Tuscaloosa’s feel-good news
Volume 1, Issue 11
Alabama Choir School celebrates 30th anniversary by Laura Testino
Druid City Living’s 2014 holiday gift guide is here!
See Page 14 Java Fix
Nearly every afternoon, standing atop the risers and framed from behind by the stained glass windows of Christ Episcopal Church, students at the Alabama Choir School match their voices to the music brushed into the air by the conductor in front of them, accompanied by the pianist to their right. Guidance in the execution of sounds and appearances are made by Doff Procter, the artistic director and principal conductor of the Alabama Choir School, amongst other compliments, suggestions, and requests of “Performance, please!” “When you think the right thoughts, your sound matches,” Procter told the members of the Ambassador Choir, during a Thursday afternoon rehearsal. The students are currently rehearsing repertoire for this month’s Winter Concerts. They began preparation for the concert in August, but Procter began working on the concert materials over the summer. Each year with the Alabama Choir School presents a different set of students and opportunities for the repertoire, keeping rehearsals fresh and interesting, he said. After a singing career that took him overseas to Europe, Procter returned with his family to his hometown in Tuscaloosa and began volunteering with the Alabama Choir School in 1995. He has occupied his current position with the choir for three years, and is looking forward to their 30th anniversary celebration this year, he
said. “There’s something intangible about the voice,” Procter said. The Alabama Choir School firmly believes in the benefits of making music, some of which include performing songs throughout the year that are written in almost 12 different languages, Procter said. The Winter Concerts feature songs in English, Jamaican and Spanish, and the Spring Concert will include some songs in Japanese. “I’m a little prejudiced, but I think making music with the voice Continued on Page 17
Photo: Doff Procter
The Alabama Choir School will hold its annual Winter Concert in Moody Concert Hall on December 12 and 13.
Dancing the Night Away: The Lucy Jordan Ball By Casey Johnson Cozy up this season with one of Tuscaloosa’s local coffee shops.
See Page 29
Inside This Issue About Us City News Opinion Community Celebrations Schools Sports Calendar Food
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The DCH Health System took center stage in the community on Friday evening, November 14th at the 37th annual Lucy Jordan Ball. Nearly 300 people attended the event at NorthRiver Yacht Club to benefit the purchase of Giraffe Omnibeds through The Finn & Quinley Infant and Children’s Fund. The Finn & Quinley Infant and Children’s Fund began in 2004 when Danielle and Michael McInerney lost their premature twins after eight days in the Northport Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care
Presorted Standard US Postage Paid Tuscaloosa, AL Permit No. 116
The 37th Lucy Jordan Ball chairs with “Mama Lucy.” From left, Amanda Fowler, Danielle McInerney, Lucy Jordan and Shannon Wright.
unit (NICU). Because of their great care and the love and compassion of all of the doctors and nurses at DCH, they felt compelled to create a fund in the twins’ memory to help other parents in similar situations. The fund also helps both DCH campuses with needs for the NICUs, pediatrics, and maternal/child areas of the health system. Chaired by Mrs. Michael McInerney, Mrs. Les Fowler and Mrs. Shannon Wright, the Lucy Jordan Ball will no doubt go into the history books as a gorgeous evening with a critical mission for our babies. NorthRiver Yacht Club was beautifully decorated by Mrs. David Hudson and Mrs. Rick Clementz with hundreds of Chinese lanterns hanging from the rafters and beautiful floral arrangements. The evening topped off with non-stop show band Az-IzZ and the crowd danced the night away with their favorite tunes. Most importantly, the evening was a success for our community’s tiniest patients. The proceeds from the event will go to purchase Omnibeds, which are $50,000 each. An anonymous donor also came forward that evening and will purchase one Giraffe Omnibed for the NICU! The DCH Foundation thanks our sponsors for the evening, as well as those in attendance, and invites those who wish to be a part of making these beds a reality to visit www.thedchfoundation.org for more information. Photos: The DCH Foundation
Some of the amazing doctors and nurses that care for our tiniest patients. From left, Dr. Javier Repetto and Dr. Kimberly Hillman, Dr. and Mrs. Guillermo Godoy, and NICU nurses Cindy Key, Jennifer Fair, Traci Swann and Barbara Jernigan.
Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Petitt talk with Giraffe Omnibed representative Carrie Fitch about the beds for the NICU.
Andy and Georgia Abston, John and Krista Poole and James and Allison Leitner
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The Wedding of Q and U On November 7, Tuscaloosa Academy’s kindergarten class, along with several special guests, celebrated the “Wedding of Q and U.” The event is a creative way to teach students that the letters “q” and “u” almost always go together in words. Mark Norris served as the groom, Mr. Q, and Madison Colburn served as the bride, Miss U. Beyond reading, the wedding also served to teach students etiquette. Pictured is Tuscaloosa Academy’s kindergarten class with teachers, Jennifer Wright and Debbie Dunkling, Karis Lamb Wilson, who played the violin for the ceremony, and Rob Kettlewell, who served as the minister.
Photo Of The Month Photo: Chelsea McKenna
Meet the Editor Laurie Mundy Perrigin is the Tuscaloosa editor of Druid City Living. She has lived in Tuscaloosa since 1978. She received her bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication and Film from the University of Alabama in 1992. She spent 25 years working as a broadcast news director, anchor, producer and reporter in radio and television before moving on to the world of print and online media in 2008. In her free time, Laurie enjoys football (Alabama and the New Orleans Saints), travel, reading and hanging out with her husband, Jeff, and their dog, Chico Seymour Hoffman.
Thank you again to all of our advertisers and readers for allowing us to publish another issue of Druid City Living, Tuscaloosa’s largest community newspaper! We hope you’ll enjoy this issue, which is packed with all sorts of great happenings in our area for everyone in your family. We continue to improve the content of Druid City Living, as well as the quality of the paper itself, in an effort to better serve this community. If you would like to contribute, please contact myself or Laurie Mundy Perrigin, our editor. This paper is about you, the residents of this wonderful community of ours, and we want to feature your organization, schools and businesses. Great things are happening here, and that is what this paper is all about. If you are interested in advertising, please contact myself (205-7921155) or any of our capable sales staff.
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City News Dear friends and neighbors,
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I hope that you all have been enjoying the Christmas season. It has been amazing year, and to that end, I want to take this opportunity to highlight some of our major events and accomplishments. In addition, and even more importantly, I want to share with you just a few of the exciting events planned for 2015. When I was elected in 2005, I pledged that transparency would be a deeply held core belief of our administration. In an effort to keep this commitment, we initiated the Mayor’s the Night Out series which were town hall meetings hosted in each of our seven council districts. From installing lights on New Watermelon Road, to moving forward with the Rice Mine Road improvements, your voice makes a real difference on so many levels and in so many ways. I want to thank all of you who attended, and be on the lookout for future dates and locations for our Mayor’s Night Out series in 2015. In addition to MNO, in October, we hosted our annual Community Conversations at the Tuscaloosa River Market and we also launched a weekly video series called the Mayor’s Minute. Throughout the summer months, Tuscaloosa hosted many exciting events. From the Tuscaloosa River Market hosting a farmers market every Saturday and Tuesday, to the summer concert series at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, our riverfront was alive with activity and entertainment. Also, the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum provided a great summer and fall movie series, showing a wide range of movies that every member of the family could enjoy. At the end of November, we celebrated the future of Shoppes at Legacy Park with an official ground breaking. This retail development will generate over $400,000 a year for city schools, provide 500 new jobs and add more well-known commercial anchors in Tuscaloosa’s market. The majority of the stores in the Shoppes of Legacy Park will open in late 2015. In the coming year, we will also see Embassy Suites and Hilton Home 2 Suites open in downtown Tuscaloosa. This will certainly enhance the vibrancy of our central city. Last month, the City of Tuscaloosa’s annual Holidays on the River began and will run through Jan. 4. There is still time for you and your family to go to the lawn of the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum to enjoy the ice rink and the Tuscaloosa Tinsel Trail. In just a few months, the City of Tuscaloosa will be hosting the Tuscaloosa Regional Airshow which will feature the Blue Angels. The Airshow will be March 28-29, 2015, and for more information, please visit www.tuscaloosaregionalairshow.com. Sincerely, Walter Maddox
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Have a very crafty Christmas by Allison Adams My nine year old daughter has recently been on her iPad at night. As a concerned parent, I had to find out what the recent interest was. To my surprise, while perusing her notebook (yes, I snoop. And with teens and proof that there are many reasons why you should snoop, I condone and encourage it), I had an eye-opening moment. I learned that my sweet girl is a list maker, with a list of decorations from a DIY teen page complete with a shopping list, as well as pics of the “holiday decor” she is planning to adorn her room with for the holiday season. This also includes ditching the purple Christmas tree she HAD to have two years ago. Even being a DIY crafty person, she didn’t buy into the “we can spray paint it white or flock it” since she is now into everything being white for this “season,” noting that in spring she will need more accent color. My little girl was stepping out on her own, her personality being nurtured by nights on the computer watching crafty YouTube Stars like Bethany Mota whip up a jello tray of red white and blue jiggles like the one she was determined to create on the Fourth of July. (She provided me with list of items and refused to let me help). This obsession, I learned, had been going on for months under my nose, without my knowledge. I watched her that night, as my husband and I cooked dinner in the kitchen, pulling out her crafty items. She glittered up Styrofoam forms to put on her side table. She had selected glass jars and added gold glitter to them and LED candles to give to her teenage sisters. She put silver glitter on wooden snowflakes to hang in her window at varying lengths with ribbon. And they were beautiful! Each year, as we pull out the crafty ornaments, including the popsicle sticks and the pipe cleaner candy canes, we are reminded to let our children find their
Joshua M Watkins, esq.
own traditions, explore their creativity, and nurture them to find more meaning in Christmas. Now, if it will just stop raining, I have another lesson to teach them: Yes, the Christmas tree really CAN be one from the yard, and not imported and trucked from afar. Wishing you and yours a blessed and glorious, tradition filled, family Christmas.
Blessings from Lake Tuscaloosa! Allison Adams, Artist/Realtor www.allisonadams.com Photos: Allison Adams
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Mommy Chronicles: The Smart Mom’s Gift Guide By Marlena Rice Awesome Intentions? Check. Christmas list? Check. Christmas list written in a notebook, my smartphone, and posted to my refrigerator? Double check! A feeling of completion because I have physically stepped into a store and bought something on my list? Hmm…. This is the point where my eyes glaze over and in my mind I begin singing “Tomorrow, Tomorrow....” That is, until I look up and realize I have a full house on Christmas Eve! Here are some tips that might help lessen the stress of holiday gift giving.
and chastise you for how little their gifts cost. Instead, they will be looking to see if Santa delivered the X Y or Z toy they’ve been hinting about since January. If you happen to like quantity under your tree, break the toys into parts (not literally, but of course by Dec. 26th that may not sound too bad!) For instance, if you bought Barbie with all of her accessories, instead of wrapping them together, wrap each one separately. Or, if you are buying your son a John Deere tractor set (guilty) and there are multiple parts, your little man will love finding new pieces to keep piling on! Watch one gift turn into three or four!
Don’t stress if money is not plentiful. Quality and thoughtfulness are the foundations for the best gifts. Never break your bank, even if the money is there. Stretch your dollars in small ways that produce big results. When little ones wake on Christmas morning, they are not going to whip a citation out of their pj’s
Can you say Dollar Tree? It may not be “trendy”, but when it comes to stocking stuffers, you just may fall in love. Take a visit and find cute books, puzzles, coloring sets, and pocket toys that may be good attention grabbers for your backseat rider that will fill a stocking for $10 or less. Stalk Pinterest for 30 Minutes. Search “DIY Christmas gifts” and go crazy! Don’t forget the people who make your life function. Yes, we need our husbands but I’m not talking about them! A large majority of our children have fulltime caregivers who make our lives easier while we work each day. While we cannot possibly give them anything that would equal the peace of mind we come to rely on, we can do a variety of little things. Krispy Kreme and/or Starbucks can be a great early morning pick-me-up for teachers as you drop your children off, as are gift cards and items needed for a teacher’s classroom that may make their day just a bit easier.
One other suggestion: Don’t underestimate the power of a well-written greeting card. Take the time to write down how thankful you are for the time your child’s teacher or caregiver dedicates throughout the year. You’ll be responsible for a true feel-good moment. And finally: Should everything just fall apart, and your hair is in mounds on the floor, remember what is absolutely most important: Not forgetting what Christmas is truly about!
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The Land of Oz: A Friendly Holiday Letter to My Lovely Neighbors 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.” *Disclaimer: I am blessed and lucky enough to live on a very good street with lots of great people who look out for each other’s health and property, and I am forever grateful for them. This letter is not necessarily aimed at them. This could be any neighborhood anywhere, really. So enjoy. And Merry Christmas.* Dear Neighbor, It has come to my attention that there is quite a rush for Christmas to come this year and not because of the typical reasons surrounding the excitement. As a matter of fact, it seems that this rush has been put in place for quite some time now. I am submitting a request, in writing, for a statement from you in response to this issue. As I recall from my early childhood years, there stood an unwritten rule of sorts involving the timing and placement of Christmas decorum. Shortly following the devouring of turkey, the contents of an attic magically revealed themselves. Out fell a dusty tree and multiple cardboard boxes filled with green and red colored junk that my brother and I couldn’t wait to sort through, and intertwine, and tangle in knots (much to the chagrin of my father). Within days, our house, as well as many of those surrounding us, were transformed into exciting and captivating festivals of light. The spectacle itself rivaled that of the local “Dew Drop Inn” bar. We successfully “honky-tonked” our residence, and it was grand. And people drove for miles to see it. And they were pleased. And through our natural progression of improving on our inventions, we made the lights smaller and more plentiful, for an even greater spectacle. And we put them up earlier in the year! And in greater numbers! While flashing in unison to music!! Hallelujah! Christ is born!!! But then, something strange started happening. That general unwritten rule of years ago stated that lights and decor would stay up until around New Year’s Day or thereabouts was suddenly amended. And as fast as that glorious rule was altered, those lovely decorations started vanishing on the mornings of December 26th.
The Christmas rush now seems to be some type of unplanned contest to see who can stuff everything back in the attic the fastest. We put it up earlier, so we have to take it down quicker? When did this happen? “It’s the 26th?! Roll up the sidewalk, Gertrude!” In conclusion, I will amend my request: Please leave up that decor you worked so hard to transfix to your home, or trailer, or barn, for at least a few days after Christmas. It makes the holidays seem longer and it gives us all more time to enjoy them. You worked hard on your honky-tonk - there should be no rush to return it. Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with wife Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica. Follow him on twitter @ozborn34.
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Give Life to Your Story: It’s About the Little Things By Mike Green Roger Cross suggests in his book LifeCoach Your Teens five important principles to helping your child navigate the teen years. The five principles are: Help your teen identify goals, show your teen how to find balance in life, teach your teen to fail forward, help your teen cope with anger and come alongside your teen. All five, I believe, are right on the money. Each play a critical role in not just maturing your teen but also developing your relationship with them. I highly recommend the book. It’s a short read and can give hope to even the most desperate parent. I think the best point Roger makes is in his final chapter. There, he talks about the “universal law of the little things.” It is in this chapter that he points out that the little things add up to significant influence. I agree. We, as parents, tend to want that life-changing single conversation that will totally transform our child’s attitudes and views on life. We frequently look for the shortcuts. But Roger reminds us that little things, like an encouraging note stuck in a child’s backpack, or a phone call to ask them how they are handling disappointment (or to simply ask for their opinion on something), will have a long-lasting impact on your child. These little things, done consistently, will have a huge influence upon your teenager. Think back to your own upbringing. No matter how well or poorly your parents helped you through adolescence, I bet you can recall a few very brief conversations or actions that stand out. Maybe they opened up and shared a part of their own heart. Or maybe they asked a question that showed they cared. I have a friend whose dad never attended any of his athletic events. Game after game, dad was a no show. This was a point of pain all through high school. Then, one day, there his dad was in the stands. My friend carried that one game with him long into adulthood. The point is not to miss out on your child’s entire high school days and then just show up for graduation. No, that’s a bad plan. But maybe it says that no matter how many times we have blown it, the next time may be a life-changer for you and your teen. Life is mostly made up of countless small events in our lives. Most seem Mike Green serves as Executive Director of Tuscaloosa Youth For Christ. He and his insignificant at the time. Only in hindsight, and too often in regret, do we wife, Laura, have two adult children. To reach Mike, or to learn more about Youth For realize their significance. Don’t overlook the little things. Thanks Roger. Christ, email him at email@example.com.
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Painting a picture of the past By Brandie Rickett Bowden When our children are young, we tell them they can be anything they want to be. Most kids have some idea of who they will be when they grow up. More traditional answers include astronaut, fireman, doctor, or police officer. Rarely do children consider digging in the dirt as a career. For Laura Wood, it wasn’t until college that she discovered this was an option, and that it was her dream job. Wood started college on an accounting track, but got close to the end and realized this wasn’t the career she truly wanted. On a suggestion from a professor, she redirected to archeology, and she hasn’t looked back. Wood now works as an archeologist for Panamerican Consultants here in Tuscaloosa. Her 15 years with this company has allowed her the opportunity to participate in digs in Alabama and other states, using what’s lying underneath the surface to paint a picture of the past. Panamerican Consultants is a cultural resource management firm that focuses on preserving history. Whenever a business or organization wants to develop an area, a firm like Panamerican will come through first. Archeologists like Laura Wood will dig 30-centimeter round holes searching for artifacts. Once they collect the artifacts, the archeologists will wash them, catalog them, and analyze them. All artifacts collected by Panamerican then go to the Erskine Ramsay Archaeological Repository at the Office of Archaeological Research, a unit of the University of Alabama Museums, for curation. Erskine Ramsay is located at Moundville Archaeological Park.
Erinn Townsend and Laura Wood take a much-needed break from their project.
The Panamerican group on site at Self Creek (L to R): Graham Townsend, Erinn Townsend, Jordan Mahaffey, Anne Dorland, Will Turner, Lynn Funkhouser, and Daniel Turner, Field Director.
The artifacts are kept there for future interest. Currently, Wood mostly does mapping, which works best for her in her other role as a mom. But she particularly loves field work, and some digs stick out in her mind more than others. Wood says several of her friends and coworkers were in Fort Benning for several months in 2001, digging at an historic Creek Indian town at the Chattahoochee River. While there, 9/11 happened. They actually got to witness all the activity on the military base in the aftermath of the event. Wood also participated in a cemetery removal in Irondale. This required the team to remove skeletons from the site. “Some were in bad shape,” Wood said, “but some were in really good shape. We found a lot of interesting things, including some fabric and buttons still intact. It was really neat for someone who enjoys that type of thing.” Panamerican started 25 years ago in Tuscaloosa, and heads up multiple facilities all over the Southeast, and one office in Buffalo, NY. In addition to cultural resource management, Panamerican also offers expertise in other areas. The architectural history division works with the National Register of Historic Places to recognize and document history of buildings and structures. Their maritime archaeological division, underwater archeology, located in Memphis, is one of the largest in the United States. Their teams travel all over, participating in such activities as shipwreck excavation and search and recovery. The geophysics division analyzes beneath the surface using technology
This probable Little Bear Creek projectile point may date back to around 500 B.C. It was one of the artifacts found during Panamerican Consultants’ archaeological excavation at Self Creek along the Northern Beltline construction area.
like sonar and ground-penetrating radar. Like many other people, Laura Wood wasn’t aware that companies like this existed so close to home where she could have a career that she loves with stability that she needs. Now, when her children dream about what they’ll do when they get older, they know they can make a career out of digging up artifacts just like their mom. Photos: Laura Wood
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Theatre Tuscaloosa presents ‘Little Women’ By Brandie Rickett Bowden
Little Women is running through Dec. 14 at the Bean-Brown Theatre at Shelton State.
(L to R): Emily McGuire, Rachel Potts, Zoe Jones, Dianna Brown Shaw, Alex McDonald and Kate Gates rehearsing for Theatre Tuscaloosa’s Little Women.
This December, in harmony with the holiday theme that surrounds us this time of year, Theatre Tuscaloosa will present Little Women, a play based on the familiar novel by Louisa May Alcott. “The play begins and ends at Christmastime,” said Tina Turley, Executive Producer of Theatre Tuscaloosa and Director of Little Women. “I thought it might be a nice complement to the usual Christmas shows we see during the holidays.” The play takes place over the course of a year in the lives of Mrs. March and her four daughters who grow as individuals and as a family while their father is away fighting in the Civil War. The book covers a larger time span, watching the sisters grow up and become women. Originally, it was published as two novels. This version of the play follows what was originally published as Little Women, before the second novel, Good Wives, was added to it. Concentrating on the shorter time frame will allow audiences to learn more about the characters and better relate to their personalities and emotions. Rachel Potts, Emily McGuire, Alex McDonald, and Zoe Jones play Amy, Beth, Meg, and Jo March. These ladies are about the same age as the parts they’re playing, so they can closely relate to what their respective characters are thinking and feeling. “Working with younger actors is exciting,” Turley said. “They have lots of energy. It is a lot of responsibility but I’ve cast responsible ladies.” Little Women is family-focused and family-friendly. “The themes are universal and timeless,” said Turley. “It has a message of hope, peace, kindness, and understanding, which are truths we should all seek throughout the year.” Little Women runs through December 14 at the Bean-Brown Theatre on Shelton State’s Martin Campus. Tickets are available through the ticket office or online at www.theatretusc.com. Photos: Brandie Rickett Bowden
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TCT’s ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Opens on Dec. 12 By Brandie Rickett Bowden Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre (TCT) provides fun shows and musicals that are enjoyable for the whole family. This Christmas, TCT is bringing a popular favorite to the stage with its production of Miracle on 34th Street. When TCT first did this production it was still under its original title of Here’s Love. Now, it has the same name as the classic movie. “I love the sense of community we get with all of our plays,” said Drew Photo: Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre Baker, artistic coordinator for TCT. Actors rehearse for the Tuscaloosa Chil“With a Christmas show, we get to dren’s Theatre’s production of Miracle on share the joy of Christmas with our 34th Street. audiences a little early.” Miracle on 34th Street tells the story of a Macy’s Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa Claus. His popularity increases as he spreads love and the joy of Christmas throughout the city, but finds himself on trial to prove his identity. Doris, an executive at Macy’s, and her daughter, Susan, fight their skepticism and disbelief as they interact with Santa and watch their friend, Fred Gailey, help Kris Kringle prove that he is the real Santa Claus. Miracle on 34th Street will take place at the Bama Theatre downtown December 1214. Shows are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.Tickets are available on the Children’s Theatre website, www.tuscaloosachildrenstheatre. com, or at the box office which opens one hour prior to performances. “This play is just pure family entertainment,” Baker said. “Audiences will leave the historic Bama Theatre with smiles on their faces!” Make plans for you and your family to attend this production of a holiday favorite!
Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain By Dr. Rachel Steiner, DC McCracken Family Chiropractic
The holiday season consists of nearly two months of celebrating with goodies appearing in homes and offices before Thanksgiving and continuing through the beginning of January. Let’s face it, these goodies rarely lack calories, and they magically pop up on the table at just that perfect moment. So what can we do this holiday season to not be a Grinch by saying no to all holiday food, but instead enjoy and embrace this wonderful time in moderation? Here are a few tips to keep our hearts cheery and our waistlines happy. • Look ahead at your schedule: You probably know dates of most of your holiday gatherings in advance, so plan your eating for the week accordingly. Eat clean Sunday-Friday so you can indulge on Saturday at your party. • If you are in charge of bringing a dish to a party, don’t be afraid to bring something healthy. Someone will appreciate it and you will too! • Don’t let the busyness of the season or colder weather give you an excuse not to exercise. Physical activity not only burns calories, it also helps to reduce feelings of stress. • Write it down. You are less likely to go for that Christmas sugar cookie when you see a list in front of you of four other cookies you ate throughout the day. Lastly, maintain a positive frame of mind. Learning how to avoid weight gain can be a challenge. But it is also a fabulously fun time of year. And remember: Holidays do not have to revolve around food. Focus on non-food fun. Have a happy, healthy holiday season!
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Druid City Living’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide Are you struggling to find that perfect present this holiday season? If so, check out some of these wonderful, unique items in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide! And remember: Shop Local, everyone!
Photo: Rebekah Johnson
All under $20
Alabama state red leather and pearl bracelet Show your state pride with this gorgeous bracelet, designed by Rebekah Johnson of Tuscaloosa. Johnson’s Rebajdesigns features a variety of different bracelets and necklaces, including several leather and pearl options. Johnson also makes custom orders. Rebajdesigns (on Facebook); Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Colorful, Whimsical Stocking Stuffers You’ll be making spirits bright by giving these bright, bold, and toasty warm socks, inspirational message leather bracelets and soap rocks (which smell amazing) from Confetti Interiors. Need stocking stuffers? Gifts for teachers or neighbors? Done! Confetti Interiors, 2218 University Blvd Suite B, Tuscaloosa, 35401 (205) 345-1331
$12-25; $127.50 for formal baskets Photo: Vicki Miller
Coffee and Treats Deck the halls, y’all! If you’re stuck about what to give that special someone this holiday, you really can’t go wrong with a beautiful gift basket or mug from Heritage House Coffee and Tea. Heritage House Coffee and Tea, Essex Square Marketplace Shopping Center, Northport 35476 (205) 758-0042; www.heritagehousecoffee.com Hand-dyed Boyfriend Shirt Tuscaloosa’s Hunter Galloway’s Skinnie Dipped makes wonderful upcycled, hand-dyed products, and this “Boyfriend Shirt” is one of the most popular items. They make wonderful beach cover ups, of course, but they also look super cute paired with leggings and vests! Skinnie Dipped: Available at the Maker’s Market in downtown Tuscaloosa Instagram @skinniedipped, email@example.com
Photo: Hunter Galloway
Photo: Kacie Obradovich
Photo: Paige Wilkinson
Photo: Crystal Buck
Photo: Sheena Gregg
Photo: Emily Mitchell
Christmas Jewels Why not give her some sparkling jewelry this holiday? This 14K rose gold ring from Hudson-Poole features 0.56 carats total weight of chocolate and white diamonds! Hudson-Poole Fine Jewelers, 1111 Greensboro Ave, Tuscaloosa, 35401 (205)752-5535; firstname.lastname@example.org
Holiday Wines Looking for that perfect wine to serve with the holiday meal? Consider these options from Spirits Wine Cellar: Gobelsburg Riesling, Austria ($17), Domaine du Gour de Chaule Rose (Grenache), France ($25) and Knez Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, CA ($30). Spirits Wine Cellar, The Shops of Lake Tuscaloosa, 4851 Rice Mine Rd. NE, Suite 110 & 120, Tuscaloosa, 35406 (205) 349-0903; www.spiritswinecellar.com
Recycled Metal Elephants Recycled metal elephants from Beyond Southern Furnishings make the Photo: Jeff Perrigin perfect gift for every Bama fan on your list. They can be displayed indoors or outdoors and they are available in three different sizes. Beyond Southern Furnishings, 651 20th Ave, Tuscaloosa, 35401 (205) 412-4562; www.beyondsouthernfurnishings.com Southern Ale House Gift Card What do you give the person who has everything? When in doubt, consider giving them a gift card to a great area restaurant like Southern Ale House. Call or stop by to purchase. Southern Ale House, 1530 McFarland Blvd N, Tuscaloosa, 35406 (205) 248-7500; www.southernalehouse.com Kendra Scott Earrings A beautiful pair of Kendra Scott earrings are the perfect accessory to complete a holiday outfit! You can find many other wonderful items for all the ladies on your Christmas list at Part Two. Part Two Boutique, Galleria of Tuscaloosa Shopping Center, 1653 McFarland Blvd N, Tuscaloosa, 35406 (205) 349-2077; www.parttwostyle.com A Beautifully Decorated Home Here’s an idea for the person who is too busy to decorate for the holidays: Have someone else do the sprucing! Bow Regards of Tuscaloosa offers holiday decorating services. Call and make an appointment – it’s the gift that keeps giving all through the Christmas season! Bow Regards, 1520 McFarland Blvd N, Tuscaloosa, 35406 (205) 344-4446; www.bowregardstuscaloosa.com
Coolers start at $249.99; Accessories $20-30 Photo: Katie Talley
Prices vary Photo: Kay Day
Photo: Jason Patton
Yeti Coolers and Accessories Looking for the perfect gift for the special man in your life? How about a Yeti cooler? The Pants Store has a variety of different Yeti coolers, all made to last a lifetime, and some great Yeti accessories as well (the tumbler cups are fantastic). The Pants Store, 2223 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, 35401 (205)210-4012; www.pantsstore.com A Day of Pampering Give the gift of pampering and relaxation this holiday season, with a gift certificate to a spa. Tuscaloosa’s Spa Belle La Vie offers everything from facials to massages to pedicures. Right now, anyone who purchases a $100 gift card receives a $20 gift card for free. Spa Belle La Vie, 1847 Commons N Drive, Tuscaloosa, 35406 (205) 349-0046; www.spabellelavie.com Rediscover Vinyl Here’s the perfect gift for the audiophile in your family: This Audio-technica ATLP60 turntable from Oz Records. This is an ideal turntable for anyone looking to get in on the vinyl revival. Oz Records, Parkview Plaza Shopping Center, 506 14th St, Tuscaloosa, 35401 (205) 758-1222; www.ozmusiconline.com Crimson Magazine Crimson Magazine is a three issue a year magazine all about the Alabama Crimson Tide. A subscription would be the perfect gift for the die-hard Bama fan in your life! www.crimsonmag.com To Subscribe: www.buycrimson.com Photo: Kay Day
Photo: Riley Crutchfield
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Remember those in need in your holiday giving By Candice Morris toys for age groups where donations may fall short. Looney adds, “I’m personally amazed every year at the generosity of Tuscaloosa’s citizens, but as we say at Toys for Tots, ‘Every child deserves a little Christmas.’ No one would disagree with that, right?”
Toys for Tots For nearly 70 years, Toys for Tots has been collecting toys and distributing them to children throughout the country. Last year, 740 campaigns were conducted across the country, resulting in the distribution of over 16 million toys. Here in Tuscaloosa, the Alabama Marines Foundation sponsors the local Toys for Tots campaign. Applications are accepted for children ages newborn to 12 years old. “This year, we approved applications for 600 families,” said Janice Looney, coordinator for Toys for Tots. “In addition to those families, we will also assist other local tax exempt charities with their toy needs and could, before campaign’s end, provide toys to as many as 2,000 children in the West Alabama area.” Want to donate to Toys for Tots? New toys will be accepted until December 12, and you can find a list of toy boxes at www.toysfortots.com. Cash donations are also welcome. According to Looney, 97 percent of cash donations go towards providing items to children. The donations also help with purchasing
Angel Tree The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree provides new clothing and toys for children of needy families. Angel Trees are decorated with angel tags listing a child’s details, such as age, name, and gender. Contributors choose a child’s angel and purchase new items to give to the child. If you are interested in sponsoring an angel, here are a few helpful tips: The Salvation Army asks that all gifts be new and delivered unwrapped. Items listed on the Angel Tree are just suggestions. Contributors may purchase other appropriate items which will go directly to the child. Donated items can be brought to the location where you adopted your angel. For more information or to find an Angel Tree location, please call the Tuscaloosa Salvation Army at (205) 758-2804.
This 2015 calendar features the Northport Fire Rescue Fire Fighters. Calendar sales will help The Finn and Quinley Infant and Children’s Fund to purchase much-needed Giraffe Omnibeds for the DCH Health System neonatal intensive care units. Calendars are $20, but there is a limited quantity of 300. They may be purchased at the DCH Foundation and Northport Fire Station #1, or you may order online at www.thedchfoundation.org and pick them up at the DCH Foundation office.
Northport Fire Rescue Calendar If you’re looking for the gift that keeps on giving, here is a great idea! Northport Fire Rescue and the DCH Foundation have teamed up with local photographer Robert Sutton to help make a difference in the lives of babies.
What gift would you give to the children of the world? By Alicia Jenne’
Camilla: “I would give them a stuffed toy be- Penny: “I would give them glitter because Silvia: “I would give them markers because Tabitha: “I would give them all a card that cause they could sleep with it and it would they would be able to make things pretty they could color and make beautiful things!” I made because that would make them make them feel happy!” and sparkly!” happy!”
The magic of the season is upon us! We asked a few local 5 year olds to tell us what gift they would give to all the children of the world. The gift could be anything! The only stipulation was that the gifts could not use batteries or electricity. It didn’t take these youngsters long to switch gears from gadgets and gizmos to thoughtful gifts full of possibilities. I encourage you to include a few gifts similar to these suggestions for the little people in your life. Let them create! Let them explore! Let them be little! Alicia Berry Jenne’ is a Nationally Board Certified Kindergarten teacher at Rock Quarry Elementary School. She is the 2013 Elementary Teacher of the Year for Tuscaloosa City Schools and the 2013 Jacksonville State Teacher of the Year. Photos: Alicia Jenne’
Junior League of Tuscaloosa commits $85,000 to YMCA building In celebration of its 85th anniversary, the Junior League of Tuscaloosa has committed $85,000 to the YMCA of Tuscaloosa’s capital campaign for a new facility in downtown Tuscaloosa. The Junior League of Tuscaloosa presented a check for $50,000 to YMCA of Tuscaloosa CEO Walt Larisey on Monday, Nov. 10 at Chuck’s Fish. “This is a very exciting time for the Junior League of Tuscaloosa,” President Julie Smith said. “Due to the foresight of past leaders, as well as the hard work of our members, we are able to take part in the development of a new community center in Tuscaloosa. This also presents us the opportunity to show our community that the Junior League of Tuscaloosa is truly making a difference in the lives of women and children throughout our area in a very big way.” In addition to providing an initial $50,000 contribution and subsequent gifts towards the building of a new YMCA community center in downtown Tuscaloosa, the partnership will also provide more opportunities for the Junior League of Tuscaloosa to serve the community in conjunction with both the downtown YMCA and the Benjamin Barnes branch. “A gift of this size from an organization such as the Junior League of Tuscaloosa shows a commitment from the community and its women that will have a lasting impact on the entire City of Tuscaloosa,” Larisey said. In addition to the financial commitment, the Junior League of Tuscaloosa will also work to support and create programming for the YMCA, providing opportunities for members to give back to the community in partnership with the Y. Junior League of Tuscaloosa members will be able to work with the Y’s Readers Literacy Program, which focuses on preventing the summer learning gap." “The opportunity to have all the women in Junior League of Tuscaloosa, the leading women in the community, teaching and helping the children in the YMCA programs,” Larisey said. “Our children will be smarter, the YMCA will be stronger, and Tuscaloosa will have more educated and better prepared citizens entering its community and workforce, because of the Junior League.”
Page 17 · Issue 11 Cont. from Front Page. Alabama Choir
is one of the coolest things people can do,” Procter said. The rehearsal process includes weekly practices for each choir where they discuss the English translation of each song so the students can fully understand the message they are communicating. The singers use CDs that Procter and his wife, Laurel, create for practicing the correct pronunciation. The songs for the Spring Concert are, in part, inspired by a trip that the Alabama Choir School is taking to Japan, where the 62 singers in the Chamber and Ambassador Choirs will perform with a high school for an audience of potentially 1500 people. The trip, in celebration of the school’s 30th anniversary, will be in addition to the Spring Concert in May, where the Alabama School Choir is asking for alumni to return and sing with them. The five choirs of the Alabama Choir School, showcasing the talents of students in grades 1 – 12, will perform their Winter Concerts in Moody Concert Hall on December 12 and 13. Students in the Chamber and Ambassador Choirs will also perform with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra in Moody Concert Hall on December 15. The Alabama Choir School invites those who are interested for more information to visit their website, www.alachoirschool.org, as well as their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Druid City Garden Project Linked to Improved Academic Performance and Physical Health A recent University of Alabama study suggests that exposure to a school garden and DCGP’s curriculum help students make healthier choices and achieve academic success. Dr. Caroline Boxmeyer, head of the study and professor in the College of Community Health Sciences, obtained results additionally demonstrating that these programs increase students’ interest in learning. The study also found trends in improved reading scores, physical health (measured by body mass index), and a willingness to try or eat a range of vegetables. During the 2013-2014 school year, 148 second and third grade students at two elementary schools in Tuscaloosa with DCGP gardens were surveyed to examine the effects of the school garden program. Teachers, parents, and school administrators were also surveyed. “I was struck by the size of the effects that we observed on children’s food choices and school engagement,” said Dr. Boxmeyer. “It was great to see that DCGP’s school garden lessons are having a significant impact in these areas.” The study also found that children who had higher
levels of exposure to the DCGP school garden program were more involved in in meal planning and preparation at home. “This is important,” says Dr. Boxmeyer, “as the analyses revealed that children who are more involved in meal planning and preparation at home are more willing to try a range of vegetables and are more physically fit.” Lindsay Turner, DCGP executive director, says there’s room for growth. “We’re currently working with four Tuscaloosa-area schools, as well as the Juvenile Detention Center, and our programs reach over 1,300 students weekly. Our dream is that every school in Alabama will have a teaching garden, and we intend to meet that goal in the years ahead with measured and sustained growth.” DCGP is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 in response to increasing rates of childhood obesity and a lack of healthy eating instruction in Alabama. It brings garden-based instruction to elementary schools, including hands-on science and math lessons that meet AL Course of Study standards. If successful, their program expansion could go
a long way to turning the tide in early education in Alabama, says Dr. Boxmeyer. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Education, Alabama currently ranks among the lowest funded public school systems in the country, and academic performance across the board is below the national average, including basic reading and math skills. To learn more about the garden-based programs and about DCGP and the UA study results, visit www.dcgp.us. Photo: Lindsay Turner
Druid City Living Marketplace
Contact Elizabeth Truelove, Independent Distributor email@example.com â&#x20AC;˘ (205) 454-4087 youngliving.com/eliztruelove
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Honoring Tuscaloosa’s Veterans
Six-year-old Hudson Long renders a military salute during the playing of “Taps” by the Tuscaloosa American Legion Honor Guard.
Leroy McAbee and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley unveiled a plaque at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Park in honor of Army Medal of Honor Recipient Earle Davis Gregory. Sergeant Davis was awarded the Army Medal of Honor in World War I for his heroism during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France. The Tuscaloosa American Legion Honor Guard participated in the ceremony. The event took place at the annual Veterans Day Celebration at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Memorial Park on November 11.
Over 300 people attended the Veterans Day ceremony at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Memorial Park on November 11.
Photos: Nicolas Britto
University of Alabama honors veterans Candace VonHoffman writes her mother’s name on the Wall of Remembrance on the Quad at the University of Alabama during UA’s Veterans Honor Week. VonHoffman’s mother is an active duty Air Force Colonel. The University of Alabama dedicated the week to honor students and individuals who served in the armed forces. The Student Government Association was on hand to help raise funds for the annual Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight as well. Photo: Nicolas Britto
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Locker Room celebrates 50th anniversary
On November 14, the Locker Room celebrated its 50th anniversary with a reunion for current and former employees at the Indian Hills Country Club. Locker Room owner Alex Gatewood was surrounded by alumni employees who traveled from all over the country to mark the landmark Tuscaloosa businesses’ golden anniversary. Photo: Rush Crawford
The Community Foundation of West Alabama Awards Grants On Tuesday, November 18, the Community Foundation of West Alabama joined more than 700 community foundations across America to celebrate National Philanthropy Day. The occasion was celebrated with a reception at Harrison Galleries in Tuscaloosa. Several local nonprofits received funding as part of the celebration. These include: Angel Flight, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Town of Kennedy, Friends of Historic Northport, Tuscaloosa Arts Council, and Tuscaloosa Children’s Center. The mission of the local Community Foundation is to promote charitable giving for present and future generations. The mission is fulfilled by helping donors achieve their charitable and financial goals through services that facilitate charitable giving, by providing responsible and professional financial management and by distributing earnings from investments according to donor intent and community needs. Shown receiving grant checks are (L to R): John Mize for Tuscaloosa Children’s Center, Sharron Rudowski for Tuscaloosa Arts Council, Wendy Shaw for the city of Kennedy, Molly Ingram for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Glenn Taylor of the CFWA and June Lambert for the Friends of Historic Northport.
Photo: Glenn Taylor
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Pictured (L to R): Amelia Hitt, Josiah Gleason, Lilly Laubenthal, Stella Holt, Michael Collins and Brendan Fuller
It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas Middle School students of Holy Spirit Catholic School sponsored and decorated a tree on the Tuscaloosa Tinsel Trail to support the Tuscaloosa One Place, a community outreach organization. The students of Holy Spirit participate in various service projects throughout the school year.
High School Student Gets Hands on Learning of Judicial System Olivia Wyatt, a sophomore at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Tuscaloosa, participated in the Alabama Youth in Government “Youth Judicial” Conference Nov. 1-3. Youth in Government is a national program of the YMCA. She served as Deputy Sheriff during the mock trial competitions in Montgomery. Prior to the competition, she was elected as a Deputy Sheriff, attended a leadership training weekend at Camp Chandler in Wetumpka, and was required to study case law and trial policy and procedure. Wyatt was the only student from the Tuscaloosa area to participate. She will also be running for office for the upcoming Youth Legislature Conference that will be held in February in Montgomery.
Students Take Part in Veterans Day Celebration First grade students from Holy Spirit Catholic School took a trip to the Veterans Memorial Park in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, November 11, and had their picture taken with Governor Robert Bentley following the Veterans Day ceremony. Photos: Laurie Mitchell
Verner Elementary students raise over $3000 for UNICEF By Kathy Perkins
Verner's Trick or Treat for UNICEF campaign was the most successful one yet, raising over $3000 for the United Nations Children's Fund. Our 5th graders served as UNICEF "ambassadors" throughout the school, encouraging younger students to participate and working as leaders in the fundraising campaign for clean water, food, school supplies, and basic health care. Fifth graders sold hot chocolate before and after school for two weeks, held a car and dog wash, and brought in books for a used book sale to benefit UNICEF. Students in grades K-5 collected donations, made and sold crafts, and did chores to earn money to exceed last year's $1500 donation. Some students even took action in their own neighborhoods, creating lemonade stands or selling crafts to help children in need. We are extremely proud of our students' work in this service learning project. Photo: Kathy Perkins
School-Sports Tide Rallies for wild Iron Bowl victory By Stan J. Griffin
Lightning did not strike twice or even once, and there was not even a full moon overlooking Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Iron Bowl clash between No. 1 Alabama and Auburn on Nov. 29. But the two teams, nevertheless, combined for a wild affair not seen in Iron Bowl annals, and Gus Malzahn’s Tigers gave the Crimson Tide all it wanted and more before Nick Saban’s team ultimately pulled out an emotional 55-44 triumph. With the win, the Tide moved to 11-1 (7-1 in the SEC) and took sole ownership of the SEC West title. It also gained Iron Bowl redemption in a game that saw the most combined points (99) in this long and intense series and also the most combined yards (1,169). Leading the way for the Crimson Tide in the victory were junior standout receiver Amari Cooper, who caught 13 passes for an Iron Bowl-record 224 yards and three touchdowns, and fifth-year senior quarterback Blake Sims, who shook off three interceptions to throw for 312 yards and four touchdowns while also running for an 11-yard score in a pivotal third quarter for UA. Junior tailback T.J. Yeldon, who had battled injuries a good portion of the season and was held out of the Homecoming game against Western Carolina that preceded the Iron Bowl, looked healthy and refreshed as he ran for 127 yards on 19 carries with a pair of scores. Much like previous contests during the season against opponents such as Arkansas, LSU and Mississippi State, the battle against Auburn was very much a gut check for the Crimson Tide, and there were many times against Auburn where Saban’s team seemed to be on the ropes. With Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall throwing for 456 yards and operating a lethal Auburn offense clicking on almost all cylinders, the Tigers moved the ball
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TA students at the Writers Bowl Several Tuscaloosa Academy students were among the more than 450 high school students who participated in Jacksonville State University’s annual Writers Bowl. The competition promotes excellence in and enthusiasm for writing. Elizabeth Tucker’s essay, entitled “Memories of the Jitterbug,” was accepted to the national This I Believe online database, a collection of essays about personal belief started in the 1950s and continued in recent years. Tucker’s essay can be read here: www. thisibelieve.org/essay/158687/
at will most of the night against a reeling UA defense. Fortunately for Alabama, Auburn was forced to settle for field goals on five different occasions, and this kept the Crimson Tide breathing despite its defensive woes. Alabama led 14-3 early, but by halftime the Tigers had rallied to take a 26-21 advantage. Things looked grim for the Tide as the third quarter began as Auburn increased its lead to 33-21 and Sims threw his third interception. It appeared that Saban was on the verge of making a quarterback switch, as backup Jake Coker began to warm up on the sideline, but the Tide coach stuck with Sims and the rest is Crimson Tide lore. Sims completed 9 of his next 11 passes, including scoring bombs to Cooper, and this spurred a stretch where Alabama outscored the visiting Tigers 34-3 to turn a 12-point deficit into a 55-36 lead. Auburn scored a late touchdown, but the game had long been decided, and Alabama and its fans were able to celebrate sweet payback to Auburn for last year’s dramatic Kick Six finish.
L to R: John Ponder, Marissa Hayes, Ashlynn Koontz, Weston Hamiter, Elizabeth Tucker and Emery Grier
Photo: Chelsea McKenna
Sports TA’s AISA All-Stars
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Local tennis players win state tournament The team from Tuscaloosa won the USTA 9.5 Men's State Tennis Tournament held in Gulf Shores Nov. 7-9. Tuscaloosa went undefeated in matches, and did not lose a court. This marks the third year in a row that the Tuscaloosa team has won the state tournament. The team will now compete at the Southern Combo Tournament in March against other Southern states.
TA UCA All-Americans participate in Disney World Thanksgiving Parade The Tuscaloosa Academy UCA All-Americans traveled to Orlando in November to be in the Disney World Thanksgiving Day Parade! Over 300 participants from across the nation were there, and nine of the 10 TA pee wee and junior varsity cheerleader All-Americans made the trip.
Tuscaloosa Academy’s varsity football players chosen to participate in the AISA All-Star Game held at The Cramton Bowl in Montgomery on December 5 included (L to R): Devin Anderson, Trey Foster and Harrison Standeffer.
Varsity cheerleaders for the TA Knights named to the AISA East Alabama All Star Cheerleading Team include (L to R): MaryGrace Reed, Lillie Sansing, Hallie Harrison, Elizabeth Mosely and Anna Grace Godoy.
Photos: Chelsea McKenna
Joshua M. Watkins, esq.
Team members (L to R): Clete Browder (captain), Raphael Rodrigues, Thomas Gore, Mark Gatewood, Josh Faught, and Rob Dunn
Photo: Clete Browder
Front row (L to R): Lily Abernathy, Taylor Wright, Lucy Bonhaus, Susanna Jackson, and Paige Vardaman Back Row (left to right): Maciah Flournoy, Ashton Cochran, Kalin Burt, and Avery Anderson Photo: Chelsea McKenna
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Druid City Living
Calendar of Events
Holidays on the River: Through Jan. 4, 2015. 1901 Jack Warner Parkway, Tuscaloosa, Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum (site of the former Queen City Pool). Tickets: $15 for adults; $12 for children. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster, at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater box office or the museum, or by calling (800) 7453000. For more information, visit www. facebook.com/HolidaysOnTheRiver. Theatre Tuscaloosa Presents Little Women: Now through Dec 14, BeanBrown Theatre, Tuscaloosa. This cleverly written story of a family’s enduring love through difficult circumstances touches audiences of all ages, and it’s a perfect show for the holiday season. To purchase tickets, visit www.theatretusc.com or call the Theatre Tuscaloosa Box Office at (205) 391-2277. United Way 2014 Campaign Celebration: Dec. 11, 5 p.m. Bryant Museum, Tuscaloosa. Join United Way of West Alabama for its 2014 campaign celebration where you’ll meet and hear from campaign volunteers and learn West Alabama’s fundraising total for the annual United Way campaign. For more information, please contact Julie Mann at (205) 345-6640 or julie@ uwwa.org.
Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre presents A Miracle on 34th Street: Dec. 12-14, the historic Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. Make Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre’s production of Miracle on 34th Street part of your Christmas memories for 2014. Show times: Dec. 12 at 7 p.m., Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. For more information, including tickets, visit www. tuscaloosachildrenstheatre.com. Free Estate Planning Workshop, Red Oak Legal, PC: Dec. 12, 10 a.m.12 p.m. 500 Towncenter Blvd., Suite B, Tuscaloosa. Presented by local attorneys Steve and Raley Wiggins. Covers wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance directives, living wills, probate administration, protecting assets from creditors, bankruptcy, divorce and remarriage, nursing homes, long-term care and Medicaid qualification. Call Ann F. Smith at (205) 764-1262 or visit www.redoaklegalpc.com to register. Home for the Holidays Adoption Event: Dec. 13, 12-4 p.m. Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter. Discounted adoption fees, refreshments, microchipping, gift baskets and raffle, face painting for kids, and more! For more information, call (205) 752-9101 or visit www.metroanimalshelter.org.
Breakfast With Santa and Mini Market: Dec. 13, 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, downtown Tuscaloosa. The Junior League of Tuscaloosa’s annual event features a delicious meal, a photo with Santa Claus, and more. Parents can shop the many vendors for holiday gifts, too. For tickets, visit www. jltuscaloosa.org. Christmas Critter Craft Bazaar: Dec. 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Dec. 14, 12 p.m.4 p.m. in front of Pet Supplies Plus. The Humane Society of West Alabama’s annual event features unique handcrafted items, t-shirts, homemade gourmet dog treats, holiday decorations and other animal-related items. For more information, call (205) 554-0011 or visit www.humanesocietyofwa.org. A TSO Christmas: Dec. 15, 7-9 p.m. Moody Hall, University of Alabama School of Music, Tuscaloosa. Don’t miss the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra’s annual sold-out classic, which features the Alabama Choir School and the Prentice Concert Chorale. A silent auction is planned in the Moody Lobby at 6 p.m. For more information, including tickets, call (205) 752-5515 or visit www.tsoonline.org.
Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center Director’s Town Hall: Dec. 18, 6-7 p.m. Sports Atrium of Bldg. 137, 3701 Loop Road, Tuscaloosa. The Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s town hall meeting is open to all veterans and their families. Veterans will be able to discuss health-care needs and give feedback about their care. For more information, call Damon Stevenson at (205) 554-3828. Snowflake Saturday and Elf Workshop: Dec. 20, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa (C.H.O.M.), downtown Tuscaloosa. This is a great opportunity for children of all ages to make holiday gifts for friends and family. For more information: (205) 349-4235 and www. chomonline.org. Christmas at the Bama: Dec. 21, 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. Safe Haven Church is uniting with Capstone Church again for Christmas at the Bama Theatre. For more information, call (205) 366-1581. New Year’s Eve for Kids: Dec. 31, 4 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa (C.H.O.M.), downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information: (205) 349-4235 and www.chomonline.org.
West Alabama Chamber of Commerce Happenings
Celebration at Taco Mama The Chamber celebrated Taco Mama, located at 2104 A University Blvd., with a ribbon cutting on Nov. 11. Featuring a “fast casual” and laid-back atmosphere, it has a clever selection of tacos, burritos, nachos, and Mexican fare featuring slow-roasted meats and the freshest produce and ingredients available. Quickly becoming a hit restaurant in downtown Tuscaloosa, Taco Mama has become known for its large selection of margaritas made with real juices and fresh ingredients in their entrees. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. Learn more and view the menus at www.TacoMamaOnline.com.
Shoppes at Legacy Park Break Ground Are you ready to shop? A groundbreaking for the Shoppes at Legacy Park was hosted by Alumni Development on Nov. 18. Construction is officially underway, and the project should be complete by Oct. 2015. Located on the former Cedar Crest neighborhood site, it will house World Market, Fresh Market, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Pet Smart, DSW Shoes and more, and it will create about 500 jobs.
Almon Associates Joins Forces with Mississippi-Based Engineering Firm Almon Associates of Tuscaloosa has joined forces with Neel-Schaffer, Inc., to form a more versatile engineering and planning firm to better serve clients throughout Alabama. Almon Associates was founded in 1956 in Tuscaloosa. This alliance will give the new company a combined workforce of 450 employees and capitalizes on the strength of both firms. A ribbon cutting was held on Nov. 13 at the office at 2033 12th St. in Tuscaloosa.
The Trunk - Heybama.com has moved its storefront to The Strip! The address is 1217 University Blvd. The Trunk, owned by Alabama alumni, has been providing a host of official Alabama merchandise and apparel since 1946. It does custom work for UA fraternities, sororities, and the UA Athletic Department. It also has a selection of clothing for women and men as well as toys and apparel for the young Bama fans in your family. For details, drop by the store, visit the website or call 1-800-HEYBAMA.
Gentleman’s Grooming Opens The Chamber marked the opening of Gentlemen’s Grooming on Nov. 13. This is a barber shop for the man that enjoys a relaxing experience when getting a haircut. The space features a leather couch and chairs, TVs on the wall, sports memorabilia and more. Haircuts are offered with a hot steam towel and warm lather neck shave. The address is 2104 Univ. Blvd. in Tuscaloosa (next to Black Warrior Outdoors). Photos: The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama
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TCPS Annual Awards Banquet: Honoring Local Preservation Efforts The Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society held its annual Awards Banquet on Monday, November 3, at Christ Episcopal Church, to honor those individuals, organizations or businesses that have helped to further the cause of historic preservation within the Tuscaloosa area. The Society presented 13 awards this year. Three recipients received Brick and Mortar awards: Sweet Home Food Bar and Black Warrior Brewing Company, for their part in downtown revitalization and an adaptive re-use of an historic structure. Councilman and Mrs. Matthew Calderone were honored for the detailed renovation of their home on Queen City Avenue. The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Ms. Ardis Hancock for her efforts planning the Heritage Celebration and her unwavering support of the Society. Barbara Kucharski was presented the Service Award for her many years of dedication to the Society. The Media Award was presented to Mr. Rob Moore and Moody Radio South for their support of the Preservation Society and advocacy of all public events. Dr. Rachel Stephens and Dr. Sharony Green each received Educator of the Year awards for their research projects focused on the history of Tuscaloosa, and for furthering the importance of education in our history and historic structures. Mrs. Cathy Meyer of MRS Consultants, LLC received the Preservation Advocacy award for her work on the 2600 Block of University Boulevard and for the nomination of the Old Jail to the Places in Peril list, gaining it statewide attention. Mrs. Sydney Cummings, Mrs. Emma Jean Melton, and the Greensboro Garden Club (represented by Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Merrill) all received Special Recognition awards for their efforts supporting the Preservation Society. The Preservationist of the Year award was presented to Mrs. Kelly Fitts for her outstanding efforts protecting the historic districts and encouraging others to invest in historic structures.
Page 29 · Issue 11
Cozy Up This Season with One of Tuscaloosa’s Local Coffee Shops By Sheena Gregg Ahhh…tis the season of pumpkin spice and peppermint in the coffee world! If you’re anything like me, the chilly weather brings on cravings for holiday coffee drinks. In a town that runs on caffeine, Tuscaloosa locals have plenty to choose from in the coffee arena. Here are a few places to put on your radar this season.
Nehemiah’s Coffee House Since its opening in June 2012, Nehemiah’s has cultivated a sense of community among Forest Lake residents. Patrons will find the atmosphere inviting and cozy while also providing ample space for listening to live music, playing a board game, or sitting down for a cup of joe while reading the morning paper. Serving up Seattle’s Best coffee, I was pleased with the variety of beverages that are available, including the tasty peppermint white mocha that is sure to warm you up and make your taste buds do a happy dance. Regular monthly events and drink specials can be found at www.facebook.com/nehemiahscoffeehouse and @NehemiahsCoffee on Twitter. Be sure to also check www.flbc.us/Nehemiahs for more information on the history of Nehemiah’s.
Heritage House Coffee & Tea Many may know Heritage House as the first coffee house in Tuscaloosa with a history that began over 20 years ago. Now located off of Towncenter Boulevard in Northport, the shop provides ample space for relaxing, studying, or conducting a business meeting in the private conference room. Visitors can agree that the vast variety of flavored coffees offered sets Heritage House apart from others in Tuscaloosa. If coffee isn’t your thing, assorted green, black, and loose leaf teas are offered to relax yourself. My personal Heritage House recommendation is the Toffee Coffee latte that provides a sweet smooth texture with just the right amount of caffeine. For more information on Heritage House, visit www.facebook.com/HeritageHouseTuscaloosa or www.heritagehousecoffee.com.
Edelweiss German Bakery and Coffee Shop If you’re in the mood for authentic German breads and pastries, Edelweiss is sure to make you smile. Since 2007, the shop has provided a variety of European specialties to complement the various coffee drinks that are served up each day. If the large display case of pretzels, cakes, and pastries doesn’t catch your eye, classic German sandwiches and dishes will fill you up for breakfast and lunch. My personal favorite is the apple strudel garnished with powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. Edelweiss is located in Temerson Square and open for breakfast and lunch daily. Photos: Sheena Gregg
Page 30 · Issue 11
Holiday recipes: Breakfast, Christmas Eve and of course, sweets By Amy Poore
Happy Holidays, everyone. I’m sure many of you have traditional recipes you like to use for Christmas dinner, so I thought I’d offer up a few other options this month, so you can treat your holiday guests to a delicious Christmas breakfast and a Christmas Eve dinner. And of course, I’ve also included a quick and easy dessert option that the kids can help with, under adult supervision. Ho ho ho y’all, and bon appétit! Sausage and Gravy Biscuit Casserole • 1 can large, flaky biscuits (such as Grands) • 1/2 pound ground breakfast sausage • 3 Tablespoons flour • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon black pepper • 2 and 1/2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut biscuits into quarters and spray a small baking dish with cooking spray. Layer half the biscuit quarters in the baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, brown sausage in a heavy skillet on medium/high heat until completely cooked, then sprinkle sausage with flour and stir until absorbed. Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook for around 3-4 minutes. Add milk, salt and pepper, stirring and cooking until it comes to a slight boil and cook for 4-5 minutes to thicken it up but still be a little runny. If it’s too thick, add a little milk. Give it a taste and adjust seasons accordingly. Pour gravy over the cooked biscuits and top with remaining biscuit quarters. Bake for 20 minutes. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover with foil for the remaining time. Photos: Amy Poore
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp • 2 pounds fresh, jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined • 1/2 cup butter, melted • 4 tablespoons Heinz Chili Sauce • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or dried) • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper • 1 1/2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke (hickory) • 1 teaspoon paprika • 1 teaspoon oregano • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced (the jar kind is fine) Peel and devein the shrimp. Add all of the other ingredients in a saucepan, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool. Arrange the shrimp in an oven-proof casserole dish and pour the sauce over the shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake shrimp for 15 – 20 minutes. Serve immediately with crusty French bread, new potatoes and a crisp salad.
Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy’s delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com