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Oxford

ACCESS

SUMMER 2017

BE OUR GUEST

OPAC Announces its Biggest Season Yet

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Message from the

Oxford Mayor Dear Citizens, I cannot say enough about our great city, which is continuing to amaze me every day that I serve as your mayor. Oxford has had a few great months since the last issue of Access, and those great months have turned into record-breaking months because of all of you. Your support for our events at our different facilities reassures me that we live in the greatest city in the Deep South. Choccolocco Park is the envy of just about every city of every state around us and beyond. We’ve hosted three successful Ohio Valley Conference Tournaments (softball, baseball, and track and field), have just been awarded the bid for the 2018 and 2019 OVC Softball Tournament, and will likely have more collegiate events in the upcoming seasons that will continue to ensure Oxford’s place as the place to go for sports in the south. Our Performing Arts Center just announced a great season lineup that may eclipse last season’s lineup, so we are continuing to blaze new trails in the arts. Oxford City Schools is continuing to be a benchmark for other schools around the state, and many of our students are already working toward their college degrees by participating in our dual enrollment and career tech classes. People from all over the country are coming to Oxford to spend their time at our facilities, including the nationally-ranked Cider Ridge Golf Course. We have many exciting things coming up in the next few months. The 4th of July Freedom Festival at Oxford Lake is looking to break attendance records, and the 2017 Dixie Youth World Series will be held at Choccolocco Park in Oxford. Teams from 11 different states will be participating in that tournament, and we look to break even more records during that week in August. Even though we have had great success, the City of Oxford has also experienced great loss. We mourn with the families of longtime Oxford employees Jack Blakemore (whom we all knew as “Slab”) and Choccolocco Park Director Rusty Riley, who lost his battle with cancer in June. We are thankful for the time we had with them at the City of Oxford, and we will cherish the legacies that they have left us. On behalf of the City Council and the city employees, we are grateful for their hard work and are blessed to have known them as co-workers and as friends. In conclusion, I am honored to serve as your mayor. You – the citizens of Oxford – make our corner of Alabama a great place to work, stay, and play. Oxford 311 has been successful, and I encourage you to continue to call 311 for all non-emergency related matters in Oxford. I hope that we continue to have a record-breaking summer.

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Dedicated to the memory of Rusty Riley & Jack “Slab” Blakemore

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CONTENTS 6 BE OUR GUEST - OPAC'S BIGGEST SEASON YET 28 SPOTLIGHT: OFFICER LYONS 33 MOMENTS THAT MATTER 34 TAKE CARE OF YOUR FELLOW MAN 38 MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE 43 MESSAGE FROM THE OXFORD FIRE CHIEF 48 SPOTLIGHT: PHIL GARDNER 51 WREN'S NEST GALLERY OPENING 55 PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 57 MESSAGE FROM THE OXFORD POLICE CHIEF 59 THE TRAIL TO EAGLE 61 FROM THE GROUND UP 64 GOLF TIPS FROM DOUG WERT 66 SUMMER READING ACTIVITIES AT THE LIBRARY 68 BOTANICAL BONUS 70 TWENTY QUESTIONS WITH MADISON REEDER 72 OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS 76 FROM THE OXFORD MOUND TO MIAMI BOUND 78 BOOM CHOCCOLOCCO 88 OXFORD HISTORY

On The Cover: Dr. Patrick Bernardi and Mr. Greg Bernardi Do you have an article idea? Send it to marketing@oxfordal.us For advertising information, contact mshadrix@tv24.tv OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2017

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The upcoming season includes

ARTISTS whose musical

backgrounds range from chart-topping country hits to Broadway standards 8

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MULTI-AWARD WINNING MUSICAL "ONCE" CAME TO OXFORD LAST SEASON

T

he Oxford Performing Arts Center’s fourth season of concerts is certain to be the BIGGEST, BOLDEST AND BRIGHTEST season ever! Each performance has been handpicked with our audience in mind to bring shows that everyone will find enjoyable and entertaining. The upcoming season includes 40 artists whose musical backgrounds range from chart-topping country hits to Broadway standards. The season includes five diverse series along with a variety of season extras. The 2017 – 2018 season is truly for each and every one of our patrons. The Oxford Performing Arts Center is thrilled to be teaming up with Regional Medical Center to present the 2017 – 2018 Regional Medical Center Concert Series, with additional support from CARES and Farmers and Merchants Bank. This series, formally known as the Black and Gold Series, continues to raise the bar each year. The RMC Concert Series includes an eclectic mixture of five top-notch performances selected to entertain audience members of all age.

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RMC CONCERT SERIES The first performance of the RMC Concert Series is AN EVENING WITH AARON NEVILLE. Aaron Neville’s incredible fifty-six year career has seamlessly moved back and forth from his solo work to his role in the Neville Brothers, known as the “First Family of New Orleans Jazz Music.” He has had four Platinum-certified albums and four Top 10 hits in the United States. His latest release, Apache, makes the case for Aaron Neville as the most holistic of soul men. Legendary rock super group STYX will be the second performers in the concert series. Styx draws from over four decades of chart-topping hits, joyous sing-a-longs, and hard-driving melodies. Some of their biggest hits include: “Fooling Yourself,” “Lorelei,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Boat on the River,” “The Grand Illusion,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” and “Renegade.” The group has forged an indelible legacy both on record and on stage. The third act in the RMC Concert Series will be CHRISTMAS WITH THE ANNIE MOSES BAND. Billboard Music Award-winner, the Annie Moses Band, has been inspiring and entertaining audiences for over a decade, bringing their distinctive style of music across the U.S. and around the world. A captivating blend of folk and classical, the Annie Moses Band is a talented ensemble of songwriters, singers, musicians, and siblings combining technical skill with exhilarating showmanship. Another unique performance in the series is THREE PHANTOMS IN CONCERT. The Three Phantoms features solo numbers from the shows that made them the stars that they have become. The concert will also feature duets and trios, all from the Broadway male repertoire. In addition to songs from Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and The Phantom Of The Opera, the program may include numbers from Guys And Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate, South Pacific, and many more. The final performance of the RMC Concert Series will be rock legends AMERICA, live in concert. For decades America has been cranking out chart topping, classic-rock favorites such as “I Need You,” “Ventura Highway,” “Tin Man,” and most notably “A Horse With No Name.” Now in their 47th year of making music together, founding members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell continue to produce new music and transcend borders with uplifting new singles that maintain their distinctive soft-rock sound.

THIS SEASON OF ENTERTAINMENT IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER IN NORTHEAST ALABAMA

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NOBLEBANK AND TRUST BROADWAY SERIES The NobleBank and Trust Broadway series, with additional support from BR Williams, is also back and bigger than ever. It’s important to bring top-notch live theatrical performances to our community to entertain and educate. The Oxford Performing Arts Center is thrilled to present five hit Broadway touring productions straight from the bright lights of Broadway to our stage. These musical productions vary in style and genre, certain to entertain theatre-lovers of young and old!

WITH EACH PASSING YEAR, OPAC BECOMES CLOSER TO REACHING THEIR GOAL OF BECOMING THE ENTERTAINMENT HUB OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA.

The first musical of the 2017 – 2018 NobleBank and Trust Broadway series is ELF THE MUSICAL! Based on the 2003 hit film of the same name, Elf the Musical is the perfect holiday show for the entire family. Elf the Musical played on Broadway during the Christmas season from 2010 through 2013 where it broke box office records three times. This heartwarming comedy is centered around Buddy the Elf ’s quest to find his father and discover the true meaning of Christmas. Based off of the hit film, DIRTY DANCING—THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE is the second performance of this series. Since its debut in 2004, Dirty Dancing - The Musical, has danced its way across stages around the world including Hong Kong, Paris, and throughout the United States. Dirty Dancing maintains all of the excitement and drama of the classic 1987 film along with several new musical numbers, energetic dance sequences, and the iconic number “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” Are you a fan of classical musical theatre? Join us as we present the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic THE SOUND OF MUSIC as the third performance of the Broadway series. The Sound of Music is most notably the final collaboration of iconic Broadway composer/lyricist duo Rodgers and Hammerstein. The production opened on Broadway in 1959 and won five Tony Awards. The 1965 Oscar-winning film starring Julie Andrews remains one of the most successful musical films of all time. This tour pays homage to the original musical production and film including the standards “Climb Every Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi,” and “The Sound of Music.” After a recent run on Broadway, AMAZING GRACE is now spreading its message of faith, courage, and hope to cities across the country, including Oxford. Written by Christopher Smith, this musical is based on the inspiring true story behind one of the most beloved songs ever written. The musical follows the story of famous slave trader turned Anglican priest, John Newton, who is best known for writing one of the most popular hymns of all time, “Amazing Grace.” The final performance of the 2017 – 2018 NobleBank and Trust Broadway is A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER! This hilarious musical comedy took

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Broadway by storm in 2013 and won four Tony Awards including Best Musical. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder tells the story of Monty Navarro who aspires to acquire his family’s fortune by eliminating the eight relatives standing in his way.

THESE FIVE SPECTACULAR PERFORMANCES RAISE THE BROADWAY SERIES TO NEW AND GREATER HEIGHTS WEBB CONCRETE AND BUILDING MATERIALS COUNTRY MUSIC SERIES The Webb Concrete and Building Materials Country Music Series will be back for our 2017 – 2018 season after an incredibly successful first year. This lineup of legendary country music artists is perhaps one of the most star studded in the history of OPAC. This series is the perfect blend of classic and contemporary country music, certain to please each ticket holder. LEE GREENWOOD AND CRYSTAL GAYLE are teaming together to kick off the Webb Country Music Series! These two are both icons in country music with dozens of number one hits and albums between them. Lee Greenwood recently performed his song, “God Bless the USA,” at the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in January of 2017. Crystal Gayle, with over twenty number-one hits, was the first female artist in country music history to reach platinum sales. We are thrilled to have country music legend CHARLIE DANIELS joining us for this series! From his CMA Award-winning country hits to his Dove Award winning gospel albums, Charlie Daniels is undoubtedly one of the most well respected country music legends of all time. Best known for his hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” this legendary artist has also been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and the Musicians Hall of Fame Museum. Daniels is still doing what he loves after almost 60 years in the business. “THE HEART BEHIND THE MUSIC” has been providing an up-close and personal insight into some of the greatest music ever written, with performances by some of the music industry’s most talented

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musicians. This showcase features Alabama band member Teddy Gentry, along with Grammy Winners Linda Davis and John Berry. Nadine from the hit show “Larry Country Diner” will be the special opening guest. “The Heart Behind the Music” will be the third performance of the country series. JERROD NIEMANN is one of country music’s most original and talented musicians. Niemann has quickly become a fan and industry favorite, earning award nominations from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, and CMT. He also headlines his own shows in addition to touring with such artists as Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, and Keith Urban. The final performer in the 2017 – 2018 Webb Country Music Series is country music icon, LORETTA LYNN. Rising from an impoverished childhood in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, Loretta Lynn personifies the American dream in a way few other artists can. A self-made star who hit the road with her husband visiting radio stations to introduce her debut record five decades ago, Loretta has become one of the Opry’s most celebrated legends. Her countless accolades include three Grammys and eight Country Music Association Awards. In 1972, she became the first female artist to win the Country Music Association’s coveted Entertainer of the Year award. Greatest hits include “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” and her famous anthem “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Now a member of the Country Music and Songwriters Halls of Fame, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 and continues to write new music and tours frequently. VANESSA WILLIAMS ENCHANTED THE OPAC AUDIENCE


EDWARD JONES LEGENDS SERIES For their fourth season of entertainment, the Oxford Performing Arts Center will be expanding the Edward Jones Legends series and adding a new series designed especially for kids! The Edward Jones Legends Series will now include five tribute concerts featuring several of the most popular tribute bands in the music industry. Rumours: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, Shadows of the Sixties, Brass Transit, Seven Bridges, and The Hit Men make up the 2017 – 2018 Edward Jones Legends Series! Kicking off the 2017 – 2018 Edward Jones Legends Series is RUMOURS: A TRIBUTE TO FLEETWOOD MAC. The Rumours show is a meticulously recreated Fleetwood Mac concert experience. From authentic instruments and costumes to spot on characterizations and musical performances, Rumours takes you back to a time when music was not just to be heard, but experienced. OPAC is thrilled to welcome THE SHADOWS OF THE SIXTIES back to Oxford as a part of the legends series. The Shadows of the Sixties pays tribute to the tremendous legacy of The Four Tops, The Temptations, and The Supremes. Great care is taken to reproduce the music note for note utilizing the original keys and arrangements. Also featured will be the music of Motown’s Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Martha Reeves, Junior Walker, and more! Chicago tribute group BRASS TRANSIT is the next performance in the series. Brass Transit includes eight of Canada’s most talented, accomplished and awardwinning musicians. Their sole purpose is to pay tribute to the decades-long, multi-platinum songbook of Chicago. Brass Transit has toured North America leaving audiences speechless from their commitment to bringing Chicago’s music to fans old and new. The legendary Eagles tribute band SEVEN BRIDGES is the next group to hit the stage. Seven Bridges is a stunningly accurate tribute to the music of the Eagles. The band faithfully re-creates the experience of an Eagles concert from their most prolific period. The show features one brilliant hit single after another (“Take it Easy,” “Hotel California,” and “Desperado”) offering the perfect blend of songs to capture all levels of Eagles devotees. THE HIT MEN in concert is the fifth and final performance of the Edward Jones Legends Series. This multi-talented quintet of musicians have spent decades touring and recording with some of the most celebrated artists in history including Frankie Valli, Carole King, and Elton John. Individually, these musicians have performed on over eighty-five albums and won multiple awards.

POTTS CHILDREN’S THEATRE SERIES Along with these four phenomenal series, the Oxford Performing Arts Center, with tremendous support from Mr. and Mrs. Greg and Cheryl Potts of Oxford, is proud to announce the 2017 – 2018 Potts Children’s Theatre Series. This series is designed for the entire family. Whether produced locally, or by professional children’s theatres, each of these performances is sure to delight children of all ages. The 2017 – 2018 Potts Children’s Theatre Series includes: HANSEL AND GRETEL produced by Jacksonville Opera Theatre, DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE! An Experience 65 Million Years in the Making, MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS, MOON MOUSE: A SPACE ODYSSEY produced by Lightwire Theatre, and MY FATHER’S DRAGON by Enchantment Theatre Company.

SPECIAL SEASON EXTRAS The 2017 – 2018 season wouldn’t be complete without our fabulous line up of season extras. Season extras are performances that can be added to your season package, or purchased individually. Season extra performances include TAYLOR HICKS, CLINT BLACK, RONNIE MILSAP, THE TEMPTATIONS, THE LITTLE RIVER BAND, THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND, TRAVIS TRITT, AN EVENING WITH SANDI PATTY, LEANN RIMES, SWAN LAKE, BEAR COUNTRY, MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL, and AN IRISH HEART featuring CHLOE AGNEW and the ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA. The 2017 – 2018 Oxford Performing Arts Center season of entertainment is unlike any other in northeast Alabama. With each passing year, OPAC becomes closer to reaching their goal of becoming the entertainment hub of Northeast Alabama. The Oxford Performing Arts Center would like to thank the patrons and community for their unending dedication to support the arts in our area.

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OCTOBER 5 2017

7:00PM $29 | $39 | $49 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: RMC, CARES, AND F&M BANK

An Evening with Aaron Neville A DUO PERFORMANCE

OCTOBER 22 2017

STYX

THE ROCK LEGENDS — LIVE IN CONCERT

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7:00PM $49 | $59 | $69 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: RMC, CARES, AND F&M BANK


DECEMBER 21 2017

7:00PM $15 | $20 | $25 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: RMC, CARES, AND F&M BANK

Christmas with the Annie Moses Band

FEBRUARY 2 2018

7:30PM $19 | $29 | $39 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: RMC, CARES, AND F&M BANK

FEATURING THREE FORMER STARS OF THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA AND THE FABULOUS ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA

Three Phantoms

JANUARY 28 2018

7:00PM $39 | $49 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: RMC, CARES, AND F&M BANK

America OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2017

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NOVEMBER 12 2017

ELF!

2:00PM & 7:30PM $35 | $45 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: NOBLEBANK & TRUST, AND BR WILLIAMS

THE BROADWAY MUSICAL - NATIONAL TOUR

DECEMBER 3 2017

2:00PM & 7:30PM $35 | $45 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: NOBLEBANK & TRUST, AND BR WILLIAMS

Dirty Dancing

THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE- THE NATIONAL BROADWAY TOUR

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JANUARY 23 2018

7:00PM $35 | $45 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: NOBLEBANK & TRUST, AND BR WILLIAMS

The Sound of Music

FEBRUARY 24 2018

7:30PM $35 | $45 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: NOBLEBANK & TRUST, AND BR WILLIAMS

AMAZING GRACE

APRIL 27 2018

7:30PM $35 | $45 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: NOBLEBANK & TRUST, AND BR WILLIAMS

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2017

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AUGUST 31 2017

7:00PM $39 | $49 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: WEBB CONCRETE & BUILDING MATERIALS

Lee Greenwood & Crystal Gayle

NOVEMBER 9 2017

7:00PM $39 | $49 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: WEBB CONCRETE & BUILDING MATERIALS

The Charlie Daniels Band 18

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FEBRUARY 9 2018

7:30PM $25 | $35 | $45 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: WEBB CONCRETE & BUILDING MATERIALS

The Heart Behind The Music

FEATURING TEDDY GENTRY OF ALABAMA, LINDA DAVIS, JOHN BERRY, AND NADINE FROM LARRY' S COUNTRY DINER ON CMT

MARCH 17 2018

7:30PM $49 | $59 | $69 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: WEBB CONCRETE & BUILDING MATERIALS

An Evening with Loretta Lynn

MARCH 23 2018

7:30PM $35 | $45 | $55 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: WEBB CONCRETE & BUILDING MATERIALS

Jerrod Niemann OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2017

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NOVEMBER 2 2017

Rumours

A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF FLEETWOOD MAC

7:00PM $19 | $25 | $29 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: EDWARD JONES OF OXFORD-ANNISTON

NOVEMBER 17 2017

Shadows of the Sixties A TRIBUTE TO MOTOWN’S SUPERGROUPS

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7:30PM $19 | $25 | $29 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: EDWARD JONES OF OXFORD-ANNISTON


JANUARY 27 2018

7:30PM $19 | $25 | $29 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: EDWARD JONES OF OXFORD-ANNISTON

Brass Transit THE MUSICAL LEGACY OF CHICAGO

FEBRUARY 16 2018

7:30PM $19 | $25 | $29 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: EDWARD JONES OF OXFORD-ANNISTON

Seven Bridges THE ULTIMATE EAGLES TRIBUTE

MARCH 16 2018

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The Hit Men OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2017

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OCTOBER 29 2017

Hansel & Gretel

2:00PM CHILDREN $8 | ADULTS $12 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: GREG & CHERYL POTTS

BY THE JACKSONVILLE OPERA THEATRE

NOVEMBER 20 2017

Dinosaur Zoo Live! AN EXPERIENCE 65 MILLION YEARS IN THE MAKING

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6:00PM CHILDREN $8 | ADULTS $12 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: GREG & CHERYL POTTS


DECEMBER 11 2017

6:00PM CHILDREN $8 | ADULTS $12 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: GREG & CHERYL POTTS

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

JANUARY 26 2018

6:00PM CHILDREN $8 | ADULTS $12 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: GREG & CHERYL POTTS

Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey

MARCH 29 2018

6:00PM CHILDREN $8 | ADULTS $12 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM: GREG & CHERYL POTTS

My Father’s Dragon OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2017

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OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2017

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SEA SON EXT RAS

Ronnie Milsap

Taylor Hicks

AUG 5, 2017 7:30PM $29, $39, $49

AUG 26, 2017 7:30PM $18, $22, $29

The Little River Band SEP 7, 2017 7:00PM $35, $45, $55

The Temptations with The Legendary Otis Williams SEP 21, 2017 7:00PM $35, $45, $55 26

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The Marshall

SEP 17, 2017 7:00PM

Clint Black OCT 12, 2017 8:00PM $29, $39, $49


Christmas with LeAnn Rimes DEC 9, 2017 7:30PM $35, $45, $55

Tucker Band $25, $35, $45

Travis Tritt

Bear Country

An Acoustic Performance

Alabama Shakespeare Festival

JAN 19, 2018 7:30PM $29, $39, $49

FEB 10 & 11, 2018 7:30PM & 2:00PM $19, $25, $29

An Evening with Sandi Patty

By The Alabama Ballet

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Swan Lake

MAR 9, 2018 7:30PM $15, $20, $25

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SPOTLIGHT OFFICER LYONS By Kristin Roberts For this magazine’s employee spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing and getting to know Gerry Lyons, a police officer with the Oxford Police Department. Being an Oxford resident, I already knew how much the community trusts and appreciates its police department, so it was great to learn more about how the city’s police officers value their public service roles and enjoy getting to know the residents they serve.

O

fficer Lyons believes the City of Oxford has the best community support of anywhere he has ever seen.

“There is not a day that goes by that somebody does not thank me for being a police officer,” Officer Lyons said. “I do it because I want to, but the community’s support makes an already great job even better.”

Officer Gerry Lyons and his children

Officer Lyons is one of the city’s Park Patrol officers. He is also a bike officer and a member of the Aviation Services Unit. Born in Anniston and now living in Wellington, Officer Lyons spends his work days performing his duties as a Park Patrol officer by visiting each city park throughout the day, then heading to the new OPD Special Operations Command building to perform the mechanical checks for the department’s helicopter. During the school year, he also travels to the city schools where he speaks to the students and spends time in various classrooms. Officer Lyons loves getting to know the residents of Oxford and often finds himself talking to people he encounters in our many parks. “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being able to talk to kids or playing with them in the parks. I don’t think much about how I may influence the children I come across, so it is a particularly great feeling when I speak to a child’s parents, and they tell me how him or her ‘went on and on’ about meeting and talking to a police officer. I really love that,” Officer Lyons said. Officer Lyons’ love of talking to people began in 2007 during his training to become a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer at his former job in Rainbow City. As someone who considers himself a shy person, Officer Lyons says that working with the DARE program in schools and with his mentors at the time helped him step out of his comfort zone and find his love of communicating with strangers.

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One of Officer Lyons’ favorite ways to engage someone in conversation and to get to know the public is by patrolling Choccolocco Park or Oxford Lake on his police bicycle. He has enjoyed riding for most of his life and finds it a great tool in showing a friendly police presence where the public gathers to play. Because of his interest in bike riding, Officer Lyons participated in the Police Unity Tour earlier this year. Lyons says, “The Police Unity Tour is the big fundraiser for the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C. Every officer who participated wore a bracelet with the name of a fallen officer from the previous year that we were riding in honor of. I also wore bracelets with the names of the three Oxford officers who have died in the line of duty in the past. The feeling of participating in something like that was just overwhelming. We rode 255 miles over three days. On the fourth day, after riding into the capital, they held a candlelight vigil for fallen officers at the memorial. Seeing the families of all the fallen officers stand up during the vigil really hit home. That’s why we were all there and riding.” During his days off one can find Officer Lyons spend time with his family, both on and off the bike. Together, they have a unique hobby of beekeeping. “We first got into beekeeping a few years ago when we were trying to raise our own food. We have had hives for about five years now, and this year we are up to about 28 hives,” Officer Lyons said. “My whole family loves beekeeping. Both of my children, who are six and three years old, have their own beekeeping suits. My daughter even has her own hive that she takes care of!” While Officer Lyons says he appreciates the love and backing he and other officers get from the Oxford community, nobody supports him like his spouse. “My wife provides the biggest support system of anyone hands down, and she rarely gets the credit she deserves. She is a stay at home mom, and even while dealing with thyroid cancer, she still finds time to support me, and she works so hard to help me be better at everything I do. She is the love of my life,” Officer Lyons said. “With the immense support the Oxford Police Department receives from the City of Oxford, I can continue to pursue my original purpose for becoming a police officer–my love for helping people. I am here for the people of Oxford.”

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S I M P LY

Shuck and clean corn. TIP: Don't worry about getting every last stray piece of silk—they'll burn away on the grill anyway. Place the corn directly over a very hot fire and grill, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes total.

GOOD

KEEP IT LIGHT AND DRIZZLE WITH: Olive oil flavored with basil and sea salt. or SAVORY HERB BUTTER: 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, chives or tarragon), and 1 teaspoon salt. Hand mix until blended.

sweet corn with smoky, charred-grilled flavor

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MOMENTS THAT MATTER TRIBUTE TO JOEY D’ANNA By Joshua Craft Joey D’Anna has been taking pictures for decades, but his heart lies with A League of Our Own, where he takes his picture-taking skills to the next level for the children with special needs that play for the league. “It humbles me,” D’Anna says, “and it’s my calling from God. I love these kids, and I’m glad that I get bring their photos to life.” A League of Our Own founder and past president Ginger Munroe speaks of D’Anna’s resolve to be at the field every Saturday during the season. “He did it on his own.” Munroe says. “We never went to him and asked him to take pictures; he just did it because it’s where he felt the Lord calling him.” She continues on to mention that D’Anna’s photos bring life to the athletes with special needs, and it gives their families and loved ones a priceless memory. D’Anna has such a heart for A League of Our Own that he has never charged for photos that are given to parents and posts his pictures for all to look at on the league’s website and social media pages. “Other photographers may do it for the money, but this is my calling. These children are special and they hold a special place in my heart, and I give to them freely, and they give me love.” D’Anna has a special connection to the participants, and he iterates that he gets to see them through his lens. “The kids out there from Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and other organizations are so special. They have all types of special needs, and they just want to be athletes, if only for a day,” he says. He reflects on a time that had him in tears: “There was a kid out there with crutches, and he told me that he had a dream of running from home plate to first base without his crutches, and he did just that, and I got to capture that; I got to bring that to life.” That one athlete made it all the way back to home plate without assistance, and D’Anna was able to capture that moment step for step. As our conversation came to an end, he talked about the legacy that he wants to leave. “All these kids are all-stars, and I’m proud that I’ll leave a part of my legacy frame-by-frame for these beautiful children. I want to leave a legacy for my own children to look back on and be proud of what we’ve done on Earth, and to always remember to hold all children, especially the ones with special needs, near and dear to their heart.” As a board member for A League of Our Own and as a friend, I’d like to extend my gratitude to Joey D’Anna on behalf of all of us that are affiliated with A League of Our Own. Thank you for capturing the moments that matter.

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TAKE CARE OF YOUR FELLOW MAN By THE OXFORD ACCESS STAFF

On July 19, 1950, in a radio and television address to the American people on the situation in Korea, President Truman said, “We know the cost of freedom is high. But we are determined to preserve our freedom–no matter what the cost. Our country stands before the world as an example of how free men, under God, can build a community of neighbors, working together for the good of all. We believe that freedom and peace are essential if men are to live as our Creator intended us to live. It is this faith that has guided us in the past, and it is this faith that will fortify us in the stern days ahead.” That same year, as some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army crossed over the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the North and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the South, Billy Joe Beck joined the United States Marine Corps. Beck, also known as Coach Beck, was a Junior at Oxford High School and had just turned 18 years old when he decided to join the armed forces along with his two buddies, Waverly “Sam” Walker, and Buddy Howell. Beck wanted to do his share in protecting the United States and the nation’s interests, but also of other countries around the world. “It was just the thing boys did back then,” Beck said. “I joined the Marines because I knew they would not leave anyone behind. If you are wounded in front of your lines, they are going to bring you back with them. The Marines taught us the true meaning of respect and how you should respect, look out for, and take care of your fellow man.” After the trio had finished their basic training at Parris Island, they traveled to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina where Walker was put on one regiment while Howell and Beck were put on another. Beck wittily tells a story of how he and Walker were in Korea at the same time. “As a matter of fact, I relieved Sam on an outpost one time. We were walking through the trenches, and there stood Sam. I said, ‘What are you doing out here, fella?’ He said, ‘Man you don’t want this place.’ I asked him what the matter was and he said they were getting hit every night. I told him, ‘Well y’all go on and hit ‘em back.’ Then, Sam showed me where his bunker was. Everything was stacked waist-high. I asked if they had been eating and he told me they did not have time to eat. Well, let me tell you. We ate good that night.”

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While on night patrol on Friday, June 13th, Beck’s squad (whom he was the leader of ) was tasked with capturing an enemy prisoner. Beck shares how he led his squad through the trenches in search of the enemy. While navigating through one, he heard something ‘pop’ in front of him. He quickly realized what was happening. “The enemy had thrown a live hand grenade right in front of me, and there was nowhere to go. The grenade hit me, and its shrapnel went up under my vest and caught me in the stomach,” Beck said. “We did the job. We captured two prisoners. I was hurt but did not want my men to have to carry me, so I walked back to our line with them. It was about a mile and a half. They did not leave me out there. We did not leave anyone out there. We had two guys get killed that night, and we brought them back too.” Beck recalls how his men put him on a helicopter and transported him to an operating room. “I nearly froze to death on the way out of there. They performed a colostomy on my side. They had to get all the metal out of me. They put me in a hospital in Korea. I then went on to Japan, Midway Island, Hawaii, California, and finally to Pensacola, Florida. When I got to Pensacola, I had gone from weighing 190 lbs. to 126 lbs. I was lucky to be alive. The doctor said if it had been WWII, I would be dead.” Beck served in the Marine Corps for three years. He was discharged as a Corporal and was awarded a Purple Heart among several other awards. After returning home, Beck went on to work for Western Electric, Mellow Davis, and the Anniston Army Depot before taking a job at a fire station in Fort McClellan. Beck worked as a fireman for 20 years until retiring at age 60 in 1992. As a sixth grader, Beck fell in love with the game of tennis after being introduced to the sport by a couple in Bynum. They would teach Beck and his friends how to play on a red dirt clay court close to the Army Depot. Beck played throughout his life, but it was not until he retired as a firefighter that he started teaching tennis in Oxford. “I was out on the community courts teaching tennis, and Mrs. Norma Martin came by and said, ‘Why don’t you help with the school’s tennis team? Larry Davidson needs some help; he’s doing it by himself.’ So, I went and helped him. I took care of the girls’ team, and he took care of the boys’ team,” Beck said. “We had some great teams over

the years. Coach Davidson and I used to send kids to the state tournament every year just about. At one time, more Oxford tennis players were receiving athletic scholarship than all other sports combined. I believe we had seven kids on scholarships that year.” When asked what led him to be so generous with his time and to coach Oxford’s teams with no financial compensation, Beck said he simply did it because he enjoyed it and wanted to. “Look at me now. I am 85 years old. In 1989, I had colon cancer in the same spot the grenade hit me. The good Lord takes care of old fools, truly surely. He has given me a lot of time. If I can do something to help somebody else, why not do it? I have the time, and it has given me a lot of pleasure seeing young kids start hitting tennis balls and work hard to make the tennis team. I have enjoyed it very much[sic].” Besides tennis, Beck likes fishing—mainly fly fishing. “It is a good hobby. I like to fish anywhere. I turn ‘em loose anyways. I never keep them. I will catch ‘em and then turn ‘em loose. I can go to the store and buy them already cooked. It is better to buy them and let someone else have fun catching them as well,” Beck said. “I have also enjoyed coaching football. Mayor Leon Smith and I coached peewee football together some 30 or 40 years ago.” Beck has been married to his wife, Carolyn (Toole), for 63 years. Together, they have two daughters and a son. They lost twin girls in 1969. All his children graduated from Oxford High School. Most of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren are Oxford alumni or students. Beck shares how he has enjoyed living and raising his children in Oxford. “One of the things I like about Oxford is the location and neighborhood feel. Oxford has always been a friendly little town even though it is getting big now. I just like the community here and everything. If I did not, I would move. We have lived on Forest Hill since 1956. We were the first ones to move in there. All our neighbors have already died, and we are going to be the last ones to leave out there.” Coach Beck, thank you for your service and for all you have done for the children of Oxford. Your time is very much appreciated.

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Making Dreams Come True

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Little girls often dream of growing up to become princesses. They dream of beautiful flowing gowns, magnificent castles, all of the magic that could happen, and sometimes even a knight in shining armor. When a group of girls from Oxford grew up, they got to fulfill their dream of being princesses, and not just any princesses, but princesses with a purpose.

By Kristin Roberts PHOTOGRAPHER: Gina Robertson

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They are part of an organization known as The Fairytale Project. The Fairytale Project is a nonprofit organization that currently serves the areas of Jefferson, Talladega, and Calhoun counties. Their mission is to use characters to bring smiles, joy, hope, and encouragement to children and adults that are facing difficult circumstances. The Fairytale Project was created last October and is headed by Chassidy Casey, who plays Elsa. Jennifer Stone, an Oxford native playing Jasmine, has known Casey for several years. In the beginning, it was just Casey and Stone, but as the project evolved, they added more princesses. One of the princesses they added, Shayna Bussey of Oxford, plays the role of Cinderella. Now, they have expanded to include almost all the Disney princesses, but they also plan to include superhero characters. The Fairytale Project began their journey by working with the Ronald McDonald House and by hosting “Princess Parties” where children could meet the princesses and take part in various activities. The Fairytale Project collaborates with many different groups and organizations and attends events such as proms for children and teenagers with special needs; they visit sick children and those in foster care, as well as children and adults with developmental disabilities. The group of Oxford princesses appreciates the beauty and joy associated with working with the many groups and organizations they encounter. “When we first started working with these groups and these kids, I just assumed they would be more aware of their situation and let it affect them more, but it doesn’t. They don’t let it. These people have so much love and joy for everyone they meet, and it continues to bring tears to our eyes. When we are in ‘princess mode,’ we sometimes have to run away, so they don’t see us cry,” Bussey said. “They honestly help you keep a better outlook on your life.”

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Currently, the largest event that the Fairytale Project has hosted was a carnival-style event held at the Michael Wedding Barn. The Fairytale Project partnered with Calhoun County DHR to host the event for foster children. “This event was one of Chassidy Casey’s first visions when she first wanted to create the organization. The entire community and surrounding areas came together to show their support and help any way they could. It was a great collaboration with all sorts of activities. Local businesses donated pizza, chicken, cotton candy, and popcorn, and there were superheroes and local firefighters mingling with the children,” Stone said. “It took a lot to get it off the ground, but everything was worth it when we saw the kids having the time of their lives.” The Fairytale Project has done events and fundraisers in the City of Oxford with Rainbow Omega, and they hosted the “Beauty and the Beast” premiere weekend at the AmStar movie theater. “The event we had with Rainbow Omega was one of our traditional Princess Tea Parties,” Bussey said. Stone added, “We get a lot out of those types of events where we can sit down and enjoy every minute of the time spent with these great people.” When the group did the Beauty and the Beast premiere weekend fundraiser, AmStar provided them with escorts, a red carpet, velvet ropes, and even provided the children they served that fell under their mission with admission, popcorn, and snacks, according to Stone. “They went out of their way to help us fulfill our mission of bringing joy to children under difficult circumstances,” Stone said. “They provided us free admission to the movie, and they roped off a special section where we could sit with the child we had been assigned. We also had a ‘meet and greet’ on the red carpet where we met children from all over Calhoun County.” Each child that was chosen to participate in the premiere weekend with The Fairytale Project had their own stories as


“I love how starstruck almost every child seems to be when they meet us. I have even had little girls run up to me and say, I KNEW you were real! I just knew it!” to why they were chosen. One little girl in particular was chosen after losing her father in a motorcycle accident several years before, then recently losing her mother and big sister due to domestic violence. Despite every child’s tragic situation, they were all excited to be named “VIP Princesses” and to get their very own sash and crown. With the many details going into each event, The Fairytale Project has found itself in need of more volunteers. “We love volunteers and need more volunteers to help us set up and break down parties and events. We have many girls messaging us, asking to be backup princesses, and we have started having everyone who applies begin their journey as volunteers. The Fairytale Project truly is a calling, and your heart has to be in it,” Stone said. “It is a lot more than simply being a princess.” Stone and Bussey agree that one of their favorite things about being part of The Fairytale Project is knowing that they have a chance to give back to those in need and help them forget about everything, even if it is just for a moment. Stone says, “I love how starstruck almost every child seems to be when they meet us. I have even had little girls run up to

me and say, ‘I KNEW you were real! I just knew it!’ They are elated.” One particular moment that stuck out to Stone and Bussey was when the aunt of a little girl going through treatments at Children’s Hospital began crying after one of their Princess Parties. When the girl talked to the princesses, she did not have to worry or think about everything going on with her. She could enjoy herself. “When the aunt told us how much our presence meant for her and her niece, it completely reinforced why we do what we do, and why we all love this organization so much,” the girls said. If you are interested in volunteering for The Fairytale Project, you can email Kayla Stovall at volunteer@thefairytaleproject.org For information or questions about hosting an event or birthday party with The Fairytale Project, you can email Jennifer Stone at events@thefairytaleproject.org If you would like to learn more about the organization, you are invited to visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thefairytaleprojectorg

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CITY OF OXFORD | FIRE DEPARTMENT

Message from the

Oxford Fire Chief I hope everyone has had an excellent spring and is looking forward to a safe and relaxing summer. The summer is a time to fellowship with friends around the campfire or the barbecue grill. The last thing you want is for someone to get injured or a fire to start due to careless grilling or careless use of fireworks. That would put a halt to the fun. In this edition of the Oxford Access, you can find two pages with safety tips to keep you and your family safe and free from harm this summer. The new Fire Station #2 on Friendship Road is coming along well, and construction will complete very soon. We are excited to open the station and serving the citizens in the area. We have ordered a new 107-foot ladder truck which we will house at the station when it is delivered in the fall. There are a lot of exciting events happening in our city; please check out the Oxford Performing Arts Center lineup of performances on their website at oxfordpac.org. John Longshore and his staff do an excellent job in recruiting performers that you want to see, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Also, Choccolocco Park is a beautiful addition to our city. If you have not visited the facility, I encourage you to do so and to enjoy this great park. If you like watching 9-12-year-olds play baseball, then make plans to come out to Choccolocco Park August 4-10 as we host the 2017 Dixie Youth World Series. Oxford will have three teams in the tournament along with 33 teams from 11 states all competing for the World Series Championship title. Enjoy your summer and be safe. Chief Gary Sparks

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PHIL GARDNER City Council Spotlight By Joshua Craft

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xford City Councilman Phil Gardner is currently in his third term as a council member. He has been serving in Place 1 since 2008 and has been the council advisor for Oxford Parks and Recreation since he took office. Gardner is a proven leader who has–along with his fellow council members–continued to lead Oxford to new recreational, commercial, and industrial growth. Councilman Gardner is a native of Oxford, attended Oxford High School and then married his high school sweetheart, Karen (née Higgins). Together they have two children: Chad and his wife Dana, and Kalyn and her late husband Rusty Riley. They have three grandchildren, Tanner Gardner, and Ryker and Rhett Riley. Gardner is the sales manager at Southern Pipe and Supply, where he has worked for 28 years. He and his family attend Simple Church in Oxford. When I asked Phil what his reason was for becoming a councilman, he gave me a simple answer. “I want to serve the citizens,” he said. “Oxford has been my hometown since I was born, and I wanted to give back to them by serving as an elected official.” He says that the citizens of Oxford have shown him and his family love for their entire lives, and he wanted to pay it forward. Kenny Nix, Pastor at Simple Church, jumped at the opportunity to praise Councilman Gardner. “Phil is a man of integrity and trust, and is a good friend who is very committed to his family, his community, and his church,” he said. NIX ECHOES WHAT MANY HAVE SAID ABOUT PHIL: HIS GENEROSITY AND LOVE OF COMMUNITY ARE WHAT MAKES HIM A GOOD MAN AND A GOOD PUBLIC SERVANT.

Mayor Alton Craft, who has known Phil and the entire Gardner family for most of his life, praised his work as a councilman and as a friend. “We played ball together when we were kids, and coached [Oxford’s 7th and 8th grade’s] football teams for over a decade together. I enjoyed the times we had as children, as adults, and now I enjoy serving with him as an elected official.” On a sidebar, the mayor jokingly refers to Phil being a “wild thing” in baseball, especially when it came to his pitching. “I remember him hitting Boo Billingsley with a baseball and knocking Boo’s belt buckle off! I was the next batter; he smiled at me, threw the pitch, and it clanked off my helmet. That was the only way I could get on base, so maybe Phil was doing me a favor,” he says with a laugh. Gardner was, is, and will continue to be hopeful for the City of Oxford. “We have so many new and exciting things here in Oxford: Choccolocco Park, the Oxford Performing Arts Center, the Oxford Public Library, the new Oxford Police and Fire Department buildings, and several different parks and community centers that are open to the public have been great for us,” he says. Phil is sure that many of these new capital projects have spurred the retail and economic growth that the city has seen, and is confident that growth in industry–which is on the horizon–will bring more jobs and residents to Oxford. He encourages citizens to get involved by volunteering for anything they can volunteer for, such as events at Choccolocco Park and the Performing Arts Center, and to patronize other city facilities like the library and community centers. On behalf of the City of Oxford employees and the citizens of our city, we thank you, Councilman Phil Gardner, for your willingness to serve, and we are grateful to you for continually working to make Oxford the beacon of Northeast Alabama.

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The Wren’s Nest Gallery Opens in August

The Wren’s Nest Gallery, featuring the works of Larry K. Martin, will have a permanent home at Oxford Performing Arts Center starting in August 2017. The upper level of OPAC will be transformed into a first class art gallery. In 1976, Larry K. Martin, a native Alabamian, returned home from a career in Tropical Medicine to pursue another lifelong ambition—Wildlife Art. After receiving a PhD from Tulane University, he combined tropical medicine research at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center with field research in the Amazon rain forests of Colombia and Brazil. But a stronger calling then led him to a career in art and in wildlife conservation, from the scientific world, back full circle to his hometown, Anniston, AL. After three years as Curator of the Anniston Museum of

Natural History he, in partnership with C.D. Hancock, began publishing his wildlife paintings through Wren’s Nest Gallery, Inc. Since that date more than 400 of his paintings have been issued as print editions. His original paintings and prints can be found in major corporate and private collections, including those of President George H. W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Bob Hope, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Greenwood and Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf. His works have hung in both Houses of The U.S. Congress, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Audubon Naturalist Society, as well as in governmental offices in his home state, including the office of Governor Bob Riley. Other public figures and statesmen from many countries throughout the world own works by Larry K. Martin.

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NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER WRITTEN BY JANET STEPHENS

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ayor Alton Craft proclaimed Thursday, May 4th, as “National Day of Prayer” in Oxford. This year marked the 66th annual National Day of Prayer which was first proclaimed by the Continental Congress in 1775. In 1952, Congress enacted legislation setting aside a Day of Prayer for the nation, and in 1988, Congress designated the first Thursday of May as the National Day of Prayer. In observance of this year’s National Day of Prayer, local pastors led people in prayer at several services held throughout the day. Morning and noon services were held on the lawn of Oxford City Hall, and two evening memorial services were held at the Oxford Civic Center. Members of a local church created a prayer wall, and many volunteers worked on prayer panels that were used at the services. The four panels included prayer cloths that mentioned specific prayer requests for local government officials, state and national leaders, school staff and students, and emergency personnel. The prayer cloths have been given to the quilting group that meets at the Oxford Public Library and will be used to make a prayer quilt which will display at next year’s National Day of Prayer service. Even with inclement weather, the day was a great success, with over five hundred people attending the services. The day was filled with many inspiring moments, culminating that evening at the Liberty Park Service which honored our Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, and the United States Armed Forces. The Liberty Park service ended with an emotional tribute to Mr. Harsel Durham, a World War II veteran.

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CITY OF OXFORD | PUBLIC WORKS

Dear Citizen, I hope this letter finds you well. It’s an honor to come to you again with a quarterly update on Public Works projects in our great city. Not much has changed as far as development of new projects. Preliminary work on upcoming projects, however, is still progressing. The scheduled work along Snow Street is progressing, and we anticipate construction to begin in mid to late summer. The utility relocations on Northwood Drive have completed, and we are currently evaluating the feasibility of constructing a gated emergency exit that would allow residents living on Lazy Brooke Lane, Anna Brooke Lane, Southwood Drive, and Northwood Drive to all have an ingress and egress option in the event of localized flooding. We anticipate construction to begin soon. We are also working on a plan to improve traffic flow along Leon Smith Parkway from the Interstate 20 interchange southward to Choccolocco Park. This project will include additional lanes and bridge widening on the two bridges just south of the Oxford Exchange. We hope to have some of the improvements in place before the end of this year, with the bridge widening happening next year. Now that warm weather is here, and people are out working in yards, I would like to shed some light on an issue that we are encountering. Our department runs a weekly curbside pickup service for grass clippings, leaves, and tree/shrub trimmings. This service is not intended to be an entire tree pickup service, and we have an ever-growing problem with whole trees being placed along the roadside for pickup. Reasons prohibiting us from this includes it being against our city ordinance (you can find it on www.oxfordalabama.org under the chapter 36 link of the municipal code section) and that the rubbish we pick up is placed in an open air incinerator which is not capable of handling large tree trunks and stumps. Most large trees are too challenging and dangerous for homeowners to cut themselves and therefore result in the hiring of tree removal entities. As a word of advice to the homeowner, we want to make sure you are aware that the tree must be disposed of by the removing entity. We are more than happy to provide our curbside service; we simply want to make everyone aware of this issue so that we can continue this service in its most efficient way.

Our department runs a weekly curbside pickup service for grass clippings, leaves, and tree/shrub trimmings. This service is not intended to be an entire tree pickup service.

Sincerely,

Rusty V. Gann, P.E. Public Works Director/City Engineer

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Oxford Police Department

I’d like to first thank you all for your continued support of the Oxford Police Department. It’s truly a pleasure to serve the citizens and visitors of Oxford. We are still continuously working tirelessly to ensure our community is safe; but as always, we couldn’t be as successful as we are without the support of the City of Oxford’s citizens. As summer has arrived, make no mistake about it–crime and accidents seem to blossom as things warm up. I’d like to share a few tips in hopes of keeping you and your belongings more protected this summer. As always, these tips are a preparation of safety. Please call the Oxford Police Department anytime you feel as though you may need us. • This goes without saying (you’d think), but we often respond to calls of thefts or burglaries as a result of an unlocked home or automobile. An unlocked automobile or home is an easy target for criminals. Please follow this one simple rule: Lock your doors! • Be cautious of your social media posts. Without realizing it, a simple post explaining how you are away on vacation could be a good opportunity for a criminal. If you are gone, have a trusted family member or friend watch over your home. Also, you may call the police department and we could assist with that as well. • The roads are more congested. Put your phone away and stay cautious of other motorists. Distracted driving (be it texting, eating, or the like) has caused thousands of fatal crashes. Pay attention to the road and not everything else! We all enjoy the fun summer brings, but understand how vulnerable we are. Accidents happen without notice and it’s your responsibility to keep yourself, your family, and everyone around you as safe as possible. Be smart and be safe. It’s everyone’s job. I hope you all enjoy yourselves and please have a safe summer. Do not hesitate to call myself or any member of the Oxford Police Department for assistance. Chief Bill Partridge

Message from the

Police Chief

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THE TRAIL TO EAGLE OXFORD EAGLE SCOUT EARNS MAYOR’S PRAISE

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young man’s commitment to honoring his grandmother and the current residents at Golden Living Nursing Home has resulted in a set of beautiful flower beds and earned him the Boy Scouts of America’s highest advancement rank of Eagle Scout. Garrison Riddle, 18, received his Eagle Scout Award at a gathering held at the Oxford Civic Center in April. His parents, Jason and Sabrina Riddle, were among the many family and friends that celebrated the milestone achievement with him. His grandfather, Ralph Riddle, who also was his Scout Master, presided over the ceremony. Garrison began scouting as a Tiger Cub in Tennessee and went through the ranks of Wolf, Bear, and Webelos I and II. He earned his Arrow of Light in May of 2012, before joining Troop 4010 in Oxford. Garrison worked diligently, earning merit badges and the World Conservation Award. He also served as the chaplain assistant for his troop.

After meeting with the director of the nursing home, they agreed Garrison would renovate a flower bed and build an additional raised flower bed that would be more accessible to residents in wheelchairs. Garrison made a list of materials needed for the project and began raising money. He was able to secure donations from Oxford Lumber & Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart. The entire troop assisted him with the project, and they were able to complete it in one day. Through his actions to better our community, Garrison has earned praise from the leaders of Oxford. Mayor Alton Craft issued a proclamation that presented and read aloud during the Eagle Scout Court of Honor stating, “We extend our best wishes to Garrison for a very bright and successful future.”

Troop 10, as it is known locally, has been active for over 75 years and is currently the only troop in Oxford. Ralph Riddle has been the Scout Master for Troop 10 for 25 years. He took on the leadership role after retiring as an AOD Depot Sergeant Major from the Army. He treasures the time he spends with the young men and especially his grandson, Garrison. Ralph firmly believes that the youth of America today are our future tomorrow. While a member of Troop 10, Garrison hiked over 37 miles, camped 68 nights, completed over 50 service hours, and earned 47 merit badges. His advancement was nurtured during the five years he attended summer scout camp at Camp Sequoia. Camp Sequoyah is a local treasure, nestled among 1,447 acres of woodlands near Cheaha State Park. It was there he developed a love and respect for the outdoors. Garrison discovered a passion for geology, archeology, and rock collecting. Upon completing the Eagle Scout requirements, Garrison began planning his Eagle project. His dad had made a flower box on wheels as his own project, and Garrison wanted to do something similar. They went to the Golden Living Nursing Home in Oxford, where his great-grandmother once resided. By THE OXFORD ACCESS STAFF OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2017

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FROM THE GROUND UP By Chad Robinson, CSFM Director of Grounds Choccolocco Park Cider Ridge Golf Club

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appy summer everyone! For those of us who have the pleasure of working outside, we are thankful that the gloomy days of winter and wet days of spring are over. We are excited that summer is here, even if it means longer work days and thick, humid Alabama air. At Choccolocco Park, our crews are working to recover from the busy month of May when we hosted the Ohio Valley Conference baseball, softball, and track and field conference championships along with several other events of various sizes. The great number of games take a toll on the fields, and our crews are working hard to maintain them to the highest standard. I am proud of all the crews at the park contributing to such successful events. At the golf course, our staff is working hard to prepare the bentgrass greens for the summer heat and humidity. The fans around the greens are running, and the greens’ moisture levels get checked daily. During the summer months, it may seem like we are mowing the grass around the clock. We are thankful for the hard work our mechanics put in to keep our equipment and machinery running smoothly. With some of the best professionals in the industry, we feel confident that 2017 will be a banner year for us! Irrigation usage should be carefully considered with the unpredictable weather patterns summer brings. For most homeowners, irrigation systems tie in with the municipal water systems used to provide potable water for us to consume. Since water is our most valuable resource on earth, we need to

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be good stewards and considerate of every drop used. In our line of work, this means making sure all irrigation systems work efficiently. Below are a few ways you can check your irrigation system and assure you make every drop of irrigation water count. First, make sure there are no leaks, both while the system is running and while it is not running. Many times, you will never actually see your system running since it runs during nighttime hours. Therefore, you may have sprinkler heads that may bust, nozzles that go missing, or pipes that leak that you would never know about unless you watched it run at night. A simple way to check for leaks is to run your system during the day to detect any problems. Poor head adjustment is another way irrigation systems waste water. I often see sprinkler heads water driveways, streets, and even the sides of houses. This is wasteful; fortunately, it is easy to fix. Again, you would run the irrigation system during daylight and monitor where the sprinkler heads water, and then adjust the heads accordingly.

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Water is our most valuable resource on earth, we need to be good stewards and considerate of every drop used.

At the Cider Ridge Golf Course and at Choccolocco Park, we conduct annual irrigation audits during the spring. The audits include checking head adjustments, nozzles, leaks, and ensuring efficient water application. I recommend that you do the same for your home’s system. Even though both facilities irrigate from lakes (non-potable water), we still firmly believe it is important to follow the best possible water management practices. At Cider Ridge, Choccolocco Park, and Honours Golf, we pride ourselves in our agronomic experience and expertise. I hope these few tips will help you begin to conserve water. If you have any questions, feel free to stop me or any of the superintendents at the park or golf course–we are always happy to talk turf with anyone! I hope you have many opportunities to enjoy the grounds that we manage at Cider Ridge Golf Club and Choccolocco Park. We take great pride in the management of these two premier facilities and love to see folks experiencing them. I look forward to seeing you out on the golf course or at the park soon!

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Doug Wert, PGA |

Director of Golf, Cider Ridge Golf Club

TIPS for More Distance

With The Driver Off The Tee One of the most common questions I hear from my students is, “How can I hit the golf ball farther?” If you want to increase your shots’ distance, there are some things to take into consideration.

FIRST, you should make sure your equipment works with you, rather than against you. The most important part of your gear is the shaft of your club. Ideally, the shaft works in harmony with the swing speed you produce. Additionally, you want to make sure you have a club head that looks and feels good to you, and that the grip type and size fit your hands.

When helping students gain more distance, I look for four key elements in their swing. The first element includes your body’s position when addressing the ball. You should set up with your head behind the ball by placing the ball towards the front of your stance (just in line with the instep of your front foot.) To enhance the effect, you can move your hands behind the ball at “address.” As you start your backswing, make sure your weight is shifted back a bit, keep your back knee flexed, and your feet as flat as possible on the ground. Those items are fundamental in generating more power.

To see some consistency in the length of your shots, it is important that you create the proper timing of your swing. You can achieve this by concentrating on the correct sequence of your body during the downswing. When I became Titleist Performance Institute Certified, it was emphasized that the most efficient downswing happens when your hips turn first, then your upper body followed by your hands. Following that order, allows for proper timing it maximizes power. It is a common mistake using your upper body strength to create distance. In fact, it does the opposite. Your shots will be shorter, and it also makes it harder to control the ball’s direction. Many of the players I come across believe they have to put a “death grip” on the club to hit the ball farther. If your grip is too tight, you will not be able to properly “release” the golf club through your shot. This will affect distance and direction. To loosen your grip pressure, you can pretend you are holding a water balloon or tube of toothpaste–without its cap–in your hands instead of your golf club. If you squeeze any one of these items too tight, you will have a

mess on your hands. If you hold them too loosely, you will lose them. The key is to have a tight enough grip you won’t risk losing control of the club, but relaxed enough to let the club “release” naturally through the swing. The final element includes finishing your swing. Try to swing through the ball confidently and have a relaxed finish. Resist the temptation of lifting up your head to see where the ball goes after you hit it. By raising your head, your body’s position can change, and your swing’s timing will get off. Try staying in your posture through the shot and let the finish happen naturally. Once you follow through, let your back shoulder bring your head up while you enjoy the shot you just hit. If you follow these steps, I believe you will see more distance and better direction of your shots. Always remember it is better to hit a shorter shot in the fairway than a long shot in the rough, bunker, or trees! Have fun and swing with ease. See you on the course. Doug

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES AT CIDER RIDGE GOLF CLUB June 5-8 Nike Junior Golf Camp ½ day – Ages 6-12 June 24 Women’s Free Clinic 2:00pm – 3:30pm July 17-20 Nike Junior Camp Full Day Ages 10-16 66

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OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY

LEARN HOW TO USE: •E-BOOKS •ANCESTRY •CHILTON

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JULY 7 AT 2:00 PM BOOK SWAP!

MOVIE DAY EACH WEDNESDAY! KIDS, YOUTH, & ADULTS

KNITTING CAMP JULY 10 TO JULY 14


OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY

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ummertime at the library is a fun-filled, busy time! Now that the library is open seven days a week, there is an activity planned every day. Age barriers have been removed, so everyone is invited to participate from birth through adulthood. Every age group is represented in our schedule of activities, and every age group is represented in the actual program’s participants.

Birth is a good age to start reading to a child. (Actually, it’s beneficial for a child to be exposed to reading even before birth, but for the Summer Reading Program, we start at birth.) The parent’s lap is a great introduction to the lifelong gift of reading. What could be better to a young child than close, loving contact complete with a story and pictures? Even when the child is too young to understand the story or pictures, he will still benefit from the intimacy that reading provides. Toddlers and preschoolers benefit hugely from reading aloud. The more words a child hears, the more his vocabulary will advance. This encourages confidence in his or learning and reading, as well as in him/herself. The stories are more varied, and the parent also reaps more rewards as the child’s participation is more evident. (Be ready to re-read the same book over and over again though.) Summer slide is a real phenomenon that exists in all demographics. If left dormant, the child’s reading skills decline over the summer while not in use. Teachers often spend weeks in the fall reviewing skills that were learned the previous year but lost during the summer. The library’s Summer Reading Program combats the summer slide by encouraging children to read. Children can read the books that they choose without tests or intimidation. 92% of kids are more likely to finish a book they have picked out for themselves, according to Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading Report. The freedom to choose their own materials, coupled with prizes and activities as encouragements, encourages children to keep reading. Adults are not to be left out! Reading doesn’t stop at 18, and neither does our Summer Reading Program. Adults are less motivated by toys as prizes than children, so they have a distinct prize. This year, the prize is a book bag—perfect for use year-round. To make it even better, the adults play Bingo to win the prize. Bingo is played by satisfying each square by reading in different ways. This is a fun way to engage the adult reader and earn a prize in the process. All participants may be entered to win a grand prize—an e-reader! There are programs and activities for all age groups scheduled for every day, and fun will be had by all! Check out the library’s Summer Reading calendar, which is available in this magazine, in the library, and on the library’s new website, www.oxfordpl.org. We hope to see you soon!

www.oxfordpl.org

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BOTANICAL BONUS These easy-to-find plants have many helpful benefits

Lavender: Repels moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitoes. Place tied bouquets indoors to keep flies away or plant outside in sunny areas or near entry ways to keep them pest free.

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WARD OFF MOSQUITOES AND ADDS FRESH FLAVORS ROSEMARY: Repels mosquitoes and other harmful vegetable plant insects. Can be used in homemade bug repellent spray. Cooking—Use to flavor breads and tea. LEMONGRASS: Repels mosquitoes. Cooking—Adds great flavor to breads and tea. Wrap around fish before baking. CITRONELLA: Repels mosquitoes. Cooking—Place in the bottom of a cake pan then pour in your batter for a lemon flavor.

FLAVOR WATER & TEA

HEAL SUNBURN ALOE VERA: Break off the tip of a blade and rub it on sunburns or bites for relief. TIP: Have multiple plants and cycle the leaves you break off so as to give each plant time to replenish the leaves.

MINT: Several varieties include chocolate mint, peppermint, sweet mint, and spearmint. Crush mint leaves and add to your tea or water for a nice refreshing drink. LEMON VERBENA: Adds extra flavor when used in lemonade or flavored sweet tea. PINEAPPLE SAGE: Just brushing by this plant releases a pineapple scent. Pluck leaves and add to an ice cold drink for a tropical taste.

CARE: Only water when top layer is dry to the touch.

Special thanks to Elaine Bailey and the Garden Center at Oxford Lumber and ACE Hardware.

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20

QUESTIONS WITH

MADISON REEDER

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Where were you born and where did you go to school? I was born in Oxford, Alabama and went to Oxford City Schools. Congratulations on graduating and being honored as the class salutatorian! How did you do it? Thank you! A lot of people are academically gifted, but I am not. I had to try hard in school. When I was younger, my dad taught me how to study which helped a lot. Even though not all teachers like memorization, I found using flashcards helpful. What was your favorite subject in school? My favorite subject was physics. Who were your favorite teachers? My favorite teachers were Ms. Hammond and Ms. Henderson. I like them because they are excellent motivators and they know how to push their students to perform their best. What did you enjoy the most about Oxford High School? This past year, I met with a group of Christian students on Wednesdays. Together, we fellowshipped and got to know each other by bonding through the Lord. I truly enjoyed that. Did you make any lifelong friendships? I feel like friendships come and go until you get to 10th grade or so. That’s when you see who you share the same morals and beliefs as. You know–who you “click with.” I made some close friends that are like family to me. What was the best piece of advice you ever got? My dad told me that some of the quietest people know the most, and that some of the people that talk the most know the least. He basically said to not overlook the quiet people.

What is one piece of advice you would give to younger students? I would advise younger students to take their time going through school and enjoy every part of it, without getting ahead of oneself. We heard you were on the cross-country team. Do you have any fun stories to share? I ran cross-country from 8th grade until I graduated. I remember running at a meet at Hewitt-Trussville High School and someone stepped on the heel of my shoe so it came off. In cross-country running, we have chips (time trackers) attached to the shoes. A woman had to pick up my shoe and carry it to an area close to the finish line. I ran the remaining race with one shoe and picked up my lost shoe and crossed over the finish line with it. After the race, my dad gave me a big hug and said “this is way better than the first day of deer season.” What are your interests/hobbies? I love running–especially at Choccolocco Park–and staying healthy. I am also involved with my church group at First Baptist Church of Oxford. We meet every Sunday and Wednesday. A few days ago, we went to the Oxford House and spent time with the elderly. I find doing things like that enjoyable– just making people feel good and happy! What are your upcoming plans? I am interning at First Baptist Church of Oxford this summer and going to the beach with my family and one of my best friends. Then in the fall, I am going to attend Jacksonville State University where I will study to become a nurse. What is your dream job? My dream is to work as a pediatric nurse. I would love to get my doctorate and become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. If I could work anywhere I wanted, it would be at Children’s of Alabama or wherever else God calls me.

Who would you like to give a shout-out to? Jesus Christ. He helped me get through my senior year. This past year, I have truly learned the purpose of prayer and it has helped me to completely trust and rely on him. I had some big decisions to make and prayed for clarity and for the Lord to show his will. That helped a lot. What is the best gift you have ever received? The Bible I received from my grandparents on my 14th birthday. It is the same kind that my great grandmother had. What do you admire most about your parents? My parents have always taught me to stay humble and to be frugal. They have taught me the importance of being thankful for what you have, staying strong in your views and faith, and to be respectful of others. What movie had the greatest ending? The Guardian. It was a sad ending, but had a great life lesson. What song instantly put you in a good mood? Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells. What is your favorite thing to watch on TV? The Little House on the Prairie and the Andy Griffith Show. Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party? My mom, dad, and brother. What is your favorite part about Oxford? My favorite part about the city is Choccolocco Park. I have watched the sunset from the mound and it is beautiful.

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OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS

DEBBIE NELSON For the past thirteen years Debbie Nelson has served the children of the Oxford City School District as the principal of Oxford Elementary School. On June 30 she will officially retire from Oxford Elementary. She has left a legacy of kindness, caring, and a focus on student achievement that has been recognized state-wide as an example of what a principal should represent. Speaking as a parent of a child who benefited from her leadership, I am forever grateful for her willingness to meet every child’s academic, social, and extra-curricular needs at the highest level. Her compassion for her students and faculty and her ability to multi-task is incomparable and we will miss her greatly. Our district wishes her all the best as she retires from the Oxford City School District. In her honor, I have asked two of her fellow principals, Amy Copeland and Michael Maniscalco, to express their thoughts on her impact on their professional careers. — Jeff Goodwin, Superintendent, Oxford City Schools

I have had the privilege of working with Debbie Nelson for over two decades. We worked together at C.E. Hanna as co-teachers for several years. Her venture into elementary administration began at C.E. Hanna as an assistant principal. Debbie then became the principal at Oxford Elementary School. Even though I have known Debbie for years, we have developed a stronger relationship since we were both principals in the Oxford City School System. She has many great attributes as an instructional leader. Debbie is the kind of friend and co-worker that I could always depend on for the best advice. We call each other many times during the week to bounce ideas off of each other. She is very dedicated to doing the best for her staff and students at Oxford Elementary. We attended many conferences together and she was always was looking for ways she could improve instructional opportunities for students at her school. Debbie cared deeply about her students. She worried about students who were having a tough time. She also helped students celebrate accomplishments when they succeeded. Mrs. Nelson also loved to have fun with her students and staff. There are many pictures of her dressed up as characters and even a turkey. I remember being at the board office for a meeting and she let me know that she had to change before coming because it was pajama day

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at school. This tradition goes back many years. When her son Graham was in my first grade class, Debbie started banging on the door one morning. She was dressed up as Viola Swamp from the book Mrs. Nelson is Missing. The kids loved it! Mrs. Nelson will be deeply missed by the administrators in the Oxford School System, as well as by her staff, students, and parents. She is leaving behind quite a legacy. As she has been telling everyone, she is not closing her book… just one chapter. What a great chapter it has been. — Amy Copeland As I continue my career as a Principal, I often reflect on the many important learning experiences that I had with Debbie Nelson during my time as her Assistant Principal at Oxford Elementary School. I witnessed firsthand her professionalism and fairness, no matter the situation. Her greatest attribute, however, was always putting the needs of her students first. I wish her nothing but the best as she begins a new chapter in her life and thank her for the impact she has had on me and so many others during her career as a teacher and administrator in Oxford.

— Michael Maniscalco


OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS

OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL RANKED 22ND BEST HIGH SCHOOL IN ALABAMA Oxford High School was ranked as the 22nd Best High School in the state of Alabama according to the 2017 U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News and World Report released national and state-by-state rankings of the top performing high schools this spring. The national magazine’s goal is to present an unbiased report of how well public schools serve all students—not just those who are college bound—in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in a range of performance indicators. U.S. News and World Report has a four-step test to determine the Best High Schools. The first three steps measure the school’s performance in serving all students well, focusing on proficiency on state assessments and graduation rates. They factored in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students to highlight the schools that were performing higher than statistical expectations. High schools that made it past the first three steps were assessed by a fourth step, which measured the school’s ability to prepare students for college. Principal Heath M. Harmon states, “At Oxford we expect to be the best or to be in the conversation when the best is being discussed. This ranking by U.S. News and World Report is yet another example of us meeting that expectation. I am also proud of the fact that we are recognized as a school that serves all students well. This further validates that we mean it when we say, All means All.”

PARENTS—HELP YOUR CHILDREN AVOID SUMMER LEARNING LOSS

Summer reading loss is real. Did you know that the best predictor of summer loss or summer gain is whether or not a child reads during the summer? • For younger students — read out loud with your students. • For older students — read the same book your child is reading and discuss it periodically. • Subscribe to magazines like Sports Illustrated for Kids, National Geographic, Time for Kids, etc. • Studies suggest that reading around six books over the summer will help them maintain the reading gains they made over the course of the preceding year. • Studies suggest reading 20 self-selected books over the summer not only maintain skills but actually make reading gains over the summer. • Take your child to library regularly and enroll them in the summer reading program. • Have your child record the books they read over the summer. • Explore online reading sites for your children. • Encourage word learning and vocabulary. • Practice affixes (Suffixes & Prefixes) This helps with more advanced word level reading. • Working on just three to four math problems per day during the summer can prevent students’ mathematical skills from getting rusty.

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OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS

Oxford High School Athletic Department Having just concluded the 2016-17 school year with a successful athletic season, we are now looking forward to all the opportunities the 2017-18 school year will bring. The Oxford High School Athletic Department’s role as a leader in AHSAA policy is defined by the Oxford High School Athletic Department being recognized as one of the top five athletic departments in the state. • More sports qualifying and advancing into the AHSAA playoffs than at any time in school history. 22 Total Sports are eligible for state playoffs. • 19/22 sports qualified and participated in AHSAA playoffs • We have 22 sports and 50 teams within those sports. Sports are broken into Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons. • Student participation in athletics continues to increase. Data from rosters show that we have 874 students in grades 7-12 listed on rosters and participating on athletic teams.

Having respect for one’s teachers, teammates, classmates, opponents, and others are essential lessons our coaches edify on a daily basis. Additionally, instilling the intrinsic values of discipline, dedication, loyalty, faith, and service are the tools that this generation of student-athletes needs to become outstanding adults who will make a positive difference in the world around them. UPCOMING EVENTS FOR FALL SEASON: Football, Cross-Country, Volleyball Cheerleading, Swimming UPCOMING EVENTS FOR WINTER SEASON: Boys Basketball Girls Basketball, Indoor Track Wrestling, UPCOMING EVENTS FOR SPRING SEASON: Softball, Baseball, Golf, Tennis Track, Soccer

2017 Oxford High School Football Date August September September September September September

25 1 8 15 22 29

Day Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday

VARSITY Hillcrest Tuscaloosa Gadsden City Brewer Cullman Albertville Ben Russell

October October October October November November

6 13 20 27 3 10

Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday

December

6

Wed

Southside Ft Payne Pell City Open Sumter Central AHSAA State Playoffs Super 6 Championships Region Games

R R R R

Homecoming

R R Sr Night

Site Home Home Away Home Away Away

Time 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM. 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM

Home Away Home

7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM

Home TBA

7:00 PM 7:00 PM

Alabama

TBA

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Oxford Dixie Youth Baseball was recently selected to send one of their baseball teams to the 2017 All Star Youth Classic in conjunction with the MLB All-Star Week in Miami. The 11-12 year old team from Oxford will be present that week for many exciting events and to be a part of All-Star Youth Classic Tournament, a round-robin tournament hosted in the backdrop of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week. This year’s Classic will feature more than 140 baseball and softball players and will run from Friday, July 7th to Monday, July 10th. It will be held at Grapeland Park and Fern Isle Park in Miami, only a few minutes away from Marlins Stadium. In addition to the tournament, participants of the All-Star Youth Classic will have the opportunity to attend MLB All-Star Week events. They will be attending the MLB All-Star Fanfest at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and they will also be special guests of AllStar Sunday events such as the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, Gatorade All-Star Workout, and a few will be selected to go out to the field for Home Run Derby. The 12 players from Oxford – along with players from as far west as California, as far north as Connecticut, as far east as South Carolina, and as far south as Puerto Rico – will be exposed to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that can only be experienced through America’s pastime. Rusty Gann, coach of the team that will be heading to Miami, is excited for his team and is excited to represent Oxford at the All-Star Classic. “This is an amazing opportunity that has been presented to Oxford Baseball for Youth and I’m honored to be able to be a part of it. I am excited to watch our group of young men compete against teams from around the nation. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I hope that our players and coaches will cherish these times,” Gann said. Speaking of the excitement surrounding the trip, he stated, “I’m not sure [the players] are completely aware of the magnitude of what is about to happen due to the unknowns of the situation, but I feel that it will sink in quickly once we arrive in Miami. Not only do they get to play games while we’re there, but they also get to attend the Home Run Derby. This is a great opportunity for us to promote and represent our great city and our baseball for youth program. Traveling to Miami, spending time together in dorms, and playing games there are all team building moments that will be a great catalyst for our group of young men leading up to the Dixie Youth World Series that we will play in at Choccolocco Park in early August.” Rusty ends the conversation by saying that this team will be one of a few teams that will have the chance to bond together more than just on the diamond. He says he has great group of players as well as parents, and that he is truly blessed to be a small piece of it all. Michelle Mayfield, Commissioner of Oxford Baseball for Youth, reiterates what Gann says. “Major League Baseball is paying for the trip and is treating these young men first-class. They’re staying in dorms that professionals stay in and each kid has a police officer that will escort them around the facilities and events. This is the chance of a lifetime for these young men, and I’m so excited to be a small part of the first team from Oxford in history that is going to take part in all this.” Mayfield states that two to three players will be selected from each team to take part in the Home Run Derby based on written essays. Congratulations to the Oxford baseball team for being chosen to participate in the 10th Annual All-Star Youth Classic and in the 88th Annual Midsummer Classic. As someone who has been able to see a few historic events in person, I’ll leave the team with a little advice: soak it in boys, soak it all in. Good luck to you all, and the residents of our great city are behind you.

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FROM THE OXFORD MOUND TO MIAMI BOUND By Joshua Craft

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BOOM CHOCCOLOCCO 80

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B

ryan Moyers may never be a household name in the sports broadcast world like Vin Scully or Al Michaels (or my personal favorite, Don Sutton), but he will forever be woven into the baseball lore of Choccolocco Park. He birthed a new phrase for his description of the home run barrage that took place at the Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Championships held at Choccolocco Park, May 23-28. As the public address announcer for the OVC’s conference tournament, Moyers was looking for a “call” for the new park. Anniston Star sportswriter Joe Medley succinctly described Moyers’ creative call: “…the OVC, the crosswind on Choccolocco Park’s signature field and Moyers adaptation of the Alchemist Project song “Boom Shakalaka” made for the perfect storm…” The result was “Boom Choccolocco,” which will forever remind visitors to the park’s signature baseball field that home runs are on the menu along with hot dogs and popcorn. The 2017 OVC Baseball Tournament set a league record for home runs at a neutral site with 50 homers hit, breaking a 2009 mark of 26. The 50 home runs were the unofficial record for an NCAA tournament, according to OVC tournament officials. The OVC hit 735 home runs during the 2017 season, second nationally only to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 758, through the end of the OVC tournament. Top seeded Tennessee Tech University, who won the tournament, was second nationally in home runs hit. TTU won the tournament for the fourth time, its first since 2009. Baseball, however, was not the only OVC game in town. The OVC Softball Tournament was held May 10-14 at Choccolocco Park. This marked the second consecutive year the tournament was held at the neutral site in Oxford and the only two times it has been held at a location other than the site of the No. 1 seed.

By Denny Bailey

No. 1 seed Jacksonville State University won the tournament, defeating Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the championship game. This is the second year in a row that JSU has claimed the title and its sixth overall softball championship.

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The OVC Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships were held at the same time as the softball tournament, May 11-13, and marked the sport’s first visit to Choccolocco Park. The 2017 championship was the first with an expanded 3-day format. There were repeat champions for both the women’s and men’s teams, with Eastern Illinois claiming the women’s title for the second consecutive year and eighth time since 2007. Southeast Missouri won the men’s championship for the third time in four years and its eighth overall championship. Jacksonville State University served as the host school for the Track and Field Championship. JSU Track Coach Steve Ray said: “I thought Choccolocco Park was an excellent venue for the tournament and we hope to be able to bring it back here again.” He also praised the park personnel and staff for the efficiency with which the tournament was run. Choccolocco Park was a busy place during the month of May. The OVC brought three large-scale championships to the 370-acre Oxford complex in addition to the usual baseball, softball, track, and soccer competitions and other events and activities taking place at the park. The OVC certainly thinks the park can accommodate such a broad and varied range of sporting events and has inked a contract to return the softball championships to the park for the next two years. Greg Bagley, Oxford’s Athletic Director, announced: “We have the OVC Softball Championships returning through 2019, and we hope to be able to add other OVC sports and other conference games and championships in the future.” If indeed the OVC and other conferences and schools join the “booming” growth of the park’s usage, the term “Boom Choccolocco” may mean more than just home runs!

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THREE ON A STRING

OXFORD RECURRING CITY PROGRAMS M O N DAY OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY 9:30 AM Crochet 3:00 PM Bring Your Own Device OXFORD CIVIC CENTER 8:30 AM POUND Class 10:00 AM Senior Aerobics 6:00 PM Zumba 6:30 PM Yoshukai Karate FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITY CENTER 10:00 AM Art Class 3:00 PM Tumble Time 6:00 PM Yoga BYNUM COMMUNITY CENTER 6:00 PM Free Play Volleyball 6:00 PM Zumba 6:00 PM Yoga SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER 10:00 AM Senior Games/Activities

T U E S DAY FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITY CENTER 9:00 AM Senior Volleyball 3:00 PM Tumble Time 3:30 PM Bluegrass BYNUM COMMUNITY CENTER 3:15 PM Senior Aerobics 5:00 PM Senior Cards and Games 6:00 PM Free Play Basketball SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER 9:00 AM Senior Games/Activities

W E D N E S DAY OXFORD CIVIC CENTER 8:30 AM POUND Class 10:00 AM Senior Aerobics 6:30 PM Yoshukai Karate FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITY CENTER 3:00 PM Tumble Time

Three On A String, based in Birmingham but has performed all over the United States, is known for its good, clean, hilarious entertainment. Their program Is suitable for the entire family.

SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER 9:00 AM Senior Games/Activities

T H U R S DAY OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY 9:30 AM Knitting 10:00AM Story Time

Jerry Ryan – Master of Ceremonies,

FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITY CENTER 9:00 AM Senior Volleyball 3:00 PM Tumble Time 6:00 PM Yoga BYNUM COMMUNITY CENTER 3:15 PM Senior Aerobics 6:00 PM Free Play Basketball 6:00 PM Free Play Volleyball 6:00 PM Zumba 6:30 PM Swinging Stars

The City of Oxford is pleased to present Three On A String for your entertainment at the Freedom Festival on July 4 at the Oxford Civic Center at 1:00 p.m. The free concert is compliments of the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department to add to your festivities of the day.

Bobby Horton – banjo, dobro, mandolin, guitar, violin/fiddle, Irish pipes, trumpet. Music historian on TV documentaries with Ken Burns: “The Civil War” and “Baseball.” Brad Ryan - bass, fiddle. Andy Meginniss – bass, guitar. Alabama Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

Spend July 4 at the Freedom Festival at Oxford Lake!

SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER 9:00 AM Senior Center Sing

F R I DAY OXFORD CIVIC CENTER 8:30 AM POUND Class 10:00 AM Senior Aerobics SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER 9:00 AM Senior Biscuit Social 9:30 AM Walking Exercises

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36 TEAMS FROM 11 SOUTHEASTERN STATES

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OXFORD HISTORY WRITTEN BY HUNTER GENTRY

THROUGHOUT THE YEARS OF ITS EXISTENCE, THE HOTEL WAS KNOWN AS THE CENTRAL HOTEL, OXFORD HOUSE HOTEL, KELLEY HOTEL AND CLARDY HOUSE HOTEL

T

he earliest record of a hotel in Oxford dates to 1858 under the ownership of John Spencer. Records and photos of the establishment are few and far between: much documentation is credited from The Jacksonville Republican and The Anniston Star newspapers.

The hotel was conveniently located near the corners of Spring Street and Main Street, within yards of the train depot. The lower level of the building was occupied by various businesses, and the upper hotel portion was accessed from the rear and north alley side.

The Jacksonville Republican featured an advertisement on August 5, 1858 that read:

In August 1858, Dudley Snow gained ownership of the hotel, being described as an “L” fronting eighty-four feet with a brick kitchen and various out houses.

I beg leave to inform my old friends and customers that I have removed from the brick tavern to the Oxford House two doors below the Post Office and thankful for the liberal patronage bestowed on me hitherto. I respectively request the public in general to consider my new hotel.

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In December 1885, a fire burned the hotel, several neighboring businesses, and a private home to the ground. The hotel was never rebuilt. However, many buildings (including the Oxford Theatre) have been constructed on the ancient site.


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Oxford Access Summer 2017  

There’s no place like Oxford, AL—and no one brings the city to life like Oxford ACCESS magazine. We showcase our city, the people, places, a...

Oxford Access Summer 2017  

There’s no place like Oxford, AL—and no one brings the city to life like Oxford ACCESS magazine. We showcase our city, the people, places, a...

Profile for oxfordpac

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