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July 218 | Volume 6 | Issue 7 Tuscaloosa’s Premier Community Newspaper



About Us.................2 Opinion...................4 Community.........10 Food......................20

City.........................3 Business................8 Schools...............17 Calendar.............23





Want to get away? Fun places to go (without going too far).

Hot Hundred cycling event draws hundreds of riders.



OUT ON A HIGH NOTE Miracle League of Tuscaloosa wraps up its spring season.





July 2018


Josh Watkins (205) 529-5723

Vice President

Hanson Watkins (205) 835-0094


Laurie Mundy Perrigin (205) 246-2977

Art Director

Nathan Pearman

Marketing Consultants Caroline Baxter Nathan Pearman

2018 Intern Faith Henley

Contact us at: (256) 346-5321

Anyone ready for a little summertime blues? This month, everyone can enjoy Alabama Blues Week – a wonderful event for young people learning the music, and a chance for fans to enjoy live performances. Special thanks to Shane Dorrill for his excellent, comprehensive article. Happy Fourth of July, readers! Here’s hoping you’ll take time to get out and enjoy the festivities at Celebration on the River. The Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra performance, the firework show, and the PARA Kids Zone all make for a fantastic holiday experience. Other major events happening this month include Mr. Pig Goes to the Zone and the Hottest Ride in the South (aka the Hot Hundred Bike Race). And, if you’re itching to take a road trip, Faith Henley has some outstanding recommendations in this month’s issue. Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to congratulate Tuscaloosa Mayor

Walt Maddox on his recent victory in the Alabama Democratic gubernatorial primary. We miss him doing his Mayor’s Minute for DCL and sharing his visions with our readers, but we understand he’s just a little busy at the moment. He’s done great things for this city, and we wish him well in the general election on November 6. 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 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,


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@

Miss Tuscaloosa, Callie Walker, Crowned Miss Alabama 2018

Callie Walker, a former Miss University of Alabama and Miss Tuscaloosa 2018, is the new Miss Alabama. She was crowned by Tuscaloosa native and Miss Alabama 2017 Jessica Procter on June 9 at Samford University. The 20-year-old Walker is a Birmingham native. She attends the University of Alabama, where she is majoring in musical theatre. Walker’s mother, Angela Tower Walker, was crowned Miss Alabama in 1985. As Miss Alabama, Walker will go on to represent the state in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in September. Photo: Miss Alabama Pageant


July 2018

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox Names Randy Smith New Fire Chief By DCL Staff

City of Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has appointed Randy Smith as chief of the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service, and he believes Smith will be a “fantastic asset” to the city of Tuscaloosa. “Chief Smith will lead Tuscaloosa’s fire and rescue programs to new heights,” Maddox said in a statement. “With his emphasis on safety, integrity, and growth, he will be a great leader and make the welfare of our community his top priority.” During the announcement, held at Tuscaloosa’s Fire Station Four on June 11, Maddox emphasized the importance of the position. “When you select a fire chief, you are not only selecting a department head of the city, you are selecting someone that literally has the lives of 250 firefighters and potentially 100,000 citizens in their hands,” Maddox said. Smith previously served as the deputy fire chief for the City of Mobile Fire-Rescue Department, where he has worked since 1987. He said he’s excited to get to work in Tuscaloosa. “This is a great community, and this is a great department,” Smith said. “I can’t tell you how honored and humbled I am to be here working with you.” Smith has 31 years in fire and rescue services. He has also served as the

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox named Randy Smith chief of the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service at Fire Station Four on June 11. Photo: City of Tuscaloosa

team commander for a federal disaster medical team since 2002, providing disaster response to multiple national security special events, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and numerous hurricanes. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama and a master’s degree from Jackson-

ville State University in emergency management. Smith’s predecessor, Chief Alan Martin, announced his retirement in January after serving in the position since 2002 and in the fire service for over four decades.

4 OPINION The Mommy Chronicles: You’re Doing Great, Mom, Really By Marlena Rice With the summer in full effect, I’ve started to get antsy. I’m a working mom, and while my schedule is the same as it always is, my now out-of-school son’s structure has dwindled. And by dwindled, I mean there is no structure. When I walk in my home, which, if we’re being honest, is always just a little messy, I see exactly how the day unfolded. There is my husband, music streaming from his computer as he works from home, the family Great Dane, Midnight, in hiding, likely covered in body paints from my five-year-old’s Nerf gun bullets (that fly surprisingly fast and land surprisingly hard), and food. Food tends to be in the weirdest places. While washing dishes one day, I went to move a cute blue beach pail off my kitchen counter and lo and behold… there was a strawberry glazed Krispy Kreme donut. With sprinkles. Just hanging out in the beach pail. On the kitchen counter. Oy vey! So, when my Erin Condren planner is filled with my daily activities, but my son’s activities are essentially cut in half for the summer, what am I to do? Should I suffer severe mom guilt, because each and every moment of his day unfolds without my careful planning? Or, should I just go with the flow, donuts in beach pails and all? A sweet mom friend of mine, Marie Watts Faile, has let go of the mom guilt. “I had to let it go,” she said of her middle-school aged son’s lack of a schedule. “He is happiest when he has the time to just be lazy. This summer is the first on his own. I used to pay a babysitter to entertain

him, and now I pay him a weekly allowance to keep up with chores. He is doing great with this and I am so happy to have less to do when I get home!” For those of us with sweet little people who aren’t old enough to grow into that independence we are all looking forward to, here are a few tips for working moms: 1. Make a routine out of no routine. While I am a firm believer in children using their imaginations, dressing up and playing make believe, I am also a firm believer in growth. While I know “organized” chaos may occur while I’m at work and the boys are at home, I make sure that my son and I visit the library each week and participate in the education-related activities that our time allows. I also make it a point to get with like-minded moms once or twice a week for casual play dates. 2. Throw a little school work in the mix. At age five, my Little loves science. Typically, I buy study workbooks for the next age group ahead to keep up with the things he’s learned in school and the things I’d like him to learn next. For the summer months, I’ve taken the time to research quick and fun science experiments for us to perform during those rainy Saturdays, or an otherwise slow-paced Monday evening.

July 2018

and he entertained himself. Kudos, kid! This is awesome and quite entertaining! 4. Don’t feel guilty. Your child has been in school for months, and deviating from routine is good for them. You know those days when you’re just super tired and feel the need to kick off your pumps and hit the sofa? Sometimes our kids need to do that too. You’re doing great, mom. Take a chill pill. Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, Local mom Marie Watts Faile enjoys some outdoor time with her son, Wesley. Photo: Marie Watts Faile and their son, Beaux William. Check out her blog at

3. Understand that it is okay if your child gets bored. As my Little grows, I feel like he’s got the idea of boredom on lockdown. I’ve come home from work to find him jumping out from behind chairs and furniture in full Army gear from Halloween. He got bored, Dad is working,

Give Life to Your Story: Things Are Not Always What They Seem By Mike Green During a recent Campus Life club meeting on a Wednesday morning, we had a great conversation about how things are often not what they seem. As I have wrestled with what we talked about that day with a room full of middle schoolers, it dawned on me that the information shared in

A LOT OF TIMES, THERE IS GARBAGE ON THE INSIDE OF US. NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT, BECAUSE WE HAVE GOTTEN PRETTY GOOD AT HIDING IT AND PUTTING ON A SMILE, SO NO ONE CATCHES ON. that time is perfect for a much broader audience. So, here is my recollection of what we talked about that day. Have you ever seen the TV show Hoarders? If you haven’t, it’s a reality show about people who are obsessed with their stuff to the point of not even throwing their trash away. One day, while I was scanning channels, I stumbled across the show. In this episode, the TV cameramen were in the house of a woman who literally had three and half feet of trash in every room – old pizza boxes, smelly milk cartons, plates of food, and much, much more. Three feet high. And you

will not believe this: As the cameramen waded through the debris, they uncovered two decomposing cats. That’s right, this woman didn’t even remove the bodies of her dead pets. Astounding. Well if that wasn’t bizarre enough, listen to this. At the beginning of the show, as the cameramen made their way up to the house, what you saw was a home that looked perfectly normal. The grass was mowed. Shrubs trimmed. Just plain normal. No one passing on the street would have ever asked themselves, “I wonder if that house has three feet of trash in every room?” Well, I don’t know if you are a family that 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 keeps everything super clean or not. And I look graceful and calm, but underabsolutely crazy about us. He loves us. assume that things have not gotten neath, their feet are paddling just as And according to His word, the Bible, as bad as they have for the woman fast as they can go just to survive. I he desires more than anything to be a on the show. But a lot of times, there was, and have been, a duck on many part of our life and turn that trash into is garbage on the inside of us. No occasions. something truly awesome. In Campus one knows about it, because we have We completed our conversation Life, we completely believe this to be gotten pretty good at hiding it and about how things are not always what true. Is it time for you to let God do putting on a smile, so no one catches they seem on that early Wednesday something truly amazing in your life? on. I remember as a kid, as I faced morning. Then, I shared some good life’s challenges, I bottled everything news with our kids. I let them know up inside. I didn’t talk it out. I never that there is a God who sees them just let anyone in to see the inside. I once exactly as they are. He sees the outheard someone say that people can be side and the inside. And get this: He is a lot like ducks. Above the water, they


July 2018

Lake Living: Strive to Make Each and Every Step You Take Count By Allison Adams Life is a delicate dance of moments. If we’re lucky, we all get plenty of daily steps, and each is ours to use as we please. While I sleep, my husband has used 8,000 of his daily steps, and by 9 p.m. he is in at 21,000 steps… and I am just getting motivated to “do something.” I am usually using all my “steps” through my fingers on canvas, behind the steering wheel, or on a keyboard. I like to plan. I even created my own daily planner. My favorite is the day timer. I wanted more balance, so on mine, I have a spot on my planning calendar to record all the “spokes on the wheel.” I want to be sure my 90-year-old body is in good shape – but that my brain is also hanging around. My lifelong caretaker, Clara, died recently at 96. I spoke to her the week before she passed. She asked about my daughter’s engagement, cheering for her in that gruff, happy, coughing laugh. She asked about my son by name. Clara would greet us after we arrived off the bus from elementary school, cigarette hanging from her lip. “How was school?” she’d ask, as she caught the final 10 minutes of her show. Then, while the credits rolled for Guiding Light, she’d make us a grilled cheese sandwich, or give us a big hug if we needed one. I loved Clara. She was the only person who ever spanked me. She didn’t hurt me as much as I had hurt her. She made me pick my own switch. The spanking was nothing compared to all the thoughts I had about what I’d done – as I looked for the perfect switch that might not hurt so much. She barely tapped me, and then sent me on my way. I still remember where

that bush was that I stood in front of so long ago. On Mother’s Day, I talked to my dad, Tom. He’s another story. His body was great until 72. Alcohol corrupted his brain, and after a series of health issues, he now lives in a nursing home a few hours away. Yes, the man who was to die 10 years ago of liver failure is on autopilot, and he will outlive us all. I was surprised when he called. I made small talk. I told him about his grandson who was following in his musical footsteps. And in his non-delicate way, he interrupted. “Yeah, baby, I need to stay on course or I’ll forget why I called. Happy Mother’s Day. Now, do you still have my mother’s number? I seem to have forgotten it.” His mother is 103 and lives in Rhode Island. I spoke to her on her birthday in March. She is still an amazingly clear-headed and kind-hearted woman. Clara was my rock. Tom was just living the rock-and-roll lifestyle until everything ran out on him. Two people who lived their moments and took their steps in remarkably opposite ways. This is your day. Make your steps count for yourself, and nurture those around you. Remember that they, too, are deciding how best to use their steps. Blessings, Allison Allison Adams is a mom of four and a Realtor with Lake Homes Realty serving Lake Tuscaloosa. For comments, email

A letter Clara wrote to me before my wedding. This woman was my rock. Photo: Allison Adams


July 2018

The Land of Oz: Fake News (The Good Old Days are Gone) 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.” Quick note: Before we get started, thank you for all the positive feedback on last month’s column regarding the importance of turn lanes being included on major highways. Discrimination in any form is bad and will not be tolerated, including bias toward turn lanes. #savetheturnlanes Now, moving on... Whenever I used to go visit Gertrude, she would always resort to telling me a story about the good ol’ days. I would resort to hiding my eye roll while being cognizant of the fact that hopefully, I too would one day grow older and would be one of those people who might tell a story about days gone by. I’m not as old as Gertrude was at the time, but go ahead and roll your eyes anyway. Here is my “good ol’ days” round-up. Do you remember: When cartoons only came on Saturday mornings? When there were only four channels (and maybe PBS if the antenna was pointed in the right direction) on TV? When MTV played music videos? When national news outlets actually reported the news? Those days were good. And those things are most certainly gone. Especially the last one, and that’s where the major news media started getting into

trouble. Let’s frame it like this… Remember when you were a kid and you got in trouble, and you would tell your parents certain “truthful” details while strategically omitting other details that would get you into more trouble? It wasn’t nec- 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. essarily lying. Photo: Derek Osborn It just wasn’t out telling anyone it’s an opinion. about it? Those were the good old days. necessarily telling the whole truth. Combine that with the social media Gertrude may have been right all along. That’s essentially what our major explosion, where anyone with a computBut tomorrow doesn’t have to be bad. news outlets do now. This is not a right er can post something false, get it shared It’s just that now, we are forced to verify wing/left wing, Republican or Demoa thousand times, and make money off the validity of everything in order to cratic network issue. You can say that the ad revenue before anyone figures out obtain the truth. some are worse than others, which that it’s a lie, and you’ve got a society I tweet insignificant things @ozwould be true. But rest assured, they are that doesn’t know who to trust. In turn, born34. all guilty. they don’t trust anybody. It’s a simple process: pluck a stateAnd this is where we are. Remember ment or event out of context that fits when the news networks just reportyour agenda; report secondhand aced the news without the slant and the counts that have not been verified and opinion and commentary, allowing you present them as fact; and present a news as a person with a brain to get the instory that’s actually an opinion – withformation and then decide how you felt

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July 2018







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July 2018

Now Open and Opening Soon 1 1 The Builder’s Group, a residential and commercial construction and remodeling company in Tuscaloosa, recently held a ribbon cutting at its new location (1307 25th Ave). thebuildersgroup. info; (205) 342-3940

The Excellence Award is given to employees who exemplify the highest standards of excellence in attitude, job performance, dependability, appearance, and contributions to DCH beyond the call of duty.

5 Andrew Tomes is NorthRiver Yacht Club’s new director of golf. Tomes, a native of Manchester, Tennessee, has been at NorthRiver since 2016, serving as the club’s head golf pro.

2 LIXIR Recovery beverage company is now

open in the Tuscaloosa area. The company, owned by Chase and Caroline Barnes, offers a specially formulated beverage that may be used to cleanse, re-hydrate, and restore mental alertness due to dehydration.; (205) 242-3642 3 Mathnasium of Tuscaloosa is now open. The math-only learning center is located in Midtown Village (1800 McFarland Blvd. Ste 303). The center offers children in grades 2-12 individual tutoring to explain math concepts and encourage learning.; (205) 764-1901

Ed Hutchins

2 Luke Standeffer er, senior vice president

of the DCH Health System and administrator of Northport Medical Center, was recently named chair-elect of the Alabama Hospital Association (AlaHA). The election was made at the Association’s annual meeting.

4 Whataburger’s second Tuscaloosa location is now open near the University of Alabama campus at 13th Street and McFarland Boulevard (1301 McFarland Blvd. E). Whataburger is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Texas-based burger chain opened its first Tuscaloosa restaurant earlier this year.

News and Happenings 1 Ed Hutchins Hutchins, an analyst who works in Information Technology at the DCH Health System, has been named a recipient of the DCH Excellence Award. Hutchins joined DCH in June 2015.

4 Monkey Joe’s Joe’s, the Tuscaloosa children’s entertainment center which opened in September 2015, closed its doors on July 1. The property, which is owned by the University of Alabama, will be used for a new traffic bridge to support safe access to the campus and DCH.

6 The Nucor Technical Academy’s 5th freshman class is filling up quickly. The Academy offers essential coursework and extensive handson training. For more information, contact Justin Knight at or visit Nucor. com. 7 After 91 years in business, Tuscaloosa’s Union Furniture Co. was expected to close its doors this month. Established in 1927, Union Furniture was one of the state’s oldest and largest independent furniture dealers.

Anniversaries 1 The Barre Code Tuscaloosa (2700 University Blvd.), a fitness studio for women, will celebrate its one-year anniversary later this month.

Luke Standeffer

3 Kentuck has a new marketing manager. Ashley Williams is a recent University of Alabama graduate with a longtime love of the arts. She is a former Kentuck Art Center intern.

2 Innisfree Irish Pub in Tuscaloosa celebrated its 20th anniversary in Tuscaloosa on June 2 with live music, drink specials, crawfish, and special giveaways.

Business you want to see here? Email us at:


July 2018

Family Counseling Service: What Would You Do if You Thought a Friend was Suicidal? By Larry Deavers and April Stevens

With so many high-profile suicides in the headlines lately, it has reminded all of us that you can never just assume someone is okay by the way they appear at work, at a family or church event, or even on television. Often, the most difficult struggles we have are the ones that we hold in secret and do our best to keep others from ever knowing. The problem with those secret battles is that we become convinced that no one else is having the same problems we are. Then, we convince ourselves that there is no way of escape. More than anything else, it’s that feeling of being trapped that feels overwhelming. That’s when some people start looking at suicide as a viable option. It’s not uncommon for people to think about suicide at some point, but for most, they realize that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary crisis. Those who follow through with a suicide attempt are the ones who see their situation as inescapable or unbearable. They may experience ongoing pain, loss, fear, or depression that they just don’t see how they will ever overcome. So, what are the warning signs that may tell you someone is considering suicide? Look for sudden signs of withdrawal from friends, family, work, or activities they previously enjoyed. Consider any unusual be-

havior or comments that indicate they are preparing to die, such as giving away prized possessions, making a will, or getting their affairs in order. Also, be mindful of any sudden and severe experiences they have had that they might consider traumatic; loss of a loved one, public humiliation, victimization, or failure. And, is there a sudden change in behavior? Do they take more risks than normal? If you have a friend or relative you believe may be thinking of suicide, always take that seriously. If your instinct is tellLarry Deavers is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Executive Director of Family Counseling Service in Tuscaloosa. April L. ing you that someStevens, LICSW, PIP, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and counselor with Family Counseling Service in Tuscaloosa. thing is wrong, then it’s worth discussing. for discussion, there are several other them to the nearest emergency room. Don’t be afraid that you are going to resources you can call upon to help If you or someone you know plant the idea in their head. This is your friend. Your community mental needs help, you can call 1-800something you can and should discuss health center, private counselors or 273-8255 for the National Suicide if you are concerned. Sometimes, counseling agencies, physicians, or Prevention Lifeline. that show of concern can be the most your spiritual leader can help. In a real powerful weapon to prevent a suicide emergency, the best way to get your attempt. friend started on the path of profesBesides bringing the subject up sional intervention is to call 911 or get

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Hottest Ride in the South Returns: Hot Hundred Features a New, Smoother Route By Faith Henley

Discussion around mental health has taken to the national stage in recent weeks, and the Tuscaloosa Mental Health Alliance says one in four Alabama residents are affected by mental illness. That’s why the local cycling enthusiasts of the Druid City Bicycle Club come together every year to host the Hot Hundred Bike Ride. The Tuscaloosa Mental Health Alliance seeks to give members of the Tuscaloosa community more mental health support and access to better quality care. The Hot Hundred plays a major role to that end, according to Tuscaloosa Mental Health Alliance President Joseph Abrams. “The Hot Hundred is critical to the TMHA’s mission of providing awareness and advocacy for mental-related issues within our community,” Abrams said. “With funds raised, the Alliance reinvests back into the community, where we hold annual conferences, provide monetary grants, and create awareness pieces.” This year’s Hot Hundred routes have been redesigned to produce smoother rides and improve the event for people of all experience levels. There will be several routes for the ride and participants can opt for several preferred rides in terms of distance. Before race day on Saturday, July 28, participants are encouraged to evaluate and choose from the Sanders Ferry 30, Fosters 40, Fire Station 50, Chick-fil-a 70, and Hot Hundred routes. All routes begin at the University of Alabama’s Outdoor Pool Complex and are clearly marked with easily seen signs. Safe desig-

nated rest stops will be available to riders at predetermined intervals of every route. Midway through the longest rides, the Hot Hundred riders will be provided with a meal donated by Northport Chick-fil-a.

Top: Members of Druid City Bike Club volunteer to work one of many rest stops provided for the Hot Hundred riders. Bottom: Wounded Warriors participate in the Hot Hundred every year. Photos: Hot Hundred Tuscaloosa

Safety is a top concern for organizers who have put plans in place to protect riders. Participants can find resources on the event’s website to brush up on their group biking etiquette and the proper safety signals to use. As long as participants follow these guidelines and stay alert, organizers say, the event will be safe and enjoyable for everyone involved. After completing their ride, participants are welcomed back to the UA Outdoor Pool Complex for a pool party with dinner, swag bags, and finishing medals for those who complete the ride. Guests of Hot Hundred riders can attend the festivities for $5. Packet pick-up begins on Friday, July 27, during the pre-ride party at Black Warrior Brewing. In addition to a chance to mingle with other participants, guests will be treated to a spaghetti dinner and a free beer. Participants can also pick up

their materials on the day of the race. Through donations from sponsors, the Hot Hundred annually hosts Wounded Warriors from Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, and Fort Stewart. Not only do they ride for free, but they also stay at Hampton Inn both Friday and Saturday night at no cost. To learn more about the Hot Hundred, or to sign up to ride, visit

A Week of the Blues: Events Celebrate Heritage and History of the Blues in Alabama By Shane Dorrill

While Memphis may be the home of the blues, Tuscaloosa will share that designation during Alabama Blues Week, July 9-15. The week of blues concerts, informational sessions, and master classes for select students is a collaboration between the Alabama Blues Project, The University of Alabama School of Music, College of Continuing Studies, and the Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports Commission. Shannon McCue, executive director of the Alabama Blues Project, said the series of events is an expansion of last year’s Blues Weekend. “One of the reasons we are doing more is because it was so successful as a weekend,” McCue said. “We’re really getting out in the community, and having the community be immersed in the blues for the week.” The week begins on Monday, July 9, when Chuck’s Fish will donate 10 percent of their appetizer and entrée sales to the Alabama Blues Project. On Wednesday, July 11, the Jason Grubbs Duo will perform at 7 p.m. at Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy. DieDra and the Ruff Pro Band will perform at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, at Band of Brothers Brewing Company. Rhythm & blues artist Earl “Guitar” Williams will headline the Live at the Plaza summer concert series at Government Plaza at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 13. Williams will be joined by the Alabama Blues Advanced Band, a group of eight students ranging in age from 10 to 18, who have been intensively studying the blues for the past several years. On Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, about 25 students from ages 12 to 18, who were nominated by their schools, will take master classes from blues artists and University of Alabama School of Music faculty before performing at Moody Music Concert Hall on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Students and their instructors

will perform about 12 songs, including Big Mama Thornton’s “Little Red Rooster” and “Hey! BaBa-Re-Bop,” a song often performed by Johnny Shines, a blues artist who lived in Holt from 1969 until his death in 1992. Tickets for the concert are $10 and may be purchased at or at the box office prior to the show. The public is also invited to learn more about the blues during three breakout sessions on Saturday, July 14. The sessions will include information on blues songwriting, a recording studio tour and discussion, and a viewing of documentaries about the blues. The cost for the breakout sessions is included in the ticket price for the Saturday evening concert, but registration is required at, where a schedule of events can also be found. Top: Organizers say Alabama Blues Week (July 9-15) is an opportunity to celebrate the beginnings of music in America, and in Alabama. Middle: During Alabama Blues Week, select students are immersed in the blues, taking master classes, and participating The week breakout sessions led by blues experts. Bottom: Alabama Blues Week is an expansion of last year’s Alabama Blues Weekend. The will conclude inweek includes multiple live blues performances at area venues, including Government Plaza. Photos: The Alabama Blues Project with “Blues, and guitarist Tom Wolfe will Bloody’s perform, along with some of the and Brunch” at the FIVE Bar students. on Sunday, July 15, from noon until 3 p.m. UA faculty member

Alabama Blues Project

Mama Thornton from Montgomery, and Pinetop Smith from Troy. Other relatively Started in 1995 by Tuscaloosa unknown blues musiblues artist Debbie Bond, the Alacians from Alabama bama Blues Project works to prohelped the careers of mote and preserve the blues as an artists in other genres art form, while bringing attention of music. to the contributions that Alabama “Rufus Payne, who artists have made on the blues. was an African Amer“Debbie started it realizing there ican street musician in really wasn’t enough awareness Georgiana and later in of the heritage of blues music in Montgomery, taught Alabama,” McCue said. “She Hank Williams how to found that the arts were lacking in play guitar. We forschools, and she found this was a get that young Hank great way to bring the arts into the couldn’t play guitar schools, and also connect it to the and Rufus taught him kids’ home and give them pride in how to play, and he their state.” taught him the blues,” In addition to after school clubs, Edelbrock said. where musicians teach students an “There are dozens overview of the blues, the Alabama of really important Blues Projects also holds music musicians (from camps throughout the year. Alabama). Like many This past school year, through an African Americans, Alabama State Department of Edu- they got out of the cation grant, the organization conSouth during the great ducted a pilot program at Matthews migration and went to Elementary in Northport, where Chicago, New York, every student in the fourth through St. Louis, and everysixth grades received history where else, so they lessons about the blues, as well as lost their association learned to play an instrument. with Alabama. But, we “This is Alabama music, and we realize the more we rehave a real obligation, I think, as search, we find people artists and scholars to help people that were born all over realize this is their heritage,” McAlabama that were Cue said. “This is something they really, really important can be proud of. This is an art form in the blues.” that has influenced so much of the In addition to music that we hear all the time.” featuring great music, Craig Edelbrock, dean of the organizers hope AlaUniversity of Alabama College of bama Blues Week will Continuing Studies agrees. prompt a new appre“American music really grew ciation of the blues in out of the blues,” he said. “AmerTuscaloosa. ican blues artists were the origin “We really would of rock and roll, and the origin of like to develop an what we now call country music.” event that could grow over time, year after year, to be a music fesBlues in Alabama tival modeled on the (W.C.) Handy Music When people think about the Festival in Florence blues, Edelbrock said they tend to (Alabama), which is think about places like Memphis, very large and brings a the Mississippi Delta, and Texas. lot of people into FlorHowever, he said people should not ence and generates a dismiss the role Alabama played in lot of tourist dollars,” the development of this uniquely Edelbrock said. American genre of music. “Alabama is kind of overlooked as a cradle of the blues,” he said. “Alabama played a really, really big role, and there are many musicians that were really important in the emergence and evolution of blues, but they are just overlooked.” He points to artists such as Tuscaloosa’s own Dinah Washington, Vera Hall from Livingston, Big

Top: Aspiring young blues musicians have many opportunities to learn more about music and hone their craft during Alabama Blues Week. Bottom: About 25 students (ages 12 to 18) are taking master classes during Alabama Blues Week. They were nominated to participate by their schools. Photos: The Alabama Blues Project

Miracle League of Tuscaloosa Ends Spring Season on a High Note The Miracle League of Tuscaloosa wrapped up its spring season on May 19 in a major way, with a slew of games, and a big celebration at The LeeAnna Grace Cunningham Field at Sokol Park North. This season was particularly special for the organization, as the games were played on a newly resurfaced field. The eight-year-old rubber field the League uses for children and adults with special needs to play baseball was replaced earlier this year, thanks to generous community donations. The new surface was revealed on opening day, April 7. “Thanks to the generous outpouring of our community, our players were able to have a blast playing on the new field surface without having to worry about safety concerns,” said Kathryn Taylor, the marketing director for Miracle League of Tuscaloosa. The final game day of the spring season was a special treat for players. The Elk’s Lodge of Tuscaloosa (Elks 393) sponsored the day by providing food for the players. Treats for the players were also provided by Sno To Go. In addition, the players were able to enjoy a petting zoo from H&H Farms and face painting by Heather Payne. The joy of the day was captured by Terri Lane of Terri Lane Photography, who took over 1000 photos of the games and events free of charge. “I feel like this was one of the best spring seasons the Miracle League of Tuscaloosa has ever had,” Taylor said. “We are already looking forward to the fall season!” Approximately 120 players and their families play ball with the Miracle League of Tuscaloosa. To learn more about the organization, visit

Orange Team

Gold Team

Teal Blue Team

Red & Light Blue Teams

Green Team

Royal Blue Team

Competition Team

Honoring a Legacy to Benefit Area Cancer Patients

Mr. Pig Goes to the Zone attendees enjoy great food, music, and more during the 2017 event. This year’s Mr. Pig event is set for July 20. Photo: Jay Welborn

By Faith Henley

Those who had the chance to meet Jimmy Welborn knew a man who cared deeply for his community and worked hard. From the time he opened his first local Piggly Wiggly store in the area, in 1998, Welborn worked hard to grow his business, which now includes four of the family-owned grocery stores in Tuscaloosa and Northport. Welborn’s success certainly did not come easy; he faced a decades-long battle with cancer. Despite multiple surgeries and experimental treatments, family members say Welborn never lost his drive to serve the community, or his positive spirit. Since 2011, Welborn’s family has hosted the annual Mr. Pig event, which began as Mr. Pig Goes to the Market at the Tuscaloosa River Market. In 2017, the event became Mr. Pig Goes to the Zone, with the celebration begin held in the North Zone of Bry-

ant-Denny Stadium. To date, the event has raised over $175,000 dollars for cancer research and patients in the Tuscaloosa community. The Welborn family, including Jimmy’s son, Jay Welborn, who now runs the family business, have always tried to include their Piggly Wiggly employees in carrying on Jimmy’s legacy. To show their gratitude, employees are welcome to attend the event for free. “We wanted to make sure our Piggly Wiggly employees who worked with my Dad could participate with a sense of pride and remembrance for their own family who may have been impacted by cancer,” said Jay Welborn. “We hope the event allows employees we’ve hired following his death to get to know who he was and understand the opportunity we have to impact our community.” This year, Mr. Pig Goes to the Zone will be held on July 20 from

6 to 9 p.m. Tickets for the event are $25, or two for $40. In addition to food provided by Hoo’s Q, attendees will enjoy a silent auction, a wine pull, and live local music. All proceeds from the event directly support efforts to improve quality of life for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. One portion is dedicated to American Cancer Society, whose research helped to develop many of the treatments that Jimmy Welborn benefitted from during his cancer battle. In 2015, the Welborn family partnered with ACS and the DCH Help & Hope fund to create a food voucher program to help provide area residents undergoing cancer treatments with healthy meals. The Welborn family has funded the entire program through proceeds from the Mr. Pig event. Recipients are given an ACS-sponsored cookbook with healthy recipes designed by nu-

tritionists specifically for cancer patients. Vouchers can be redeemed for the healthy ingredients they need at the University Boulevard Piggly Wiggly location. Since the very first year, Mr. Pig Goes to the Zone has received an outpouring of support from the Tuscaloosa community that will help keep Jimmy Welborn’s legacy alive for many more years to come. “My Dad was a good person,” Welborn said. “He cared about people. He truly had a heart for serving others.” Tickets are available for purchase at the door, local Piggly Wiggly locations, and online at

Tales of Tuscaloosa “Books and Movies” (July 11, 1960) By Jim Ezell

William March was a World Nell, a frustrated young writer, War I Marine veteran who attendstruggled with her novel. She was ed Law School at the University. working with multiple versions He is best remembered for his and felt it was disjointed and book The Bad Seed, which was episodic. The stress had become released as a movie in 1956 and more than she could bear. She subsequently nominated for four opened a window and hurled Academy Awards. March authored the manuscript, Atticus, into the numerous other books, including darkness. The pages fluttered and Company K, regarded by many as settled onto the dirty snow. It was one of the greatest literary works to the winter of 1958 in New York arise from the first World War and City. the equal of Erich Remarque’s All In desperation, Nell called her Quiet on the Western Front. British editor at Lippincott. He told her journalist Alistair Cooke regarded to go outside and pick it up. The March as “the unrecognized genius young writer’s full name was Nell of our time.” Harper Lee. She went on to finish William Bradford Huie graduather novel and changed the title. To ed from the University in 1930. He Kill a Mockingbird was published authored numerous works which on July 11, 1960. It became an became movies but is perhaps best instant bestseller—winning the remembered for The American1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. ization of Emily, released in 1964. Eventually, over 30 million copies The lead actors, Julie Andrews and were sold, and it was translated James Garner, considered their into more than 40 languages. characters to be the favorite roles To Kill a Mockingbird is one of of their lengthy careers. The Klansseveral novels whose authors have man was released in 1974 and strong connections to Tuscalostarred Lee Marvin and Richard Burton. osa—all are University of Alabama Some of the other movies adapted from alumni. Additionally, some of these Huie’s work include The Outsider, The books became major motion pictures. Revolt of Mamie Stover, and Wild River. Released in 1962, To Kill a MockThese novels, and their subsequent ingbird starred Gregory Peck as Attimovie versions, were written and cus Finch, a fictionalized version of filmed over a period of half a century. Lee’s father, attorney Amasa Coleman However, they tell stories of people Lee, and two unknown child actors, behaving in extraordinary ways in Mary Badham and Phillip Alford. The extraordinary circumstances. Although main themes of the book and movie the authors, characters, and settings are the coming of age of three children might be described as “regional,” their in a small town and prejudice and inappeal and success have been national justice. The movie won three Academy and international. Awards, including Best Art Direction, Adapted Screenplay, and Peck as Best Actor. In later years, The American Film Institute named To Kill a Mockingbird one of the greatest movies of all time. Mark Childress, like Harper Lee, was born in Monroeville, Alabama. Childress worked initially as a reporter and a magazine and newspaper editor. In 1984, A World Made of Fire became the first of several novels. His Top: President George Bush with Harper Lee at the 2007 Medal of Freedom Awards Ceremony. Bottom: Book covers and movies posters of works by authors with connections to Tuscaloosa. Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. fourth novel, Crazy in Alabama, was About the Author an international best seller and won The movie version starred Tom Hanks As a movie, The Help was a huge fi nanJim Ezell is a retired engineer, hisnumerous awards. In 1999, the movie as the title character and was directed by cial and critical success. It opened on Autorian, and author. His newest novel, The version of Crazy in Alabama was released, Robert Zemeckis. It was released on July 6, gust 10, 2011, and within months grossed Cistern, was published in Dec. 2017. The starring Melanie Griffin and directed by 1994, and was an instant hit. It became the over $200 million—against a production Cistern is an adventure/crime novel set in Antonio Banderas. The basic plot concerns cost of $25 million. The Help was nomiTuscaloosa and fictional Tombigbee Couna woman who heads for California with her fourth highest grossing movie in history— taking in over $600 million. It received 13 nated for three Academy Awards, including ty in the Alabama Black Belt. The Cistern abusive husband’s head in a box while her Academy Award nominations and won six, Best Picture. Octavia Spencer, a native of is available on nephew back in Alabama must deal with a including Best Film, Best Actor, and Best Montgomery, won the Best Supporting racially motivated murder. The movie was Director. The film has been recognized as Actress Award. an official selection at the Venice and San a landmark in movie technology for its Fannie Flagg is a character actor and Sebastian Film Festivals of 1999. special eff ects. writer who attended the University in 1962. Like Mark Childress, Winston Groom It took Mississippi native Kathryn Born Patricia Neal (no relation to the actor began his writing career as a reporter. His Stockett fi ve years to complete her fi rst of the same name) in Birmingham, she first novel, Better Times Than These, was novel The Help, which was subsequently appeared in numerous movie and television published in 1978. His fifth novel, Forrest rejected by 60 literary agents. It was finally productions but is best known for her 1988 Gump, was not a best seller until it was published in 2009 and spent 100 weeks on book, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle adapted into a movie. It then sold nearly The New York Times Best Seller List. The Stop Café, which in 1991 was released two million copies. The basic story depicts plot centers upon a young white woman as the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. It several decades in the life of an intellectuand her relationship with her two black was critically acclaimed and received two ally challenged Alabamian who witnesses maids during the Civil Rights era in JackAcademy Award nominations. and participates in some of the defining son, Mississippi. events of the late twentieth century.

July 2018

By Faith Henley When Nikki Hill was a high school student studying at American Christian Academy, she fell in love with English literature. Inspired by her own experience, Hill now teaches a new generation of students at the very same school. Hill says she is driven by the belief that educated people make a difference, and she teaches her students that they can make a change in the world. Her English classes are about more than big ideas; she says they use the material to evaluate and discuss the world in a thoughtful way. “Every student, whether they want to be a welder or an accountant or an English professor, benefits from taking English classes, because a good English class is about learning to think critically about the world around you,” said Hill. Hill adds that the problem-solving and critical thinking skills students practice in her class will be invaluable throughout their higher education, in workplace interactions, when starting a family, and as they become productive citizens. “If I want to have effective conversations with my students about issues that are not only affecting them, but important to them as well, then I need

SCHOOLS 17 Nikki Hill, American Christian Academy to be informed on politics, art, science, and social media movements,” Hill said. “Because of that, there’s never a moment when I’m not looking for new material to use in my classroom.” The end of each year is a time for Hill and her students to reflect on their journey together. Using her students’ feedback, and summer courses at UA, Hill spends the summer months updating her lesson plan for the coming year. However, she says no number of classes and certifications can compare to the lessons learned in the classroom. “There’s a lot of heartache and worry and sleepless nights and time away from our families that goes into what we do, but we pour into our students because we love them, and we are really trying our best to equip them with the tools they need to succeed,” Hill said. After only eight years of teaching, the tough moments that every new teacher faces are still recent memories for Hill. Her advice for people who want to become teachers is to always keep going. When you see your students’ progress, your hard work will be worth it. Hill credits the leadership at ACA for encouraging her to keep going and be the best teacher she can be. She tries to mirror in her own classroom the consistency and support she gets from the administration and the teachers around her. “Teachers live their lives in front of a constant audience, so the responsibility to act as a positive role model can’t be understated,” Hill said. “We teach so much more than just our subject content: we show what kindness looks like, what

Photo courtesy of Nikki Hill

grace looks like, what responsibility and consequences look like.”

Engage. Enrich. Explore. Challenge yourself and have fun with Lifelong Learning

Take advantage of the endless opportunities available with OLLI@UA membership. You’ll stay mentally and physically active with a variety of social, educational and travel options. Learn more about OLLI membership benefits, courses and field trips at our next open house.

August 30, 2018, 5-6 p.m.

Bryant Conference Center • 240 Paul W. Bryant Drive Tuscaloosa, AL Questions? Visit or call 205-348-6482.

Call 205.233.5183 for a free value assessment!

Summer Road Trips Enjoy All Alabama has to Offer (Without Driving Too Far) By Faith Henley

A Five-Star Dinner in Birmingham Okay, mom and dad: If you are looking for a luxury, five-star dinner, you don’t have to go far. Schedule a sitter and head to Birmingham - home of The James Beard Foundation’s 2018 most outstanding restaurant. Highlands Bar & Grill is also home to the Foundation’s most outstanding pastry chef, Dolester Miles. Known for fresh, seasonal dishes made from regional ingredients, and fantastic service, the worst part will be deciding what not to order. After dinner, take a stroll through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, or take in the art pieces at Kelly Ingram Park. Photo: Highlands Bar & Grill Above Left: Chef Frank Stitt and his wife, Pardis, own and run Highlands Bar & Grill. Above Right: Dolester Miles, Highlands’ award-winning pastry chef, holds her specialty coconut pecan cake.

A Monroeville Literary Experience Fans of the literary classic To Kill a Mockingbird by Alabama native Harper Lee should head down to Monroeville for an experience that will bring the story to life. A walk around the historic small town, and visits to the local shops and galleries, will take you back to a slower time. The Monroe County Museum, located inside the old Monroe County Courthouse, takes you behind the scenes of Lee’s iconic book. The Courthouse itself was the backdrop for many of the scenes in the book. Visitors can also explore The Birdhouse Trail of structures built by locals that depict scenes from the novel. The Old Courthouse Museum Hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Museum is closed on Sundays and most holidays. Admission is $5. Photo: Monroe County Museum The Old Monroe County Courthouse’s courtroom is the model for Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. It was recreated on a Hollywood soundstage for the 1962 movie.

Family Adventure at DeSoto Caverns For those looking to add a little family adventure to the summer, a day trip to DeSoto Caverns might be the answer. Located in Childersburg, DeSoto Cavern is the first recorded cavern on record, noted by President George Washington in 1796. Over the course of hundreds of years, the caverns have seen everyone from Native American Indians to Confederate soldiers. Since 1912, generations of the current family that owns the cavern have created a unique, lively experience for visitors of all ages. Adult tickets start at $24.99 and child tickets start at $19.99. Packages are available that include access to the many attractions, including paddle carts, water golf, and more. Single attraction tickets start at $4.99. Photo: DeSoto Caverns Known as “Alabama’s Big Cave,” DeSoto Caverns is a marvel, and a great way to spend a day exploring with the family.

July 2018

Summer Movies: Five Great Films to Enjoy


By Jerry Roberts

Three cheers for summertime – it’s the perfect opportunity to kick back with some cold beverages and heaps of popcorn to enjoy some classic summer films. These are a few of my favorites… Jaws (1975) It is obvious that you might want to spend your Fourth of July with Independence Day, but who could forget the other great summer blockbuster that takes place on America’s birthday? It’s the shark-tastic adventure that gave birth to the summer movie season (and to the career of Mr. Steven Spielberg). [Rated PG] Adventureland (2009) Sometimes, the best movies for the summer are movies about summer. And that’s what Adventureland offers. In this sweet story from Greg Mottola, director of Superbad, James (Jesse Eisenberg) takes a job at a decrepit amusement park called “Adventureland” to earn money for college. There, he falls for his coworker, Jenny (Kristen Stewart). This is a lovely little film for the grown-ups. Don’t miss it. [Rated R]

The Sandlot (1993) There are a lot of movies about baseball – but here’s fun movie about a baseball. It’s the summer of 1962, and young Scotty Smalls is new in town when he’s taken under the wing of some neighborhood boys. Their adventure begins when they try to retrieve a baseball, Jerry Roberts is a movie critic and movie fan who believes in Birth-Movies-Death. He is the historian for and allegedly signed, and he has a blog at by Babe Ruth, that Lonely, he meets the much older The Parent Trap (1961) gets knocked over a fence and into Dorothy (she’s 29!) who has just What’s a summer without a Disney the yard of a neighbor with a dog learned that her husband has been picture? After Incredibles 2, enjoy so feared that it’s known only as killed. What blossoms between this blast from the past classic fea“The Beast.” [Rated G] Hermie and Dorothy is not only turing Haley Mills as twin sisters understated but complicated in a who conspire to reunite their parSummer of ’42 (1971) very real way. [Rated PG] ent’s marriage. If your kids haven’t When you’re finished with the acseen this hilarious original film, tion pictures, here’s a romance film they should. [Rated G] you can’t resist – but it’s just for the grown-ups. During the summer of 1942, Hermie is untouched by the war taking place overseas.


July 2018

Refreshing Summer Drinks: Perfect for Cooling Down and Relaxing

July Recipes By Amy Poore

FRESH SQUEEZED LEMONADE • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (5-7 lemons) • 1 1/4 cup extra-fine sugar • 4 cups water, divided • 1 cup ice. Put lemon juice, sugar, ice, and 2 cups of water in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour in pitcher, along with the remaining water. Stir. Serve over ice.

It’s time to kick back in the backyard (or anywhere comfy, really) and enjoy some cool, refreshing beverages. These are two of my favorite drink recipes. Need a front porch-sipping drink that’s sure to please? Try this delicious, fresh squeezed lemonade. You really cannot beat lemonade that’s fresh like this, and sure, the mixes are quicker – but they’re definitely not better. And if

you’re looking for a cool cocktail to enjoy, this rosemary gimlet is a classic. The rosemary simple syrup adds a wonderful flavor, and it’s oh so fragrant. Cheers, DCL readers! 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 Photos by Amy Poore.


• 2 oz gin • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice • 1 oz rosemary simple syrup (recipe below) Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a rosemary sprig. Simple Syrup • 1 cup water • 1 cup white sugar • 2 rosemary sprigs

In a small sauce pan, bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat, and place rosemary in sauce pan. Let sit for 1-2 hours, remove rosemary, and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


July 2018

Taste of Tuscaloosa: Beat the Heat with the Best Cold, Sweet Treats By Sheena Gregg

Nearly 100 years ago, the “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream” novelty song was born. And all these years later, ice cream continues to be a staple dessert for joyful celebrations or a potential late-night snack. There’s no

doubt it’s been hot in Tuscaloosa this summer, but once again, fear not my friends, the businesses of Tuscaloosa and Northport have heard our screams for ice cream, and they deliver big. Here are a few of my favorites this summer…

Sheena Gregg is a registered dietitian and local “Filipino Foodie.” Follow her adventures at Photos are courtesy of Sheena Gregg.

Frost Bite Tuscaloosa

Athena’s Bakery and Boutique

Food Network videos have nothing on Tuscaloosa. T-Town now has its very own amazing rolled ice cream store – and it’s just a stroll away, in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Who says you have to go out of town to get a milkshake in a mason jar with a piece of cheese cake hanging off the side? Since 2017, Northport-based bakery Athena’s has been offering up monster milkshakes to customers.

Located next to Ajian sushi restaurant, Frost Bite Tuscaloosa’s debut this summer not only features the beauty of rolled ice cream worthy of a social media viral video, but also the “wow” factor of liquid nitrogen ice cream. Patrons can watch in wonder as shop staff conduct the most delicious science experiment ever right before their eyes. Frost Bite Tuscaloosa staff are quick to tell you that the liquid ice cream base is made in house, giving your ice cream creation the extra “yum” factor. Trust me, I’ve tasted, and my “yum” factor was full throttle.

With flavors like chocolate explosion, cookie monster, strawberry cheesecake, and salted caramel (just to name a few), you know that this dessert is worth the time and space in your tummy. My personal fav is cookies n’ cream, because who doesn’t love ice cream, Oreos, cake balls, and massive amounts of whipped cream? Want to know a secret? Athena’s monster milkshakes are only served on certain nights of the week, so check their Facebook page to find out when they’re up for grabs. The staff tells me it takes four hours to prep for monster milkshake night with the baking of extra cupcakes, cheesecakes, and brownies that top each creation. Sounds like time spent well!

Frost Bite Tuscaloosa is located at 1914 University Blvd. Suite C in downtown Tuscaloosa. Photo: Waffle cone bits, caramel, a little pistachio, and a homemade sweet cream base make this Frost Bite creation worthy of your taste buds.

Athena’s Bakery and Boutique is located at 16820 Highway 43 North in the Winn Dixie shopping center. Photo: Athena’s milkshakes include full-sized bakery treat items, like a tasty cake ball, a slice of cheese cake, a cookie, or a full-sized cupcake.

The Baked Bear Tuscaloosa Do you ever crave ice cream sandwiches so messy you need a spoon, and so big you need a bowl? Me too. The opening of The Baked Bear in Midtown Village created a line around (and around) the building, and the crowds haven’t stopped. Patrons can make an ice cream sandwich with cookie flavors of their choice, brownies, and even doughnuts. If that wasn’t enough, you can choose from 13 different ice cream flavors for your sandwich, and they have tons of fun toppings to finish off your creation. If you’re not in the mood for something so intense, a scoop of ice cream in a cookie bowl, or a nostalgic root beer float, could be in your future. If you are in the mood for something extra sweet, The Baked Bear has you covered. Sheena’s tip for success is to always include sprinkles… because who doesn’t love sprinkles?! The Baked Bear is located at 1800 McFarland Boulevard in the Midtown Village shopping center. Photo: There’s no doubt why The Baked Bear is popular... a warmed-up cookie, brownie, or doughnut is the perfect ingredient for the most perfect ice cream sandwich.

WOODBANK LANE Creating Stunningly Beautiful Planters for Summer Flowers By Kathryn Wilkerson Summer is in full swing here in the South! I have at least five mosquito bites to prove it, and the humidity gives my hair a life of its own as soon as I walk out of my house. It’s also the season for flowers, spending time outdoors, and, for DIY fans like me, it’s time for a project (or 10). Hi there! I’m Kathryn, and here’s a crafty idea for creating planters to help you enjoy your favorite summer flowers. It only takes a little time and a trip to your favorite home improvement store. Here’s what you will need: • Empty metal containers • White spray primer • Any color spray paint • Painter’s tape • Thin string or rope • Goof Off (Heavy Duty Remover) • A small drill Start by hanging on to a few empty containers you might otherwise throw away, like coffee cans, a Crisco can, vegetable cans, or cans for nuts. In the pictures, you’ll notice I’ve used 10.5 oz coffee cans.

Soak the cans in water for about 10 minutes, and pull off as much of the label as possible. To get the remaining paper and the sticky residue off the cans, I used Goof Off. It’s a great product, and you can easily follow the directions on the label. I picked mine up at Lowes for just a few dollars.

To give the planters a little character, use the painter’s tape to create a stripe. Position the tape anywhere on your cans—top, bottom, or middle. To minimize bleeding when you put on the next layer of paint, press down hard on the tape, especially on the edges. Spray the cans with your chosen color. I used an outdoor, anti-rust Valspar color called Peacock Blue. Allow the cans to dry indoors overnight.

Next, drill three to five drainage holes in the bottom of each can, and add your potting soil and flowers. I chose tall ones, so the cute cans would show. Once you have the flowers potted and arranged, wrap the string around the middle of the stripe a couple of times, and tie a bow. The string adds another layer and texture.

You could also do the reverse of this and have white cans with colored stripes. They’ll make the perfect table decoration for your outdoor summer get-togethers, pretty gifts for teachers, or a thoughtful hostess gift. Who doesn’t love flowers in a cute container? Photos: Kathryn Wilkerson Tuscaloosa native Kathryn Wilkerson is a wife, mom of three, a teacher, and the author of Woodbank Lane – a blog that offers up a variety of different decorating ideas and projects, recipes, and inspiration for living. Follow Kathryn at and on Instagram @woodbanklane. 

July Calendar of Events DCL Saves the Date

Live at the Plaza: Fridays in July, 6-9 p.m. Government Plaza, downtown Tuscaloosa. The City of Tuscaloosa is once again hosting musical acts as part of this series. The concerts are free, and the atmosphere is family-friendly. Bands playing this month include The Kemistry Project, Alabama Blues Project, Earl “Guitar” Williams, Corey Nolan, Plato Jones, Tim Few, and Sweet Home Symphony. Kids Clay Camps at Kentuck: Now through July 26, Kentuck Art Center, Northport. Registration is now open for July Kids Clay Camps at Kentuck. Classes for 6-8-year-olds and ages 9+, with multiple summer sessions. For more information, call (205) 758-1257 or email

Super Shark Saturday at CHOM: July 21, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum, downtown Tuscaloosa. Learn about great white sharks, make your own “pet” shark, play shark-themed games, and listen to shark tales. For more information, visit or call (205) 349-4235.

Fireworks and Fun: Tuscaloosa’s Eighth Annual Celebration on the River On Wednesday, July 4th, Tuscaloosa kicks off its eighth annual Celebration on the River event. This free, family-friendly event features a performance by the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and a firework show over the Black Warrior River. The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority’s Kids Zone will include inflatable games, face painting, and more. Activities are free and open to the public beginning at 6 p.m. on the grounds adjacent to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Inside the Amphitheatre, a veterans’ salute is planned for 7:45 p.m. The Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra performance starts at 8 p.m., and the firework show launches at 9 p.m. Photo: Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority

Independence Day Bash at CHOM: July 3, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum, downtown Tuscaloosa. July 4th Enjoy Civil Air Patrol demonstrations, activities, Zeigler hot dogs and lemonade (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), crafts, games, and more – all included in admission. For more information, visit or call (205) 349-4235. Run 2 for T-Town: July 4, 7:30 a.m. NorthRidge Fitness, Northport. This fun, family-oriented, twomile race includes lots of prizes and giveaways, music, and watermelon. Applications are available at Wagner’s RunWalk and NorthRidge Fitness. Kentuck Art Night: July 5, 5-8 p.m. Main Avenue, Northport. This event is free to the public. For more information, visit First Friday in Downtown Tuscaloosa: July 6, 5 p.m.- 8 p.m. This event is free to the public. Local galleries, businesses and restaurants are open as a way for the community to see what downtown Tuscaloosa offers. For more information, visit Color Me Crazy at CHOM: July 7, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum, downtown Tuscaloosa. Design your own salt painting, create pointillism art, and test a lava lamp experiment. For more information, visit or call (205) 349-4235. Alabama Blues Week: July 9-15. Events and classes are planned throughout Tuscaloosa, including Government Plaza, the Moody Music Building, and the Bryant Conference Center. Events include free blues performances, master classes and sessions led by blues and music industry musicians, as well as UA faculty. For more information, visit Chamber Business After Hours: July 10, 5-7 p.m. Courtyard Marriott, Tuscaloosa. For more information, visit

Bama Art House Films Summer Series Presents “The Death of Stalin”: July 10, 7:30 p.m. Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (205) 7585195 or visit Theatre Tuscaloosa Presents “Once Upon a Mattress:” July 13-22, Bean-Brown Theatre, Shelton State Community College, Tuscaloosa. This funny and irreverent musical is Broadway’s retelling of “The Princess and the Pea.” Filled with songs, laughter, and romance, this is a summer musical for the whole family. For show times and to purchase tickets, visit or call the Theatre Tuscaloosa Box Office at (205) 391-2277. Inspect Insects at CHOM: July 14, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum, downtown Tuscaloosa. Examine specimens from all over the world, make a bug hat, and decorate a bug. For more information, visit or call (205) 349-4235. Midtown Village “Screen on the Green”: Saturdays, July 14-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 Bama Art House Films Summer Series Presents “The Insult”: July 17, 7:30 p.m. Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (205) 758-5195 or visit Mr. Pig Goes to the Zone: July 20, 6 to 9 p.m. North Zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Proceeds from this annual event support efforts to improve quality of life for those diagnosed with cancer. Tickets: $25 ($40 for couples). Tickets are available for purchase at the door, local Piggly Wiggly locations, and online at

Caregiver Café Summer Speaker Series: July 24, 6 p.m. Morning Pointe of Tuscaloosa (1801 Rice Mine Road North). This monthly educational seminar is “Caring for the Caregiver – Taking Care of You While Caring for Others.” For more information, call 205345-1112.

Jason Aldean’s “High Noon Neon Tour 2018” with Luke Combs and Lauren Alaina: July 25, 7:30 p.m. Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Tickets available via For more information, visit, call the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Box Office at (205) 248-5280 or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000. The ACT Presents “High School Musical”: July 27-29, Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. For show times, visit or call (205) 3932800.

16th Annual Hot Hundred Bicycle Ride: July 28, UA Recreation Center, Tuscaloosa. The Hot Hundred is the sole fundraiser for the Tuscaloosa Mental Health Alliance (TMHA). Hundreds of riders are expected to participate in this century bicycle ride. For more information, including registration information, visit Hogwarts Day at CHOM: July 28, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum, downtown Tuscaloosa. Design your own wand, create your house tie, adopt a magical creature, enjoy potions demonstrations, have a chocolate frog, and more. For more information, visit or call (205) 349-4235. Tuscaloosa Farmer’s Market: Tuesdays and Saturdays, 7 a.m.-noon. Tuscaloosa River Market, 1900 Jack Warner Blvd, Tuscaloosa. Shop for fresh produce, grass fed beef, baked goods, cheeses and more. Buy fresh, buy local. For more information, visit or call (205) 2485295. Northport Farmer’s Market: Saturdays, 6 a.m. to noon, 4150 5th Street, Northport. For more information, visit

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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 LIHEAP’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 CSP’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 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 or contact your local CSP office.

Profile for Druid City Media

Druid City Living July 2018  

Druid City Living July 2018