May 2018 | Volume 6 | Issue 5 Tuscaloosa’s Premier Community Newspaper
FORE THE KIDS:
YFC’S LEGACY GOLF TOURNEY
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
About Us.................2 Opinion.................4 Business..................8 Community........11 Schools.................17 Food.....................20 Calendar...............23
PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID HATTIESBURG, MS PERMIT 142
UNDER THE SEA
READY, SET, GO!
The Actor’s Charitable Theatre brings The Little Mermaid to the Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa June 1-4.
SEE PAGE 11
Hundreds of children are expected to swim, bike, and run to the finish line at Lake Lurleen State Park on May 19.
SEE PAGE 18
SIT BACK AND RELAX Looking for your next great read? Kick back with one of our summer reading suggestions.
SEE PAGE 12
FROM THE EDITOR CEO/Publisher
Josh Watkins (205) 529-5723 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hanson Watkins (205) 835-0094 email@example.com
Laurie Mundy Perrigin (205) 246-2977 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nathan Pearman email@example.com
Marketing Consultants Will Vann Nathan Pearman Allison Adams
2018 Intern Faith Henley
Contact us at: (256) 346-5321 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi readers! Hope you’re all enjoying a wonderful spring. May is one of the best times of the year here in Tuscaloosa, for so many reasons. And this month, we’re telling you why. Golf is one of the reasons May is fantastic in Tuscaloosa. This month, you’ve got several opportunities to get out on the green – including the Mal Moore Memorial Tournament and the Youth for Christ Legacy Golf Tournament. Time to tee up for great causes. May is also a time for graduations. This month, one of our own, columnist Allison Adams, oﬀers some poignant advice for her own daughter, a soon-to-be University of Alabama graduate. And here’s to the seniors at American Christian Academy, for their hard work on their professional development projects. Thanks to Faith Henley for bringing us the story. To all the graduates out there, congratulations. Also, this month, we’re thrilled to bring you some of our favorite recommendations for
summer reads. Hopefully you’ll all be able to carve out some time to kick back with a great book and relax. And, if you need more entertainment, why not hit the movie theater? Our newest columnist, movie critic Jerry Roberts, gives us a great run down on all the biggest “popcorn” movies (for kids and for parents). If any of you have special stories you’d like to tell, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And, if you’d like to be considered for Photo of the Month, send us your photos – every one of them tells a story. Also, don’t forget to visit druidcityliving.com for all the latest daily news and happenings. As always, a special thanks to our readers, writers, contributors, and advertisers. Everyone here at Druid City Living appreciates your eﬀorts and support. Best,
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Legal: Druid City Living (DCL) is published monthly. Reproduction or use of graphical content without prior permission is prohibited. DCL is designed to inform the readers regarding community news and events. Information is gathered from sources that are considered reliable, however the accuracy is not guaranteed. All articles, photos, etc. submitted become the property of DCL. We reserve the right to edit as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish any material. Any inaccuracies should be brought to the attention of the editor.
CORRECTIONS To report corrections and clarifications, email editor@ druidcitymedia.com In the April 2018 issue of Druid City Living, a caption inadvertently referred to the Blue Angels’ squad that “never fails to disappoint.” The caption should’ve read “never ceases to amaze.” We apologize for the error. As anyone who’s ever seen the Blue Angels knows, they are amazing!
Members of the Leadership Tuscaloosa class of 2018 presented a check to Community Services Programs of West Alabama for the Sawyerville Head Start Program. The group also completed a day of service at the center in March, during which class members worked to beautify and improve the Head Start Center’s grounds. Front: Cynthia Burton, Executive Director, Community Service Programs of West Alabama. Back, from left: Jasmine Rainey, Rebecca Minder, Jillian White, Jennifer Taylor, NaTa’sha Black, all of the Leadership Tuscaloosa Class of 2018, and Diane Craig of Sawyerville Head Start. Photo: The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama
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The Mommy Chronicles: The Great Birthday Camping Party, Part One
By Marlena Rice When I began writing this column almost ﬁve years ago, I was pretty much under the impression that by the time I was three or four years in, I would basically be a parenting expert. Ha! While I’ve become even more addicted to my son than I was when he was ﬁrst born, I must admit that I’m still chronically late for everything. I still take a long time packing his bags (from diaper bags to backpacks) due to fear of forgetting something. Tune in for next month’s Chronicles to see it all come together. And biggest of all: I still smother. Smother Photo: Marlena Rice Mother in full eﬀect, River Gorge Explorer boat ride. Do you y’all. Guilty. see a trend here? What are we going to My husband and I started a family do with this kid when he turns 16? I feel tradition around the time of my little like I need to start saving for that event person’s second birthday. We began to yesterday. But I digress … travel, close enough to home to keep Since we are, of course, another year things simple, but far enough to get little older, age four has brought us fulltime man some travel miles under his belt. K4 schooling and karate as our extracurFor his second birthday, we took a day ricular activity. These new environments trip to the Birmingham Zoo. For his have helped my little person grow, third birthday, we spent the day at the giving him a means to embrace new Georgia Aquarium. And for his fourth relationships, which has been great. It birthday, we went to the Tennessee has also led me to ﬁnally conclude that Aquarium and thoroughly enjoyed the it’s time to nix having a family-only
birthday celebration. We are going all out. I’ve hunted down what I need from Pinterest and Etsy, and we’ve even got real deal invitations. Initially, Beaux wanted a “tree cutter” birthday. After a quick online search, it occurred to me that while I can do lots of things, this wasn’t my cup of tea. And while my son is very well-informed when it comes to Kubota, construction equipment, and miscellaneous lawn care necessities, I had no idea what to do for a “tree cutter” party. I don’t even know what a tree cutter looks like.
My ever-so-wise four-year-old little saw the panic-stricken look on my face and decided (for once) to take it easy on me. “Mama, we can do a camping party, too.” So, “Camp Beaux,” it is. And after several hours of watching YouTube videos and taking copious notes, plans for Camp Beaux were in full eﬀect. Beverages will include “bug juice” and “creek water.” There will be tents made from PVC piping and drop cloths. This is a DIY mom’s dream come true.
Give Life to Your Story: Passion + Talent = Purpose By Abby Lee I spent years trying to ﬁgure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Even as a grown-up, I still wasn’t sure I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I tried on many diﬀerent hats, but they just didn’t seem to ﬁt quite right. Only now, at 31, have I ﬁnally found the intersection of what I love to do and where I can use my strengths and talents.
“ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WAYS WE CAN SPEAK INTO THE LIVES OF TEENAGERS IS TO HELP THEM FIND THINGS THEY LOVE.” As middle school director with Youth for Christ, I still wear lots of hats, and my days can look diﬀerent from one to the next, but each role and facet of my position is what makes this job the perfect ﬁt, for me. From meeting one-onone with students, to speaking to adults about partnering with our organization, or even brainstorming ideas for our newsletters and donor emails, I get to work in a ministry I love and use talents that have been strengthened through diﬀerent experiences. One of the things I love about Campus Life is our mission to train leaders. Our best leaders aren’t the ones who run clubs from start to ﬁnish. They’re the ones who empower other members of their team to ﬁnd where they can serve, and hand over the reins. We are con-
stantly developing new leaders and encouraging them to ﬁnd their strengths in order to serve our students well. One of the most important ways we can speak into the lives of teenagers is to help them ﬁnd things they love to do and where their talent shines. When they ﬁnd this ever-important intersection, they can excel in something they love – which gives Abby Lee serves as the middle school director for Tuscaloosa Youth for Christ. Abby and her husband, Matt, have three girls, Emerthem an even son, Piper, and Collins. You can reach Abby at email@example.com deeper sense of Photo: Abby Lee accomplishment and pride. Helping Sometimes, a student comes along who on the sidelines and cheering for them, them determine this place of passion is a natural born leader and is magnetic driving them to practices, or investing and talent early can change the course of to their peers. Encourage them to try out in their activities. We can spend a lot their entire life. of time focusing on things teenagers It’s so important to really look for the “HELPING TEENS FIND are doing wrong, and we can miss the strengths and talents teenagers already chance to praise their accomplishments THEIR TALENTS AND possess, and to pay attention to what and encourage their passions. By taking they get excited about. Noticing a stuPASSIONS WILL COST the time now to help them discover how dent who loves working with children, can use their talents in a very intenYOU ONE THING – TIME.” they and is good at engaging them, could tional way, you can completely change point them to the path of being an educampus elections, or leadership roles. their course. cator. Seeing a student excel at science, Helping teens ﬁnd their talents and who also supports classmates and is a passions will cost you one thing – time. caretaker, and pointing those traits out The only way to really understand to them in a positive way, might show a where they shine, and what they love, them that they would be a great nurse. is by spending time with them: sitting
Lake Living: Notes to My Daughter, the (Soon-To-Be) College Graduate By Allison Adams It’s happening. Another child is about to graduate from UA, and I couldn’t be prouder. Like many parents, I ﬁnd myself nostalgic, and ﬁlled with the overwhelming need to oﬀer unsolicited advice to her for the future. Unfortunately for her, I share in print! Here goes …
1. Never stop learning.
I could be mistaken for multiple persons if you follow me on social media: Allison the former Designer (my major at UA), Allison the Artist, Allison the Writer, Allison the Realtor. I wear many hats, and the desire to keep learning and evolving has never left me. I think I learned early to not lead a normal life. Who is normal anyway? Yes, you are excited to be ﬁnished with school, but keep learning. Be curious, my favorite oldest daughter. Seek to know more about everything.
2. Get ready to start all over.
You’re past the minimum legal drinking age. And you’ve made it past the hurdles of college. Now, you’re embarking on a career. Guess what? You’re a freshman, all over again, on that career path. You’re at the bottom of the ladder once again. So, don’t expect to be lunching with the execs just yet. Work hard, and seize any opportunities that come your way. See step 1.
3. Respect your mama’s opinions. You don’t have to agree with them, though.
You are 22, and you are engaged. So, read all the blogs, visit all the Pinterest boards, and make all the posts you want. Despite vowing to never become like my mother, I will probably interject my opinion here, as I have all your life. You don’t have to agree, or acquiesce, but I’ll always have them ready for you. And when you push back? Well, I’ll just remind you of all the pushing I did to get you out into this world.
4. Push your boundaries.
This world is huge. HUGE. When you go up in that plane, look down. We’re one of the four or six dots living in one of those tiny squares among the hundreds in the neighborhood, thousands in that town, and millions along those mountains and trenches you’re seeing as lights and earth. Don’t spend the majority of your life right here. Explore wherever (and whenever) you have the opportunity – so you can experience that your way may not be the only (or right) way of doing things. Think of the world as your classroom, your oﬃce, and your home.
5. Nurture your family.
Remember us, your family, as you leave us behind to make your own – and nurture yours as God intended… with Him as the leader, your husband, and then your kids.
Allison Adams is a mom of four and a Realtor with Lake Homes Realty serving Lake Tuscaloosa. For comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know we’re your parents, but when you cleave… you are told to leave! Call it experience, call it a guess, either way, I wish you all the best. I am grateful. I am not losing a daughter – but gaining another son. And sappy as it is that it rhymes, I can’t think of a better one! What!? Dear daughter, did you not think I’d be gearing up for a big toast? Cheers to your independence... I’ll be there every step of the way!
Blessings from your Mom and best friend, Allison
What about spring allergies? Dear Dr. Katy, So, I have the worst allergies in spring, with sneezing and itchy/watery eyes. Can my dog get spring allergies like me? Sneezy Dog Mama Dear Sneezy, Yes, dogs can have seasonal allergies too. However, dogs typically manifest their allergies in the skin. So, in dogs, more common symptoms would be an itchy dog. You might also notice your dog pawing at or shaking his ears, which may indicate an ear infection. Ear infections and itchy skin from allergies can become severe, and dogs may need medication to help control allergies and/or treat a potential secondary infection. These conditions should be diagnosed by your Veterinarian, and then they can determine if or what medication is needed.
A word of warning: Be careful before treating your dog with any allergy medications for humans. Always consult with your Veterinarian before giving any medication because it could be very harmful. Great question, Dr. Katy
The Land of Oz: You’re Probably Taking Your Kids’ Sport Too Seriously 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.” I sometimes wonder if my column comes across as a “know-it-all parent who is just trying to make everybody else look bad.” If it ever has, please accept my apology. Believe me… that is not the intent. Even though I cover a diversiﬁed assortment of local and national topics, it is my parenting submissions that I probably question the most. The reason is quite simple: I am not a perfect parent. And to be frank, I do not believe in their existence. Newborn babies don’t come in a factory-sealed package, complete with a user guide and an owner’s manual, that explains how to raise them right. Every toddler is diﬀerent. Every teen is diﬀerent. And every environment in which they develop, and
“I AM NOT A PERFECT PARENT. AND TO BE FRANK, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN THEIR EXISTENCE.” learn, and grow, is diﬀerent. Given the amount of societal issues and distractions and technological advances, I think most of us just try to do the best we can in giving our kids a shot at succeeding in the 21st century.
Sometimes, this includes competing in sports. A family member recently sent my wife a meme depicting a couple of cute kid baseball players laughing that said, “Look at my dad. He’s throwing a tantrum cuz I missed the ball!” While I found this 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, amusing, I and their daughters, Savannah and Anica. also recogPhoto: Derek Osborn nized a hard (because data is cool): Out of roughly steadily improve, instead of screaming truth… I’m guilty. 489,000 high school baseball players in at them when a grounder goes between It is a completely natural response to the U.S., only about 7 percent will go on their legs. But the most important lesson want your kid(s) to be the best that they to play college ball. And of those, only should be centered on teamwork and can be and to compete at a high level. about 2 percent will play Division 1. sportsmanship, especially considering For parents who took part in competiThat number gets worse when you get how self-absorbed we are as a society. tive sports in their youth, it’s probably to women’s softball, which sits at about Your kid might miss the pop-up, but the worse. At times, it can be a reminder of 5 percent (with 1.6 percent playing Div. team that works together wins the game. things we did/didn’t do that we proba1). And I don’t have room to bore you I tweet insigniﬁcant things @ozbly could have/should have taken more with the fraction of the percentages born34. seriously during our playing days. But when it comes to the odds of turning here is the deal… kids don’t understand pro. this anymore than we did when we were The point is, we probably should playing little league. be concentrating more on helping kids And here’s some numbers for you too enjoy the sport while helping them
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GROWNUPS WERE STUNNED AS HE CHARMED THE SERVER INTO GIVING HIM ICE CREAM WITH SPRINKLES AND HOT FUDGE, ON THE HOUSE!
CHILDREN A M A Z E U S E V E R Y D AY
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May 2018 5 6
LET DR. MEMON GET RIGHT TO THE OF THE MATTER Have you been diagnosed with a heart rhythm problem called atrial fibrillation or afib? Many people have afib and feel tired despite taking medications and blood thinners for this problem.
Nada Memon, MD, FACC, FHRS Board Certified Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist
It doesn’t have to be that way. Dr. Nada Memon can help. She specializes in Cardiology and Electrophysiology, which means she’s an expert in the heart’s complex electrical system. She has been diagnosing and treating arrhythmias for almost 10 years. So why continue to be tired because your heart is out of rhythm. Call Dr. Memon at 205.759.6921. And let her get to the heart of the matter.
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Now Open and Opening Soon 1 1 Excelsior Staffing is now open in Tuscaloosa (3816 Palisades Drive). This full-service staffing firm offers a full suite of staffing services including temporary, temporary to permanent and direct placement. (205) 614-5388; excelsiorstaffing.com 2 Frutta Bowls has opened a second
location in Tuscaloosa, at Midtown Village (1800 McFarland Blvd.). The health foods eatery serves acai, pitaya, and kale bowls, along with smoothies, and more. (205) 758-1719; fruttabowls.com 3 The Greasy Hands Barbershop has opened its doors in Tuscaloosa (2008 8th St.). A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 5. Greasy Hands offers haircuts, clean shaves, beard trims, and more. Greasy Hands also has locations in Huntsville and Florence. Greasyhands.co 4 Homewood-based Real & Rosemary restaurant plans to open two locations in Tuscaloosa. The first restaurant (1530 McFarland Blvd North) was expected to open in April; the second location (2128 University Blvd.) will open this summer. The restaurant is focused on real food– i.e. food free of preservatives, food dyes, and MSG. Menu items include fresh, home-cooked vegetables, as well as roasted and grilled meats and seafood dishes. Realandrosemary.com 5 The Rustic Rehab is now open in Northport (4500 Highway 69 N.). An official grand
opening ceremony was held on March 30. The shop specializes in furniture restoration, as well as offering farmhouse style décor and new and used furniture. (205) 330-2569 6 Tuscaloosa Family Dental is now open in Hillcrest Plaza (7402 Highway 69 South, Suite H). Dr. Kimberly Parker’s practice features 3D CBCT imaging, digital x-rays, and other state-ofthe-art equipment and patient care in a relaxed, comfortable environment. (205) 722-7550; ttownfamilydental.com
News and Happenings
Alabama. Prior to joining the Schoolyard Roots team, she designed and managed a variety of recreation programs at the collegiate and community non-profit levels. Schoolyardroots.org
Anniversaries 1 The Local Roots food truck planned to
celebrate its two-year anniversary in a big way on April 28 at Government Plaza, with Alabama Roots Fest, a downtown gathering (held in conjunction with Frutta Bowls) featuring food as well as live music from Robert Randolph, Will Hoge, and Adam Hood. Eatlocalroots.com
1 Dr. Kenneth W. Aldridge a local urologist and vice president for medical affairs for the DCH Health System, recently received the Garber Galbraith Medical-Political Award from the Medical Alumni Association of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. The award recognizes Aldridge for outstanding service to the medical profession in the medical-political arena. 2 A new Medical Center is coming to Al-
berta – one that will offer a variety of different specialties, as well as general care. It will be located at the intersection of University Boulevard and Alberta Drive. Developer Mark Hearing hopes construction will begin by the end of 2018. 3 Schoolyard Roots (formerly the Druid City Garden Project) has named Stephanie Reinhart as its new executive director. Reinhart received her bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Education from Ohio University and her Master’s in Health Promotion from The University of
Local Roots and Frutta Bowls teamed up for Alabama Roots Fest on April 28 at Government Plaza in Tuscaloosa. Photo: Local Roots
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Family Counseling Services: Summertime is the Right Time to Get Moving By April Stevens Q: I’m having some issues concentrating at work lately. I’ve just generally felt “blah.” My doctor gave me a clean bill of health – but how can I boost my energy and get over this hump? Sincerely, Need a Boost Dear Boost, That “blah” feeling is no fun! Lack of concentration and energy are also drains on enjoying life and basic level of functioning. It’s good you had a medical evaluation and have gotten a clean bill of health, that’s always the best place to start. So, now what? I’m sure that you’ve heard about the beneﬁts of exercise, but there may be some speciﬁc ways it can help with your current slump that surprise you. Exercising doesn’t have to be hours spent at the gym that you dread. It can be fun and socially stimulating as well. Exercise has some very speciﬁc beneﬁts, so much so that medical experts are now prescribing it as part of the treatment for many illnesses, especially for those who can’t or don’t want to take pills or medication. Research shows moderate exercise not only increases endorphins that give that good “runner’s high” feeling, it also increases dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels which directly aﬀect focus, attention, and mood. It also relaxes the muscles and relieves tension, allowing you to
relax. It’s also been shown to help with stress reduction, sleep, symptoms of ADHD, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and it even helps improve insulin regulation... without the side eﬀects of medication. Choosing something you enjoy, or simply recognizing that everyday household chores are exercise, can help take the pressure oﬀ. Find an exercise partner, join a walking club, listen to music that gets you moving, set alarms on your phone… make exercise a priority for your mental and physical well-being, instead of a chore. Dancing, my personal favorite, is touted as one of the best exercises to help relieve stress and help the body re-establish healthy rhythm and movement of muscles. Swimming, or other water exercises, are also low-impact ways of taking the monotony out of your exercise routine. Check with your doctor for more ideas of what types of exercise may be best for your speciﬁc health needs. Again, you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym to get these beneﬁts. Experts say 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3 to 5 days a week will give you the beneﬁts you’re seeking. Moderate exercise simply means raising your heartrate and increasing your breathing. Stay within the limits of being able to speak and feeling your body warm up, without getting overheated or sweaty. You can also break up your exercise into 10 or
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15 minutes segments and still get the same beneﬁts. Focusing on how your body feels as you exercise will help you increase concentration and make exercise meaningful, making it easier to continue. We at Family Counseling Service can help you make exercise and other ways of coping become a part of improving your quality of life. Come see us. We’re here ready and waiting to help! Love and Peace, April
April L. Stevens, LICSW, PIP, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and counselor with Family Counseling Service in Tuscaloosa.
Part of Your World: The ACT to Present Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” June 1-4 By Colton Crowe
Joey Lay, artistic director of the ACT, is Did you both directing know that life and costuming under the sea is the show. better than any“This producwhere on land? tion of Disney’s That’s according The Little Merto a small crusmaid is going to tacean named be a visual feast Sebastian the for the audience crab in Disney’s with both the set The Little Merand costumes,” maid. Audiences Lay said. “We will get to see are constructfor themselves, ing over 100 experiencing life costumes from under the sea scratch.” as The Actor’s For this proCharitable Theduction, the ACT atre brings this is partnering musical to the with the charity Bama Theatre “The Joy Like in downtown Anna FoundaTuscaloosa June tion.” This char1-4. ity is a legacy The musical honoring the The Little Merlove, joy, faith, maid is based on and kindness the 1989 classic of Anna KamDisney movie plain, a Hillcrest that tells the High School story of Ariel, freshman who the famous passed away in red-headed December after a mermaid, as she liver transplant. embarks on a The foundation’s journey to marry purpose is to a prince that provide families lives on land. with spiritual Along the way, and ﬁnancial she is accompaassistance as nied by Flounder they care for the ﬁsh, Sebastheir children tian the crab, with life-threatand Scuttle the ening illnesses. seagull. All of Additionally, them help Ariel the foundation restore life under works with other the sea, thwartcharitable orgaing the constant nizations with meddlings by similar purposes Ursula, the evil to carry out the sea witch. missions imTop Left: Flounder and the Mersisters strike a pose. Center: Brady Taylor; L-R: Emily Odom, Farris Turner, Reagan Branch, Meredith Vaughn, Virginia Hutto, and Anna University Adams. Top Right: Randell Pickering (Grimbsy) and Alex Freeman (Prince Eric) rehearse for The Little Mermaid . Bottom Left: LeeAnna Sparks is excited to play Ariel, and portant to Anna. of Alabama loves the character’s determined spirit. Bottom Right: Cole Cabiness (Scuttle) rehearses lines for The Little Mermaid with LeeAnna Sparks (Ariel). The foundation student LeeAnna Photos: The Actor’s Charitable Theatre also provides Sparks is starring scholarships and that dream come true, even though it ter, but also make her my own,” Mena as Ariel in the assistance for youth with interests in seems impossible,” Sparks added. said. production. Sparks says since she was a missions through their local churches Along her journey, Ariel is faced with Mena says the set hasn’t been relittle girl, she’s always felt she and Ariel and other mission-oriented organizamany obstacles, one being an evil sea vealed to the cast yet, but she is excited share similar personality traits. tions. witch named Ursula, who will be played to see what it’s going to look like. “She is fun-loving, adventurous, and by theatre teacher (and ACT newcomer) “I feel like the ACT always has a determined,” Sparks said. Marissa Mena. She says Ursula is one of few tricks up its sleeve that always According to Sparks, this determinaleaves the audience talking about special tion is seen in Ariel’s journey during the the most iconic villains of all time. “The audience will be expecting what eﬀects and things like that, so I believe show. they know from the movie, so I want to that will make this production diﬀerent “Ariel dreams of being a human and keep the Disney essence of the characfrom others,” Mena added. does everything in her power to make
Disney’s The Little Mermaid
June 1: 7:30pm June 2: 2:00pm and 7:30pm June 3: 2:00pm and 7:30pm June 4: 7:30pm Tickets ranging from $14 to $21. For more information or to order tickets go to: www.theactonline.com (205) 393.2800
Druid City Living Recommends … What does summer mean to you? Hot days soaking in cool swimming pools, or lounging at the lake house? Trips to the beach, toes in the sand as the sounds of the waves relax you into oblivion? For some of us, we look forward to reading. We’re often so busy that we can’t get through even one novel we’ve been itching to read. We’re hoping that this will help give you some ideas on which books might suit your fancy as you lie on those beaches and swim in those pools.
Laurie Perrigin, Editor of Druid City Living: The Woman in the Window A.J. Finn
An outstanding thriller. It has an old school, Rear Window kind of feel to it. You won’t be bored, and as events unfold, you’ll ﬁnd yourself staying up way past your bedtime to ﬁnish. It was billed as the ﬁrst big thriller of 2018 – and for me, it certainly lived up to it. Anna Fox is a memorable character, and the story has a big reveal you aren’t likely to see coming – even though I’ve just told you there’s a big reveal.
Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng
A great drama that addresses some important themes – the haves and the have not’s, the relationships between mother and daughter, and social class. Ng is a gifted writer, and this book, unlike my other recommendation, unfolds more slowly and emotionally. Reese Witherspoon’s production company recently snatched this one up for a series, and given her stellar job with Big Little Lies, I am optimistic for the adaptation.
Kaleidoscope Jane and Other Stories Carolyn Breckinridge (Tuscaloosa Author)
Allow me to cheat a little and mention a hot new book I haven’t read yet – but can’t wait to: If you loved Tuscaloosa Moon and Tuscaloosa Boneyard, this seems like a sure bet. And also? She was kind enough to oﬀer up a few suggestions for some great summer reads.
Hanson Watkins, Vice President of Druid City Media: Deep South Paul Theroux
I’m a huge fan of travel-related books and great storytelling, and Deep South by Paul Theroux is a favorite. Theroux has a reputation for being sharp and curmudgeonly about the locations in his travels, but he seems to have fallen in love with the south, and Tuscaloosa, in particular. You have to read his wonderful account of meeting Tuscaloosa’s own Cynthia Burton (director of Community Service Programs of West Alabama, and star of this issue’s Photo of the Month).
Carolyn Breckinridge, Author: A Girl Like You: A Henrietta & Inspector Howard Novel Michelle Cox
My top recommendation. For readers who like historical ﬁction, mystery, and sweet romance, A Girl Like You is a stellar novel set in 1930s Chicago. The author, Michelle Cox, is an award-winning writer who knows the history of her city and who spins a page-turning tale that includes some surprising twists along the way. Ms. Cox has also published her second in the series, A Ring of Truth, which is in my “to-read” stack now. Her third in the series is due out at the end of this month.
Leaving Gee’s Bend Irene Latham
Marketed as a novel for young adults, but I found it to be a delightful read, and I highly recommend it for all adults. This novel, set in 1932, features the famous quilting community of Gee’s Bend. The story is told through the life of the main character, a girl named Ludelphia Bennett, who must leave her very isolated community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama to seek help for her family. It is a story of courage, love, and the importance of family and home, coupled with Ms. Latham’s extraordinary research and understanding of time and place.
Tell the World You’re A Wildﬂower
Published by University Press in 2014, is a lovely collection of short stories. They feature female voices of all ages and backgrounds as they tell their stories about growing up and living in the South. This is a book I keep on my bookshelf and re-read at least once a year. There are always new aspects of this work to discover. These stories conﬁrm that Ms. Horne is a skilled author of prose as well as being Alabama’s current Poet Laureate.
(Photos: Laurie Perrigin, Hanson Watkins, and Carolyn Breckinridge)
Sequels and Action and Superheroes, Oh My! By Jerry Dean Roberts Summer is the loudest and most exciting season for movies, and this year doesn’t seem to give us a break from the cacophony – not that we want one. Actually, this year’s crop of sequels and kids’ movies looks to be a great deal of fun:
Jerry Roberts is a movie critic and movie fan who believes in Birth-Movies-Death. He is the historian for armchaircinema.com, armchairoscars.com, and he has a blog at overthinkingoscar.wordpress.com.
Avengers: Inﬁnity War (April 27) It’s not a summer without 35 superheroes jockeying for screen time. In this nineteenth (NINTEETH!) entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Royal Rumble of super good guys try and ﬁght the all-mighty Thanos.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25) The ﬁrst Star Wars movie oﬀ the major timeline takes us back in time to tell us the origin story of the galaxy’s favorite scoundrel, as he ventures into the criminal underground and meets Chewbacca and future frenemy Lando Calrissian.
Ocean’s 8 (June 8) The ﬁrst spinoﬀ oﬀ the popular Ocean’s Eleven series deals with an all-female crew featuring Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, among others, pulling a heist at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala.
Deadpool 2 (May 18) The Merc With the Mouth returns for more mirth, merriment, and murderous mayhem, this time on the wrong end of a time-traveling mutant soldier named Cable.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22) For this ﬁfth go-around, the message is still the same: Man is an idiot. After the downfall of the Jurassic World Theme Park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing try to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from a volcanic eruption.
The First Purge (July 4) If you love the Purge series thus far, then you were probably wondering what led to the 12 hours of crime per year and . . . here’s your answer.
Incredibles 2 (June 15) Pixar’s long-overdue sequel rejoins the superfamily as Helen Parr/ Elastigirl goes out to ﬁght crime, leaving Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible home to care for their infant son Jack-Jack – whose budding superpowers prove to be a problem.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (June 29) This sequel to the hard-bitten 2015 drama deals with the CIA’s discovery that Mexican Drug Cartels are smuggling jihad terrorists across the border into the United States.
Ant-Man and The Wasp (July 6) Global problems bubble up for the puny hero as he tries to balance his domestic responsibilities (he’s a new Dad) with his duties as Ant Man.
Skyscraper (July 13) The Rock, a war veteran, lives in what is described conﬁdently as The Safest Skyscraper in the World, but there are a few bad guys willing to test that theory.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again (July 20) It’s a sequel to 2008’s Mamma Mia! and this time, Samantha is pregnant and learns about her mother’s younger days.
Mission: Impossible Fallout (July 27) A world of trouble awaits the MIF, as questions of their loyalties are brought to the surface when a mission goes bad.
Christopher Robin (August 3) Winnie the Pooh’s human buddy is all grown-up and has left his imagination behind him. It’s up to our favorite Honey-lovin’ bear to help him ﬁnd it again.
Tales of Tuscaloosa Fury, Violence, and Commotion (May 2, 1829) By Jim Ezell
numerous victory gardens that It was over in 20 had been planted as part of the minutes. A storm of war eﬀort. In a short period of wind, rain, and hail time, the temperature dropped an had struck Tuscalooamazing 40 degrees. sa, and damage was There was extensive damage extensive. It was late in Holt from marble size hail on Saturday afternoon, Monday, May 15, 1950. There May 2, 1829. The were numerous broken windows, Alabama State Inespecially at Holt Elementary telligencer reported School, where a greenhouse that although the sun was destroyed, and orchards and had not set, “it was gardens severely damaged. On the impossible to see half same day, there were other hail way across the street,” storms in West Alabama. Near and that if the earth Coker, a dog was killed. Roofs and planets had been and windows suﬀered in Reform, thrown from their and two churches lost much of orbits, “the elements their stained glass. could not exhibit more Hail has the potential to cause fury, violence, and catastrophic damage and pose a commotion.” threat to life. Whenever storm Observers reportclouds form, it is always best to ed that individual follow the advice of meteorolohail stones were not gists and emergency management particularly large, but to take shelter. The old souththat the volume was ern saying, “it might come up a “unprecedented”—an cloud,” is based upon centuries of average depth of 4 to experience, and it remains a cau12 inches, with drifts tionary expression to be heeded. 7 to 9 feet deep. Every building in town was About the Author said have broken glass. A wide range of local residents were interviewed, and it was said that, “all concur in saying they never before, in this or any other country, by land or sea, beheld the Top Left: A street in Melbourne, Australia, after a hailstorm in 2010. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons. Top Right: Baseball size hail stones. Image courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Bottom: Hail damage to an NOAA like.” storm research vehicle. Image courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The forest was said their weight, shape, and vertical $15,000, or about $350,000 today. Jim Ezell is a retired engineer, to be “disrobed of wind force, they can fall at speeds Tuscaloosa was spared damage historian, and author. His newest its verdure, and the ground is as typically from 20 to over 100 on May 22, 1928, when a hail novel,The Cistern, was published thickly covered with green leaves miles per hour. The largest hail storm almost beyond comprehenin Dec. 2017. The Cistern is an as in autumn it is with the yellow.” stone on record was eight inches sion struck nearly 400 square miles adventure/crime novel set in TusOrchards had been stripped of their caloosa and ﬁctional Tombigbee leaves, fruit, and smallest branches. in diameter, while the heaviest was of north Tuscaloosa and Pickens over two pounds. The size of hail Counties. Some hail stones reportCounty in the Alabama Black Belt. Crops were beaten into the ground, stones is often compared to familedly ranged from the size of hen The Cistern is available on Amaand, in some cases, animals in the iar objects. Some of the descriptors eggs to baseballs, and they fell for zon.com. open were killed. commonly used include pea, dime, 45 minutes. Cattle, dogs, and wildHail is solid precipitation that life were killed. Massive amounts forms when cumulonimbus clouds golf ball, hen egg, baseball, or grapefruit sized. of timber and 15,000 acres of (thunderheads, or storm clouds) Late in the afternoon of May cotton were lost. Drifts of hail have strong updrafts and the at10, 1912, another hail storm struck were said to have remained visible mospheric freezing level lowers. Tuscaloosa. Almost every building for over six weeks, until after the Hail stones (individual pieces of in town was said to have broken Fourth of July. hail) accrete multiple layers of glass. There were numerous runDuring the height of World War solid ice and often form irregular aways of horses pulling wagons II, in the early morning hours of clumps. They remain aloft until and drays. However, no lives were March 17, 1943, marble size hail their weight overcomes the upward blanketed the city, damaging the force of the wind. Depending upon lost. Damage was estimated at
By Faith Henley With the weather warming, exams ending, and the possibilities of summer looming ahead, May ﬁlls area schools with electric excitement. Students’ stresses begin to fade away, as they are treated to end-of-the-year celebrations and movie days in class. They enthusiastically make plans with their friends about how to spend their newfound free time during a vacation that seems like it will last forever. For teachers, the month of May is exciting in other ways – they’ve spent
“WHEN A TEACHER BELIEVES IN A STUDENT, THE STUDENT LEARNS TO BELIEVE IN THEMSELVES – AND THEY’LL HAVE THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE.” a year teaching, guiding, and shaping these young minds, and all their hard work has paid oﬀ. While their work is far from being over, they do get to take a step back and appreciate all the wins they had throughout the school year.
SCHOOLS 17 Andi Jones, Lake View Elementary School “The end of the year is like ending a chapter in a book,” said Andi Jones, a second-grade teacher at Lake View Elementary School. “It is time to look back and see the growth and success that each child has accomplished over the year.” Jones knows this story well, as she has taught in Tuscaloosa County Schools for 16 years, with 10 of those at Lake View Elementary School. She decided to transfer there to teach in the school her own children attend – and in the community where she grew up (Jones attended Brookwood Elementary and Brookwood High School). In the story of children’s educations, the early chapters transform their story line, and teachers are key characters. Through long school days, after school lesson preparation and one-on-one lessons, teachers build unique relationships with their students. Jones considers herself more than a teacher. She sees herself as a mentor to the young people who’ll become everyone’s futures. Each school year is a new opportunity, she says, to inﬂuence and leave her mark on a fresh mixture of young minds. “I think teachers should inﬂuence students in a positive and loving way,” Jones said. “I think it is important for the students to know that they are in a safe environment. When a teacher believes in a student, the student learns to believe in themselves – and they’ll have the tools they need to be successful in life.” Tuscaloosa’s great teachers, like Andi Jones, are already hard at work prepar-
Photo courtesy of Andi Jones
ing their classrooms for a new group of students who will make up much of Tuscaloosa’s future.
Investing in Students: Program for ACA Seniors Prepares them for the Future By Faith Henley Most young adults enter their ﬁrst interview with uncontrollable nerves, shaking hands, and no idea what to expect. For the seniors of American Christian Academy, that will not be the case. With the guidance of their English teachers, ACA seniors have spent all semester working on a comprehensive professional development project that includes researching careers, developing a resume, and practicing their interview skills. “After 19 years of working with seniors, I think this project is one of the most realistic assignments they can experience during their last semester of high school,” said Christine Blakley, one of the teachers leading the project. “Many of my former students have stayed in touch with Left: Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill participates in a mock interview with ACA senior Allie Swann on March 22. Swann plans to attend the University of Alabama this me, and they always say the sefall. Right: Seniors at American Christian Academy spent months working on a professional development project, which included practicing their interview skills. nior project was not only memora- Photos: Christine Blakley ble, but that it was also genuinely leaders acted as a hiring manager at the the students. “Through this, we’ve learned a lot beneﬁcial.” local Starbucks interviewing each stu“My favorite part was getting to talk more about the profession we want to purSince 2011, ACA has encouraged their to my interviewer after, just to be a little sue,” said Kayleigh Atkins, also a senior seniors to participate in the project. Hopes dent for an entry-level position. “They are doing a great job to prepare more casual and talk about their real life at ACA. “You actually learn what it takes are that after graduation, they’ll have all them for the real world, not just the acaand what they do,” said Caroline Haas, to do it, and how.” the practical skills they need to conﬁdentdemic world,” said Jeﬀ Smith, an attorney another senior who participated in the On April 12, the students were able to ly enter the next stage of their lives. at Rosen Harwood. “I would encourage mock interviews. shadow professionals from the community “I really needed this experience going any other schools to do this.” Other aspects of the senior project, in their chosen ﬁeld. For this ﬁnal piece into college,” said Hudson Grammer, an Other notable community leaders such as career research, seek to help of the project, students were able to put ACA senior. “I like being able to better who participated in the mock interviews students get an in-depth look at the career into practice the knowledge and profesmyself, and I know one day this will help included Alabama Secretary of State John path they may want to pursue. Students sionalism they’ve gained throughout the me in the future.” Merrill, Northport Mayor Donna Aaron, researched things such as job outlooks, semester. A “who’s who” list of Alabama busiU.S. District Judge Scott Coogler, and beneﬁts, salaries, and education require“I know a lot of other schools don’t do ness and government oﬃcials gathered at Tuscaloosa City Councilwoman Sonya ments before writing a 10-page paper on this,” Atkins said. “We are really lucky.” the school on March 22 to participate in McKinstry. Overall, 60 volunteers from the career choice they found most interestmock interviews that the students spent across Alabama came to ACA to invest in ing. weeks preparing for. These community
May 2018 18 COMMUNITY Sixth Annual Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon to Benefit Secret Meals By Faith Henley The kids who choose to participate in the Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon are making a huge impact on other children in need in the Tuscaloosa community. Hundreds of children are expected to swim, bike, and run to the ﬁnish line at Lake Lurleen State Park on May 19. The donations that participants raise beneﬁt Secret Meals for Hungry Children – a program created by Alabama Credit Union to provide meals for children who can’t access nutritional meals during the weekend, while they’re away from school. “We hope that through this triathlon, we can encourage our community’s youth to maintain an active lifestyle and help provide the ﬁnancial support needed to feed the children in our community who are faced with food insecurity during the weekends,” said Jasmine Wells, marketing assistant for Alabama Credit Union. The 6th Annual Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon gets underway at 9 a.m. on the 19th. Kids will be encouraged to complete all three sections of a typical triathlon: swimming, biking, and running. Helpful devices, such as training wheels and ﬂotation devices, are allowed. The triathlon is open to children who will be between the ages of 5-16 as of Dec. 31. The race is sanctioned and regulated by USA Triathlon, making it a safe, positive environment for the young triathletes. To ensure the event stays beginner-friendly, the length of the race will vary depending on the normal skill set of each age group. Inexperienced participants had the chance to test their skills at the “Learn to Tri” training clinic, held last month. The children rotated through stations for each section of the race, and learned best practices, including how to transition. Started by Alabama Credit Union, Secret Meals for Hungry Children has fed thousands of children at risk for going hungry when public schools are closed. Research estimates 22 percent of children in the Alabama and Florida areas are living in poverty and don’t always have access to nutritional meals. “I believe that we are not only providing these children with nutritious weekend food packs, but to some of these children, we are delivering hope,” Wells said. “A hope that knows that this community truly cares about them, and that better things are coming their way.” Currently, the program serves over 2,300 of these children by discreetly slipping nutritional meals into their backpacks every Friday. Because of support from the local community, Alabama Credit Union has never had to turn down a request to add more children to the program, Wells said. “My favorite part about working with Secret Meals is knowing that I am doing a little bit each and every day to contribute to a cause greater than myself – childhood hunger.” To register for the 2018 Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon, visit secretmeals.org. The registration fee is $45.
The Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon includes swimming, biking, and running. It’s open to children ages 5-16, and the goal is to encourage young people in the Tuscaloosa area to pursue healthy, active lifestyles. This year’s event will be held on May 19 at Lake Lurleen State Park.
On the Green: Legacy Golf Challenge Supports Tuscaloosa Youth For Christ By Faith Henley
Tuscaloosa golfers – professionals and novices alike – are gearing up once again to support the mission of Tuscaloosa Youth for Christ. The group’s annual Legacy Golf Challenge will begin at noon on May 10 at the NorthRiver Yacht Club. “YFC is truly a special organization that is literally changing lives in our community and growing the kingdom of God with every relationship formed,” said David Ikard, a member of the YFC Board of Directors. “I’m honored and humbled to play a very small role in YFC.” The Legacy Challenge tournament ﬁnancially supports YFC’s mission through their year-round programs. Overall, YFC volunteers are able to reach over 2,200 middle and high schoolers in Tuscaloosa programs by meeting the students in their daily lives. Campus Life, the main program, sends volunteers to local schools to bond with students and help provide a positive inﬂuence. Volunteers are present in 16 schools in Tuscaloosa County, visiting during lunch, attending athletic events, and holding group events. YFC’s Parent Life program helps local women with the trials of motherhood at a young age. The goal is to provide encouragement, helping the women balance school with being a parent – which greatly increases the chance they will graduate. “Our club leaders go into the schools, meet these kids where they are in life, and let them know they are loved,” Ikard said. “Many of the kids YFC reaches have less-than-ideal home lives and are desperate for love, acceptance, and fruitful relationships. It’s the relationships that our club leaders and staﬀ are able to form with the kids that allows them to hear the Gospel and hopefully come to trust Christ in their daily lives.” Funds from the Legacy Golf Challenge will support the launch of YFC’s newest program – the Juvenile Justice Ministry. This new initiative allows YFC volunteers to bring their inﬂuence to incarcerated teens through relationships they build. As for who can participate in the upcoming tournament, organizers say anyone from the community with an interest in golf should ﬁnd some golﬁng partners and come support the cause. The tournament uses a four-ball scramble format, giving even the most inexperienced golfer a fair shot.
Youth for Christ’s 2018 Legacy Golf Challenge is set for May 10 at NorthRiver Yacht Club. This year’s fundraising goal is $75,000. Druid City Living is the proud sponsor of the Legacy Golf Tournament Awards Presentation.
Tuscaloosa YFC Executive Director Mike Green says this year’s goal of $75,000 would set an all-time record for the fundraiser. And what is the key to this tournament’s success? “We have about a dozen teams that play every year and whose ﬁnancial investment has grown as well,” Green said. “I think that is the case because we do a great job of hosting our golfers at NorthRiver and explaining to them how their investment is changing the lives of teenagers.” Ikard agrees, adding that it’s the experience of helping that makes this event so special. “To know I can play golf while simultaneously helping change kids’ lives; that’s a pretty rewarding round of golf, irrespective of my ﬁnal score,” he said. To learn more, or to sign up to play, contact Mike Green at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a sponsor at grouprev.com/ YFCLegacyChallenge. Group shot from front page: (L to R): Tim Lovett, Josh Watkins, Gary Phillips, and Chris Mitchell played as a team in the 2017 YFC Legacy Golf Challenge.
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May 2018 20 FOOD World’s Best Bolognese and a 1950s Chocolate Chip Cake
May Recipes By Amy Poore
Greetings, all! This month, I am ﬁnally sharing my absolute favorite way to make spaghetti. I feel almost guilty sharing this World’s Best Bolognese recipe, because it’s just so simple to make. But it’s so good, I don’t think I’ll ever make spaghetti any other way now. And, since summer is almost here, I’m feeling nostalgic. My grandmother used to make this 1950s Chocolate
WORLD’S BEST BOLOGNESE • 1 lb. mild Italian sausage • 3 tbsp minced onion ﬂakes • 4 cloves garlic, minced • 1 (28-oz) can whole San Marzano tomatoes • 1 (6-oz) can tomato paste • 1 cup water • 2 tbsp sugar • 1 tbsp dried oregano • 1 tbsp dried basil • 1/2 tsp fennel seed • 1 tsp salt • 1/2 tsp pepper
Cook sausage in skillet until brown and crumbled. Drain and place in slow cooker. Take the can of whole tomatoes and crush them with your hands. Add the tomatoes and the juice to the slow cooker. Now, add the remaining ingredients, stir until combined well, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over your favorite pasta.
Chip Cake for my mom when she was little. It’s passed down, and now I’m passing it to all of you. It truly is the original Blondie dessert. Have fun in the kitchen this month, and as always, bon appétit! Amy Poore is a Tuscaloosa mom, wife, and foodie. To see more of Amy’s delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at pooreamy.com.
1950s CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE (THE ORIGINAL BLONDIE) • 1/2 cup butter, softened • 1/2 cup shortening • 1/2 cup sugar • 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed), divided • 3 eggs, separated • 1 tbsp water • 1 tsp vanilla extract, divided • 2 cups self-rising ﬂour • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, shortening, and white sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar until light and ﬂuﬀy. Add egg yolks, water and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and mix well. Slowly add ﬂour until blended; dough will be stiﬀ. Lightly grease/ﬂour 9x13 inch pan and pat dough until level, sprinkle chocolate chips evenly, and lightly press into dough. Beat egg whites until stiﬀ, then slowly add one cup of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread evenly over dough. Bake for 25 mins. Let cool completely before cutting.
FOOD 21 Taste of Tuscaloosa: The Great Burger Bonanza, Part One
By Sheena Gregg
Did you know that Americans consume approximately 50 billion burgers a year? On top of that, the average American eats a hamburger three times a week! To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average T-town resident doesn’t beat this average, week to week.
I know I rave about pizza quite frequently, but frankly, burgers just put me in a happy place. Maybe it’s that wonderful, chargrilled taste, or the nostalgia of outdoor cookouts with my family, but burgers just get me feeling good. If you haven’t already noticed, Tuscaloosa has a LOT of burg-
er options. But don’t fret my friends, I’m sharing a few of my favorite burgers this month – and next month – so you don’t feel too overwhelmed with burger goodness all at once.
The Avenue Pub
For a joint located right next to Bryant Denny Stadium, you’ve got to expect the food is going to be good. Trust me when I say it is worth the extra little bit to upgrade from the regular cheeseburger to a large cheeseburger.
You didn’t think I was going to talk burgers without mentioning the Avenue Pub, did you? Who doesn’t love a burger served on a cutting board with an actual bucket of fries?
The portions at Rama Jama’s are amazing, and the Alabama memorabilia in every nook and cranny of the restaurant just puts a little extra pep in your step.
I can’t put my ﬁnger, or my taste buds, on what makes the burgers at the Avenue Pub so amazing, but it’s likely the freshness of the ingredients, and the innovation of burger ﬂavors that just work – all the time.
The crinkle cut fries add even more magic to the handmade patty. If you needed more to convince you, live life to the fullest, and order the National Championship Burger – which features 17 ounces of double meat and cheese.
The standard bacon burger on the Avenue Pub’s menu, featuring provolone cheese and your typical accompaniments, won’t let you down. An added bonus? How about the adorable $5 Happy Hour burger and some fries? This is a slightly smaller version of the monstrous, traditional bacon burger oﬀered throughout the week.
Rama Jama’s is located at 1000 Paul W. Bryant Drive.
The Avenue Pub is located at 405 23rd Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa.
The large cheeseburger is a fan favorite at Rama Jama’s. After stuﬃng my face with this burger, I can see this is the thing dreams are made of. Photo: Sheena Gregg
How can you go wrong with a bucket of fries to accompany your bacon burger from the Avenue Pub? Photo: Sheena Gregg
Dotson’s Burger Spot
I like to think of Dotson’s Burger Spot as the place to get a fancy, delicious burger. Where else could you get a burger with a wagyu patty, Thai BBQ, and kimchi slaw? Probably the same place you can get a burger with a chuck-chorizo blend and pickled jalapenos on Texas toast. Talk about things that make you say, “Yum!” Know what else makes Dotson’s Burger spot so great? How about some boozy adult milkshakes and loaded waﬄe fries? Is your mouth watering yet? It should be. Dotson’s Burger Spot is located in Temerson Square in downtown Tuscaloosa. The ‘57 Chevy, with an 8 oz. wagyu patty and blue cheese on a garlic herb bun, washes down quite nicely with one of Dotson’s famous adult milkshakes. Photo: Sheena Gregg
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May Calendar of Events DCL Saves the Date
Chamber Business After Hours: May 1, 5-7 p.m. The District Room (551 20th Ave. Tuscaloosa). For more information, visit tuscaloosachamber.com. Author Rick Bragg at Tuscaloosa Public Library: May 1, 6 p.m. Tuscaloosa Public Library, Main Branch, Rotary Room. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author will discuss his books, tell stories, and answer questions at this free event. Alabama Booksmith be selling books for signing beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit Tuscaloosa-library.org.
US Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 8 5 Safe Boating Class: May 12, 8:30 a.m. Tuscaloosa County Courthouse Annex Auditorium (2501 7th St.) in downtown Tuscaloosa. Successful completion of this one-day class/ course, About Boating Safely, fulﬁls the requirements needed to obtain an Alabama Boater’s License, and may entitle you to a discount on your boat owner’s insurance. For more information, contact Lyn Spencer (205) 394-7808 or email lspencer44@comcast. net. Theatre Tuscaloosa Presents “Second Samuel”: May 18-27. Bean-Brown Theatre, Tuscaloosa. It’s the late 1940s in Second Samuel, a sleepy, South Georgia town where it’s hard to keep a secret, but everybody’s got one. When beloved music teacher Miss Gertrude passes away, will the town ever be normal again? For show times, or to purchase tickets, visit theatretusc.com or call the Theatre Tuscaloosa Box Oﬃce at (205) 391-2277.
Alabama Choir School Spring Concerts The Alabama Choir School’s spring concerts will be held on May 4-5 at Moody Concert Hall on the University of Alabama campus. These concerts, which will begin at 7 p.m. each evening (doors open at 6:30 p.m.), feature five choirs of singers from grades 1-12. Tickets for the concerts are $12 each, and they will be available at the door. For more information, call (205) 758-0927 or email email@example.com. Photo: Alabama Choir School
Jack Johnson: May 1, 7:30 p.m. Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Tickets available via Ticketmaster.com. For more information, call the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Box Oﬃce at (205) 248-5280.
Kentuck Art Night: May 3, 5-8 p.m. Main Avenue, Northport. This event is free to the public. For more information, visit kentuck.org/art-night. Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra Run for the Roses Dinner and Silent Auction: May 3, 6:30 p.m. Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, downtown Tuscaloosa. Enjoy an evening of fabulous food, amazing auction items, and live chamber music performed by members of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. For more information, and event passes, visit tsoonline.org.
OLLI @UA Summer Kick-oﬀ Open House and Annual Meeting: May 9, 2-4 p.m. Bryant Conference Center, University of Alabama campus. Refreshments will be served and will include a brief review of accomplishments for the year, board elections, and on-site registration for summer courses. No registration is required, and the event is open to the public. For more information, contact the OLLI oﬃce at (205) 348-6482. Youth for Christ Legacy Golf Challenge: May 10, Noon-5 p.m. NorthRiver Yacht Club. Deliver Christ-sharing ministry to thousands of teens by ﬁelding a team or playing as an individual golfer. Business sponsorships are available. For more information, contact the YFC oﬃces at (205) 7523361.
Mal Moore Memorial Golf Tournament: May 3-4, NorthRiver Golf Club, Tuscaloosa. This annual tournament, hosted by Greg and Regina Byrne, beneﬁts the Boys and Girls Clubs of West Alabama. The event also features a charity auction. For more information, visit malmooregolf. com.
Five Horizons Health Services Presents “A Luau with Surfboards” Sunset Supper: May 10, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuscaloosa River Market. The Fourth Annual Sunset Supper features catering by Dotson’s Burger Spot. Beach wear is encouraged! For tickets, visit donatenow.networkforgood.org/ fhsunsetsupper.
First Friday: May 4, 5-9 p.m. Art Walk in Downtown Tuscaloosa. This event is free and open to the public. For a list of galleries, maps, hours, and events, visit ﬁrstfridaytuscaloosa.com.
5th Annual Alabama Trade-O-Ree for Scouting Items: May 11, 2-11 p.m.; May 12, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Five Points Baptist Church, Northport. Dealers of rare Scouting memorabilia will be on hand to buy, sell, trade, and appraise merchandise including uniforms, patches, and books. Silent auctions are held each day. Proceeds beneﬁt Scouting in West Alabama. For more information, contact Jon Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 799-5939.
Alan Jackson and Riley Green: May 4, 7:30 p.m. Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Tickets available via Ticketmaster.com. For more information, call the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Box Oﬃce at (205) 248-5280. TSO Presents “Musical Brilliance – The Phenomenal Stewart Goodyear”: May 7, 7 p.m. Moody Music Building Concert Hall, Tuscaloosa. Stewart Goodyear, widely known as one of the greatest pianists of his generation, will perform Rachmaninoﬀ’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Other selections include Iberia by Debussy and Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee by Schuller. For more information and tickets, visit tsoonline.org.
Calico Street Troupe Performances: May 12 and May 26, 10:30 a.m.-Noon, Northport Civic Center. This free, interactive, professional stage play for kids features costumed actors, dancers, special lighting, and music – all on a 36-foot stage. For upcoming show dates and times, visit calicostreet.com.
6th Annual Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon: May 19, 9 a.m. Lake Lurleen State Park. Children of all athletic abilities are invited to participate in this beginner-friendly event, which beneﬁts Secret Meals for Hungry Children. For more information, or to register online, visit raceroster.com/ events/2018/16373/tuscaloosa-kids-triathlon. Morning Pointe of Tuscaloosa Presents “Tea Talks”: May 21, 11 a.m. Morning Pointe of Tuscaloosa, Assisted Living, Tuscaloosa. Tea Talks is a free monthly educational talk series on various interesting topics, with coﬀee and tea. This month features a speaker from Anders Hardware. Talks are free and open to the public. For more information, call Sarah Pederson at (205) 239-8929. Homegrown Alabama Farmer’s Market: Thursdays, 3-6 p.m. 812 5th Avenue, Tuscaloosa. This University of Alabama student-run farmer’s market features vendors from all over the state, along with live music from local musicians. homegrownalabama.ua.edu; (205) 210-9621 Tuscaloosa Farmer’s Market: Saturdays, 7 a.m.noon; Tuesdays 3-6 p.m. Tuscaloosa River Market, 1900 Jack Warner Blvd, Tuscaloosa. Shop for fresh produce, grass fed beef, baked goods, cheeses and more. Buy fresh, buy local. For more information, visit tuscaloosarivermarket.com or call (205) 248-5295. Events you want to see here? Email us at: email@example.com
Meals on Wheels Making A Difference
Meals on Wheels delivers a midday meal to people who are homebound and/or unable to prepare meals for themselves. Meals on Wheels is a volunteer-based program (partially funded by the City of Tuscaloosa, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), and donations) that provides dignity, companionship and a sense of security for recipients, their families and caregivers. This program is administered in collaboration with area churches that assume responsibility for the program on weekends. Meals On Wheels serves a HOT meal Monday- Friday between 11 :30 am to 12:30 pm to those who are homebound and/or cannot prepare meals for themselves. Our meals are diabetic friendly and low in sodium. We do deliver to various parts of Tuscaloosa County there are some limits. There is cost of 4.50 for the meals and you are billed monthly also a monthly calendar (menu) is given to show what is being served.
Volunteers Needed We do need volunteers who are willing to give up about an hour of their time to deliver we also accept groups (church, sororities and fraternities, group homes). Donations are always welcomed, we have so many people who are in desperate need of the program but are unable to pay and with limited funding every amount counts.
Call 205-752-5429 to set up your time to volunteer