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November 2013 • 1

Volume 1, Issue 3, November 2013


Holiday Happenings

Photo credit: Eddie McClinton

Rock Quarry’s annual Rockfest celebrates life under the sea with fun school-wide activities.

Schools page 30

BBQ Competition

Several events throughout Tuscaloosa provide fun for the whole family this Holiday season By Laurie Mundy Perrigin Photo credit: Haley Moody

The Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa hosts the first inaugural Bama Brew and Que with proceeds going to local charities.

Business page 4

Inside This Issue

EDDM Retail ECRWSS Local Postal Customer

Pre Sort Std US Postage Pd EDDM Retail

About Us 2 Business 4 Celebrations 8 Food 18 Community 20 Calendar 27 City & News 28 Schools 30

Holidays on the River PARA’s West Alabama Christmas Parade is just one of the many holiday events kicking off the season in Tuscaloosa and Northport. Once again this year, the City of Tuscaloosa is offering

its Holidays on the River winter village, which features an ice skating rink at the former Queen City Pool at the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum. Lots of other fun activities are planned for Holidays on the River, including

special holiday-themed movie nights, visits from Santa Claus, horse-drawn carriage rides and more at the Tuscaloosa River Market.

See Holidays page 16

‘The Nutcracker’ kicks off the holiday season December 5-8 By Laurie Mundy Perrigin


or many of us, the holiday season simply wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Tuscaloosa Community Dancers (TCD) perform “The Nutcracker” ballet. This year is no exception: Big crowds are anticipated to pack the historic Bama Theatre December 5 through 8 for the 2013 performances of the ballet, which tells the story of a young girl, Clara, who is given a magical gift of a nutcracker from her mysterious uncle, Herr Drosselmeyer. What follows is a stunning ballet that features a battle between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King, a journey to the Land of the Sweets for Clara (now a princess) and a gorgeous dance in the Land of Snow. For more than three decades, TCD has brought “The Nutcracker” to our area, allowing local audiences to experience this worldwide holiday tradition. See Nutcracker page 23

Photo credit: Milla Green

Nutcracker Snow Queen Olivia Green and her Snow King, George Berry, rehearsing

2 • November 2013

About Us Photo of the Month


The Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre performed Charlotte’s Web to packed houses at the Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa November 1-3. Left to right: Anna Grace Haley as Templeton, Eva Miller as Wilbur, Margaret Crowe as Fern Arable and Virginia Hutto as Charlotte.

Meet the Editors

Publisher’s Note

Christina Jesson is the executive editor of North of the River Living, and lived in Tuscaloosa from 2004 to 2010. She grew up in Northwest Florida, and received her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama in 2008. She was previously in public relations and marketing at the corporate level with Caterpillar, and at the agency level with Bobcat Company. She also held editorial positions at both RandallReilly Publishing and The Tuscaloosa News. She loves college football, cooking, running marathons, traveling and the beach.

Laurie Mundy Perrigin is the Tuscaloosa editor of North of the River Living. She has lived in Tuscaloosa since 1978. She received her bachelor’s degree in telecommunication and film from the University of Alabama in 1992. She spent 25 years working as a broadcast news director, anchor, producer and reporter in radio and television before moving on to the world of print and online media in 2008. In her free time, Laurie enjoys football (Alabama and the New Orleans Saints), travel, reading and hanging out with her husband, Jeff, and their dog, Chico Seymour Hoffman.

North of the River Living Directory Publisher: Heath Hendrix Executive Editor: Christina Jesson Editor: Laurie Perrigin Operations Director: Ryan Flynn Contributors: Terri Davis, Eric Ellis Kimberly Gibson, Molly Hendrix, Robin Jenkins, Alicia Jenne, Karis Lamb, Charlotte Lewis, Mia Martin, Haley Moody, Lucy Roberts Director of Sales: Tom Sommerville Sales: Diana Browning Sales: Britney McComb Sales: Amy Page

Contact Information: North of the River Living 1902 Hackberry Lane Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Howdy! Another month has come and gone and we have captures most of the memories in this issue!

Please submit all articles, information and photos to:

It was a fun month of BBQ, bands and football. Thanksgiving is this week and I hope that each and every one of you have a chance to spend some time with family and friends. Make sure to try the recipes that are featured every month. I must admit, I am a bit spoiled in that they are created by my beautiful wife and I have the task of taking the pictures just a few moments before they are “tried”.

For advertising, contact:

Thank you again to our advertisers and to all of our readers, this has been a very fun journey and we hope to continue this long into the future! Heath Hendrix, Publisher

Photo credit: Elizabeth King Photography

November 2013 • 3

4 • November 2013

Business Bama Brew & Cue becomes first sanctioned barbecue competition in Tuscaloosa By Haley Moody


he Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa held its first inaugural Bama Brew & Que on November 1 and 2. The Old Farmers Market was packed with RVs normally seen around campus on game day. Instead of sporting their normal collegiate colors at their tailgating sites, each of the 17 teams were preparing to compete for the title of this year’s barbecue champion. While Tuscaloosa is known for its delicious barbecue, there has never been an opportunity for people, both local and out-of-town, to compete in the city. “There is not currently a KCBSsanctioned barbecue competition in the city. We thought it would be a great family-friendly event that would fit right into the Tuscaloosa atmosphere of fun, food, and football,” said Hannah Lansdon, co-chair of Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa. The Kansas City Barbeque Society, or KCBS, is a nonprofit organization that sanctions more than 400 competitive barbeque cooking competitions from coast to coast. Patrons were able to walk around and talk with each of the competing teams while viewing their individual cooking techniques. As each team allowed their various meats smoke to perfection, patrons and team members were able to enjoy the delicious “brew” offered at the event. “Bill Lloyd with Casual Class Catering and Greene Beverage provided the alcohol,” Lansdon said. “In addition to the normal staples of Budweiser and Bud Light, we also carried a local brew from Druid City Brewing Company.”

Photo credit: Haley Moody

Live music was provided by local country and Southern rock bands throughout the event. Tequila Mockingbird and URI performed Friday evening, while Madison Wilson, Sean Rivers, and The Wheelers all performed Saturday afternoon and evening.


A panel of judges from throughout the state tasted and critiqued each of the teams’ sauce, chicken, ribs, pork and brisket submissions. Around 4 p.m. on Saturday, the top teams from each category were announced, along with Continued on the next page

Photo credit: Heath Hendrix

November 2013 • 5


the overall winner of the competition, which was the title and trophy the Smokin’ Butt Crew was able to take home with them that evening. Following the award ceremony was an eating contest sponsored by Tuscaloosa’s Dickey’s BBQ. Each of the 10 competitors had six minutes to eat all four of their fully loaded barbeque sandwiches. The first to finish received free barbeque from Dickey’s for a year. Seth Newton, an attorney at Rosen Harwood, P.A., was the first to lick his plate clean and claim his prize.

The Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa was founded in 2010 by a group of professionals looking to unite the younger generations. “Our mission is to create opportunities for future business and civic leaders to build relationships, to enhance professional development, and to contribute to the needs of the West Alabama community, with an emphasis on the members’ personal passions and professional goals,” Landsdon said. Proceeds from the event benefitted Arts ‘N Autism, the Arc of Tuscaloosa, and Habitat for Humanity.

For more information on Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa and hosted events, visit

Photos: Heath Hendrix

6 • November 2013

Business West Alabama Chamber of Commerce Happenings

Photo credit: Jamie Cicatiello

Inaugural Bama Brew & Que Held This exciting new event, hosted by our Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa group or YP(t) was held Nov 1-2 by the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Patrons were able to walk around and talk with competitors while viewing a variety of cooking styles and grilling techniques. Live bands and activities for kids were enjoyed. We aim for this to grow and become an annual signature event for our community. (Above Photo: Smokin’ Butt crew was named Grand Champion Overall.)

Chamber Open House Held

The Tin Top Celebrates New Location

We celebrated our new facility on Oct. 15. Thanks to those that stopped by to wish us well and to check out the great meeting rooms we have available. Our address is 2201 Jack Warner Parkway (across from The Bank of Tuscaloosa Plaza). Thanks again to the following members for helping out: Buffalo Rock Pepsi, Chick-fil-A, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Wilhagan’s Sports Grill, Walton’s, Sam’s, Jalapenos Mexican Grill, Spirits Wine Cellar, and Greene Beverage Company.

The Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar, on 4th St. in Downtown Tuscaloosa’s Temerson Square, was celebrated on Oct. 18. The new location is right in the middle of all that’s happening downtown. Visit for the menu and more.

November 2013 • 7

Business NOTRL Legal Column By Justin G. Williams, Tanner & Guin, LLC BUSINESS PRACTICES YOU CAN’T “FAIL” TO DO As anyone that has been involved with a lawsuit knows, a lawsuit can take up a lot of time and money and the results are never predictable. Although the smart thing is to avoid litigation altogether, we understand that avoiding the courtroom is not always realistic. The truth is that most businesses end up involved in litigation at some point. There are things you can do in advance, however, to protect yourself from litigation or to assist in the litigation if you do find yourself in court. In this article, we will focus on specific business practices that could hurt your position in litigation if you “fail” to implement them. Failing to respect your business entity. One of the main reasons to form a corporation or limited liability company (“LLC”) is to shield the owner’s personal assets from claims of third parties. However, this protection is not unlimited. When a business entity is not operating as a true legal entity and is being used by its members or shareholders as a “shell” to control their personal interests, the limited liability enjoyed by the owners is in jeopardy. Make sure you respect your business entity by keeping corporate records and not co-mingling personal funds or assets with those of the entity. It is not a good idea to pay for your child’s Christmas presents with your company credit card. Failing to address insurance needs.

You must address your insurance needs, and the best time to do so is in the initial planning stage of your business. There are steps that you must take to protect yourself and your business associates from risks involved in operating a business, and insurance is a means to leverage some of that risk. Failing to put real estate used for your business in an LLC. The LLC, like a corporation, provides “lawsuit protection” for its owners. The owners of an LLC are generally not personally liable for debts or liabilities of the company. Thus, an LLC that holds real estate will protect its owners from personal liability for lawsuits associated with that real estate. With an LLC, you can hopefully avoid personal liability for the “slip & fall” claim that is so prevalent in our culture. Failing to get personal guarantees on business credit accounts. This is critical when the business seeking credit is a new business. Businesses can dissolve, file bankruptcy, or cease operations, leaving no real assets. If you fail to get personal guarantees from the owners of your vendors and suppliers, you must attempt to pierce the corporate veil to recover your money from the owners, and this can be expensive and difficult to do. The best practice is to have the owners of the business personally guaranty the business debt at the outset. Litigation is expensive, time-consuming and often an emotional roller coaster for those involved. If you can’t avoid problems before they occur, you should always implement strategic business practices to strengthen your

position if you find yourself in court. Asking a judge or a jury to solve your dispute is high risk and the outcome is not predictable. It is very important that you not fail to protect your interests.

Justin G. Williams practices law with the Tanner & Guin firm in downtown Tuscaloosa. He can be reached at 205-

633-0200 or jwilliams@tannerguin. com. This article is intended for general information purposes only, does not purport to offer legal advice in any form, and is not a comprehensive legal assessment. A reader’s particular legal position is dependent upon the facts of its situation. Readers should contact an attorney for application of the law and regulations to specific fact situations.

8 • November 2013


Rock Out to Knock Out Cystic Fibrosis

Photo credit: Jeff Perrigin

More than a dozen University of Alabama Greek organizations hosted the Rock Out to Knock Out CF fundraiser on October 18. A huge band party and gathering, set up on the lawns of the Phi Gamma Delta and Sigma Nu fraternity lawns, provided a great backdrop for friends to gather and kick off the Alabama/Arkansas football game weekend for a great cause. Proceeds from the event were given to the Thomas Plott Foundation. Plott is the 5-yearold son of Bobby and Blair Plott of Tuscaloosa. He was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was just 10 weeks old.

November 2013 • 9


Northport’s Fitness One Turns Up the Pink for the DCH Breast Cancer Foundation N By Terri Davis

orthport’s Fitness One recently celebrated their third annual Turn Up the Pink fundraiser benefiting the DCH Breast Cancer Foundation. The weeklong event began October 12 in the parking lot of Fitness One. Decked out in pink, instructors and participants enjoyed an open air work out to the latest release of Les Mills’ BODYPUMP. Children enjoyed gymnastics in the Tuscaloosa Tumblebus, jumping in the SpaceWalk, and eating snow cones.

Turn Up the Pink continued on October 19 with the launch of Les Mills’ new releases of BodyAttack and RPM. Both events raised several hundred dollars for the DCH Breast Cancer Foundation. Fundraising continues, and a limited supply of Turn Up the Pink T-shirts are available for sale with the proceeds benefiting the Foundation. Fitness One wants to express their appreciation to Townsend Nissan, Downtown Baby, Anna Kate & Co, Atlas Welding Supply Co Inc., Wagners RunWalk, New Creations, The Tuscaloosa Tumblebus, Space Walk, and the Tuscaloosa Academy Civenettes for their donations and help with our great event. They also thank all of their members and friends who came out for the events and can’t wait for next year’s Breast Cancer Fundraiser!

Photo credit: Terri Davis

10 • November 2013


The Tuscaloosa Barnyard offers great fun for area kids


t can be a huge challenge for parents: How can you get your kids away from the TV and the computer to enjoy the great outdoors, if only for a few hours? One possible answer is the Tuscaloosa Barnyard, a local farm that offers a unique way for children to get up close and personal with a variety of different farm animals.

From chickens to bunnies to ducks and sheep, kids who visit the Tuscaloosa Barnyard are invited to enjoy some hands-on time with the animals. Baby bottles are distributed, allowing the children to feed the pigs. Children can view a variety of different, freshly hatched eggs in various hen boxes. The Barnyard even has some turkeys on hand, just in time for the holidays.

Kami Combs, owner of the Tuscaloosa Barnyard, says what began as a property purchased for her own children to enjoy and grow up on, quickly became much more. Once a decision was

made to open up the farm for all ages to enjoy, there was no looking back. She says once the first group of school children arrived at the Barnyard in September of 2007, she had an epiphany: “It opened my eyes about how many children did not know where their food came from,” Combs says. At that point, the Tuscaloosa Barnyard evolved into a learning and hands-on petting farm for children and adults of all ages and abilities.

In October, the Barnyard offered visitors hayrides and a huge pumpkin patch. The farm will be open throughout the holiday season on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Group visits are also available, and the Barnyard also hosts birthday parties.

For more information about the Tuscaloosa Barnyard, visit or on Facebook. You can reach Kami Combs at 205-2480773.

Photos: Kami Combs

November 2013 • 11


Veterans honored at special ceremony


n November 11, Tuscaloosa honored veterans with a special Veterans Day pro-

gram, held at the Veterans Memorial Park in front of University Mall on McFarland Boulevard. Guest speaker Lt. Gen. Willie J. Williams, a Tuscaloosa native, spoke to the huge crowd about the importance of service and sacrifice. The Veterans Day ceremony also included a special re-enactment of the Iwo Jima flag-raising by the Howlin’ “Mad” Smith Detachment of the Marine Corps League in Birmingham. Photo credit: Laurie Perrigin

YMCA plans annual fundraising Golf Tournament at Ol’ Colony By Charlotte Lewis


he Downtown YMCA of Tuscaloosa is hosting its annual Golf Tournament on Thursday, November 21 at Ol’ Colony Golf Complex. This tournament provides funds for scholarships and financial assistance for at-risk youth to participate in YMCA youth sports, afterschool programs, and summer day camp.

The YMCA puts Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. YMCA programs give children in our community the opportunity to grow and learn outside of school. Many of the children who participate in our programs would not otherwise learn sportsmanship from playing recreational basketball or how to swim in our afterschool program. In addition, we provide health and wellness programs, tornado relief, nutrition education and temporary housing to benefit the Tuscaloosa community.

Our golf tournament will begin at 11am with lunch donated by Zoe’s Kitchen. Door prizes and contests, including a chance to win $10,000 for a hole-in-one, will be part of the fun! Registration for corporate or individual teams is still open. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for holes, contests, and door prizes. For more information on team registration and sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Charlotte Lewis at or by calling 205.345.9622.

12 • November 2013


Tuscaloosa Garden Project celebrates fall with various community projects By Mia Martin


he Tuscaloosa Garden Club hosted the Garden Club of Alabama District IV fall meeting on October 24 at the Northwood Hills Baptist Church in Northport. Mayors Walt Maddox of Tuscaloosa and Bobby Herndon of Northport welcomed about 75 Garden Club members from surrounding counties to the meeting, which featured Discovering Alabama TV host and producer Dr. Doug Phillips presenting movie clips of his TV show. The meeting was catered by Mr. Bill’s restaurant.

The Tuscaloosa Garden Club, an affiliate of The Garden Club of Alabama, recently sponsored a poetry contest for Tuscaloosa County middle school students. Local winner Jasmine Lewis, a sixth-grader from Hillcrest Middle School, was given a plaque and cash award. Her poem will advance to the state level for further judging, and the state winner will go on to the National Garden Club poetry contest.

The Tuscaloosa Garden Club also just completed an essay contest with local high school students in Tuscaloosa

Garden Project The Garden Club of Alabama, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the National Garden Club, offers many college scholarships in related fields. Members participate in many projects with school children in fire prevention, conservation, recycling, tree planting, gardening, butterflies and birds. They also have many civic projects.

County. Jamie Sollman, an 11th-grader from Central High School, wrote the local winning essay and received a plaque as well as a cash award. Sollman’s winning entry has a chance of going on to The National Garden Club, where there will be a national winner of a $1,000 college scholarship. Continued on the next page

Photo credit: Sally Moon

Left to right: Sally Moon, Tuscaloosa Garden Club member, essay contest winner Jamie Sollman, Central High School, Mia Martin, Tuscaloosa Garden Club President, Louise Standifer, Tuscaloosa Garden Club member

November 2013 • 13

Celebrations At the moment, The Tuscaloosa Garden Club is working to place three benches at bus stops in Tuscaloosa. Earlier this year, the Club planted an Arbor Day Tree in honor of longtime Garden Club member Mrs. Lorene Smith (“The Daylily Lady”). The club also held a Recycled Sculpture Contest at two schools: Oak Hill School in Tuscaloosa and Flatwoods Elementary School in Northport. The Garden Club also helped 10 area elementary schools and approximately 476 students plant bulbs at their schools. The bulbs were then donated to Habitat for Humanity for planting around Tuscaloosa County.

The Tuscaloosa Garden Club, established in 1932, is currently having a membership drive. The Club meets on the second Thursday of each month from September through May. Anyone interested in joining The Tuscaloosa Garden Club should call Mia Martin, president of the Tuscaloosa Garden Club, at (205) 507-0392.

Photo credit: Sally Moon

Left to right: Sally Moon, Tuscaloosa Garden Club member, poetry contest winner Jasmine Lewis, Hillcrest Middle School, Mia Martin, Tuscaloosa Garden Club President, Joyce Ochoa, Tuscaloosa Garden Club member

14 • November 2013


Annual fundraiser benefits Arts ‘n Autism after-school and summer camp program


t all began in 2004. A veteran teacher and a parent of a child with autism decided that an after-school and summer camp program was needed for children in the area with autism. With that, Arts ‘n Autism was born. Since then, the organization has provided services for kids and adults ages 2 to 24 with autism spectrum disorders in Tuscaloosa County.

On November 14, the annual Evening of Arts...and Autism event was held to raise money for the organization. The event, held at the Harrison Galleries in downtown Tuscaloosa, featured an art show of works created by Arts ‘n Autism students involved in the group’s after-school program. A silent auction was held, and attendees were able to bid on all the art submitted by the students.

Suzanne Dowling, development director of Arts ‘n Autism, says this event raises much-needed funds to help Arts ‘n Autism further its efforts to help area children, some of who cannot afford to pay tuition to attend the program.

“We never turn a family away,” said Dowling, who added that the group’s budget is funded 40 percent from tuition and 60 percent from fundraising. “We never want to turn any of these students away because they are unable to pay, so this is why these fundraisers

are so important.”

For more information about Arts ‘n Autism, visit or call (205) 247-4990. Artist Information: Cat Trio (top) by Devante, Psychadelic Elephant (right) by Kwasi, Sunny Chicks (left) by Max

Photos: Suzanne Dowling

November 2013 • 15

Celebrations Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society kicks off the holiday season with annual Christmas open house


refreshments and entertainment will be provided at all of the sties. Carriage rides will be provided between all five sites by Mallisham’s Glass Slipper Carriage Tours. In addition, students at the Capitol School prepared for the event by decorating Christmas trees from all around the world.

ave you ever wondered how people decorated their homes years ago? What did everyone do if they didn’t have pre-lit trees, ready-made ornaments and miles and miles of packaged garland to string up? They got creative, and the results were beautiful. If you’d like to see for yourself, plan on attending the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society’s annual Christmas Open House on Sunday, December 1 from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Open House will be held at five historic venues in Tuscaloosa: the Battle-Friedman House, the Jemison Van de Graaff Mansion, the Old Tavern, the Murphy African American Museum and The McGuire-Strickland House (the Capitol School). Event coordinator Lucy Murphy says this is the perfect opportunity for everyone in Tuscaloosa, no matter where they live, to come out and celebrate Tuscaloosa’s history. “Everybody is invited. The event is free to the public and families are wel-

For more information on the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society’s Christmas Open House, visit www., or call (205) 758-6138 or (205) 758-2906.

come. This is a great way to begin your holiday season, by seeing what’s been done in the past. A lot of the decorations and dress will be period specifc, so it’s a great way to see what these sites looked like in the olden times, and how they would decorate for the holidays,” Murphy said.

Photo credit: Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society

Father Christmas will be at the Old Tavern to listen to all the children’s Christmas wishes. Entertainment will be provided by the T-Town Strummers, Victorian carolers, the Tuscaloosa Belle Musicians, the Capitol School hand bells group and the Capitol School singers. Local vendors will be on hand and

Photo: Members of the Tuscaloosa Belles will welcome visitors on the porch of the Battle-Friedman House during the Christmas Open House on December 1

16 • November 2013

North of the River Living Holidays (contiued from front page)

Holidays on the River is a six-week event, beginning on November 23 and running through January 5, 2014.

Wendy Riggs, director of the City of Tuscaloosa’s Arts and Entertainment Department, says patrons will notice a few new things added to this year’s winter village. “We’re expanding the ice skating rink to 100 feet by 60 feet (15 feet larger). This year we’re also adding a 14-foot tall, 120-foot ice slide that everyone can sled down.”

Riggs also says that this year, special package deals will be offered. “The package deals include admission to the skating rink, the slide and to the Transportation Museum for an ‘Expeditions to the North Pole’ exhibit.”

After a successful first run with last year’s Holidays on the River, everyone is no doubt eager to enjoy the festivities once again. Riggs says interest is huge, “Immediately after we closed last year people started asking if we’d do it again. We got permission from the city council in February to do it again. And almost every sponsor that was with us last year has reupped.”

Once the rink officially opens, tickets (including packages) will be available at the Transportation Museum. You can also buy tickets online with or by calling 1-800-745-3000. General admission ticket prices are $12 for children ages 2-12 and $15 for adults, $10 per person for the ice slide and $20 for an all-inclusive ticket.

Riggs also says this year, Holidays on the River will be open on actual holiday dates. “We’ll be open on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.”

For more information about Holidays on the River, including hours of operation, schedules, and special events for groups, visit www.holidaysontheriver. com

West Alabama Christmas Parade

The 38th Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade will roll through downtown

Tuscaloosa on December 9. This year’s theme is “Candy Canes & Christmas Carols,” and revelers can expect a wide variety of wonderful holiday staples: floats, decorated vehicles, bands and marching groups and of course, Santa Claus himself. Santa will be on hand to help everyone in West Alabama officially usher in the holiday season.

Photo credit: Tuscaloosa PARA (Facebook page:

If it seems too early to be thinking about holiday festivities, it’s not, particularly when you’re organizing such a major event. This is the largest Christmas parade in the area, and it takes a lot of careful planning to bring everything together. Since 1974, the Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority (PARA) has coordinated the Christmas parade, making sure that the event runs smoothly.

“We encourage folks to come out early – maybe eat dinner downtown or shop a bit – make it a family tradition to kick-off the holiday season,” said Becky Booker of PARA’s West Alabama Christmas Parade. “PARA’s West Alabama Christmas Parade, with around 200 decorated floats, bands, horses and vehicles, promises to impress the entire family,” Booker said.

The festivities will get underway with the traditional tree lighting on the steps of the Tuscaloosa County courthouse at 5:15 p.m. After that, the parade will begin downtown, at 6:30 p.m., winding its way from Greensboro Avenue at 11th Street to University Blvd at 19th Street.

Photo credit: Brandon Cooper

The parade will be led by grand marshals Davis “Buddy” Burton and Fitzgerald Washington. Burton, who worked for more than four decades at the JamisonMoneyFarmer accounting firm, is a founder of the Community Foundation of West Alabama. Washington, the general sales manager for Buffalo Rock Pepsi, is this year’s chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

Top Photo: Santa Claus waves to the crowd during the 2012 West Alabama Christmas Parade

Bottom Photo: Dickens Downtown brings classic winter literature to life

e a e


November 2013 • 17

North of the River Living Free parking for parade viewers is available in the city’s intermodal facility at 23rd Avenue and 7th Street, and anywhere along the parade route provides good viewing.

Downtown Northport Merchants Association, says Dickens Downtown “is a group effort between the City of Northport, the Northport Merchants Association and the Friends of Historic Northport. It’s our way to give back to the community.”

Dickens Downtown

In Northport, they’re gearing up for the 24th Annual Dickens Downtown, a Victorian Christmas celebration presented by the Northport Merchants Association. This year’s Dickens Downtown will be held on Tuesday, December 3, from 5 p.m to 8 p.m.

Carolers and characters in traditional period dress will stroll the streets of historic Northport during Dickens Downtown, and visitors can enjoy arts and crafts demonstrations, a Holiday Market from Kentuck and even visit with Father Christmas. Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon and guest of honor Queen Victoria will lead a parade down Main Avenue as well. Brandon Cooper, president of the

Cooper adds that Dickens Downtown is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season in our area. “Our goal is for families to come down and spend time with each other, and friends, and not feel burdened by the holiday season. It’s a time for them to all come together to celebrate.”

For more information about Dickens Downtown, visit

everyone’s spirits a bit brighter this holiday season with the addition of the Tinsel Trail, a display of 100 live Christmas trees that will light up Tuscaloosa’s Riverwalk during Holidays on the River from November 24 to January 5. Each tree on the Tinsel Trail will be sponsored and decorated by a local business, organization, group or individual.

Spruces can be sponsored for $250 each, including a sponsor sign. Everyone is invited to decorate their tree any way they want. Amanda Waller, director of development for Tuscaloosa’s One Place, says the Tinsel Trail is a one-of-a-kind event. “It helps promote our community and is a unique way for businesses and organizations to make a difference. It doesn’t cost anything to walk the trail and see the trees, so Tinsel Trail is something everyone can enjoy.”

Tuscaloosa Riverwalk to become Tinsel Trail during the holidays

The nonprofit organization Tuscaloosa’s One Place is hoping to make

Proceeds from the Tinsel Trail will support Tuscaloosa’s One Place, which serves as many as 8,000 people in the local community through various

programs, including afterschool and child development, family and parenting, career and personal development, teen intervention and more.

What if a business or group wants to sponsor a Tinsel Trail tree, but doesn’t have time to decorate it? Waller says that’s not a problem. “A business or organization can actually donate their tree to a nonprofit or school for them to decorate.” Waller adds that four schools already have a sponsor. She says each tree as a sign in front that denotes the sponsor, and if it’s decorated by a school or nonprofit, it also states who decorated it.

For more information on Tinsel Trail, visit or contact Amanda Waller at (205) 4621000.

18 • November 2013

Food Black Friday Turkey Sandwich

Crockpot Black-eyed Peas and Sausage


his dish is in my regular recipe rotation once cool weather arrives. It’s perfect for busy weekdays since you can throw everything in the crockpot, bake some cornbread and dinner is done. I use the mild version of Rotel, which gives a ton of flavor without making it spicy.

Ingredients: 1 (16 oz.) bag dried black-eyed peas 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced 1 can mild Rotel tomatoes 1 (15 oz.) can beef broth 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced Photos: Molly Hendrix


eftovers are not popular in my house, so I am always finding ways to transform them into a completely new meal. This sandwich is perfect for the day after Thanksgiving. It uses some of the leftovers and doesn’t require much preparation. After all, Thanksgiving is for cooking, and the day after is for shopping!


8 slices 9 grain bread Leftover turkey or thick sliced deli turkey 16 slices of bacon, cooked Thinly sliced red onion 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 4 oz. blue cheese crumbles 4 Tbsp. cranberry sauce


Combine the cream cheese and cranberry sauce and then gently fold in the blue cheese crumbles.

Spread each piece of bread with the cheese mixture.

On half of the slices place the turkey, bacon and onion. Then top with the other slice of bread.

Grill the sandwiches in a buttered pan over medium low heat until browned.

Note: If you have any of the cheese mixture left over, it is also a delicious spread for crackers.

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 1 bay leaf

Preparation: Place all of the ingredients in a crock pot plus enough water to cover the peas by 1 inch. Stir to combine everything and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. Once the peas are cooked, taste and add salt if needed. Serve with cornbread and enjoy!

November 2013 • 19


Restaurant Review: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit By Molly Hendrix


all has officially arrived in Tuscaloosa and football season is in full swing. For me, nothing compliments the chill in the air more than a delicious plate of barbeque. Some people may associate it with summer, but I love coming in from the cold to enjoy a heaping portion of smoked meat slathered in the perfect sauce.

There is a new place on Highway 69, that if you haven’t tried you don’t know what you are missing! It’s Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, and it specializes in Texas-style, hickory smoked barbeque. The first location opened in 1941 and their formula hasn’t changed, with good reason.

The laid back dining area, decorated with vintage signs, is filled with a warm aroma that would tempt the staunchest vegetarian. Dickey’s diverse menu can satisfy any type of barbeque craving. There is the expected pulled pork and ribs, in addition to chicken, polish sausage, beef brisket, turkey, and ham. Not to mention, mouthwatering sides like baked beans, fried okra, and coleslaw, just to name a few. There are also charging docks at most of the tables for your phone or tablet, and free soft serve ice cream much to the delight of my children.

Of course you can take your family in to eat, but Dickey’s also offers a huge selection of carry-out options. There are family packs, various catering packages, and a special holiday menu that includes a Cajun fried turkey. All orders can be placed online for added convenience.

On my visit, I was served a tray of ribs, chicken, brisket, sausage, and pulled pork. I also helped myself to all three of their barbeque sauces, which are served warm. There is a sweet sauce that has a distinctive maple flavor. The original sauce is a perfect balance of spicy and sweet. Lastly, there is a spicy sauce which lives up its name. It packs quite a punch, one that was a bit much for me, but my husband loves it.

I started the tasting with the chicken. It had a delicate smoked flavor that was nicely complimented by the sweet version of their sauce. It was also nice and juicy, which is rare for leaner forms of smoked meat. Next, I tried the pulled pork. It was everything you expect from an expertly executed recipe, a perfect amount of seasoning

ndrix Photos: Molly He

and plenty of the deeply caramelized crunchy pieces.

The brisket had a beautiful pink smoke ring and was incredibly tender, nearly falling apart as I picked it up. The robust beef flavor stood up well to the spicy version of their sauce. Then I moved on to the polish sausage. It was the juiciest of all the meats offered, delivering rich flavor with a subtle amount of heat.

I concluded our tasting with the ribs. For me, these were the highlight of the meal. Usually, I am not a huge fan of ribs, because there is inevitably some gristle to be found. Not with Dickey’s ribs. All of the fat had been rendered down in the cooking process, making these ribs a sticky, unctuous treat. The meat itself was intensely smoky and sweet. I cleaned the meat off three bones before I realized I hadn’t used any sauce on them. They were delightfully delicious all on their own.

Since our tasting, my family has been back twice already and each time it was consistently delicious. My kids have even started to request Dickey’s, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the free ice cream is their motive. Although, with barbeque this delectable, who cares if the kids eat ice cream for dinner?

20 • November 2013

Community Introducing TSNIP and TNR to control cats By Lucy Roberts, DVM Board member and Feline Committee Chair, TSNIP We have a lot of free-roaming cats in Tuscaloosa and Northport. They are adorable animals, but too many of them can also cause problems. Most people don’t appreciate loud yowling at night, the smell of cat urine, and too many kittens. There are also people who worry about health risks for themselves or their pets, or the impact the cats will have on local songbirds. TSNIP, the Tuscaloosa Spay/Neuter Incentive Program, wants to change this by developing low-cost spay/ neuter programs for citizens and working with the government to implement a TrapNeuter-Return program. Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR, has been used successfully by many cities to control cat populations. A careful TNR program traps the cats in an area, neuters them, and returns them to their territory. The “return” part is what makes this program work. Cats are very territorial animals. A neutered cat does not roam far. So returning the neutered cat to his territory means that he will stay home, using the available food, water, and shelter, and defend that territory from new, incoming cats. Putting the neutered cat in a different place is usually a waste of time

and money. The cat tends not to survive. He will be in competition with the cats already in that new place, and he won’t know the dangers there, such as dogs or traffic. Moreover, his old territory now has space for new cats to move in. So to reduce the overall number of cats, neutered cats have to be put back where they started. TNR programs can control the number of cats in an area, and gradually reduce it. Even better, neutering makes the current cats better neighbors. Cats howl at night to fight over territory and breeding. Spayed and neutered cats don’t breed, don’t fight over breeding, and become homebodies, so the howling stops. There won’t be anymore hungry, sickly kittens. The smell of the cats’ urine is even cut in half after surgery, on top of which they often stop spraying urine to mark territory. Neutered cats are much healthier than cats that are spending a lot of energy on breeding and raising kittens. There are fewer diseases, and fewer cats. This translates to fewer risks for ourselves, our pets, and local songbirds.

Photo credit: Lucy Roberts

Many people ask why we can’t just remove the cats. This doesn’t work long-term. New cats will move into the area, and quickly replace the missing cats. Also, free-roaming cats come not just from feral, or wild unowned cats, but also from un-planned litters in homes. Using data from the Humane Society of the United States and Tuscaloosa’s census data, there are most likely around 6,000 feral cats and another 8,000 cats that are family pets but are not spayed or neutered. This is why both TNR and spaying/neutering programs are important to controlling the cat population. Check out TSNIP online ( or on Facebook to see how you can help.

November 2013 • 21

Community CHOM’s Candyland Breakfast to be held December 7

Photos: Charlotte Gibson

By Laurie Mundy Perrigin


f you’ve ever wanted to have breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, you have that opportunity, thanks to the annual Candyland Breakfast at the Children’s Hands-On Museum (CHOM) in downtown Tuscaloosa on December 7. And this isn’t just any breakfast: Children will be able to spend some quality, one-on-one time talking with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and even dancing with them, along with Rudolph and his reindeer friends.

Charlotte Gibson, executive director of the CHOM, says this special breakfast allows kids of all ages the chance to interact with Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and even Frosty, Rudolph and Santa’s Elves. “Candyland Breakfasts are one of the favorite activities of the season for everyone! With elves, Frosty, and other North Pole characters joining the happy children who get to play and dance with them, the Candyland level of CHOM is filled with laughter and music.”

Gibson also says that everyone who attends the Candyland Breakfast is treated like Santa’s personal guests. “They’re greeted at the front door and escorted upstairs by elves, where children and families enjoy a great

buffet breakfast before getting up close and personal with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Children and adults absolutely love getting to dance with them! How often does that happen? Parents love our breakfasts, too, and leave with the same broad smiles as children,” Gibson said.

The CHOM Candyland breakfast is without a doubt one of the hottest tickets in Tuscaloosa, and seats are limited, so be sure to reserve quickly if you’d like to attend. Once Santa and Mrs. Clause make their grand entrance, everyone will enjoy a healthy breakfast, followed by Rudolph’s Reindeer Hop, featuring music by Chuckie the DJ spinning festive holiday tunes.

For 29 years, the Children’s Hands-On Museum has offered countless opportunities for children to learn and create. The Candyland Breakfast is no exception: After the morning’s festivities, kids can head over to the Elf Gift Workshop to make their own holiday gifts to take home with them. A variety of holiday-themed make and take home crafts are offered in the CHOM Winter Wonderland, open December 7 through January 4.

For more information visit the CHOM website or call (205) 349-4235.

22 • November 2013

Community Hospice of West Alabama gears up for the holidays, plans annual candlelight memorial

Humane Society offers pet photos with Santa Come have your pet’s picture taken with Santa Claus! Bring one or all of your pets and family members to be photographed with jolly Old St. Nick at Pet Supplies Plus, located on McFarland Boulevard.

This event will be held on Tuesday December 3 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, December 5 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday December 8 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $10 per photo and you will receive one 4” x 6” color photo printed while there. Portraits will be taken by professional photographer Keith Davis Photo courtesy of HOWA

By Kimberly Gibson, LGSW Volunteer Coordinator, Hospice of West Alabama

and additional photo packages will be available for purchase. Small quantities of Christmas cards can be printed while you wait. All portraits must include a pet, not just humans. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (205) 210-5528. All

You can tell the seasons are changing with a glance at Hospice of West Alabama’s grounds. Faithful and dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to create the perfect fall scene to greet family and friends. With the holiday season just around the corner, Hospice of West Alabama is gearing up for their Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meal drive. For many years, with the help of local individuals and church groups, Hospice of West Alabama has delivered hundreds of food boxes to patients and families who otherwise would not have a holiday meal. It is such a joy to see the gratefulness expressed by our families, especially as they are navigating a difficult period in their lives. Social worker Toi Gordon recalls delivering the food box to a patient whose family was truly touched by the gesture. She rememberts the patient had always worked and been able to provide for his family, but then became ill. “He was just so grateful to be able to celebrate the holiday with his family with a traditional meal,” she recalls. “As a social worker, it is always gratifying to see a need and then be able to meet that need.” If you are interested in donating items, see the suggested list below or contact Kimberly Gibson, Volunteer Coordinator at 205-523-0101. The items can be dropped off at Hospice of West Alabama and HOWA’s dedicated staff members will deliver the food boxes the week of each holiday. Suggested Items Turkey Breast or Spiral Cut Ham Macaroni and cheese Canned green beans Cream of mushroom soup French fried onions Stuffing Bread/rolls Yams or sweet potatoes

proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of West Alabama.

Photo credit: Jennifer Gills

Packets of gravy Cranberry sauce

The Humane Society of West Alabama, founded in 1971, is a no-kill, all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. Funds are needed to cover veterinary bills of rescued animals and to prepare


animals for adoption. For more information on


the Humane Society of West Alabama and this

Already prepared packaged desserts Fresh fruits

event call (205) 554-0011 or visit


Each year, Hospice of West Alabama celebrates the life of those who have died with a Candlelight Memorial Service. This years’ service will be held at Forest Lake United Methodist Church on December 4 at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary. This event is open to all who wish to remember their loved one by lighting a candle in their memory. We hope you will join us for an uplifting service and the candle-lighting ceremony. Following the service, volunteers from First United Methodist Church will provide a reception. “I’ve always felt this service was meaningful, but even more so after my mom died in 2009. While I have participated in this event for several years, being able to light a candle in memory of my mother enabled me to engage in a way I have not before. It was a sweet moment when I, along with family and friends, could remember and honor the woman we love and dearly miss,” said Melanie Robertson, HOWA’s Chief Operating Officer. Dated memorable ornaments will be available for family and friends in attendance.

Photo credit: Betty Freeman

November 2013 • 23


‘The Nutcracker’ kicks off the holiday season December 5-8

Mark Milner, formerly of the Alabama Ballet and Miami City Ballet, as Herr Drosselmeyer. The role of Clara will be danced by Georgiann McCullough and Marion Norris, and her mischievous little brother Fritz will be performed by Sydney Perry. Thomas Peterson will dance the dual roles of Drosselmeyer’s nephew and the Nutcracker Prince. Olivia Green and Becca Brewbaker will dance the role of the Snow Queen, and the Snow King will be danced by George Berry. Reprising her role as the Dew Drop Fairy is Alden Phillips, recipient of The Druid Arts Award for Dancer in 2013.

Photos: Milla Green

Nutcracker (continued from front page)

Set to the music of Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky, “The Nutcracker” is a timeless ballet, and one which has been performed all over the world since the late 1800s. Now, this timeless ballet returns to Tuscaloosa in early December, with choreography by Roger Van Fleteren of the Alabama Ballet and staged by Artistic Directors Katie Gebler Spitzer and Jenna McKerrow Wilson, both former principal dancers with the Alabama Ballet.

Wilson says putting together a production of this size is a huge undertaking, and she and Spitzer are working hard to coordinate every aspect of the production. “We’ve studied the entire show moment by moment, from when the lights need to change to when a piece of scenery needs to move, to when a toe should be pointed and a leg stretched,” Wilson says. “It goes so far beyond the hard work and dedication of the dancers, and requires the absolute focus of everyone involved.”

Ray Taylor, president of the Tuscaloosa Community Dancers’ Board of Directors, says the Tuscaloosa Community Dancer’s Nutcracker production is a community effort in its truest form.

“The TCD pulls this together to put on a wonderful production and we’re so fortunate. One person can’t put this kind of show on, it takes a group. We have a great Board - everyone’s doing their part to make sure this is a great production, as always.”

Wilson echoes Taylor’s sentiment: “Our board and especially our Executive Director, Joyce Phillips, have given us enormous support and are another essential piece of this production.” But she adds that the dancer’s parents are also to be commended for their dedication. “Not only do they get their children to rehearsals, they work on costumes, handle public appearances, keep track of props, sell tickets, and generally get everyone excited about this year’s production. TCD’s ‘The Nutcracker’ is not only a community, but a

family endeavor, and we simply could not function without the generous help of the parents.”

TCD’s “The Nutcracker” is a real community asset; an opportunity for dancers in West Alabama to perform alongside varied guest artists. This year, guest artists include long time favorites of the Tuscaloosa Community Dancers Jennifer Lauren Quarles of the Miami City Ballet and recipient of The Druid Arts Awards Home Grown Artist in 2011 as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Kyle Seguin, a professor of dance and anatomy at Columbia College and owner of One Hundred, a dance and Pilate’s studio, as her Cavalier.

Making his 2013 debut with TCD is

Wilson adds that directing TCD’s production of “The Nutcracker” has been an incredibly rewarding experience. “I have been involved in some production of the Nutcracker, in one way or another, for over 20 years. I’ve danced every part from Mouse to the Sugar Plum Fairy. It is like reliving a little bit of childhood, and when the curtain goes up, I hope I have imparted some of that magical feeling to everybody involved in this production.”

Showtimes are Thursday and Friday, December 5 and 6, at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 7 at 10 a.m., and Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $21 for adults, $17 for seniors 60+ and $12 for students and children. Group rates are available. Tickets are available in the TCD office weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon and by phone at 205-7524220. The TCD office is located in The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center in downtown. Prior to the matinee performances there will be special activities for children beginning an hour before the performance.

For more information about TCD, patrons should follow @tcdancers on Twitter, friend, visit www. or call (205) 752-4220.

Top Photo: Nutcracker Polichinelles rehearsing Bottom Photo: Georgiann McCullough (Clara), Sydney Perry (Fritz) and Marion Norris (Clara)

24 • November 2013


Kentuck Festival of the Arts showcased work of more than 270 artisans



ig Jeff Perr

The 42nd Annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts was held October 19 and 20 at Kentuck Park. The annual festival drew thousands to Northport to enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the South’s premiere art fairs. More than 270 folk, visionary and contemporary artists and craftspeople presented their work. Many of the artists offered live demonstrations as well.

More than $5,000 was awarded by judges at this year’s Kentuck Festival. Best of Show honors went to mixed media artist Jay Long. In addition, Awards of Distinction went to Aaron Hequembourg (mixed media) and Kate Beck (fiber). For a complete list of award winners, visit

November 2013 • 25


26 • November 2013


Casual Chic By Karis Lamb Wilson, Contributor


The Southern Beau: Ballin’ on a Budget By Eric L. Ellis

o you ever just want to throw on a sweatshirt and a ball cap and call it a day? Add your favorite Nike sneakers and you are absolutely in your wardrobe of choice? Well, this fall is the season for you. Casual

chic has never been better. Set aside those stuffy stilettos and let your inner sporty girl shine through. That laid back, cool chick vibe that you have always


elieve it or not, you can look like a million-dollar man on a hundred-dollar man’s budget! Every Southern belle is attracted to a man who looks like he is someone or is going to be someone. It is just the simple rules of attraction: there is no getting around it (sorry!).

wanted to achieve is within your grasp, and I will show you how to be her. The sweatshirt. Oh, how we heart you and your soft, cozy warmth. This season’s cool weather has been all about the sweatshirt, but with a modern twist. Beautiful brocade, fresh florals, and gorgeous graphics adorn these staple winter pieces. Look for a sweatshirt that has visual interest to offer a fresh take on this classic comfort food of fashion. Pair with your favorite jeans for a pulled together casual look that says “I’m comfortable and cute,” aka the Holy Grail of fashion. Winter hair. Hello, static! Just when we thought our summer humidity hair woes were over, the crisp cool air greats us in all of its static glory. Never fear, the chic new ball cap is here. It is now perfectly acceptable, and a definite must, to sport a ball cap. Look for fun options that provide a posh look versus that traditional sports team

Photo credit: Eric Ellis

logo. These could include a leopard print, leather, or jeweled cap. You won’t even worry about your locks when you have a piece of style a top your head. Remember back when you were in elementary school and you wore sneakers every single day? That was the life! It is now time to channel your inner youthful spirit and lace up in your favorite kicks for a look that says “I’m going places.” Where has this trend been hiding? Why are your tennis shoes just now making an emergence on the fashion playing field? I’m really not sure, but there is no room for questioning. Embrace this trend. How could you not? Remember, the Holy Grail. The wedding of comfortable and cute was the event of the season. Pair with rolled up jeans, skinny trousers, and even flouncy skirts. Heck, pair them with everything. You now have the tools to be the casual, put together, relaxed girl that we are constantly trying to emulate. Reinvent the wheel and find a statement sweatshirt, bold ball cap, and cute kicks. Your casual just became chic.

Stores such as Belk are always running sales on their Polo Ralph Lauren apparel around this time of year. Example: This past weekend, I was able to get regular-priced $85 Polo Ralph Lauren Polo shirts for $29.39 and regular-priced $98 Polo Ralph Lauren white denim jeans for $34.29. Sales like that are consistently going on at our local Belk in the University Mall. By the way: I did not get any special benefits for mentioning Belk. I am just a fan of shopping local. I do, however, take my business to Birmingham and shop at The Summit at times. Stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue offer certain labels that Tuscaloosa does not offer yet. Another option is the Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store at the Shops of Grand River which houses a large selection of discounted Ralph Lauren apparel, sometimes up to 50% off their displayed discounted price. When it comes to shoes, those can be a little harder to find. Your standard go-to loafers and boots rarely go on sale, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them for a steal. Rack Room Shoes and Belk have great buy one get one half off deals or by two get them both half off, especially when that shoe is “out of season.” Ballin’ on a budget isn’t hard. Just remember to check our local vendors occasionally and sign-up for weekly email updates on current sales and promotions. The updates can be annoying, but you’ll be amazed at how much you can really save. Your friends will think you have gone mad with your Visa platinum card, but in reality, everything they’re buying for regular price, you’re getting on sale!

November 2013 • 27

Calendar NOTRL Events Calendar Holidays on the River: Nov. 23 through Jan. 5. 2014, 1901 Jack Warner Parkway, Tuscaloosa, Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum (site of the former Queen City Pool). Tickets will be available at the Transportation Museum beginning Nov. 23, and online via or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

The University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance presents “The School for Lies,” Nov. 24, 2:00 p.m. Marian Gallaway Theatre, University of Alabama Campus. The School for Lies is a witty, faced-paced farce from All in the Timing playwright David Ives. Tickets: $12 students, $15 UA Faculty/Staff and senior citizens and $18 adults. For tickets call (205) 348-3400 or visit

5th Street Vintage Market: Dec. 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 4150 5th Street, Northport. The Vintage Market is a great place to find unusual and unique gifts for the holiday season. For more information, visit or call (205)345-4763.

Christmas Open House, Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society: Dec. 1, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Five historic downtown Tuscaloosa sites: the Battle-Friedman House, the Old Tavern, the Murphy African American Museum, the Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion, and the McGuire-Strickland House. Each house

will be decorated for Christmas with entertainment and refreshments. Admission is free. For more information call (205) 758-6138 or (205) 758-2906, or visit

The Forgotten Carols: Dec. 2-3, 7:30 p.m. Theatre Tuscaloosa, the BeanBrown Theatre. A magical family musical about the hope and promise of Christmas. Ticket info: $22-$14 ticket prices. All ages. To purchase tickets, visit or call the Theatre Tuscaloosa Box Office at 3912277.

Dickens Downtown: Dec. 3, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Historic Downtown Northport. A community supported Victorian holiday gathering to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas. Free event. For more information, visit or call (205) 758-1257

AHSAA Super Six State Football Championships: Dec. 5-6. Bryant-Denny Stadium, University of Alabama Campus, Tuscaloosa. For more information, visit or contact Brandt Garrison with the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission at (205) 4692183 or email at

Art Night in downtown Northport: Thursday, Dec. 5, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This event is free to the public. For more information:

The Nutcracker, Tuscaloosa Community Dancers: Dec. 5-8, Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. Showtimes: Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. Ticket prices: $21 for adults, $17 for seniors 60+ and $12 for students and children. Group rates are available. Group rates are available. Tickets are available in the TCD office weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon and by phone at (205) 752-4220.

Hilaritas! The University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences School of Music: Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8, 3 p.m. Moody Music Building Concert Hall. Ticket prices: $5 to $15. For more information, call the UA School of Music Box Office at (205) 348-7111 or visit

First Friday in Downtown Tuscaloosa: Friday, Dec. 6, 5 p.m. to 9 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 has to offer. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama at (205) 758-7588.

Candyland Breakfast and Dance with Santa and Mrs. Claus: Dec. 7, 8 a.m. Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa (C.H.O.M.), Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information: (205) 349-4235 and

Snowflake Saturday and Elf Workshop: Dec. 7, 8 a.m. Children’s HandsOn Museum of Tuscaloosa (C.H.O.M.), Downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information: (205) 349-4235 and www.

PARA West Alabama Christmas Parade: Dec. 9. downtown Tuscaloosa. Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the steps of the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse, 5:15 p.m. Parade begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Actor’s Charitable Theatre (ACT) Presents: Les Miserables, Dec. 13-16, Bama Theatre, downtown Tuscaloosa. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13, 14 and 16 and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 15. For more information, including ticket information, visit www. or call (205) 3932800.

Twas the Night Before Christmas 5K Race and 1 mile Fun Run: Dec. 13, 7 p.m. Kentuck Park, Northport. This run is hosted by the City of Northport in conjunction with the Tuscaloosa Track Club. Walkers are also welcome. Registration forms are available at Northport City Hall, at www.cityofnorthport. org, at Wagner’s RunWalk in Midtown Village and at the Athlete’s Foot in Northport.

Holocaust survivor Max Herzel speaks at TPL Max Herzel is a survivor. Born in An-

mately was placed on a remote farm

twerp, Belgium, in 1930, Herzel was

in the French Alps, posing as a Catholic

just a boy when the Germans invaded,

orphan. Herzel’s father did not survive,

forcing his family to flee their home.

but he was reunited with his brother

On October 25, Herzel shared his har-

and mother after the war. Herzel im-

rowing story of survival with a packed

migrated to the U.S. in 1948.

room of patrons at the Tuscaloosa Public Library.

This special program was hosted by the Max Herzel told a Rotary Room audience about his life before, during and after World War II. After the Germans invaded Antwerp in 1940, Herzel and his family took refuge in a series of internment camps in southern France. When his father and brother were sent to a work camp, young Max was sent Photo credit: Vince Bellofatto, Tuscaloosa Public Library

to a series of orphanages and ulti-

Tuscaloosa Public Library, UA’s Bloom Hillel, and the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. Mr. Herzel’s visit was in conjunction with the “Darkness Into Life Exhibit: Alabama Holocaust Survivors Through Photography and Art” that ran during the month of October at Main library.

28 • November 2013

City & News Tuscaloosa County High School Memorial Brick Pavers available through Friends of Historic Northport


t’s been a few years now since the old Tuscaloosa County High School was demolished. The building, completed in 1926, might be gone, but memories will never fade. Now, TCHS alumni have an opportunity to own a piece of history, thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Historic Northport. The group is selling engraved bricks which will be placed at the new Tuscaloosa County High School Memorial.

The special bricks will eventually become part of the TCHS Memorial, allowing former classmates, teachers and their family members to forever link their name with the memory of the original Tuscaloosa County High School building. The 1926 TCHS Memorial engraved brick pavers are $50 (including installation) and the purchase is tax deductible as a contribution to Friends of Historic Northport or the TCHS Alumni Association.

Please visit to download brick paver order forms, or for more information call Dale Odum at (205) 799-5949 or Frances Pool at (205) 345-1057.

Friends of Historic Northport’s annual Boston Butt Fundraiser is happening now. The Boston butts, from Robertson’s BBQ, are $30 each, with proceeds benefiting FHN. Orders must be placed by December 9 for pick up on December 13 at the Northport Heritage Museum from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, please contact Frances Pool at (205) 345-1057.

Photos: Amy Materson

November 2013 • 29

City & News Beat Auburn Beat Hunger Campaign closes out 20th year


In an effort to increase awareness and, hopefully, donations, the University of Alabama’s Community Service Center has held and will hold a number of events to support the cause, including the 3rd Annual BABH 5K, held on November 10 on campus and a special two-day blood drive by the American Red Cross.

t’s that time of year again, when thoughts begin to turn to the annual Iron Bowl. For the 20th year in a row, the classic Alabama and Auburn rivalry is helping residents in need statewide, through the Beat Auburn Beat Hunger campaign. This year, a number of area events are planned, with the ultimate goal of boosting food donations and stocking the pantry of the West Alabama Food Bank. The WAFB, based in Northport, serves nine West Alabama counties, serving a population of over 315,000 residents.

To date, more than three million pounds of food have been donated thanks to the Beat Auburn Beat Hunger food drive, which began in 1994. Auburn University is also holding a food drive, with donations benefitting the East Alabama Food Bank. Last year, Auburn won the contest (and the Can Trophy), collecting a total of 273,650 pounds of food, compared to Alabama’s

266,737 pounds.

Photo credit: The University of Alabama Community Service Center

Addie Bunn, the director of the 2013 Beat Auburn Beat Hunger food drive, says this year’s goal is a lofty one: 275,000 pounds. “The Beat Auburn Beat Hunger Team is very excited about getting the chance to bring the Can Trophy back to this part of the state,” Bunn

said. “Beat Auburn Beat Hunger is a great opportunity for the University of Alabama and the Tuscaloosa community to help our own neighbors who are in need. My hope is that BABH fosters a sense of civic responsibility for UA students by showing them that it’s important after their time at the Capstone to be involved in the communities that they live in to better them.”

The final push for donations will come at the Beat Auburn Beat Hunger closing party on November 22. Big Al will be on hand to help fill up a truck at the UA Ferguson Center with last-minute donations.

Anyone wishing to donate money or find out specifics about where to bring non-perishable food items can visit the Beat Auburn Beat Hunger website at Have questions? Email or call 205-348-2865.

30 • November 2013


Rock Quarry Elementary Students Enjoy “RockFest” 2013

Photos: Eddie McClinton

By Alicia Jenne’


tudents, faculty and special guests at Rock Quarry Elementary School spent some time under the sea during the school’s annual RockFest on October 10.

The school has been implementing a RockFest event yearly since 1998. Each year the theme of RockFest changes to a different science focus. Some past themes have included: Space, the Earth, Human Body, Dinosaurs, the Rainforest, Oceans, The 7 Habits (with an emphasis on Sharpening the Saw, or taking care of oneself), and Recycling. Every six years the themes are reconsidered and some are recycled. This rotation ideally gives a student who attends RQES from grades Kindergarten through Fifth Grade exposure to six different science themes. Rock Quarry’s 2013 school wide theme is “It all comes back to learning” with a focus on Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.

When asked about the beginnings of RockFest, Dr. Debra Hildreth, RQES Principal from 1997-2007 said, “We wanted to do something unique for ‘The Rock.’ Other schools had fall festivals and spring flings.  As we worked to establish our identity, and because we opened as a math and science magnet school, we decided that the focus on science would be a creative and ‘fun for students’ way to go. We opted to do RockFest during the school day so that all students could attend.  By using an instructional day, a strong academic focus was a requirement.  We enlisted the support of UA methods students, our Adopt-a-School partners, and many dedicated teachers and parents.”

The day was balanced with classrooms activities and interactive lessons throughout the campus of both the elementary school and the middle school. The hallways were decorated with banners and giant “jellyfish” were suspended from the ceiling. Several ocean-themed photo opportunities were available throughout the school. The front display case intrigued students for weeks before the event with an under-sea scene of a treasure chest full of jewels and ocean themed books in the grasp of giant octopus tentacles. Continued on page 31

November 2013 • 31


Local high school students spread antibullying message through theater

Photos: Eddie McClinton


group of students from Paul W. Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa spent several days in October helping to promote a strong anti-bullying message to area elementary school students. Members of Brent Jones’ theater production class performed a play, “The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig,” to students at all 13 elementary schools in the Tuscaloosa City School system.

The show is part of the TCS anti-bullying awareness program called Harassment Awareness Learning Together, or HALT. Drama students performed the play for students at Rock Quarry Elementary and Verner Elementary schools on October 17. and at Woodland Forrest Elementary and Southview Elementary schools on October 21. Vickie Brown, TCS director of student services, says this program is a powerful teaching tool. “It’s a proactive, preventive approach to address bullying in Tuscaloosa City Schools. Rather than seeing No Bullying posters through out our schools you see our own students serving as models,” Brown said.

BHS drama teacher Brent Jones, says a program like this one is beneficial to everyone involved. “The elementary students win by receiving the positive anti-bullying message our theater production,” said Jones. “The Bryant High theater students win through experiencing hands-on what it is like to work in the theater preparing and performing multiple shows over multiple days.”

Rockfest (continued) Laura Jockisch, RQES Principal expressed her gratitude to everyone involved in planning such an incredible day. “Many thanks to our RockFest chairman, Shannon Merritt and our PTA committees. A special thanks to Dr. Carol Donovan and the UofA MAP (multiple abilities program) students for their dedication devoted toward planning and implementing an outstanding day for our children.”

RockFest is a truly unique program that sets Rock Quarry Elementary apart from other schools in the area. It is totally funded by the PTA’s Invest Program, and community donations, so that students are not charged for any activities. Students love the themed activities and talk about them years after the event. Brooksie Suttles, current Student Council Vice President, says,”Rockfest helps us to learn about Science all day. My favorite (activity) was when we played predator versus prey. We had two pictures and had to decide who was predator or prey and had to chase each other or run away.”

The HALT program was first implemented in 2012 as a way to raise awareness about bullying in schools. Vickie Brown, TCS director of student services, says programs like this one are invaluable. “The program provided by Paul W. Bryant High School drama team helps reinforce our HALT program at the elementary level and the high school students serve as positive role models for our younger students so it is a win-win situation for our collaborative partners,” Brown said.

Creative teachers, community members and parents, with the support of a strong PTA, have kept the RockFest tradition alive for the past 15 years. As a teacher who has participated in every RockFest since the program began, I cannot wait to see what the next 15 years holds! The sparks of inquiry that are ignited at RockFest may very well turn into a career focus for some of Tuscaloosa’s brightest young students! Now who said learning can’t be fun?!

To learn more about the Tuscaloosa City Schools HALT program, visit www.

Alicia Jenne’ is a RQES Kindergarten Teacher, a National Board Certified Teacher and is RQES’ 2013 Teacher of the Year.

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NOTRL November 2013