School Year Yet By Faith Henley For parents, teachers, and students alike, August is a hectic month full of big changes and new beginnings. Each group has stresses of their own as they ready themselves for the start of the new school year. No matter which group you belong to, put down your supply shopping lists, lesson plans, or class assignments, because some of Tuscaloosa’s best teachers (DCL’s past Teachers of the Month) have contributed their sage advice for taking on the back-to-school season. “Spend the last few weeks as a family,” said Sheila Hallman, a third-grade teacher at American Christian Academy. “Try to clear time each day to put away those electronics, slow down, and remember how much fun it is to just play the old-fashioned way. Left: Sheila Hallman’s classroom door at American Christian Academy is decorated and ready for her new students. Right: Sheila Hallman with two of her past students during a field day. Photos: Sheila Hallman Send your kids back to school feeling less stressed, conﬁdent, ant to start getting kids up earlier a few more to it. most pleasant ﬁrst week of school. happy, loved, and ready to have a wonweeks before school starts,” said Beth “If your school has an open house, And Andi Jones, a second-grade derful year!” Duncan of Faucett-Vestavia Elementary make every eﬀort possible to go, and teacher at Lake View Elementary, wants Going back to school can be ﬁlled School. “Start having them go to bed take your child,” she said. “The child to remind parents to encourage their with equal amounts of excitement and at a normal time and then get up each and parents will feel better and more at little dreamers as they head back to their worry. By taking time to relax and morning. This eases them back into a ease once they have met the teacher and classrooms. enjoy the fun moments, like picking routine, and it is much easier for them to seen the classroom. Take the new sup“Dreams are often too big, so we can out a fresh, clean notebook, or enjoying get up and function when school starts.” plies, so that the child will be prepared grow into them.” a night with no homework to do (or Duncan also stressed the importance for the ﬁrst day of school.” Parents: Enjoy another year of watchgrade), life gets much sweeter. Howevof being prepared for school. And while They say the early bird gets the ing your kids grow into an incredibly er, many teachers stress that the key to a shopping for school supplies is certainly worm, but the parent who starts their bright future. less stressful August is preparation. part of being ready for school, there is back-to-school routine early gets the “First of all, I think that it is import-
Need a Night Out? Enjoy Some Quality Time Without Ever Leaving Town By Faith Henley
Romance doesn’t come easy in the summer. Whether it’s hectic travel or work schedules, kids that seem to be around all the time, or the sweltering Alabama heat, chances are your relationship could use a little TLC. Here’s a few ways you and your partner can relax, refresh, and recharge this month.
Catch A Show What better way to enjoy some of the warm nights of summer than with live music? Grammy-nominated R&B musician Charlie Wilson takes the stage at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater on August 10. The Amp also hosts the highly-anticipated Keith Urban concert on August 26. Urban will be joined by up-and-coming artist Kelsea Ballerini, who has taken the country music scene by storm. Feeling a little old school? August 20, Def Leppard and Journey will be just a short drive away at the BJCC. The tour has proven to be a great time for classic rock fans, young and old.
Switch-up the Classic Dinner Date More than likely, your go-to date night consists of a select few restaurants kept on rotation. The best way to turn this date night classic into a special memory is to try a place that’s brand new, or at least new to you. There’s plenty of unique options popping up around Tuscaloosa, so you can stay close to home, including The Brass Tap in Midtown Village. With an atmosphere that’s cozy, but not too serious, amazing food, and endless drink options, Brass Tap is a perfect date locale for any relationship. Go on one of their Bingo or trivia nights and join in some friendly competition, or you can grab one of their many games for just the two of you. Either way, you and your partner can spend hours here without even realizing it. Whether you are on an awkward first date in need of an ice breaker, or you’re two long time lovebirds looking for something different, this is the place for you. Photo: The Brass Tap, located in Tuscaloosa’s Midtown Village, features a full food and drink menu that gives you plenty of options.
Take it Outside Take advantage of Tuscaloosa’s extended summer weather and its multitude of beautiful outdoor spots by taking your date outdoors. Pick one of Tuscaloosa’s beautiful lakes and make a mini-vacation out of the afternoon. You can find swimming access all around Tuscaloosa, but if you’re looking for even more, try out Lake Lurleen State Park. While relaxing on the beach and enjoying the safe, designated swimming area, you might almost forget you’re still in Tuscaloosa. For even more adventure, the park offers low-cost rentals of a variety of boats and paddle boards. A romantic date out in canoe or paddle boat has made its way into more than a few classic love stories (ahem The Notebook ahem), and you can recreate the magic right here at home. And it there’s a torrential downpour? Again, see: The Notebook. Photo: Located just nine miles northwest of Tuscaloosa and Northport, Lake Lurleen State Park offers boat rentals.
Try Local Craft Beer There has been a definite rise in popularity of craft beer over the past few years, and it’s no surprise the unique community here in Tuscaloosa took on this trend very early. “I believe we’ve been successful because we provide a slightly different atmosphere,” said Elliott Roberts, co-owner of Druid City Brewing. “We focus on live music, local beer, and creating an atmosphere that’s kind of quirky. I think a lot of the other breweries try to do that as well.” Tuscaloosa is home to several breweries that provide local brews to bars across the state. If you haven’t tried one out yet, consider it added to your “must-do” list. With award-winners like Druid City Brewing in town, this is a trend that’s here to stay. Photo: Sip some great, local craft beer while admiring Druid City Brewing’s ever-changing, but always interesting chalkboard art.
Salsa Verde Chicken Entrée and Mini Pecan Sticky Rolls: Yum!
August Recipes By Amy Poore
SALSA VERDE CHICKEN
Now that school is starting back, you can draw everyone to the table for a little family time – using what else? Food! If you’re in the mood for a delicious entrée, but you don’t have a ton of time, this salsa Verde chicken is the way to go. And if you’d like to make a great dessert or a tasty breakfast treat, these mini pecan sticky rolls are sure to please.
• 16 oz jar of tomatillo salsa • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (around 1-1.5 lbs.) • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese • 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro • Salt and pepper • Cooked white rice (I prefer Jasmine)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with remaining salsa.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place chicken on a bed of rice, and top with tomatoes and cilantro. Serve immediately.
In an 8x11 baking dish, layer 1/2 of the salsa. Place chicken breasts side by side on top of salsa.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven, top with cheese, and place under broiler for a few minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly.
Here’s hoping you have a wonderful August, and as always, bon appétit! Amy Poore is a Tuscaloosa mom, wife, and foodie. To see more of Amy’s delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at pooreamy. com. Photos by Amy Poore.
MINI PECAN STICKY ROLLS • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar • 1/3 cup butter • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup • 1 teaspoon milk • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls • 1 tablespoon sugar • 1 teaspoon cinnamon • 3/4 cup chopped pecans Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small sauce pan over low-medium heat, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup, and milk. Stir until melted and completely combined.
Spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray and pour in sugar/butter mixture. Evenly sprinkle pecans on top. Take the four rectangles of crescent rolls and pinch seams to make solid rectangles. Evenly divide the sugar/ cinnamon on one side. Roll up, starting on the long side. Pinch edges to seal. Cut each roll into 9 pieces and place (starting in the middle and working out) in the prepared dish. Cook for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 1 minute, then invert onto serving plate. Serve immediately.
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Taste of Tuscaloosa: Real & Rosemary Brings Fresh Flavors to T-Town
By Sheena Gregg Have you ever wanted to walk into a restaurant and feel like you were in someone’s cozy-yet-upscale kitchen? I promise you are not alone. For the residents of Tuscaloosa, Real & Rosemary provides an atmosphere that is fresh, bright, and intentionally comforting. Debuting in the old Maki Fresh location back in May, owner Jennifer
Mims says that Tuscaloosa seemed to be the next big step for the restaurant, after she opened the original Homewood location two years ago. “We took a look at the market of Tuscaloosa and realized it was a good ﬁt for us. We wanted to bring something to the natives of Tuscaloosa while also recognizing the college scene that was available too,” said Mims. In fact, Tuscaloosa has been so attractive to the Real & Rosemary family that two locations now exist: the McFarland Boulevard location and the new downtown location on University Boulevard opening this month. “We’ll be next to Steel City Pops in the former Which Wich location, and we’re excited about the proximity to campus,” Mims said. If you’re wondering how the restaurant’s name came about, Mims says the “real” indicates the restaurant’s intentions to bring food to the table without preservatives, additives, or dyes. “I’ve never heard anyone tell me they were craving yellow number 5,” Mims joked. And as far as “rosemary” goes, Mims considers this an homage to her mother and grandmother cooking with rosemary frequently when she was younger. She said it also signiﬁes the restaurant’s commitment to relying on the natural ﬂavors of food, herbs, and spices, versus overly salting food. Take one look at the Real & Rosemary’s menu, and you’ll grasp the wide variety of
Top: Real & Rosemary’s Upbeet Salad features an array of red and yellow beets, along with almonds, fresh fruit, goat cheese, and a tarragon vinaigrette. An addition of grilled chicken provides some extra protein to this refreshing salad. Bottom: The Roasted Turkey plate with charred carrots and avocado pesto zucchini noodles provides a hearty-yet-summery option for diners in Tuscaloosa. Left: Servers Morgan Batze and Reem Abu-Baker prepare freshly squeezed juices for evening cocktails. Photos: Sheena Gregg
dishes the restaurant has to oﬀer. About 20-25 percent of the menu changes throughout the year to reﬂect the local produce that’s in season. “I’m originally from Chilton county, so getting to use produce from that area is special to me,” said Mims. If you’re not already convinced to give Real & Rosemary a try, perhaps a little dessert can entice you. With lemon rosemary cookies made by Birmingham-based bakery Pastry Art,
and a Mexican vanilla ice cream free of preservatives from Austin, Texas, the ice cream sandwich bites will be sure to make you an R&R regular. And if that’s still not enough, keep in mind that Real & Rosemary has a full bar with beer and wine served all day, and special curated cocktails available after 4 p.m. For more information on Real & Rosemary, including directions and to order online, visit realandrosemary. com.
Summer Road Trips
The Sidewalk Film Festival Celebrates Films, Culture, Community, and Fun By Jerry Roberts
It’s a special year for The Sidewalk Moving Film Festival – one of the state’s biggest and best ﬁlm festivals, and an event that’s certainly worth a road trip from the Tuscaloosa and Northport area to Birmingham. Sidewalk is The Magic City’s best-known spotlight of some of the year’s best independent ﬁlms, all screened in the heart of Birmingham’s historic theater district, including the historic Alabama Theatre and the recently restored Lyric Theatre. This year, Sidewalk celebrates its 20th year with a lineup of activities, music, local food and of course, great ﬁlms. Executive Director Chloe Cook says that this year’s festival is going to be fantastic. “Our lineup of ﬁlms is better than ever, with a fantastic opening night ﬁlm, White Tide: The Legend of Culebra, that proves real life is always stranger than ﬁction,” Cook said. “It gives us an opportunity to celebrate a Festival alum, Bryan Storkel, who’s screened with us numerous times over the past 10 years.” If you’ve never been, The Sidewalk Film Festival provides a great sense of community, art, and fun that is uniquely Alabama. Why should you go? Well, here are a few great reasons:
Every year, around 50 feature ﬁlms and 100 short ﬁlms are screened – selected from over 1,000 submissions. And the ﬁlms cover virtually every genre – from drama to comedy to horror, as well as documentaries and children’s movies. Films that make the festival circuit may not necessarily make it to our local multiplexes. These are the celebrated, oﬀ-the-beaten-path ﬁlms that you won’t get to see anywhere else.
In addition to great ﬁlms, Sidewalk is also a place for great parties. Okay, yes, the whole thing is one giant downtown block party, but specialized events keep the weekend jumping. There’s the Filmmakers’ Welcome Reception on Thursday, August 23, The Opening Night After Party on August 24, and The Saturday Night After Party on August 25.
The atmosphere is perfect for movie-lovers to discuss ﬁlms they’ve seen (and hope to see). Sidewalk fosters a community feel, gathering folks from all over for panels and workshops held during the weekend. These panels are accessible to the public.
Sidewalk’s ﬁlm line-up takes place mainly within two beautiful Alabama landmarks: The Alabama Theatre, which has been a staple of Birmingham’s culture and history since 1927, and the historic Lyric Theatre, which was built in 1914 as a vaudeville theater, hosting acts like The Marx Brothers, Mae West, Will Rogers, and Milton Berle. The Lyric was closed for decades, and it ﬁnally reopened after an extended renovation project in 2016.
The Special Treatment
One of the special options to Sidewalk is its VIP Pass, which gets you into screenings ﬁrst. But it also gets you access to the VIP lounge, as well as to special gatherings and parties with special privileges. If you love cinema, there is no limit to the excitement of The Sidewalk Film Festival – and there is no event in the state quite like it. There’s a reason many Alabama patrons make this pilgrimage every single year. I’ll be there, and I hope you will be, too.
The Sidewalk Film Festival will take place August 24- 26 in downtown Birmingham. For more details, including tickets, visit sidewalkfest.com.
Jerry Roberts is a movie critic and movie fan who believes in Birth-Movies-Death. He is the historian for armchaircinema.com and armchairoscars.com, and he has a blog at overthinkingoscar.wordpress.com.
August Calendar of Events Kentuck Art Night: Aug. 2, 5-8 p.m. Main Avenue, Northport. This event is free to the public. For more information, visit kentuck.org/ art-night.
DCL Saves the Date
25th Annual CAPS Night Light Golf Tournament: Aug. 24, Tall Pines Golf Course, Tuscaloosa. This four-person scramble tournament beneﬁts Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS). Golfers will play nine holes before dark, enjoy a BBQ dinner, and play nine holes in the dark with glow in the dark golf balls. There will be door prizes, a grand prize, and more. For more information, visit capstuscaloosa.com or call (205) 758-1159.
Midtown Village “Screen on the Green”: Saturdays through Aug. 11, 8 p.m. on the Green at Midtown Village. This free summer ﬁlm series features great kids’ movies. Bring blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy. For more information, visit midtownvillagetuscaloosa.com.
Tuscaloosa Community Hospice of West AlaDancers “Nutcrackbama Casino Cabaer” Auditions: Aug. 3. ret: Aug. 24, 6-9 p.m. Clark Hall, University North River Yacht Club, of Alabama campus. Tuscaloosa. This funThe TCD production of ﬁlled evening, beneﬁting Downtown Tuscaloosa will be packed with runners on Saturday, Aug. 18, for the annual Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah 5K and Fun run. Honorary race starter Scott Cochran will be on hand for the event, which starts and finishes at Government Plaza. Proceeds from the 5K and Fun Run will ben“The Nutcracker” will Hospice of West Alaefit the Thomas Plott Foundation, which was established to raise funding and bring forth increased knowledge about cystic fibrosis, a genetic be held Dec. 13-16. For bama, includes blackjack, disorder affecting the lungs and digestive system. For more information, and to register, visit plottfoundation.org. complete details, includroulette, and other gaming Photo: Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah 5K ing exact times for each tables. For more inforFamily Fun Day: Aug. 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Ranage group to audition, visit mation, including tickets, the Tuscaloosa Community Dancers Facebook page, or dall-Reilly (3200 Rice Mine Road NE), Tuscaloosa. visit hospiceofwestalabama.com. This free event is a great chance for everyone in the tuscaloosadancers.com. community to connect and enjoy a day of food, music, 14th Annual Walk to Remember: Aug. 25, 9:30-11 games, inﬂatables, and more – all to help raise awareFirst Friday in Downtown Tuscaloosa: Aug. 3, 5 a.m. Inside University Mall, Tuscaloosa. This annual ness about type 1 diabetes. For more information about walk honors anyone aﬀected by Alzheimer’s and other p.m.- 8 p.m. This event is free to the public. Local galleries, businesses and restaurants are open as a way JDRF, visit alabama.jdrf.org. memory disorders, as well as their caregivers. Money for the community to see what downtown Tuscaloosa raised supports the Caring Days programs. For more OLLI@UA Summer Kickoﬀ and Annual Meeting: oﬀers. For more information, visit ﬁrstfridaytuscalooinformation, call (205) 752-6840 or visit caringdays. Aug. 13, 2-4 p.m. Bryant Conference Center, Tuscalosa.com. org. osa. Enjoy refreshments while discovering everything OLLI has to oﬀer. Also, there will be a brief review of Under the Sea at CHOM: Aug. 4, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Let’s Go Fly a Kite Day at CHOM: Aug. 25, 9 Children’s Hands-On Museum, downtown Tuscaloosa. the year’s accomplishments as well as board elections. a.m.-4:30 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum, downOLLI@UA provides mature adults, 50+, with social, Make a “Socktopus,” create a new species of jellyﬁsh, town Tuscaloosa. Design your own kite to take home. educational, and travel opportunities. For more infordesign your own egg submarine, and more. For more Add your own personal touch to the new “Children of mation, visit olli.ua.edu or call (205) 348-6482. information, visit chomonline.org or call (205) 349CHOM” kite. For more information, visit chomonline. 4235. org or call (205) 349-4235. United Way Campaign Kickoﬀ Luncheon: Aug. 14, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Bryant Conference Center, UA Calico Street Troupe Performance: Aug. 4 and 18, Keith Urban “Graﬃti U World Tour” with Kelsea campus. Meet and hear from campaign volunteers and 10:30 a.m.-Noon, Northport Civic Center. Bring the Ballerini: Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m. Tuscaloosa Amphithelearn West Alabama’s fundraising goal for the annual whole family to this free, interactive, professional ater. Tickets available via Ticketmaster.com. For more United Way campaign. For more information, visit stage play for kids which features costumed actors, information, visit Ticketmaster.com, call the Tuscauwwa.org or email email@example.com. dancers, special lighting, and music – all on a 36-foot loosa Amphitheater Box Oﬃce at (205) 248-5280 or stage. Performances teach right choices and good charcharge by phone at (800) 745-3000. Chamber Business After Hours: Aug. 14, 5-7 p.m. acter. For more information, visit calicostreet.com. Bryant Bank, Tuscaloosa. For more information, visit 2018 Chamber in Session: State of the Community: tuscaloosachamber.com. Tuscaloosa County University of Alabama Alumni Aug. 30, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. The Mayor of the City of Kickoﬀ Party: Aug. 9, 6-8 p.m. The Recruiting Room Tuscaloosa, Mayor of the City of Northport, Probate 5th Annual Alabama Veterans Reunion: Aug. 18, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. This event celebrates the Judge and Chairman of the Tuscaloosa County comvarious locations in Tuscaloosa. This is a weekend beginning of a new academic and athletic year at the mission give a comprehensive update on the State of Capstone. This year’s guest speakers include Eli Gold, ﬁlled with activities and events to honor those in Alathe Community, including a Q&A time with attendees. bama who’ve served our country. Many of the events Javier Arenas, and Tommy Wilcox. For more informaFor more information, visit tuscaloosachamber.com. are free. For more information, or to register, visit tion, and to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com/o/ alabamaveteransreunion.com. tuscaloosa-county-alumni-association-17487682840. Tuscaloosa Farmer’s Market: Saturdays, 7 a.m.noon.; Tuesdays 3-6 p.m. Tuscaloosa River Market, Weird Contest Day at CHOM: Aug. 18, 9 a.m.Alabama Restaurant Week: Aug. 10-19. Several 1900 Jack Warner Blvd, Tuscaloosa. Shop for fresh 4:30 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum, downtown Tuscaloosa-area restaurants are participating in this produce, grass fed beef, baked goods, cheeses and Tuscaloosa. Compete for prizes in weird and wacky annual event, with specially priced meals. For more more. Buy fresh, buy local. For more information, visit contests throughout CHOM. For more information, information, visit alabamarestaurantweek.com. tuscaloosarivermarket.com or call (205) 248-5295. visit chomonline.org or call (205) 349-4235. Charley Wilson with Big Pokey Bear and Chuck Northport Farmer’s Market: Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 8th Annual Johnny Shines Blues Festival: Aug. 18. Johnson: Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m. Tuscaloosa Amphithenoon, 4150 5th Street, Northport. For more informaAll day at Band of Brothers Brewing Co., Tuscaloosa. ater. Tickets available via Ticketmaster.com. For more tion, visit npfarmersmarket.com. Food, drinks, and lots of blues music bands are particinformation, visit Ticketmaster.com, call the Tuscaipating in this rain-or-shine event honoring the legacy loosa Amphitheater Box Oﬃce at (205) 248-5280 or of Johnny Shines. charge by phone at (800) 745-3000. Events you want to see here? Super Mario Blowout at CHOM: Aug. 11, 9 a.m.4:30 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum, downtown Tuscaloosa. Collect coins for prizes, play Mario games, craft your own power-up item, and more. Costumes are welcome. For more information, visit chomonline.org or call (205) 349-4235.
Cancer Wellness Support Group: Aug. 21, Noon-1 p.m. Wellness Room, Manderson Cancer Center, Tuscaloosa. Current and former patients of the Manderson Cancer Center (and their caregiver) who have been diagnosed with cancer, during all phases of their treatment and recovery, are welcome. Please RSVP to Jana Smith, Outreach Coordinator (205) 759-7877.
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc. (CSP), administers the LIHEAP program in Bibb, Choctaw, Dallas, Fayette, Greene, Lamar, Perry, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). LIHEAP is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ADECA contracts with community action agencies and local nonprofit agencies, throughout Alabama, to deliver LIHEAP to low-income households. The following is the maximum amount of income a household may receive to be eligible for energy assistance through the LIHEAP Program:
NOTE: chart is based on 150% of the Federal Poverty Income guidelines. For each additional member, add $522. A. General Heating and Cooling Assistance: No household may be assisted more than once for general heating and cooling payments through LIHEAP funding. The general heating/cooling assistance fund is designed to provide heating/cooling assistance to any income-eligible household. B. Crisis Heating and Cooling Assistance: Crisis assistance may only be provided to households that meet the income guidelines AND LIHEAPâ€™s definition of an energy-related crisis. ene An energy-related crisis is defined by LIHEAP as a situation where a household member's health and/or well-being would likely be endangered if energy assistance is not provided. This includes households with elderly (60+) members, disabled members and/or small children (age five (5) years and younger). Household may not be assisted more than once for crisis heating and once for crisis cooling funding. CSP is currently accepting appointments for LIHEAP cooling assistance in Bibb, Choctaw, Dallas, Fayette, Greene, Lamar, Perry, Sumter and Tuscaloosa Counties. During the cooling season, June 1, 2018 - September, 28, 2018, payments are made for the primary cooling source, usually electricity. To accommodate the increase in demand, CSP implemented an automated scheduling system. Providing funding is available, the automated system schedules utility assistance appointments for Bibb, Choctaw, Dallas, Fayette, Greene, Lamar, Perry, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To schedule an appointment in either of CSPâ€™s service counties, please use one of the following contact numbers or website: (205) 758-4756 or toll free at 1-877-803-5509 clients 59 years of age and younger (205) 469-0386 clients 60 years of age and older https://cspwal.appointment.works/ea/home Elderly clients will speak with a live operator, who schedules the appointment and sends a confirmation reminder mailer, outlining items needed for a successful visit.
For more information on this and other programs offered by CSP, to volunteer or to view the page, please visit our website at www.cspwal.com or contact your local CSP office.