Planet weekly 453

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>>> N E W S | T H E C H AM B E R OF COMM E R C E


VETERANS APPRECIATION DAY Veterans Appreciation Day The Chamber's Veterans Affairs Committee is sponsoring a Veterans Appreciation & Information Day, to show appreciation and conduct a "meet and greet" for local area military veterans. With over 80,000 veterans in West Alabama and specifically 4000 plus enrolled at the University of Alabama and Shelton State Community College, a large turnout is expected due to the support of Chamber members. Additionally, attending veterans may fill out information sheets that will provide skills and qualifications to be made available for Chamber members to analyze for potential job requirements. The event is Saturday February 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Atrium at Shelton State Community College. For more information or would like to reserve a space, please contact Stacey Gann at the Chamber 391.0559. Montgomery Drive-In Set for March The Chamber's 2014 Montgomery Drive-In will be Wed., Mar. 19 - Thurs., Mar. 20. This is an opportunity to spend time with our state's elected leader-



ship, advocate for important issues and network with other local business leaders. This year's trip will once again include our participation in the Business Council of Alabama's Annual Legislative Reception, which we will help sponsor on the Wednesday evening of the trip. This will be a valuable opportunity to interact with most of the members of the Alabama State Legislature and statewide officials, as well as Chamber/business leaders from across the state. Cost is $200/person, which includes transportation and several meals. You are responsible for making your own hotel reservations. If interested, contact Stacey at 391.0559 or Stacey@tuscaloosachamber. com. Registration form must be received by March 12. Winter-Spring Training Series Our Professional Development Training Schedule is now available for Winter/ Spring 2014. We're proud to once again, along with our Chamber member partners, offer you and your employees professional development training at a price that is budget friendly. Please review the

new schedule at You'll find subject matters that are timely and relevant for any company or organization: Social Media, Technology Training (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Workforce and Employment Law, Customer Service, Sales and Leadership. Surely we have a topic to fit you and your co-workers! All classes are limited in seating so if you see something you're interested in, make the reservation today! Don't wait until it's too late. A "deadline to register" does not guarantee a seat. All reservations must be made by e-mail at or phone, 391.0559. Check Out The Avenue Pub We celebrated this great new restaurant in Downtown Tuscaloosa's Temerson Square. The address is 405 23rd Ave. Congrats to Craig Williams and crew! to see the menu and get more info. T.E.M.P. is Now Open Kentuck's T.E.M.P. Gallery, located in the Clarke Building in Historic Downtown Northport, is now open to the public with

an inaugural exhibition, Over the AM. We held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the gallery on Feb. 6., which was Art Night. There was a lovely reception, live music in the courtyard, cob oven pizza and open artist studios. Visit for more info. YP(t) Speed Networking at Mercedes The Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa or YP(t) invite all young professionals under 40 to attend a free Speed Networking event Feb. 27 from 9a.m. to 11a.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Training Center in Vance. Visit for details.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

26 13 >>> Complete our online survey to be entered in a drawing to select the restaurant of your choice for dinner for two. Other prizes include concert tickets, theatre tickets, Planet Weekly t-shirts, and more.



>>> planetweeklyissue452




21 HIGH TIDE // GARY HARRIS Putting together 2015

No one was prepared for a day like this





CAT R INA K ATTN E R 2 05. 52 3 . 1 4 6 0 Planet Weekly P. O . B o x 2 3 1 5 T u s c a l o o s a , AL 3 5 4 0 3 Phone: 205.792.7239 | 205.765.8007 Email: publisher@theplanetweek Please direct correspondence to: The Planet Weekly is a proud member of The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. © 2013 All rights reserved. THE PLANET WEEKLY is a registered trademark. Planet Weekly is published every other Thursday. No part of this publication including editorials may be reproduced, in whole or part, by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without the Publisher’s prior expressed written consent. One copy of each issue of THE PLANET WEEKLY is free to each of our readers. Any reader who takes more than two copies without expressed permission of the publisher shall be deemed to have committed theft. The views and opinions of the authors of articles appearing in this publication may not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Publisher.

8 THE makers market


More than 100 local artists



You'll like it a lot

14 BLOW OFF STEAM // ALYX CHANDLER The Blue Caterpillar Hookah Lounge

20 bama golf // TIM STEELE Looks like another great year 25 GLOW RUN 5K //

The night time marathon


From his Red Clay Diary

entertainment 7


ACOUSTIC NIGHT RETURNS 17 You won't want to miss it





Events Calendar


Road Trip


Tuscaloosa music

23 Horoscopes // Sudoku 24 CROSSWORD PUZZLe




>>> UH-HUH // R Y A N P H I L L I P S


A man who has been through bitter experiences and travelled far enjoys even his sufferings after a time” –Homer, The Odyssey– I gripped the frigid steering wheel and cursed at the traffic that was at a standstill for what seemed like miles on Main Avenue in Northport. The bluegrass music playing through my radio only worked to intensify my anxiety as the banjo rolled at a feverish speed while I sat still. On either side of the street, cars sat abandoned as if the occupants had simply given up and took to hoofing it in the cold—newborn refugees in the midst of chaos. As the heavy snow began to fall and cover the ground, scenes were conjured from the apocalyptic thriller “The Day After Tomorrow,” as people without transportation cried on the shoulder of Main Avenue or fought in vain to get their vehicles free from the icy clutches of winter. Even as a reporter, I was not prepared for what this day had in store for this relatively calm corner of Alabama. Since the freak snowstorm that shut down the city two weeks ago, the city of Tuscaloosa has been hit with two other winter fronts, but has been prepared to avoid another catastrophe. On this day, however, we were caught with our pants down. The morning of the initial snowstorm I woke to a fine white dust that covered my



vehicle, with class starting in an hour, and no announcement Miss of closings. Emily’s Tomatoes I thought to myself, “If I get stuck in a ditch because of the icy roads on the way to class, I will personally walk to campus and politely ask Judy Bonner to get a winch a pull my vehicle out.” However, the drive was manageable and the roads had not yet become frozen, but sitting in Reece Phifer on campus, my eye was instantly caught by the most terrifying site I had witnessed in years fluttering lazily outside of the third story window—a heavy snowfall. The University was closed shortly thereafter, and I found myself wandering through a city caught in the grips of panic. Students slipped and lost footing on frozen patches of sidewalk. Cars skid and bumped into each other, and for the first time in what seems like eons, Bear Bryant was covered in a heavy white shroud of snow. Police directed traffic along University Boulevard, but the river of snow-covered metal moved at a sluggish pace and the faces of each driver told a different story of fear and urgency—We were not prepared. I sat on Bryant Drive for an hour before reaching Lurleen Wallace Boulevard, and by this time, the roads were frozen. Intersections were clogged with honking motorists, all wishing they were at home

under a blanket watching James Spann in his shirtsleeves telling them about the impending winter apocalypse. The Black Warrior Bridge was a slush slide that left one riding in a low gear with a foot off of the brake. My biggest sigh of relief came when I finally crossed into Northport. That is until I decided to take Main Avenue. Another hour, five cigarettes and a volley of curse words later, I found myself on the parking lot that was Highway 43. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to take a shortcut on Flatwoods Road to reach Rose Boulevard. Big Mistake. Before reaching an alternative route, I noticed a slope in the road in which cars were sliding sideways on a frozen patch of asphalt and getting stuck on the shoulder and in the underlying ditch. Across from Harper Farms in Northport, this slope would have claimed a pile of cars had it not been for a brave (What I can only presume) team of father and son who courageously stood in the ditch and directed drivers, me included, on how to get their vehicles out and around the patch. Covered in snow and chilled to the bone, these two winter weather warriors were game changers for those trying to get home, and for that, I thank them. Detouring to Highway 82 and reaching Rose Boulevard some three hours after leaving campus, I was turned around again when a slope in the road had frozen and claimed several more vehicles. Citizens scattered along the shoulder shivered as they held frosted cell phones to their ears and called for help. Some citizens helped direct traffic, and others simply sat in shock as their cars hummed in wait. I felt as though the route to my home had become impossible. Every hill and slope had become a frozen deathtrap, eagerly awaiting the next unwitting motorist to slip, slam on the breaks and then go sliding into whatever ditch, car or pedestrian that sat in it’s way. Back on Highway 82, I took what I thought was my last option. It was around 3:00 p.m. and daylight was fading. When the darkness hit, the roads would be impossible to drive on. I took Mt. Olive Road and crawled at a snails pace leading a pack of nervous cars that had followed me from Rose Boulevard. About a mile from the turnoff that would put me about five minutes from my home in a rural area, the road was blocked. It slowly became darker, but the snow had stopped. As the temperature continued to plummet, one driver in a white truck found themselves at the top of a hill and stuck off of the shoulder after hitting a slope. At the bottom of the hill, cars parked and the occupants got out to stretch their legs and get a feel for the wait. “Dammit— I have come too far to turn around now, I’ll just wait it out,” one man said as he got out of his truck and put on an University of Alabama Facilities coat


to watch volunteer firefighters struggle to get the truck tires to grip the road and pull itself out. The squeal of tires and slinging of mud signaled the truck was not going anywhere without help. On the rear of the truck, a Z71 sticker could be made out, even from where I stood some 50 yards away. Another bystander, who had parked his commercial work truck in wait commented, “If that is a Z71, it should have four-wheel drive.” He then said with a laugh, “Maybe he just doesn’t know how to use it.” He then walked up the hill to check on the truck and offer his assistance. I confess, I had not come prepared to help anyone and stood on the frozen road feeling inadequate in slick bottom cowboy boots that couldn’t grip duct tape if they were slathered in molasses. After some discussion with the volunteer firefighters, he then returned to our group that continued to shiver in wait, and with a grin told us, “They just put that Z71 sticker on there for looks—it doesn’t even have four-wheel drive.” Eventually, enough sand was put under the tires of the phony Z71 for it to grip and rip out off of the shoulder. I got back into my frozen Pathfinder and crept along the treacherous road, but the size of my tires, and my prior awareness to grip the high shoulder of the road for traction, made for a safe ride home. After all was said and done, it took me four hours to travel from The University of Alabama to Northport. Over the last two weeks, the city has shutdown twice for winter weather, which is odd for this region. However, after the debacle that was the first snowstorm of the year, the city, county and state have all risen to a new level of responsibility and awareness when encountering this loathed winter enemy. That being said, the next time I start my day with snow on the ground, I will simply go back to bed.


>>>M U S I C | W I L L I A M B A R S H O P


R adio has grown a soft stop for a destined few indie bands with tunes just catchy enough to warrant nation-wide airtime. Foster the People can go from complete obscurity to having one of the biggest singles of 2011. Your mother might have heard of something called Capital Cities. These little crumbs for alternative pop, however, are always followed up by going back to Rihanna or Miley, so if an interesting sound catches your ear, you’re on your own finding more of the same. Indie fans are hungry for fresh sounds and new voices, and Tuscaloosa lovers of dance floor synth pop may have found their new favorite band at Green Bar on Saturday, February 15, at a show starring Machines Are People Too. Machines Are People Too is a group from Nashville that started out as the vocals/production duo of Brian Sylvester and JJ Clark. After some changes to the lineup it now includes Daniel Hoisington on guitar and Ivan Garcia playing drums. MRP2’s music is painstakingly polished, yet maintains the elusive ethos of not trying too hard. While the pop of the 2010s has smothered verses trying to capture the “soaring” chorus, “Do What You Love” casually perfects the concept while sounding equally urgent and carefree. The beat of “The Fever” sounds like a helter-skelter hybrid of air horns and an alien abduction, but the subtlety of the

production speaks to controlled chaos. So far they have put out two EPs, Dreams in 2012 and Nickels and Dimes in 2013, and are working on material for their first full-length album. The band followed local rapper, sLanguage, on stage at Green Bar late Saturday night. It took some coaxing to get the subdued crowd on its feet, but once the audience was dancing, the energy flowed on and off the stage. I met with Machines are People Too before the show at Wilhagan’s, next door to Green Bar. They told me about self-medicating with music, playing packed festivals, and the foreseeable future for the band. Planet Weekly: How did you arrive at this version of the band? Brian Sylvester: We always wanted to play fun dance music and it took us a while to figure out the best way to do that. You know it started out more DJ style, then it evolved into this band. Now we’re going back to the dance side of things and we’ve found a really good way that we like to play that. JJ Clark: We’re just trying to have as much fun as we can. We just want to surround ourselves with people who want to do that with us. So we all trust each other. PW: You get that vibe from the EP. JJ: Yeah, Nickels and Dimes, the new EP, is very much about not worrying about the troubles in your life and just going forward

with the things you want to do. We wrote it at a time in our lives where we needed to hear that. We wrote it in a way to tell ourselves that – to help us. We’ve kind of been able to help others hear that same message, which has been really cool. Brian: Yeah, I talked to a photographer friend of mine, an outside perspective, and he said it kind of felt like an artist’s record. You know, we made sacrifices that most people think are crazy. Everybody goes through that but we felt alone. JJ: We were in Chattanooga at the moment . . . no one was saying “oh everyone goes through that.” Lyrically, that’s where that record came from. And all the little intricacies that come along with having a day job, having a girlfriend, all those things balanced. That was like medication for what was going on. Brian: It’s definitely an equal step between the sacrifices we made for the band itself and the sacrifices we were making in taking the big step of moving from Chattanooga to Nashville. . . When you live personal lives, you still have a day job and you’re trying to figure out a way to make it all balance, it’s not easy to do. PW: Tell me about playing Lollapalooza last year. JJ: We were on Sunday Ivan Garcia: During Two Door [Cinema Club] Brian: During every band we love. JJ: That festival was awesome. Have you been to Bonnaroo? PW: I haven’t. JJ: Chicago can handle that many people but Manchester Tennessee really can’t, so getting back and forth is a nightmare. It’s really an experience, and you all go through it together. Brian: And Bonnaroo is something we’d gone in years past just to visit. And then we played it in 2012 on a side stage and we got to see another side of it. It’s just a special thing to be all in a field in the

middle of Tennesee and everybody is just sweating and loving it together. PW: A lot of music like yours has made its way onto radio. Do you have aspirations of getting radio spins? JJ: It’s exciting. Maybe. Brian: I think a couple of years ago maybe we didn’t understand how we would ever be able to. But there’s a lot of groundbreaking bands sort of taking it to the next level, making it more of an option for us. Even for second-rate radio, you know college radio. JJ: I think at some point we want people to enjoy it, so of course we think about that, but we’re just trying to write what we want to write. I think you can tell if a band tries to sound a certain way. Brian: We’re at a place with our new material where we feel like we have no limitations. We feel like we can make the music we’ve been meant to make all along. Daniel: I feel like the new music is kind of off the wall in some ways. It’s stretching in some ways compared to the last record. There’s a lot of weird sounds and sonic landscapes. I think it’s still in the realm of pop music. . . but music on the radio has been changing so much lately that I think we’re all trying to close the doors and not pay attention to what’s out there. We try to create from a place that’s inside us, a kind of naiveté, childlike enthusiasm. Just try to stay as psyched and pumped up as we can. If it’s not exciting us we move on. So the music’s getting weirder and also more fun to listen to. PW: People appreciate that, when you just express yourself. Brian: Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do JJ: A lot of it is confidence. I think we’ve gained a lot of confidence. Brian: New music and new ideas. That’s where we are now. Machines Are People Too’s music is available for purchase at

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

Jacob Thompson FEBRUARY 20 + MARCH 6



CIVIL WAR TUSCALOOSA // WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? tory was true when applied to Tuscaloosa. “I wanted to see what actually happened here,” Zuri said. “I love living here and I’m a history buff, so I got interested.” Zuri was especially captivated with the story of the Jemison family and their legendary influence. “I’d heard a lot of things about the Jemisons,” Zuri said. “It’s amazing all that happened in this house.” Richter ended the event by appealing on the behalf of the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society for anyone with first-hand accounts of the Civil war era to donate them to the cause of bringing history to light. “If there are any Civil War diaries, letters, photographs out there, please let us know,” Richter said. “There’s a lot of missing history.” The Sundown Lecture series will continue through October with a variety of subjects such as "19th Century Wedding Dresses" and "How to: Identify Real Silver." Historic Tuscaloosa will also host a Mardi-Gras Jazz Brunch at the BattleFriedman house on March 1.

Tuscaloosans are known to proclaim the town’s place in Civil War history by telling the story of the Union invasion on April 4, 1865. It’s a surviving seed of animosity for the North, but also a legendary tale for those who feel loyal to Tuscaloosa. Local attorney and historian Chris McIlwain says there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to Tuscaloosa’s tangled relationship with the Confederacy that led to the burning of the University of Alabama. McIlwain led the installment of the Sundown Lecture Series, “Civil War Tuscaloosa” Thursday, February 13 at the Jemison-Van de Graaff mansion, sorting through the accounts he has collected from that era of US history. Reading various documents to illuminate the story were Marty Hamner, president of the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society, Katherine Richter, executive director of the same group, Guy Hubbs, associate professor at Birmingham-Southern College, and Ian Crawford, the director of the Jemison mansion. Perhaps the most elusive mystery of Tuscaloosa’s Civil War history is the true loyalty of Robert Jemison, Jr., himself, the namesake and original owner of the Jemison-Van de Graaff mansion. At times he was vocally pro-war, especially when running for Senator of the Confederacy, but some of his actions suggest he was secretly a cooperationist or a Union



sympathizer, McIlwain said. For example, Jemison owned a bridge that allowed Union troops access over the Black Warrior River, a crucial element in the Union’s success in burning down the University of Alabama. “What if [the bridge] had been demolished? Would they have been able to destroy the University?” McIlwain said. “Probably not.” McIlwain did object to the grudge many Tuscaloosans hold for that particular attack. “You hear a lot of people putting the hex on Union soldiers for burning down the University,” McIlwain said. “But the Confederates burned Cumberline University in 1868. This was not an uncommon act. A lot of times [universities] were being used for military purposes.” One voice that contributed to the history brought forth in the lecture was Landon Garland, the University of Alabama’s president during the war. His letters and speeches help historians understand the politics of Tuscaloosa’s involvement with the war and the general feelings at the time leading up to it. The panel also dug into publications like the Independent Monitor and The Tuscaloosa Observer, which published opinions and news that represent how the public felt about the conflict. What these historians found was often a chilling amount of devastation to South-

erners with no stake in the slave trade. McIlwain said most counts of Confederate deaths from Alabama alone were over 25,000, and a great deal of those soldiers did all they could to resist going into battle. “If you couldn’t afford college, you couldn’t avoid the draft that way,” McIlwain said. “Some people used self-mutilation to avoid service.” There were some stories on the more light-hearted side that McIlwain discovered. One troop he found amusing spent eight days in Tuscaloosa despite strict orders to “high-tail it up to Chatanooga” from a notoriously vicious general, Braxton Bragg. “These boys knew how to party,” McIlwain said. “I think they hit every house of ill repute along the way.” Around 40 people sat in for the event, including many older members of the community and some local students. The room was quiet as the audience listened intently to each letter, article and speech from Tuscaloosa’s past. There was some unrest when the mansion lost power momentarily, just as Richter reached a line written by Malinda Taylor, a soldier’s wife, telling her husband there is “no light before us.” Chiemeke Zuri, a Tuscaloosa ethnologist and African-American historian, said she heard about the lecture in the newspaper, and was interested in how much “common knowledge” about Civil War his-


McIlwain’s Busted Myths: Myth: There were black Southerners fighting for the Confederates. McIlwain said most Confederates were strongly opposed to arming slaves, and many said they wouldn’t fight if they had to fight next to a black man. McIlwain told the audience that if they heard someone assert this myth to “ask them to give you the rosters of those units.” Myth: The war wasn’t all about slavery. “It had everything to do with slavery,” McIlwain said. The various conflicts that plunged the nation into war all revolved around slave states’ desire to keep their slaves. Myth: The Civil War was known as “the war between the states.” That term wasn’t used until years after the war was over, McIlwain said. Most people simply called it “the war.”

Robert Jemison, Jr.

>>> F I L M | V A N R O B E R T S

"RIDE ALONG" // Hilarious movie, and ««« very entertaining

2.5 ou t of 4

Stand-up comic Kevin Hart cracks me up. The 5-ft. 2-in., bantamweight AfricanAmerican comedian reminds me of Chris Tucker stuck in a hole two-feet deep. Hart’s hyperactive loquacity, colossal impertinence, and contagious energy make him riotously funny. He could stand around and do nothing, and he would still be hilarious. “Think Like A Man” director Tim Story casts the charismatic Hart as a wacky wannabe cop cooped up in a car with Ice Cube’s stoic Atlanta Police Detective in “Ride Along”, a standard-issue, odd couple, buddy comedy with shoot-outs and explosions. A veteran cop with anger management issues, Ice Cube scowls and grimaces throughout “Ride Along” as he did in “21 Jump Street.” Cube’s character is obsessed with arresting an enigmatic criminal mastermind known only as Omar, but his obnoxious superior keeps reprimanding him about his rogue behavior. Story and four writers, including “Sorority Boys” scripter Greg Coolidge, newcomer Jason Mantzoukas, and “R.I.P.D” co-scribes Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, have recycled dutifully every cliché from those 1980s era police procedurals. They set up at least one gag early in the action and pay it off during the finale. Another inevitable gag involving a video gamers’ microphone headset is so obviously set-up that you’d

have to miss it with a trip to the concession counter or elsewhere, to overlook it. Actors John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Bryan Callen, and Laurence Fishburne grace this predictable, by-the-numbers, potboiler with their illustrious presence. If you’ve seen cop movies like “Rush Hour,” “Fuzz,” “48 HRS,” “Training Day,” and “Paul Blart, Mall Cop,” you know what to expect at every turn. “Ride Along” sticks to the formula with slavish zeal, but the camaraderie between Kevin Hart and Ice Cube as polar opposites overshadows the film’s sophomoric shenanigans. Ben Barber (Kevin Hart of “Grudge Match”) works as a security guard at an Atlanta area high school where he does his best to keep some of the kids in class and off the streets. Ben has a live-in girlfriend, Angela Payton (Tika Sumpter of “Sparkle”), who happens to be the sister of tough-asnails Atlanta cop James Payton. Make no mistake; the bad-tempered Payton has nothing but contempt for the upstart Barber. He doesn’t understand what Angela sees in the runt. Barber wants to marry Angela, but he feels compelled to obtain James’ blessing. Imagine Barber’s surprise when he learns that he has been accepted into the police academy. Barber approaches Payton with his news and Payton chal-

lenges our pint-sized protagonist to a ‘ride along’ to measure his mettle. Naturally, Barber takes advantage of this opportunity and gets to don a windbreaker with POLICE stenciled across the back. Meantime, Payton gets the dispatcher to send him every annoying call so he can disillusion Barber and get on with his life. Everybody that Barber encounters winds up intimidating him, particularly Benjamin "Lil P-Nut" Flores Jr., who upstages Hart during a one-onone scene on a basketball court. Barber is struggling to learn the whereabouts of the kid’s big brother, but “Lil-P Nut” thwarts him at every turn. During the ride along, Barber contends with a gang of motorcycle riders, specifically one who appears to be a woman with some physical characteristics of a man. Eventually, after our hero learns that Payton has been trying to break his spirit, he rebounds and finds himself deep in Payton’s business. Our heroes manage to draw out the elusive Mr. Big behind an arms deal and all Hell breaks looses with a revelation that weights heavily on Payton. Of course, the villains target Payton’s sister, and “Ride Along” shifts to the dependable damsel-in-distress subplot. By the time all the dust has settled, our two heroes have a different opinion of each other and are more amenable to each other.

Basically, “Ride Along” whittles Kevin Hart down to size before it converts him into a force to be reckoned with by the bad guys. This movie even makes video gamers look useful for something because they can differentiate between the sounds of a variety of submachine guns. Our hero employs this bit of knowledge to good effect in helping Cloud Atlas Payton capture a world class villain. Before this 99 minute opus concludes, our heroes have redeemed themselves suitably enough in each other’s eyes to emerge as friends, despite an amusing cook-out segment during the end credits. “Ride Along” is pretty dull when Hart isn’t going full-tilt with his slapstick. Director Tim Story, who helmed “Taxi” and the original, live-action “Fantastic Four” franchise with Chris Evans and Jessica Alba, maintains headlong momentum and provides enough shoot-outs and toughtalking showdowns to make “Ride Along” tolerable when Hart isn’t sparring with Ice Cube. Ultimately, everything boils down to Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. These two thespians have a blast playing off each other, so much so that “Ride Along” has topped the box office charts three weeks in a row. This Universal Pictures release has coined a little less than a $100-million dollars from a $25 million budget. Presumably, a “Ride Along” sequel with a superior script is in the works.




>>> A R T S & C R A F T S | RYA N P H I L L I P S


Thanks to a collective push by the local business community and citizens, the road has been paved in Tuscaloosa for unorthodox, yet appealing business models. In one downtown location, a large collaboration of local art is available under one roof to keep local dollars in Tuscaloosa and finance the people that give local art its flavor. For someone like Scott McQueen, who is a full-time Pastor at Lakewood Baptist Church in Northport and coowns Cedar House Crafts with his wife Jackie, the opportunities are available in one local venue to bring his art to citizens of Tuscaloosa. Enter the Maker’s Market. “I enjoy putting my art [at Maker’s Market], first the owners are nice folks to work with and they are very civic

Scott McQueen



conscious and do a lot in terms of going out of their way to try to encourage the community of business to come together and work together,” he said. “ It is unique, for my community at least. It gives me a great opportunity to show my wares that I would otherwise not have, so it has opened some doors. A lot of customers come in and see what I’ve got and it continues to grow exponentially.” Reminiscent of a flea market, this seemingly hidden 22nd Street location features crafts made and sold by 110 different local West Alabama vendors, all of whom rent space as opposed to operating on commission, according to owner Beth Milis. Each space is able to function without the vendor present and business cards are available at each for the customer to have contact with the “maker”. “We rent by the square foot rather than a commission-based thing,” she said. “Having done something like this before, if you give 40-50% to someone else, then you will never get ahead, even if your cost of goods is zero. If you rent space, you can distribute that cost towards everything in your booth and no one feels cheated.” Opened in August of 2012, The Maker’s Market has since attempted to boost the local economy by providing an atypical business model aimed at bringing in local entrepreneurial artists. McQueen, who mainly focuses on crafts made of used license plates, has found success in the local market through his unique brand of art. “What got me started in all this, I had a room in my house with a big blank wall and had a bunch of old car tags and got the idea that I would Milis cover that wall with car tags inBeth a deco-

rative way,” he said. “So I went to a buddy who had a junk yard and I went and took the car tags off of the old cars and when I finished I had about 20 or 30 tags lefts and it came to mind that I could cut those car tags and make something out of it. Somebody saw it, liked it and the rest is history.” Growing up, artistic ability seemed to come naturally, he said. Given his profession within the church, McQueen also said he has been able to connect his faith with his art. “I’ve always drawn and doodled and used a lot of that in church work over the years,” he said. “My dad did oil paintings growing up so I grew up around that. It is just an outlet for me. I don’t golf, Beth Milis hunt or fish, I like to draw and paint. So that is kind of how it developed—I try to let my faith shine through my art in one way or the other and it’s something I use as an extension of my faith. When she was starting out, owner Beth Milis had never sold crafts until working at a source of inspiration in Detroit. The plan came together after a hobby turned into a way to pay the bills. “I have been quilting for about 15 years, but I had never sold anything until I was there,” she said. “My husband worked for Sam’s Club, so we moved around a lot and when we moved to Illinois, I could not find a job and was bored out of my mind. Then

my mom brought me my grandma’s sewing machine, and it all started there.” According to Milis, the mantra of her establishment is to offer a personal shopping experience while keeping local dollars in Tuscaloosa. At the Maker’s Market, emphasis is put towards community connection through art. “We try to encourage people to shop local, and with local folks and hand made stuff that is often purchased over the Internet, it is cost effective but it is impersonal and I think there are a lot of people out there who want to touch stuff before they buy it,” she said. “People like to know they are helping someone in the community

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

>>> M A K E R S M A R K E T | C O N T I N U E D

because they may know them or go to church with them. I think people really like knowing their money is staying here and when the vendors get money, their money stays here.” Milis then said that through the colorful blend of crafts sold by vendors, many different styles are pre-

sented to appeal to a wide range of tastes. For fans of hand-made gifts with a southern feel, including everything from personally crafted duck calls to crocheted bracelets, this place is heaven. “We are very diverse in terms of the crafts our vendors make and sell,” she said. “We have five potters here, but each one of them is different. We have a lot of people doing jewelry and quilts, but everyone is different.” As artists promote themselves via The Maker’s Market, Milis said, the local attitude has evolved and welcomed each craftsperson into the fold of the business and art communities “I think in having a place like this and having more art available, more people are willing to come out and show off their crafts. Tuscaloosa is definitely embracing these artists more.” McQueen, who has been a vendor at the Maker’s Market for a little over a year, pointed to local talent that deserves recognition and said that it is reflective of the downtown business renaissance. “It is good to see the locals involved with arts and crafts and I would love to see more local talent along with outside talent from outside the com-

munity, “ he said. “I appreciate makers market because they give west Alabama talent that opportunity. I can just saw from a consumer standpoint, I really like what Tuscaloosa is doing for the downtown district and appreciate everyone who is playing a role in that. I’m glad to see our downtown is being revitalized and as a citizen of the community it is just great. “ Despite the success had by Milis at the Maker’s Market, she said that the location could easily go overlooked, given its downtown location on the same block as a new Which Wich restaurant. “Our biggest obstacle is where we are at,” she said. “There have never really been retail outlets here and when people see our address on 22nd avenue, they often miss us, even for people who have lived in Tuscaloosa

their whole lives.” Enjoying your work is crucial in any field, and for Milis, her own art is a source of joy along with providing opportunities to other local artists. “I like recycled stuff, anything that is kind of different,” she said. “I love the state and Alabama pride crafts but the recycled crafts are my favorite. Its just my preference, quilting is kind of recycling too—Recycling is just something I have always thought we needed to do.” For those interested in visiting the Maker’s Market, it is located at 401 22nd Avenue and is a short walk from Wilhagen’s and Green Bar. To learn more, call 561.6666.


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>>> wine REVIEW | E LI Z A B E T H LO W D E R




W here to E at in T uscaloosa

15th Street Diner 1036 15th St // 750.8750 Open for most lunch and dinners, with limited hours on weekends. Brown Bag 9425 Jones Road | Northport // 333.0970 Its speciality, fried green tomatoes, joins barbecue plates and fish filets on an extended list of meats and vegetables. Tues 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Wed-Sat 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. City Cafe 408 Main Ave | Downtown Northport // 758.9171 Established in 1936. Big on food, low on price. Open for breakfast and lunch. Historic downtown Northport. Closed weekends. CountryPride Restaurant 3501 Buttermilk Rd // 554.0215 Breakfast 24 hours. Lunch and Dinner buffet. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 4800 Doris Pate Dr | Exit 76 // 562.8282 International House of Pancakes 724 Skyland Blvd // 366.1130 Jack's 1200 Hackberry Lane | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199

The bone- chilling winter weather of weeks past has had me wanting to get rejuvenated and refreshed for spring. Perhaps I have a case of premature spring fever. The rays of sunshine have begun bursting through the clouds, and the bold greens are starting to peek through the branches along the Riverwalk. Wouldn’t it be nice to grab a bottle of wine and celebrate the dwindling days of cold weather, and welcome warmer days with a picnic? This week’s selection is perfect for just that, it’s a 2012 vintage Sauvignon Blanc from esteemed California winemaker, Cakebread Cellars. Cakebread Cellars has been a familyoriented vineyard since its inception in 1973, and it prides itself on sharing their family recipes, secrets, and experiences with families from across the globe. A unique factor of Cakebread is that it is one of very few green-certified wineries, which means that the vineyard itself is farmed organically or sustainably. “With 40 harvests under our belts, and the second generation of winemaking Cakebreads now running the winery, our little family winery has become one of the most successful and respected wineries in America, renowned for its world-class vineyards, wines, and hospitality. It is our commitment to quality, and our history, that we feel truly blessed to share with you,” the website reads. The winery owns 13 sites, totaling a massive 982 acres, half of which are currently planted. The other half of the land receive tedious care, as to alternate and harvest for the upcoming year. Cakebread Cellars has vineyard properties scattered throughout Napa Valley, as well as a location nestled in the Anderson Valley. These areas of the valley are



prime real estate for vineyard, and are notorious for producing top-quality wines. The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is Cakebread’s 38th vintage of their Napa Valley collection, and it proves to be one of their best. After all, Napa Valley is the region that brought world recognition to California wine-making, so it’s no surprise that this selection is such a hit. For example, the fresh, vivid aromas swirl and leap out of the glass, just before tasting. Before you take your first sip, you’re already hooked. This medium-bodied wine delivers a ripe grapefruit, guava, melon, green apple and mineral flavors are remarkably rich, intense, concentrated and vibrant, with a long, full finish packed with fresh fruit and mineral/chalky (a la White Bordeaux) tones. Savor the flavors of this selection by pairing it with a crisp, summer salad, or even a delicate shrimp scampi dinner, but be sure to leave room for dessert! The key with this Sauvignon Blanc is to keep it light, so dishes with cream bases or sauces might be best enjoyed with a heavier selection. The 2012 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc can be purchased at J.D.’s Market and Spirits, located on 1400 Paul Bryant Drive in Tuscaloosa or online through the vineyard’s website at The vineyard’s Facebook page is updated regularly with customer reviews and promotions, so be sure to check that out as well at Facebook. com/CakebreadCellars.

Maggie's Diner 1307 Ty Rogers Jr. Ave | Tuscaloosa // 366.0302 Mr. Bill's Family Restaurant 2715 McFarland Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 333.9312

and Smoked Chicken with white barbecue sauce. Kid friendly. Closed Saturday lunch. Mike Spiller is featured the first Thursday of every month. Happy Hour- Mon-Fri from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. featuring 1/2 price appetizers. $2 Domestic Draft Beers and $3 Well cocktails. Epiphany Cafe 19 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 344.5583 “New American cuisine” with a strong emphasis on local produce, organic meats, and sustainable seafood. The menu is always changing and features include an extensive wine list, a large vibrant bar and martini lounge area, as well as patio seating. Reservations are available online at or through open table. Hours: Mon–Sat 5 p.m. - until Evangeline’s 1653 McFarland Blvd. North // 752.0830 Located in the Tuscaloosa Galleria. 2004 West Alabama Tourism Award Winning Restaurant. American Eclectic Cuisine. Lunch: Mon–Fri 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: Tues–Sat 5 p.m. - until... Fall: Saturday Brunch. FIVE Bar 2324 6th Street. // 205.345.6089 A restaurant/bar based on simplicity. We offer 5 entrees, 5 red wines, 5 white wines, 5 import beers, 5 domestic, and 5 signature cocktails, to go along with our full liquor bar. Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5-10; Friday and Saturday 5-12 Lunch: Friday and Saturday 11-3; Sunday Jazz Brunch: 10-3; 205.345.6089 Kozy’s 3510 Loop Road E | near VA Medical Center // 556.0665 Eclectic menu, extensive wine list. Dinner at Kozy’s is a romantic experience complete with candlelight and a roaring fireplace. |

Northport Diner 450 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.7190


Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd *402 | Tuscaloosa // 366.8780

Benkei Japanese Steak House 1223 McFarland Blvd // 759-5300 Hours: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. | Fri–Sat 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip | Tuscaloosa // 342.0022 Rama Jama’s 1000 Bryant Dr // 750.0901 Closest restaurant to Bryant-Denny Stadium. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 1014 7th Ave. | Tusaloosa // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night The Waysider 1512 Greensboro Ave // 345.8239 Open for breakfast and lunch. Smoke free.

Bento Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar 1306 University Blvd // 758.7426 Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant 607 15th Street Open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi 502 15th Street // 752.8844 Tokyo Japanese Steak & Sushi Bar 6521 Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 366.1177 Offers steak, seafood, tempura, teriyaki and sushi. Including cooking at your table, if you choose. Sun–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.


Kobe Steak House 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 759-1400 Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sat & Sun 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Chipotle Mexican Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0140


Don Rafa's 2313 4th Street | Temerson Square // 345.9191

Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue

El Rincon (2 locations) 1225 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa, AL // 366.0855 1726 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.1274

Broadway Pizzeria 2880 Rice Mine Road Northeast Tuscaloosa, // 391.6969

Fernando's Mexican Grill 824 McFarland Blvd E | Northport // 205.331.4587 Iguana Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 752.5895 Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill 2001 New Watermelon Rd | Northport // 342.3378 LaGran Fiesta 9770 Hwy 69 S // 345.8871 Los Calientes Mexican Grill 3429 McFarland Blvd E // 553.1558 Los Tarascos (2 locations) 1759 Skyland Blvd // 553.8896 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.0919 Margarita's Grill 1241 McFarland Blvd E // 343.0300 Moe’s Southwest Grill (2 locations) 2330 McFarland Blvd E // 342.1487 1130 University Blvd // 752.0234 Pepito’s (2 locations) 1203 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9028 1301 McFarland Blvd NE // 391.4861


Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 248.9370 Steak, seafood, & sushi specialities. Open for dinner and Sunday brunch. Great atmosphere and excellent service. Ladies Night on Tuesdays. Ladies receive ½ off on drinks. Uptown Wednesday - $6 Uptown Shrimp, $8 Uptown Tacos. Cypress Inn 501 Rice Mine Rd // 345.6963 Fax: 345.6997 | 2003 Restaurant of Distinction. Beautiful riverfront location. Steaks, seafood and more with Southern flavor. Wine list, full bar. Specialities of the house include Shrimp Cypress Inn


DePalma’s Italian Cafe 2300 University Blvd, Downtown // 759.1879 Menu ranges from sanwiches to finer pasta dishes and pizza. Varied beer and wine selection. Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.345.4343 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd // 758.0112 Pizzas, calzones, hoagies and more. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Mr. G’s 908 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339-8505 Olive Garden 2100 McFarland Blvd E // 750-0321 Open daily from 11 a.m.

CASUAL DINING Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue // Tuscaloosa The pub offers a different menu for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Feature foods include pineapple French toast, pork sliders, and a house burger which changes daily. The drink menu features specialty cocktails, local pints, bottled beer, and wine. Monday through Friday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday Noon – 11 p.m., Sunday Noon p.m. – 9 p.m. Big Daddy’s Cafe 514 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 759.9925 Buddy’s Ribs & Steaks 2701 Bridge Ave | Northport // 339.4885 Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd // 523.0273 Mon–Wed 11 a.m. - midnight | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Cafe J


W here to E at in T uscaloosa ( cont . )

2523 University Blvd // 343.0040 Chili’s 1030 Skyland Blvd | Near McFarland Mall // 750.8881 Fax: 758.7715 // Dave’s Dogs 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 722.2800 Desperados Steak House FIG (Food Is Good) 1351 McFarland Blvd NE // 345.8888 Mon–Fri 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Five Guys Burgers & Fries 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0575 Glory Bound Gyro Company 2325 University Blvd // 349-0505 Glory Bound Gyro Company is a unique restaurant that focuses on great food and service in a funky, fun-filled atmosphere. Open Mon-Thu: 11am - 10pm | Fri - Sat: 11am-10pm | Sun: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Hooligan’s 1915 University Blvd // 759.2424 From hamburgers to hummus. Open daily 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Horny's 508 Red Drew Ave | Tuscaloosa // 345.6869 Mon 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Tues-Thurs 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Fri 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. | Sat 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. New Orleans style atmosphere in the heart of Tuscaloosa on the strip. Horny's offerings include a full liquor bar, beer, and a variety of classic American food. Horny's Bar and Grill offers a limited late night menu from 1:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m. So, if you're hungry after "last-call for drinks," Horny's is the place to be. KK’s Steakhouse 13242 Hwy 69 South // 633.1032 Tacogi 500 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 342.3647 Logan's Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd E // 349.3554 Madear’s 1735 Culver Road // 343.7773 Mon–Fri 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. | 2nd & 3rd Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 391.0572 Great burgers & sandwiches. Unique setting, full service bar, veggie entrees, kid friendly, and open late Newk’s Express Cafe 205 University Blvd. East // 758.2455 Fax: 758.2470 // An express casual dining experience in a refreshing and stylish atmosphere. Serving fresh tossed salads, oven baked sandwiches, California style pizzas and homemade cakes from Newk’s open kitchen. Sun–Wed 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. O’Charley’s 3799 McFarland Blvd // 556.5143 Open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 366.8780 Piccadilly Cafeteria 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 556.4960

Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd. East | Tuscaloosa // 523.0273 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar Champs Sports Grille 320 Paul Bryant Drive | inside Four Points Sheraton Hotel // 752.3200 Breakfast and lunch buffets. Sunday brunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Innisfree Irish Pub 1925 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Moe's BBQ 101 15th Street | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 752.3616 Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Bar open until 2 a.m., 3 a.m. on Fridays Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave // 391.0572 Great burgers. Full service bar. Open late. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 1014 7th Ave. // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night Wilhagan’s 2209 4th St | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 366.0913 Wings U 1800 McFarland Blvd East Suite 218 | Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 561.3984 Features the first coal-fired pizza oven in Alabama. Owned by former UA/Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Completely open concept! WingZone 1241 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 342.2473

BARBEQUE Archibald & Woodrow's BBQ 4215 Greensboro Ave | Tuscaloosa // 331.4858 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Sun lunch Bama BBQ & Grill 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.9816 Billy's BBQ Downtown Northport 364.1400 We specialize in BBQ, fresh ground beef, poultry, and pork made fresh, served fresh. Ask about our specialty potatoes. Mon & Tues 10-7// Wed. 10 – 5:30// Thurs, Fri, & Sat. 10 - 9 Dickey's BBQ 9770 Alabama 69 344.6500 Dreamland (2 locations) 5535 15th Ave | Tuscaloosa // 758.8135 101 Bridge Ave | Northport // 343.6677 The legend. On game day, get there early if you want to make kickoff. Seating is limited. Hours: Mon–Sat 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Sun 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Hick’s BBQ 4400 Fayette Hwy // 339.3678 // Tues–Sat 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

The Local Catch // 331.4496 2321 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa Full Menu including breakfast served all day. Live Music Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - close | Sun 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. For a complete schedule

Moe's Original BBQ 2101 University Blvd.. // 752.3616 Serving up an award-winning, all things Southern BBQ and Live music experience. Come dine-in or sit on the patio and enjoy some great Que, beers, whiskey, and live music on Thursday-Saturday. Roll Tide! Mon–Sat 11am - 10pm | Bar service Mon-Sat 2am and Fri -3am | Kitchen closes at 10pm

Ryan’s 4373 Courtney Dr // 366.1114 Near Marriott Courtyard and Fairfield Inn Sitar Indian Cuisine 500 15th St // 345-1419 Southland Restaurant 5388 Skyland Blvd E // 556.3070 Steaks, chops and home-cooked vegtables Mon–Fri 10:45 a.m. - 9 p.m. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 1014 7th Ave. | Tusaloosa // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night Zoe’s Kitchen 312 Merchants Walk // 344.4450 A wonderful selection of Greek foods

SPORTS GRILL Baumhower's Wings of Tuscaloosa 500 Harper Lee Drive | catering-Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 556.5858 | Always fresh and always fun. Owned by former UA/ Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Kid Friendly Buffalo Phil’s 1149 University Blvd | The Strip // 758.3318 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar


Hooter’s 5025 Oscar Baxter Dr | Next to Jameson Inn // 758.3035 Wings, clams, shrimp and of course the Hooters Girls

Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip // 342.0022

Ruby Tuesday (2 locations) 6421 Interstate Drive | Cottondale // 633.3939 Just off I-20/59 at exit 77. Near Hampton Inn and Microtel Inn 311 Merchants Walk | Northport // 345.4540

>>> beer review | E LI Z A B E T H LO W D E R

Pottery Grill (2 locations) Highway 11 Cottondale // 554.1815 3420 Alabama 69, Northport // 333.5848 Menu: Awesome barbecue. The Pottery Grill serves up everything from pork, chicken, ribs and sausage to burgers, hot dogs and salads. Take-out and catering available. Tee’s Ribs and Thangs 1702 10th Avenue // 366.9974 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily

STEAKS Logan’s Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd | next to Sams // 349.3554 Steaks, ribs and spirits Longhorn Steakhouse 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 345-8244 #412 Nick's In the Sticks 4018 Culver Rd | Tuscaloosa // 758.9316 A long-time Tuscaloosa tradition. Good steaks at a reasonable price Try a Nicodemus if you have a designated driver. Outback Steakhouse 5001 Oscar Baxter Dr // 759.9000


Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave // 248.9370 Happy Hour 3pm-6pm with $5 house wine, $5 top shelf, $3 well. $1 off bottle beer

Maybe you’re like me, and perhaps you’re struggling a bit to keep up with your New Year’s resolutions. One of the most common resolutions I’ve noticed in my friends is to resolve to eat better foods, and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets. What’s a fun way to incorporate fruit into your diet? Would a fruit-flavored beer count toward that goal? I’d like to think so. Thanks to a local brewery in town, you can get the sweet taste of apricot at the tip of a glass. This week’s selection is brewed locally from the newest taps in town, Black Warrior Brewing Company, featuring the Apricot Wheat. Black Warrior Brewing Company is the second brewery to make Tuscaloosa its home, with the first being Druid City Brewing Company. Black Warrior has three main brewers, who work on a dozen recipes. One of the five owners of Black Warrior Brewing Company, Joe Fuller says transferring the recipes from 10-gallon batches to 300 gallons hasn’t been an easy task, but they are diligently working to perfect each and every batch. Black Warrior Brewing Company’s Apricot Wheat is an American-style pale wheat ale. Light in color, this selection pours a clear golden orange with thin, white, aromatic head. It favors more toward a white wheat cider, than a traditional ale, but certainly does not lack in taste. The light, fruit bursts of citrus and apricot are refreshing, but do not exceed the complexities of an enjoyable, everyday beer. The light, fruity flavors released in the Apricot Wheat complement tangy flavors of pulled pork barbecue, as well as other berry and fruit marinated selections. It has the ideal blend of airy fruit flavor, and can carry throughout the entire meal. I have been craving a crisp, fruity beer but have grown tired of the mass market selections I’ve been indulging in for years. Using an orange slice to jazz up a brew sometimes doesn't cut it, and picking a

beer with too much fruit flavor can end up tasting like a child’s juice box. This selection is a perfect ale that can be enjoyed all year long. While the Apricot Wheat may not be a suitable substitute for your suggested daily servings of fruit, it battles to be just as delicious. Taps of Black Warrior’s Apricot Wheat can be found at Egan’s, Buffalo Phil’s, Wilhagan’s, Alcove, and the Grey Lady. Business hours for Black Warrior Brewing Company are from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to close Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays. The taproom and brewery is located at 2216 University Boulevard in Downtown Tuscaloosa. The two-story brewery features a “bonus room” upstairs with darts, foosball tables, and large televisions for enjoying your favorite sports. Check out Black Warrior’s social media pages on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news at the brewery. Although their main website is currently under construction, the brews are definitely ready for consumption.






Food should be fun, interesting, a little mysterious, and above all delectably satisfying. Good food should have taste buds pondering flavors and leave one wondering how something could be so delicious. Temerson Square’s newest restaurant, The Avenue Pub, delivers just this. Craig Williams, owner and operator, took a leap of faith when prime real estate became available downtown. Although location is key the beauty of The Avenue Pub is in its menus. The science of menu engineering is difficult to perfect. However, with the American Kitchen Pub favorites these menus come pretty close to perfection. The pub offers a different menu for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Feature foods include pineapple French toast, pork sliders, and a house burger which changes daily. The drink menu features specialty cocktails, local pints, bottled beer, and wine. Williams has great pride in his establishment and food stating, “we just want to do it right”. With their made-from-scratch mantra each dish is prepared in house with the freshest ingredients. At first glance the restaurant appears dark and calm. Walls mostly gray with some exposed brick that hold casual paintings. Flat screen televisions are housed in the two dining areas as well as

behind the full bar. Classic rock played over the stereo creating an enjoyable atmosphere. Sitting was no issue and service was quick. After gazing the menu it was decided that dinner would begin with some traditional pub fries, followed up with two shared entrées. The pub fries were smothered with melted parmesan cheese, crispy bacon, and topped with freshly shaved parmesan, herbs and more bacon. The fries were hand cut and fried to perfection. The melted cheese actually stayed on the fries instead of falling to the plate when prepping for a bite. Two sauces accompanied the fries, which were almost unnecessary because the cheese, bacon, and herbs yielded such a flavorful taste. In no time the main entrees were delivered piping hot and fresh. The chicken club sandwich was an unexpected surprise. A small sandwich layered with a decent portion of sliced chicken, bacon, cheese, lettuce, and tomato—this is what was expected. What arrived was this divine chicken club with a large piece of crispy fried chicken overflowing to the outside of the buttery brioche bun. The taste was complex, feeling the mouth with a salty, spicy, and sweet bite. The chicken glistened from the honey mustard glaze. This glaze added some much appreciated sweat heat. Each flavorful bite was better than the last. A carry our box is not worthy of such a dish. This sandwich deserves to be eaten fresh, in a single sitting so one can savor each bite as it was meant to be. The fish and chips were presented with three heaping pieces of fried cod laying over a bed of fresh cuts fries. The cod had been hand breaded and deep fried which produced a beautiful golden color. It was light and flakey. When mixed with the made-in-house tartar sauce the fish had a mild pickled bite. To tame the thirst specialty cocktails and local draft beer were enjoyed. The Berry Bash Bacardi Rum was prepared with crushed strawberries and blueberries, freshly squeezed lime juice and Sprite. This refreshing cocktail will definitely be a patio pick for the summer. From service to food the overall experience at The Avenue Pub was just wonderful. Pricing was fair. Between the two entrees, one cocktail, one beer, and an appetizer the ticket came just over 40 dollars. Well worth it. To experience good food with good drinks take the time to visit Tuscaloosa’s new addition, The Avenue Pub. The Avenue Pub is located at 405 23rd Avenue. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m., Saturday 12:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m. Brunch on Sunday features live music. Cindy Huggins, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and local “foodie”. See what she’s tweeting and follow her @DietitianCindy

Guacamole, queso, and pico de gallo!




W here t o E a t i n T u s c a l o o s a ( c o n t . )

Red Lobster 2620 McFarland Blvd // 553.8810 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center Tin Top Restaurant & Oyster Bar 4851 Rice Mine Rd NE #460 // 462.3399 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center & Temerson Square Wintzell’s Oyster House 1 Bridge Ave | Northport // 247.7772 Casual riverfront dining Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

CHINESE Buffet City 1747 Skyland Blvd E // 553.3308 All you can eat buffet. Open 7 days a week. Chang’s Chinese Restaurant 1825 McFarland Blvd N // 391.9131 China Fun 2600 University Blvd | Alberta City // 553.2435 China Garden Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 758.0148 Lee Palace 6521 Highway 69 S // 391.9990 Open daily 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking & Oriental Market 514 14th St. | In the Oz Music shopping center // 343.6889 // Open Sun - Thu 11am - 9pm, Fri & Sat 11am - 9:30pm Pearl Garden 2719 Lurleen Wallace Blvd | Northport // 339.0880 Peking Chinese Restaurant 1816 McFarland | Northport // 333.0361 Open 7 days a week. Super lunch and dinner buffet. Hours: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Swen Chinese Restaurant 1130 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9887 Trey Yuen 4200 McFarland Blvd E // 752.0088

ASIAN CUISINE Ruan Thai 1407 University Blvd // 391.9973 Exotic Thai cuisine. Offers vegetarian options, outdoor dining, and a full bar. Sushi on Thursdays. Lunch: Mon–Sat 11 a.m. -2 p.m. | Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. -10pm | Sun 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Surin of Thailand 1402 University Blvd // 752.7970 Authentic Thai restaurant and sushi bar. Open daily. Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

PIZZA AND SUBS A Taste Of Chicago 1700 Greensboro Avenue 205-342-DOGS Mon. - Thurs. 10:00am - 9:00pm; Fri. - Sat. 10:00am - 10:00pm 17th Street and Greensboro Avenue. Authentic Chicago style foods with a taste of Chi-Town in every bite. Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Rib Tips, and Chicago Style Pizza.View our menu online and order at CRIMSON2GO.COM. Follow us @TasteofChicagoTtown on Instagram. Firehouse Subs 1130 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 248.0680 Hungry Howie’s (2 locations) 1105 Southview Ln | South Tuscaloosa // 345.6000 1844 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.2633 1211 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa | The Strip // 366.1500 4851 Rice Mine Rd | Northriver/Holt // 345.3737 Lenny’s Sub Shop 220 15th St // 752.7450 Fax: 752.7481 // Little Caesars Pizza 1414 10th Ave // 366.2220 Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. // 345.4354

421 15th St. E // 345.5508 Jason’s Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd // 752.6192 Fax: 752.6193 // Located in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center. Jimmy John’s (3 locations) 1400 University Blvd | The Strip // 366.3699 1875 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 752.7714 815 Lurleen B. Wallace S | Tuscaloosa // 722.2268 Delivery 7 days a week. Manna Grocery & Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 752.9955 McAlister’s Deli (2 locations) 101 15th St | Tuscaloosa // 758.0039 3021 Tyler Dr | Northport // 330.7940 Sandwiches, salads and spuds Momma Goldberg’s Deli 409 23rd Ave // 345.5501 Newk's 205 University Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 758.2455 Schlotsky’s Deli 405 15th St. E // 759.1975 Which Wich University Blvd.// Downtown Tuscaloosa // Mon – Sat 10:30 – 9 // Sunday 11 – 7 // Fun atmosphere,fresh ingredients, great sandwiches. 764.1673

COFFEE SHOP Chloe's Cup 2117 University Blvd.| Tuscaloosa // 764.0218 Crimson Cafe International Coffee House & Gourmet Deli 1301 University Blvd | The Strip // 750.0203 Mon–Fri 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Sat & Sun 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. Five Java Coffee, fresh juices, smoothies and treats from Mary's Cakes. Open Monday - Saturday at 7am; 9am on Sundays Heritage House 18 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 758.0042 Krispy Kreme Doughnut 1400 McFarland Blvd // 758.6913 Starbucks (2 locations) 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 343.2468 1901 13th Ave East | inside Super Target // 462.1064

DESSERTS Celebrations Bakery, Inc. 1832 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339.3221 Fax: 349.1945 Cold Stone Creamery 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa //343.1670 Specializes in customized ice cream Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sun 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Mary's Cakes & Pastries 412 22nd Avenue | behind Opus | Northport // 345.8610 Mon–Fri 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Sat 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Smoothie King (2 locations) 415 15th Street | Tuscaloosa // 349.1721 Fax: 349.1945 1403 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 462.3664 Sweet CeCe's Frozen yogurt Treats 2217 University Blvd. | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 561.6458 A fun and friendly make your own creation, yogurt experience! TCBY (3 Locations) 2304 Mcfarland Blbd | Meadowbrook Shopping Center // 349.4661 // 2 Mcfarland Blvd | Northport | Essex Shopping Center // 758.6855 // 1130 Univ. Blvd. | The Strip // 345.0804

Roly Poly Sandwiches 2300 4th Street | Tuscaloosa // 366.1222

Yogurt In Love Patriot Center 7402 Highway 69 South Phone Number: 764.9173 Fax Number: 764.9228 Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 pm. . Yogurt Lab 920 Paul W. Bryant Dr Ste 200 | Tuscaloosa // 347.9522

The Pita Pit 1207 University Blvd | The Strip // 345.9606 Hours: Mon–Sat 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. | Sun 11:30 a.m. - midnight

Yogurt Mountain 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 342.1484 Self-serve frozen yogurt experience Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - midnight

Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 758.0112 Subs n' You 2427 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.758.0088

Pizza Palace Buffet 6521 Alabama 69 Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 752.5444 Tut’s Place 1306 University Blvd | The Strip // 759.1004



Honeybaked Ham Company

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In April 1938, the new Bama Theatre was unveiled to the fanfare of the parading Million Dollar Band. The Public Works Administration had commissioned architect David O. Whilldin to design the building, which would be used as a theatre and city hall. He modeled the building on the Italian Renaissance; the design of the lobby is based on the Davanzati Palace in Florence. The atmospheric interior of the theatre was intended to look like an Italian courtyard at night. Its ceiling has twinkling lights dotted among painted clouds, and the walls are lined with handpainted murals and false balconies. As buildings surrounding it have fallen and risen throughout the decades, the Bama has remained constant. Bama Theatre manager David Allgood says the fixtures in the building are, “all original. Nothing has been changed, and everything inside is unique. The false balconies are different on each side, the original murals are still there, the same star lights are there.” As the film world goes through rapid changes, the historic Bama is negotiating the modern era’s challenges through new series such as the Bama Art House. Filmmaker Andy Grace sparked the series in 2009. “At the time, they were doing a cinema nouveau series with a movie showing all week, which was poorly at-

Andrew Grace

tended. When I went to graduate school in Wyoming, there was a film series that was one night a week. Because it was one night a week, it was an event... I told David this would galvanize an audience, and he could also bring a ton more movies throughout the year. I just figured it would work.” The cinema nouveau series was then changed to the art house series, to showcase contemporary, independent films that would not ordinarily be shown in Alabama. Allgood says, “You won’t see these films anywhere else in Alabama.” Grace, Allgood, and other members of the Arts Council, pick six to ten films for each of the fall, winter, and summer series. “I’d love to sit here and tell you we scour the very best films from Sundance, Tribeca, etcetera and find the ones that are best for our audience. But the truth is that film distribution for a little town like Tuscaloosa is a hard sell for a lot of distributors,” says Grace. “We say, ‘We’d like to bring your movie, which is made by these world-renowned directors, and has all this Oscar buzz. Well, we’d like to bring it to Alabama. For one night.’ They’re like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ We kind of have to program based off what distributors are willing to give us. I feel we have strong programming every year because we’re able to work with

David Allgood

small distributors, and sometimes we’re able to work directly with the filmmakers. I, as a filmmaker, like this because then the filmmaker gets all the money.” Another issue the art house series faces are the technological changes of the industry; even the medium of film is changing. Only three of the eight movies in this series have been traditional 35 mm, and the rest have been digital. “The change from 35 mm to digital, we will make in the spring. The last movie in the series,”Wadjda,” might be the last 35 mm ever seen in the Bama Theatre,” says Allgood. Grace is more concerned with a different technological issue, that of online distribution. “Here’s another problem: a movie has been on itunes for two months now. That’s happened in the last year or two. It used to be there would be at least year, between when an independent film was first shown and when it was released to the public. Now, that space is much shorter. There were films at Sundance that were released on demand the day they premiered. That’s the way the market is shrinking.” However, Grace believes that this series offers more than a movie. “The Bama Art House, it requires that your audience believe this: we have a product they can’t get on their individual screens. We’re saying to them, look, you can watch this movie on your computer,

but you can’t watch it with 200 people. You can't watch it with a beer sitting next to your neighbor. You can’t have that communal experience, which I think is the beautiful part of cinema, on itunes.” Grace believes that the art house series provides a rare opportunity for connection. “I think there are fewer and fewer avenues for community in modern life. We get collapsed into our machines sometimes. I think going outside of your comfort zone to a theater, with friends and a whole bunch of strangers, and hearing that collective laugh, collective sorrow, and collective joy is something really vital. It’s something that gets lost when we turn increasingly into our computers.” When Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Public Works Administration in 1933, one of its stated goals was to, “benefit the community.” The Bama Theatre still fulfills this ambition. The Bama Art House series takes place Tuesday nights through March 11. Doors open at 6:45 p.m, movies begin at 7:30 p.m. The remaining movies are “The Best Offer”: A master auctioneer becomes obsessed with a reclusive heiress who collects art, “Una Noche”: Two Havana boys dream of escaping to Miami, and face the biggest challenge of their lives, and “Wadjda”: A Saudi girl signs up for her school's Koran recitation competition to raise money to buy herself a bicycle.


Theatre Tuscaloosa and Tuscaloosa Children's Theatre (TCT) are partnering for the fourth consecutive year to offer Theatre Camp 2014. Classes will meet Mon.-Fri. between 8:15 a.m. and noon, June 16-27. Classes are offered for students who will have completed Kindergarten through 11th grade. Session topics offered will include acting, dance/movement, singing, improvisation, auditioning, stage makeup, and technical theatre. “We are once again looking forward to this annual tradition,” said Theatre Tuscaloosa Managing Director Adam Miller. “Working hand-in-hand with Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre is a wonderful way for us to accomplish our educational mission. We see this camp as an investment in the future talent of our community.” Camp instructors are seasoned theatre professionals who have demonstrated their talents both onstage and off. This year’s instructors include Lindsey Jones, Mary Kathryn Mathews, Brent Jones, Jeff

Wilson, Benny Russell and Jeanette Waterman. They will pass on their knowledge and experience to campers using fun group exercises and interactive projects. “Instructors for the camp will be a mix of our veteran teachers and some new faces,” said Artistic Coordinator Drew Baker. “I love watching the campers broaden their theatrical knowledge while having an incredibly enjoyable experience with their fellow campers.” Students will be divided into five different age groups with four classes each. Cost of registration is $262 for each camper and includes all four classes and a camp t-shirt. Registration is limited to 18 campers per class and operates on a first-come-first-served basis, so early registration is strongly encouraged. Visit to download the registration form. Class descriptions, instructor bios, and class schedules are also available. Or call the ticket office at 391.2277 BACKROAD ANTHEM for more information.

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Ever since November when former University of Alabama football player Von Ewing opened his hookah lounge off the Strip at UA, college students have been lining up almost every night at the Blue Caterpillar to embrace Tuscaloosa's exclusive new bar designed for people who want to chill, smoke some hookah and buy drinks with their friends. Von Ewing, a UA theater and telecommunications and film graduate in 2007, was inspired by a hookah bar owner from his hometown in Troy, Alabama, to take a shot at opening his own place to smoke hookah. With his own money, Ewing decided to buy and kickstart the first hoo-



kah lounge to thrive in Tuscaloosa. “In three months I've probably only had four slow nights,” said Ewing. “I would consider it definitely a success.” In bigger cities, hookah bars are more well-known and prevalent, but plenty of people in the Tuscaloosa area own personal hookahs, though usually not the size of quality of the hookahs worth hundreds of dollars that are used mainly at hookah bars. “I've always hookahed,” Ewing said. “I'm not necessarily chill, but I can appreciate this chill atmosphere.” A hookah can be broken down like this: it consists of a large water pipe with

hoses, flavored tobacco and burning coals. Hookahs are thought to have originated in India, but they gained popularity in the Middle East. Shisha, the flavored tobacco, is soaked in a certain flavor or fruit shavings. Flavors can be fruity, like Blueberry, to more of a sweet flavor like Mint Chocolate Chip. It can taste like beverages, such as Sex on the Beach, or be a unique mixed flavor like the minty Magic Dragon. Depending on the size of the hookah and how many people smoking it, smoking can last from 45 minutes to over an hour. It took Ewing five months to open the Blue Caterpillar and even longer to hire a crew of workers he now considers some of his close friends. He based their employment on being comfortable and outgoing in big groups. He stresses customer service as a key to success at the Blue Caterpillar. Since Ewing previously lived in Tuscaloosa, he understands the party scene and how a hookah bar would be unique for UA students. “When you got something different, people will flock to it,” Ewing said. Ewing opens the Blue Caterpillar 6 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and sometimes on Sundays, with their busiest days on Thursday and the weekend. The positive reaction last November when it opened was enormous. Ewing said he was overwhelmed by the rush of people circulating in and out all night. The success of the first few weeks brought the same customers back multiple days in a row. “I definitely have a soft spot for Tuscaloosa, that is where I really became responsible, this is where I sweated for years,” Ewing said. Previously Ewing pursued acting and advertising, then was the regional Verizon manager for eight stores. He lived by himself and saved most of his money. Ewing said he loves interacting with people and his acting career has prepared him for that. Otherwise, he hasn't had any experience in running his own business. “Life is the only kind of training you need, just a little common sense and a little knowledge,” Ewing said. Once the Blue Caterpillar was up and going, Ewing took some time the last few months to be with his family and only traveled to Tuscaloosa to work some weekdays. His new managers covered for him on weekends and other days. Ewing officially moved to Tuscaloosa in mid-February. Many of the hookah bars in the U.S. are still fashioned similar to the original Middle Eastern bars, but Ewing wanted the Blue Caterpillar to have its own vibe. “Our hookah bar is more Americanized. There are chairs to lounge in, it's comfortable. We play what music they want. We let everyone create their own experience and enjoyment,” Jonathan McKnight, a junior nursing major at Shel-


ton University, said. McNight is currently taking the semester off to work multiple jobs to pay for his college, but says Blue Caterpillar is his favorite job so far. When it first opened, he went six nights in a row, and then one night Ewing asked him to watch the counter because they were so packed. He was offered the job on the spot. McNight, known as Nugget while working, said he wants everyone at the Blue Caterpillar to feel like he's their best friend. He's been working there since a couple weeks after it first opened, and he makes everyone feel comfortable about trying and smoking hookah. “I was a loyal customer so he trusted me and gave me a chance,” McNight said. He now works at least five nights a week. Most customers enjoy his big smile. The customer loyalty has increased substantially since the opening, with lines for some weekend nights wrapping around High Tide all the way to Steamers. Blue Caterpillar has a greeter who works to serve as many people as possible. “We are brand new, so we're learning as we go,” McNight said. Jake Dzurino, a University of Alabama sophomore double majoring in marketing and finance, goes to the Blue Caterpillar around three times a week with a couple friends or a large group on the weekend. He knows the owner and employees by name now. “Ewing does a great job, always really courteous and keeps everyone under control—I've never noticed anyone complain about the service,” Dzurino said. After trading knowledge with the people at the Blue Caterpillar, Dzurino

>>> B LU E C AT E R P I L L A R | C O N T I N U E D recently decided to make a hookah out of an alcohol bottle. He said the design was relatively simple, and he made the hookah so that the top part spins and the hose doesn't get wrapped around the bottle, which can be a common problem. He took it to the Blue Caterpillar to try it out, and found it to be a big hit. Ewing gave him a Kraken bottle to design a hookah for the Blue Caterpillar to use. “We took it there last last weekend to show him and smoke from it. Actually, the whole place was raving about it. Everyone walked in asked about it,” Dzurino said. Dzurino said the Blue Caterpillar is his favorite place in Tuscaloosa. The chill environment and crowd control has been an enticing factor for both loyal customers and newcomers. It's a comfortable place and it gives everyone a chance to meet new people in a low key, no-pressure environment. Another component that draws in a big crowd is that it's a 19 and over bar, so college kids under 21 can hangout there. They have recently started giving wristbands to everyone at the door to keep track of who is underage. On the flip side, it's also a solid choice for twenty-one year olds to come hangout and drink before heading to the bars on the Strip. Since it's within walking distance, it's a safe and easy option. Each week, Ewing introduces one new alcohol and beer for the bar. In addition, he changes the layout of the couches and tables and introduces two new hookah flavors every Friday. Not everyone in Tuscaloosa has tried hookah, and some people are hesitant about the effects of smoking it. “If you get drunk, could you get in a car? Probably not. But if you smoked three bowls of shisha, it would be no issue,” Dzurino said. Dzurino researched how to properly make hookahs and also the health concerns about smoking. He said he researched an experiment where both cigarette and hookah smoking was deemed to cause health effects, but the negative effects of smoking was worse than hookah, he said. Since college students are looking for a reason to blow off some steam in between school work, they just have to “pick their poison,” he said, "and in my opinion, hookah is has one of the least dangerous choices." Ewing said anything done repeatedly over time can be harmful and moderation is the key. “We're not trying to hide the effects of hookah, it's a social thing. It's about meeting people around it—like a meal, it's not about eating for two or three hours, but about talking and socializing together,” said McKnight. Even though being Tuscaloosa's first hookah lounge has made people flock to it, Ewing is ready to accept the challenge of when it becomes old news. “I do have a plan—I try to keep a few plans in my back pocket,” said Ewing. Ewing does research and checks out other hookah

lounges in Atlanta to get ideas on how to spice up his hookah bar and keep it just as popular as it is now. John Gunther, a senior Kennesaw State University pre-law student who transferred from the UA his sophomore year, road-trips to visit friends and go to the Blue Caterpillar almost every other weekend since it has opened. “It's not a frat house or bar, it's a new place where everyone can hangout,” Gunther said. Gunther said the unique part of the Blue Caterpillar is the homey feel. The building itself is on the smaller side of most bars and customers get personalized attention from the employees. Unlike the hookah lounges in Atlanta he's been to, this one is an Americanized place fit for the Tuscaloosa scene. “A lot of other bigger business don't treat their customers like family,” Gunther said. Some of the employees from Big Daddy's, the hookah cafe in downtown Tuscaloosa, have visited the Blue Caterpillar to see what the commotion was all about. The major difference between the two hookah hangouts in Tuscaloosa is that Big Daddy's is a more traditional, less Americanized hookah cafe that serves Mediterranean food. It caters to a wider age group than the Blue Caterpillar. “We're totally different, I'm a hookah lounge and they're a hookah cafe,” Ewing said. Because of the location right next to the UA campus on the Strip, it's more of a hookah hangout place designed for a college audience to hookah and drink. Ewing said he has nothing against Big Daddy's, but he has never been there because he doesn't want anyone to think he got his ideas from them. Everyone is encouraged to stop by and check out the Blue Caterpillar. If anyone wants a classic flavor to try, Ewing said his go-to hookah flavor is White Gummy Bear, which impressively mimics the sweet and tangy candy. Hookah prices range from $10 to $18. Alcohol prices vary. “We want to stay in Tuscaloosa. So we create something that Tuscaloosa wants,” McNight said. Stayed tuned at Blue Caterpillar's Instagram at thebluecatapillarhookah and its Twitter @bluecathookah. A’Shawn Robinson






NOTE: All events listed here have phone numbers in the 205 area code unless otherwise indicated.

THURSDAY, February 20

TOAST OF THE TOUR & SILENT AUCTION WHEN: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. COST: $30 WHERE: V & W Supply, 712 20th Ave. PHONE: 348.6644 LINK: DESCRIPTION: This is the kickoff event of the 19th annual Kitchen of Consequence fundraiser of the Board of the Friends of WUAL. Heavy hors d' ouvres provided by FIVE Bar, wine by Spirits Wine Cellar, and beer by Druid City Brewery. Call to find out hours & days of the actual Kitchens tour. Tickets at Manna Grocery, Spirits Wine Cellar, V & W Supply, & WUAL/Alabama Public Radio.


BRANTLEY & GILBERT TICKETS GO ON SALE TODAY WHEN: 5 – 8 p.m. COST: $35 reserved seats; $29 & $24.75 General admission. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre April 11. PHONE: 800.745.3000 LINK: DESCRIPTION:It's the Brantley & Gilbert "Let It Ride" tour, with special guests Thomas Rhett and Eric Pasley. Tickets can be purchased at the Amphitheatre box office, by phone or through Ticketmaster.


2014 GREAT TUSCALOOSA CHILI COOKOFF WHEN: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Bryant Conference Center PHONE: 464.4663 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: 35 to 40 local teams compete for the best chili and best booth. The event is family friendly. Come sample a variety of chili and support the Exchange club of Tuscaloosa. THIRD ANNUAL HANDS-ON NIGHT AT THE ALABAMA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY WHEN: 6 – 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Smith Hall, UA Campus PHONE: 348.2118 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Free fun family event at Smith Hall. Everyone is welcome. Dinner, door prizes and over 20 graduate department interactive exhibits for kids, preschool to high school. Tons of activities.


ACCOUSTIC NIGHT AT THE BAMA WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: $5 WHERE: Bama Theatre Greensboro Room LINK: DESCRIPTION: Renowned folk artists, the Rob Alley Quartet and special guest Jil Chambless.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24 READER'S THEATER WHEN: 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library Main Branch PHONE: 345.5820



DESCRIPTION: A fun, interactive story time where children will listen to a story, think and ask questions about the story, and then become part of the story by acting it out with their friends. Lots of fun characters.


OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE (OLLI) OPEN HOUSE / NORTH PICKENS CHAPTER WHEN: 4:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Gordo City Hall PHONE: 348.6482 EMAIL: LINK: DESCRIPTION: OLLI at UA is a membership program that provides academic opportunities for mature adults. Its members volunteer their time and talents to share knowledge and interests with other members. No degree is required. The same event is also on the 26th of February. COMMUNITY ARTS CONVERSATIONS WHEN: 5 – 7 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center PHONE: 758-5195 DESCRIPTION: Organized by The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, the goal of the event is introduce local cultural organizations to the public and provide information about them and their staff on a personal level. Citizens might be familiar with most of the groups, but never have the chance to meet the performers or administrators and discuss their craft and contribution to the community face to face. All groups will be offering a creative display plus additional items such as promotional materials, season brochures and reduced pricing for upcoming events. Ticket giveaways for upcoming events, books and other items will also take place. Local performing arts organizations will be showcased in the Black Box Theatre, offering excerpts from theatrical or musical works. These include Alabama Blues Project, Alabama Choir School, Actor’s Charitable Theatre, Drishti, Prentice Concert Chorale, Shelton State Community College, Tuscaloosa Community Dancers, Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre and Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra.

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THE FABULOUS FINN // YOU'LL ADORE HIM Meet Finn, a four to five month old male Labrador/ Golden Retriever mix with a smooth golden coat and white markings. He is all gangly and all legs right now and definitely has some growing to do! He currently weighs 30 pounds but will likely grow to around 50 pounds. Finn is a very sweet, friendly and loving dog. He is still a puppy and will need training and structure to help him develop into a wellmannered adult dog. Finn is very playful and seems to get along with other dogs. He will require a fenced yard and will grow too large for an apartment. He should be fine with children but should not be around those under 12 years old due to his size and activity level. Finn is up to date on his vet care, neutered, micro chipped and is heartworm negative. He is on heartworm and flea/tick prevention and has started his crate training. If you are interested in giving Finn the forever home he wants and deserves, call the Humane Society of West Alabama at 554.0011, or visit us online at

DEFINING MYSELF FOR MYSELF: PERCEPTIONS OF BLACK FEMININITY WHEN: 6:30 - 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: 205 Gorgas Library, UA Campus PHONE: 348.5040, Eric Patterson LINK: DESCRIPTION: Open discussion with panel of UA faculty and students. PRE-SCHOOL STORY TIME WHEN: 10 – 10:30 a.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Story Castle COST: Free (age 3 - 5) CONTACT: 205.391.9989 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Simple stories, songs, activities and crafts.

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BAMA ART HOUSE / "UNA NOCHE" WHEN: 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. COST: $7 general, $6 Students & Seniors WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: In Havana, Raul dreams of escaping to Miami. Accused of assault, he appeals to Elio to help him reach the forbidden world 90 miles across the ocean. One night, full of hope, they face the biggest challenge of their lives. Part of the Bama Art House winter series. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. Bar opens at 6:45. HOMEWORK HELP WHEN: 3 - 5 p.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Weaver Branch COST: Free CONTACT: 345.5820 DESCRIPTION: Provides one-on-one homework assistance to students K-8th grade. It is a drop-in service; students may come and go at any time during session and must have homework with them in order to attend. This is a Monday through Thursday activity.

The B ama Theatre ’s Acoustic Night will return on Feb. 23, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the theatre’s Greensboro Room. The evening will feature “The Rob Alley Quintet presents An Alabama Songbook: Selections from Byron Arnold's Folk Songs of Alabama, with special guest Jil Chambless.” Exploring the timeless and universal qualities of folk songs collected by Byron Arnold in his legendary Folksongs of Alabama, award-winning trumpeter/composer/arranger Rob Alley breathes contemporary life into new arrangements in this project. Inspired by Alley’s love for both Bill Frisell and Dave Douglas’ music, these pieces are designed with maximum flexibility and ample room for improvisation from the quintet. Renowned vocalist Jil Chambless anchors the material with her unique interpretations of these beloved tunes. The quintet features Alley, Gary Wheat (tenor sax), Matthew DeVine (keyboards), Aaron Goldberg (acoustic bass) and Michael Glaser (drum set). Winner of both Alabama and Arkansas Individual Artist Fellowships (2013 and 2008, respectively), Rob Alley is one of the most in-demand and versatile musicians in the southeastern U.S. A successful bandleader, he leads a broad array of ensembles with widely varying styles, concepts and personnel. They include Mingusphere, Solid Sender, Brass X, The Rob Alley Trio, The Songbook Trio, The Alley-Glaser Duo and The Alabama Songbook. Since moving to Alabama in 2000, Alley has performed and/or recorded as a side man with a multitude of international artists from Yo-Yo Ma and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Jason Isbell (of The Drive-by Truckers) and

Paul Shaffer (of “The Late Show” with David Letterman). With soul superstars The Temptations, The O’Jays and The Four Tops to jazz legends Patti Austin, Byron Stripling and Jon Faddis and Pop music icon Frankie Valli, he fits into any situation with ease. Regionally, Alley works free-lance in an even more diverse group of musical environments. The list ranges from classical (The Tuscaloosa Symphony and Brass Quintet, The Huntsville Symphony, The Arkansas Symphony, the Arkansas State University Faculty Brass Quintet, The University of Alabama Faculty Brass Quintet) and original jazz artists (The New South Jazz Orchestra, The Chad Fisher Group, The Birmingham 7, The UA Faculty Jazz Quintet and The Night Flight Big Band) to Rock and Soul up and comers Downright, FisherGreen and Bonus Round for starters. Alley holds a Master of Music (Suma Cum Laude) from The University of Alabama. In addition to free-lancing, he is currently a faculty member at The University of Alabama teaching in the Jazz Department and in The Honors College. This performance is made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Presented by The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, Acoustic Night features both established and upcoming musicians from around the country throughout the calendar year in the intimate setting of the Bama Theatre’s Greensboro Room. Cover charge is $5 with a full service bar available.

PRE-SCHOOL STORY TIME WHEN: 10 – 11 a.m. WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Weaver Bolton Branch and Brown Branch COST: Free (age 3 - 5) CONTACT: 205.391.9989 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Simple stories, songs, activities and crafts.


"RETURN TO NUKE 'EM HIGH": VOL. 1 WHEN: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. COST: $7, $6 students & seniors WHERE: Bama Theatre DESCRIPTION: Co-sponsored by Left Hand Soap Company & Well That's Cool. The film follows a young couple that are up against the school glee clup. Unfortunately, the glee club has mutated into a gang called the Cretins. When the other students begin to undergo mutations, our couple must solve the mystery and save Thomasville High School.


DR. SEUSS BIRTHDAY PARTY WHEN:10 a.m. – 4 p.m. COST: Museum Admission WHERE: Children's Hands On Museum PHONE: 349.4235 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Stories, movies, crafts & a birthday cake. A STREAK OF LUCK WHEN: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Canterbury Episcopal Chapel PHONE: 242.4200 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Exhibit of artowrks by Kiersten Ellis. Runs through March 31


WHERE: Battle-Friedman House PHONE: 758.6138 LINK: EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Sponsored by the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society. Food, beverages. Enjoy making new friends and seeing the old.


5th STREET VINTAGE MARKET WHEN: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (First Sunday of each month) COST: Free WHERE: 4150 5th Street, Northport PHONE: 345.4763 EMAIL: curators@5thstreetvintagemarket. com DESCRIPTION: Tuscaloosa (Northport only) all-vintage day market. Dozens of dealers from the region who specialize in vintage clothing, furnishings and vinyl records.


“The Comedy of Dr. Allen Mallory” WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Bean-Brown Theatre, Shelton State Community College, 9500 Old Greensboro Road PHONE: 391.2252 EMAIL: DESCRIPTION: Mallory’s comedy club sellouts, keynote speeches, and television appearances have endeared him to audiences across the country and made him the talk of the comedy club industry. His audience members have remarked “I laughed till I cried” and “This man is a riot.” Dr. Mallory is a dynamic, entertaining speaker who uses humor in talking about working with children and families. His unique ability to inject humor into serious topics is unmatched. He has over 40 years of experience in education and is currently a member at the faculty at Shelton State Community College where he teaches courses in psychology. Past audiences have said it was the most fun event of the year. All proceeds going to fund the Alumni Association’s scholarships for adult students. Seating is limited but advance tickets may be purchased in the Faculty Office Area on the Martin Campus, Room 2724. Workshop credits for Early Childhood Development and Continuing Education Units for nurses are available. Tickets may also be purchased at the ticket office of the Bean-Brown Theatre.


KENTUCK ART NIGHT WHEN: 5 – 8 p.m. COST: FREE WHERE: Historic Downtown Northport LINK: DESCRIPTION: Local galleries, businesses and restaurants are open as an event for the community to see what downtown Northport has to offer.

MARDI GRAS BRUNCH WHEN: 10 a.m. – noon COST: Members $5, $10 general

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS








Little Lee, Blue Iguana Brandon Santini, Capitol Oyster Bar

Birmingham CBDB and Space Capone, Zydeco GlowRage, AQUA Lounge and Nightclub Chris Tucker, Comedy Club Stardome


NEW ORLEANS Eagles, New Orleans Arena

HUNTSVILLE Kris Bell, London’s John D’Amato, Voodoo Lounge ATLANTA Robin Thicke, Fabulous Fox Theater Amy Schumer, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center

NASHVILLE The Black Angels, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom Hard Working Americans, Marathon Music Works

saturday, FEBRUARY 22

MONTGOMERY The Blacklist Live, Blue Iguana Southern Tradition, Playoffs Pub

ATLANTA Love & Special Sauce, Variety Playhouse Mayer Hawthorne, Center Stage NEW ORLEANS Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, House of Blues Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Tipitina’s Dax Riggs, One Eyed Jacks NASHVILLE Brad Paisley, Bridgestone Arena Steven Curtis Chapman, Ryman Auditorium Rebelution, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom Randy Rogers Band, Marathon Music Works

BIRMINGHAM Bill Maher, BJCC Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Bottletree Café MONTGOMERY


ATLANTA Animals as Leaders, The Masquerade


ATLANTA Juicy J, The Masquerade

NASHVILLE Shpongle, Marathon Music Works

BIRMINGHAM The Lacs feat. Old Southern Moonshine Revival, Zydeco Husky Raver, Bottletree Café


NASHVILLE Imagine Dragons, Bridgestone Arena Mary Mack, High Watt

BIRMINGHAM For Today, Zydeco Sleepy Sun, Bottletree Café

NEW ORLEANS Snarky Puppy, Howlin’Wolf


Microwave Dave, Moe’s Original BBQ HanaLena, Humphrey’s Blue Handel Band, Bishop’s East Side Pub

NASHVILLE Augustines, High Watt

MONTGOMERY Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires, Alley Bar


MONTGOMERY New Rain, Montgomery Performing Arts Center

NEW ORLEANS The Meter Men, Harrahs Mint Condition, Ernest Morial Convention Center Earphunk, Maison de Musique The Revivalists, Titpitina’s


MONTGOMERY Candy Box, World Famous Rodeo Club Michael Thornton, Montgomery Performing Arts Center

NASHVILLE Rascal Flatts, Grand Ole Opry House Cherub, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom ATLANTA Memphis May Fire, The Masquerade T-Pain, Wild Bill’s


ATLANTA Austin Mahone, Tabernacle


BIRMINGHAM Graham Colton, WorkPlay Theater Tarpaw, Zydeco


MONTGOMERY Banditos, Alley Bar Six Shot Revival, Head on the Door

ATLANTA Switchfoot, Buckhead Theater Pink Martini, Symphony Hall Atlanta NASHVILLE Wild Club, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill


NEW ORLEANS Dirty Bourbon River Show, Gasa Gasa

Acoustic Café 2758 County Hwy 9 205.647.3237

Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St NE 404.881.2100

Moe’s Original BBQ 6423 Park Dr 251.625.7427

Amphitheater at the Wharf 23101 Canal Rd 251.224.1020

The Hangout 251.948.3030

Bridgestone Arena 501 Broadway 615.770.2000

Marathon Music Works 1402 Clinton St 615.891.1781

Montgomery Performing Arts Center 201 Tallapoosa St 334.481.5100

Centennial Olympic Park 265 Park Ave W NW 404.223.4412

Minglewood Hall 1555 Madison Ave 901.312.6058



ATLANTA Comeback Kid, The Masquerade


BIRMINGHAM Dropkick Murphys w/ Lucero, Iron City NASHVILLE Band of Horses, Ryman Auditorium Wayne Hancock, Exit In


HUNTSVILLE Bluegrass Jam, Valley Conservatory ATLANTA Bring Me the Horizon, Tabernacle



>>> R OA D T R I P D I R E C T O RY Travel the South's best venues. Visit their website for ticket info and more.



HUNTSVILLE Peter Moon Band, London’s 4 Miles Gone, Lincoln County Fairgrounds Charles Walker Band, Knuckleheads

Birmingham Downlink and Diesel Boy, Zydeco

BIRMINGHAM Shovels and Rope, WorkPlay Theater Chris Stapleton, Zydeco


ATLANTA Alton Brown, Fabulous Fox Theater The Gallery, The Masquerade

NEW ORLEANS Galactic, Tipitina’s Better Than Ezra, House of Blues Morning 40 Federation, One Eyed Jacks Soul Rebels, Gasa Gasa

NEW ORLEANS Reckless Kelly, House of Blues Papadisio, Tipitina’s


205.324.1911 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 2200 Encore Pkwy 404.733.5010 Von Braun Center 700 Monroe St SW 256.551.2345

The Nick 2514 10th Ave S 205.252.3831

WorkPlay 500 23rd St S 205.380.4082

Sloss Furnaces 20 32nd St N

Zydeco 2001 15th Ave S 205.933.1032


HUNTSVILLE Hits and Grins: Bill Whyte, Lisa Shaffer, Steve Dean, & host Jim Parker. Special Guest Debbie Bond, Von Brown Center Playhouse


It was like being in the eye of a hurricane. You'd wake up in a concert and think, Wow, how did I get here? ~ John Lennon ~







Green Bar: The Glory Fires / Golden Monica Coppertop: Bond Band Rounders: DJ Spinnzz Rhythm & Brews: Desperate Measures


Rhythm & Brews: Jason Miller Rounders: Plato Jones and DJ Spinnzz Green Bar: Gravy Coppertop: Soul Tide


Coppertop: Plato Jones Rounders: A Very Sexy Truvia Night





Coppertop: Tequila Mockingbird Rhythm & Brews: Rexton Lee

Rounders: Nic Snow Band Jupiter: Randy Rogers Band with The Josh Abbott Band, Wade Bowen & Stoney LaRue Green Bar: Nightmare Boyzzz / The Crown Imps Coppertop: Ethan Gardner Rhythm & Brews: Chad Wesley Band




Coppertop: Sean Rivers Green Bar: Traveling Broke and Out of Gas Rhythm & Brews: Missused Rounders: DJ Spinnzz and Soul Tide Jupiter: Big Gigantic


Green Bar: Sound & Shape, Looksy Coppertop: 1 Uri Band Rounders: Sean Rivers Band and DJ Spinnzz


Rounders: Fat Tuesday Party with DJ Spinnzz


Rounders: Nic Snow Band


Coppertop: CBDB


Green Bar: Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band / Dank Sinatra Rounders: Doctors and Lawyers


>>> LO C A L B A R S 4th & 23rd

Buffalo Wild Wings // 523-0273

Gallettes // 758-2010

Jackie's Lounge // 758-9179

1831 // 331-4632

Capones // 248-0255

Gnemis Top Shelf Tavern // 343-0020

The Jupiter // 248-6611

Rhythm & Brews // 750-2992

Alcove // 469-9110

Carpe Vino // 366-8444

Grey Lady // 469-9521

The Legacy // 345-4848

Rooster's Blues House // 334-4507 Rounders // 345-4848

Bear Trap // 345-2766

Catch 22 // 344-9347

Harry's Bar // 331-4151

Mellow Mushroom // 758-0112

Big Al's // 759-9180

Copper Top // 343-6867

Houndstooth // 752-8444

Mike's Place // 764-0185

The Booth // 764-0557

Downtown Pub // 750-0008

Innisfree // 345-1199

Mugshots // 391-0572


The Red Shed // 344-4372



>>> G O L F | T I M S T E E R E


PHOTOS BY John Michael Simpson, UA Athletics Department

after two rounds. However, Homa is a big hitter and is currently ranked third on tour in diving distance, averaging 308.3 yards per drive. Michael Weaver, the fourth Cal player named to last years list, finished 64th at the 2013 US Open and managed to earn a bid to the 2013 Master’s by finishing second at the 2012 U.S. Amateur. Many former Crimson Tide players are thriving professionally. Former Alabama standout Justin Thomas, the 2012 SEC

Trey Mullinax

The University of Alabama Men’s Golf team came away with another win on February 7. The win did not come on the links by way of effective short game play or a stellar putting performance, but rather on paper, in the form of the Ben Hogan Award watch list. The Crimson Tide had four players mentioned, tying a record for the most players named on one watch list. The 2010 Oklahoma State Sooners and the 2013 Cal Golden Bears are the only other teams to have as many players listed. It also marks the seventh consecutive year a Crimson Tide golfer has been featured on the list. The Ben Hogan

Award is given annually to the top golfer in Division I, II or III, NJCAA or NAIA. Trey Mullinax, Robby Shelton, Cory Whitsett and Bobby Wyatt were each named to this years list, setting an early precedent for the 2014. However, this comes as no surprise. All four players shined for the Tide last season, propelling the team to a 2013 NCAA National Championship. Mullinax, a senior from Birmingham, is the country’s No. 1 ranked player and averages an impressive 69.17 strokes per round. As if being named to the 2014 Ben Hogan Award watch list wasn’t promising

enough, Mullinax finished tied for sixth in his first tournament of 2014, the Jones Cup Invitational in Sea Island, GA. Perhaps even more impressive is Shelton, a true freshman and only the second player in school history to win his first collegiate event. Before his career at Alabama began, Shelton was the No. 1 Bobby Wyatt

Robby Shelton ranked junior, the 2012 winner of the Junior PGA Championship and member of the United States Junior Ryder Cup team. He averages 70.42 strokes per round. Whitsett, a Houston, TX native had a productive 2013 as well, winning three tournaments, placing second in five others and finishing in the top ten in three more. He is the No. 3 ranked amateur in the world. 2014 marks the second year that Wyatt, a senior from Mobile, has been named to the Ben Hogan Award watch list. Averaging 70.4 strokes per round, Wyatt was perhaps the most productive player for the 2013 US Walker Cup team, earning 3.5 points in four match play sessions. To understand the significance of these four players, lets take a look at the four players from the 2010 Oklahoma State team and the 2013 Cal team to get a glimpse of the elite company Alabama’s four Hogan Award hopefuls are among. Out of Oklahoma State’s four players named to the 2010 watch list, three are currently thriving on major tours across the globe. Morgan Hoffman and Kevin Tway have recently joined the PGA Tour and Peter Uihlem is currently on the European tour. All four were former teammates of the young standout Rickie Fowler, the 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. The 2013 Cal team was led by Michael Kim, who was the low scoring amateur at the 2013 U.S. Open, finishing tied for 17th at ten strokes over par. Max Homa, another Cal player named to the 2013 list, recently made his PGA debut at the Farmers Insurance Open, but missed the cut after finishing seven strokes over par



Player of the Year, finished tied for tenth at the 2014 Farmer’s Insurance Open, which earned him a cool $125,000. If history indicates anything, it is that 2014 can be a special year for the Crimson Tide. They’ve landed a highly touted recruit Jonathan Hardee from Greer, S.C. Hardee is a Rolex All-American and chose to attend Alabama over his home state Clemson Tigers. For Hardee, the opportunity to play for coach Jay Seawell was the difference maker when it came time to make a decision. Hardee’s most recent win was at the 2013 American Junior Golf Association's Brian Harman Junior Championship where he finished six under par. If history tells us anything, it is that 2014 can certainly be a landmark year for the Crimson Tide. Coming off two straight SEC championships and a 2013 National Championship, the Tide certainly have a target on their back. However, behind veteran leadership and a solid amount of quality underclassmen talent, Alabama can certainly repeat as National Champions.

Cory Whitsett

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS


RECRUITING NEVER STOPS // BAMA PUTTING TOGETHER THE 2015 CLASS Alabama's 2014 recruiting class was rated by every major service as the top class in the country. Nick Saban doesn't ever rest on his laurels though. Alabama already has seven commitments for the Class of 2015 and Saban and the UA coaching staff are working hard to secure more. ROQUAN SMITH Athletic linebacker looking forward to UA visit

Smith the hardest. "Basically, the whole staff at Georgia is recruiting me," Smith says. "Coach [Tony] Lilly is my main recruiter, but I've talked with every coach on the staff. I like Georgia." Smith says that speculation that he has a favorite is premature. He plans to thoroughly evaluate every school that's recruiting him. "I'm going where it's best for me," he says. "I'm going where I feel the most at home. That's the main thing to me. It's going to be about bonding with the coaching staff. And I want to get a great education. I want to have the feeling that I'd love it at that school even if I wasn't playing football. "I'm going to take as much time as needed to make my decision. I'm going to make a lot of visits and see what every place has to offer. By September 1st, I hope to know which five schools I want to make official visits to." VENZELL BOULWARE Georgia OL excited about Tide offer

One of the most athletic linebackers in the class of 2015 will be Roquan Smith of Montezuma-Macon County, GA. The 6-2, 207-pound Smith has already reeled in offers from schools across the nation, including Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M and UCLA, among others. Smith plans to make his first visit to Tuscaloosa for the Tide's second Junior Day for 2015 prospects on March 1st. JASON MILLER BAND "I'm looking forward to that," Smith rHYTHM & BREWS // AUGUST 3 says. "I know that they have a great program over there. I'm eager to get over there and see what it's all about. I know a lot of people say it's a great place, and I'm ready to go check it out for myself on March 1st." Smith is being recruited by UA defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. "I've had a chance to speak with Coach Smart some," Smith says. "He offered me a few weeks ago. He's a cool guy. He's real funny. He doesn't sugarcoat things." "It was a huge offer. I mean, it's Alabama," Smith says. "I'm very excited about it. I want to get over there to meet with their coaching staff and get to know them better." Smith attended Auburn's Junior Day on February 1st. "It went pretty good," he says. "I enjoyed myself and got to meet with the coaching staff. I had a pretty good time. There weren't a lot of prospects there, so I got a lot of individual time. That was good. "I'm going to continue to look at Auburn." Another school Smith plans to continue to look at is the home-state Bulldogs. Georgia is among the schools recruiting

looking for a family atmosphere. Those are the biggest things." Boulware doesn't plan to make an early decision. "I want to visit as many schools as possible," he says. "I want to find the place where I feel the most comfortable. My decision won't really have anything to do with the offensive system or with whether they want me as a tackle or guard. I just want to find the right school." ALABAMA'S CURRENT 2015 COMMITMENTS DL Jonathan Ledbetter 6-5 262 Tucker GA-Tucker HS DE Mekhi Brown 6-5 220 Columbus GA-Carver HS OL Lester Cotton 6-4 309 Tuscaloosa AL-Central HS OL Dallas Warmack 6-2 287 Atlanta GA-Mays HS RB DeSherrius Flowers 6-1 200 Prichard AL-Vigor HS S Deionte Thompson 6-2 177 West Orange TX-Stark HS WR Daylon Charlot 6-0 182 Patterson LA-Patterson HS

Planet Weekly's Catrina Kattner works with local businesses to help improve their growth in customers and revenue. For a no-obligation talk with Catrina, please call 205.523.1460. Or send Catrina an email:

Gary Harris is Sports Director of Tuscaloosa's WVUA-TV.

Fairburn-Creekside High School offensive lineman Venzell Boulware is expected to be one top offensive linemen in Georgia in the class of 2015. The 6-4, 275-pounder saw evidence of that last week when he landed several offers. "It was a really crazy week," Boulware says. "Clemson offered first. Then North Carolina and Ole Miss offered. Alabama offered. Kentucky also offered. It was pretty wild for me." "I was really excited when Alabama offered," Boulware says. "I was talking on the phone with Coach Saban and he told me that they were officially offering me. He told me that he likes my athleticism as a tackle. "I'm real excited because Alabama is one of the top colleges in the nation, so that is pretty big for me. Alabama is going to be a school that I'll seriously consider." Boulware plans to visit Tennessee this weekend. He'll make his first visit to Alabama for Junior Day on March 1st. "I really want to see how each school focuses on academics," he says. "From there, I want to see what kind of atmosphere they have in their program. I'm

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS



>>> T H E F L AT S C R E E N | C A R A B R A K E


All genres of fiction have people who are renowned in said genre. In the style of psychological horror, the name Alfred Hitchcock stands out. From The Birds to Vertigo, Hitchcock is the father of psychological thrillers. His movies remain popular today. Bates Motel premiered on A&E in March of 2013, starring Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga. The show acts as kind of a prequel to Psycho, which was made in 1960 and starred Anthony Perkins. Psycho portrayed the life of Norman Bates and his obsessive, overprotective mother, Norma. When Norma’s perfect life-and son-is threatened by Marion Crane, a stranger on the run from her former job, Mother Bates takes action, which sets in motion a domino effect of disastrous events. Bates Motel shows teenager Norman Bates, when he and his mother first move into their famed house and discover all the secrets of the Bates Motel and the town it lives in. Norman and his overbearing mother Norma, and her quest to protect her son at any cost. Norman has a hard time keeping under his mother’s wing, and those two opposite views collide for the worse. Psycho wasn’t Hitchcock’s first film. He got his start in film, not writing. He also went to college for engineering, making him a jack of all trades. Hitchcock's first directorial debut in was in 1923 when he directed Number 13, from start to finish. When that movie didn’t get completed due to unforeseen circumstances, he followed it with 10 more films, furthering his career and secureing hisf fame in the thriller film industry. He won the AFI LIfe Achievement award in 1979, just a month before he died of renal failure. Bates Motel finished it’s first season in May, 2013, with 10 episodes. The first season highlighted Norman and Norma moving to White Pine Bay, where Norma buys a motel going into foreclosure, trying to set up a normal life for her son after her husband dies. Norma is unaware of the town’s secrets, and finding them out could lead to murder. After airing on A&E, the first season was recently picked up by streaming media giant Netflix. Season one was renewed rather quickly, while season one was still airing. The Hollywood Reporter showed ratings of the show, and logged it as the second most watched TV drama, with a whopping 2.7 million viewers. Actress Vera Farmiga was nominated for Best Actress in a TV Drama at the Emmy’s for her portrayal as Norman’s controlling mother, and Freddie Highmore was nominated for Favorite TV Anti-Hero. Season two has yet to air, but will do so on March 3rd, 2014, on A&E. It will feature all of the same cast members, including Freddie Highmore as Norman and Vera Farmiga as Norma, Olivia Cooke as Emma, Norman’s love interest, Max Theiriot as Norma’s half brother Dylan, and Nicola Pelts as Bradley Martin, a second love interest of Norman.





week l y o verv i ew



You might wake up feeling a little less than your usual self, Taurus, and you might not be able to figure out why. There could be some sort of minor physical imbalance or you might be suffering from eyestrain. This could put you a little out of sorts with yourself and everyone else, particularly if you re stressed about work responsibilities. Avoid computers, if possible, and take time during the day to run or go for a brisk walk. This week, Gemini, you might find yourself getting more irritated than you usually would at the quirks of friends, colleagues, partners, and children. Nerves could be frayed and tempers around you frazzled. At times like this it's best to remain centered and make the effort to be your usual warm and friendly self. No lasting rifts are likely to result, but tension with others can make for an uncomfortable day.

Temporary difficulties at home might cause you to want to stay and resolve them rather than go to work or anywhere else. However, Cancer, career matters may also be pressing, so you're likely to be in a bit of a quandary. At this time, the wisest decision is likely to be to take care of your personal life first. Professional matters will still be waiting for you tomorrow.

Some rather unsettling communications could come your way this week, perhaps from out of state. This isn't likely to be anything serious, Leo, but it could be enough to put your nose a little out of joint. Changes in your neighborhood might interfere with your daily routine. A neighbor or relative could be ill and you might feel obligated to help them out a little. This is fine as long as you don't commit to too much. Some minor money matters may need to be handled this week, Virgo, and you might find this irritating as you probably have other things you'd rather do. The situation could cause some petty friction with family members, but that will pass. However, you'll be able to muster all your innate skills and get the money matters handled, which will leave the rest of the day to do what you want. Hang in there. The healing of a temporary rift with your partner is likely to take place this week, with a lot of honest communication and more apologies than are necessary. You might find that a lot of issues have come out in the open and that there is a new understanding between the two of you. A move could be coming up, Libra, or at least changes within the household you have now.

It's easy to play Sudoku! Simply fill every column, row and 3x3 box so they contain every number between 1 and 9. The game is easy to play but difficult to master! Solution Page 27

The desire to go off by yourself and enjoy a little solitude is likely to be in conflict with the reality of your obligations today, Scorpio. You could find yourself spacing out at times and unable to concentrate on any tasks at hand, so try to stay focused. Some irritating letters or phone calls could come your way, but nothing that you can't deal with. See an exciting movie tonight.

Friends seeking advice or a shoulder to cry on could be plentiful today, Sagittarius. You're one of best people to give them the support and care they need. Just be sure that you don't give so much to others that you don't have anything left for yourself. True friendship is about sharing and the exchange of problems and help. Running yourself down will leave you in a place where you aren t going to be much help to anyone. Obligations to others could incline you toward staying home, Capricorn, but important career issues could pull you in to work. This could cause some inner conflict, and you may have to face a choice. Only you can make that choice, but take care to be objective and take all the facts into consideration. Don't get yourself all emotionally worked up. This will only exacerbate the situation.

This week, you re likely to feel torn in two different directions, Aquarius. A part of you could want to sequester yourself somewhere and read, while another part of you feels that you should get out, go somewhere, and do something. You may be more impatient than usual with squabbles between colleagues or family members. It might be a good idea to do some exercise during the day to work off the inner tensions. Relax with a good book in the evening! Minor difficulties over money could put you in a state of frustration. The problems aren t Earthshaking, but they still need to be handled and could take up a lot of time that you d rather spend doing something else. Giving in to your frustration could waste more time than simply handling the situation and moving on, however. Try to keep your cool, Pisces. Take your problems in both hands, resolve them, and move on.

An argument with your partner could have you feeling very disheartened and somewhat depressed this week, Aries. Yet you probably are too shaken up to feel like discussing it with him or her. Spend the day keeping yourself busy and working off your frustration. Forget about it for a while, Aries. This should enable you to see the situation more objectively, so that you'll be in the proper frame of mind to kiss and make up when the evening comes.







Across 1. Johann Sebastian ____ 5. Betel-nut palm 10. "___ Lonesome I Could Cry": B.J. Thomas hit 14. In ___ of (substituting for) 15. Pertaining to the kidneys 16. Dudley's beloved, in the cartoons 17. "Make me do it" 19. Together, in a musical score 20. 1972 U.S./U.S.S.R. missile pact 21. Reason to hit the brakes 23. Large crock 26. Div. that includes the Phillies 27. Formally forgive wrongdoing 32. Not present: Abbr. 33. Actors' surface 34. Word of disbelief 38. Speak like Daffy Duck 40. Trap, as at a ski lodge 42. Inch 43. Founded, on a cornerstone: Abbr. 45. Sharpens the edge of 47. La-la preceder 48. Annual winter celebration 51. British weight 54. Maps rds. 55. Event with drastically cut prices 58. Title uncle in a classic Russian play 62. Remained in bed 63. Lakeshore rental, perhaps 66. Rat chaser 67. "___ Rappaport" 68. Early Icelandic literary work 69. Soviet news agency 70. Knick or Net, e.g. 71. Noted James Earl Jones stage role Down 1. Deli orders, briefly 2. Blaupunkt rival 3. Cover an upper surface 4. Actress Anjelica 5. Take up weapons 6. Juan Carlos, to his subjects

7. Onetime Spanish queen and namesakes 8. Grocery transporter 9. Marzipan base 10. Kinda 11. Newspapers, TV, radio, etc. 12. Garden pests 13. Scented 18. Knightly activities 22. Dripping sound 24. Notes between sol and do 25. Cochise or Geronimo 27. Sayers of the Bears 28. Hitting stats 29. Helper, in brief 30. Thomas Paine's "The ___ Reason" 31. "When Harry Met Sally..." director Rob 35. Improved-resolution video sys. 36. Taj Mahal's locale 37. Sound state 39. Easy monthly ___ 41. Oriole's abode 44. The Dodgers, warmly 46. Allen who hosted "The Tonight Show" 49. One way to get wet 50. Santa ___, one of the Solomon Islands 51. Chopin's Polonaise No. 16 in ___ 52. Cowpoke's rope 53. Opera songs 56. Mary's pet 57. Dame ___, Barry Humphries character 59. Lymph bump 60. In triplicate, a Seinfeld catchphrase 61. Fragrance of rose petals: Var. 64. John or Jane 65. P.O. delivery SOLUTION FOR PUZZLEMANIA CROSSWORD ON PAGE 27

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS



Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Flo Rida

Runners, on your mark, get set… Train GLOW! Pull out some neon glow wear because The Glow Run 5k “Light Em’ Up Experience” is heading to downtown. The Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission team have worked hard bringing in new and exciting events. Over the past couple of years there has been a rise in 5k events, marathons, and competitive obstacle course races. Having been painted with the Color Run and faced with the Warrior Dash battlefield, it is now time to light up the night. The Glow Run nighttime event is the latest trendy 5k fun run that has been tricking people into exercising. Not a runner? No problem. Glowing participants can run, walk, dance, or even cartwheel to the finish line. Techno music will be blasting throughout the course for many opportunities to show off some dance moves. This event is more about the fun than the actual run. Brandt Garrison, Manger for Communications and Public Relations for the TTSC, states that this will be a “one of a kind event”. The run will start and end at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre. The 3.1 mile course will be lit up with black light zones, flashing spot lights, and a neon glowing finish line chute and arch. Not to mention about a thousand of glowing runners. Do not skimp on the outfits, have fun with it. Pull out the shine, sparkle, glitzn- glitter, and of course a little Glow. Put together the most over-the-top florescent outfits imaginable! Perhaps a Glow Fairy in a tutu equipped with glowing fairy dust. Gather a team and create a large Glow worm! Do not forget to accessorize with glow stick bracelets, necklaces, rings, or glasses! The more outrageous the outfit is the better. Awards will be given for best individual outfit: Top "Glow Man", Top "Glow Woman", the best individual dance - Top

"Glow Man - Dance Champion", Top "Glow Woman - Dance Champion", and the best Teams - "Glow Worm Dance Champions". All participants will receive a custom glow in the dark finisher’s medal, Glow Run T-shirt, Glow items like glow sticks and paint, and entry into the post race after party where the glowing fun continues. The “Light 'Em Up Experience” after party will feature a DJ with more techno beats, hundreds of give a ways and a beer garden for those 21 and over. Get the full glow effect and come for the pre party with free face painting and Glow Zumba. The cost is $40 for each registrant and $35 per person for a team of 4 or more. Hurry! Prices jump up $5 on race day. Kids, 12 and under, and Military personnel is $25. Portions of the proceeds will be shared with Tuscaloosa One Place (TOP), a Family Resource Center. Garrison describes TOP as a “full service non-profit and one stop family resource center”. TOP is truly making difference in our community. They are committed to increasing the quality of life through providing resources to promote self-sufficiency, parenting education, and prevent child abuse and neglect. Don’t miss out on this glowing experience! The Glow Run 5k Tuscaloosa, will take place on Saturday February 22nd at 6 p.m. Register at or register on the day of the event.

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Arthur Voss was my bodyguard in the eighth grade. Dot Jones was my girlfriend. Pat Flood was my best friend. How did all of this come about? Well, I’ll tell you my version of the story, since most people in the story are dead or distant or disinterested. This is a true story. It is also actual. First day of eighth grade on the school grounds of Tuscaloosa Junior High. It must be recess time on the first day of eighth grade. I’m wandering around the red-dirt dusty summer grounds of the school. The sun is bright and stark and unflattering to the uncontrolled acne on passing faces, a bit too revealing of the unprofessional makeup work most of the coeds have done at home before school time. One scowling guy struts by me and catches my eye. He must think I’m glaring a challenge at him, because he comes over, still staring, and punches me on the shoulder. I continue to stare back because I’m startled, because I don’t dare turn my back on him, because I don’t know any better. He’s a rough-hewn country-looking kid who wants me to know who’s boss. His scowl deepens and he punches me again, harder. I avert my gaze, pretending to suddenly remember an important engagement. “Dear me– must run. I left my baby on the bus!” is what I want to say, but I have no way of knowing whether that would just make him madder. “Why’d he do that?” a tow-headed, barrel-chested student asks. I am standing to the side of the playground, wondering whether I am going to be punched again. “I dunno,” I say. Arthur Voss is this kid’s name. He is shy, too, and seems relieved that I’m willing to talk with him. Arthur is tough and knows a little about schoolyard survival. He never picks fights. But you can tell just from the way he stands that nobody is going to pick on him. He has a clean-cut no-nonsense air. The bell rings and Arthur doesn’t go right in. Like me, he waits for the crowd to disperse. “Stick with me. Nobody’s gonna punch you again.” Arthur says this. I make a joke out of it because that’s usually how I survive. “You mean you’re my bodyguard?” I ask. “Yeah,” is all Arthur Voss says. We go our separate ways to class. “Hey, this is Arthur, my bodyguard,” I say to Dot Jones, a very cute and perky petite blonde I meet at recess the next day. Dot is impressed and giggles her approval. Arthur just stands nearby and looks pleasant and alert. He really is my bodyguard! He’s always close by when we’re on school grounds before, during and after class. He makes no demands. We kid around, but he’s not prone to idle conversation. He’s just there. At lunch, we sit together with Dot and my other new friend, Pat Flood. Arthur is quiet, Pat is frenetic and funny, and Dot is giggly and cute. I actually have friends in junior high! Maybe I’ll survive eighth grade. The two-step is all I can muster. If I want to dance with Dot Jones at the Friday night junior high gymnasium dances, I’ll have to learn how to dance. Dancing is the only way I know how to justify getting my body close to Dot’s body. We hold hands during school breaks, but there’s no body contact and definitely no kissing. Not even any smooching, whatever that is. I don’t know what smooching is, but I know I’m going to like it. What is the perfume called that Dot uses? We do the two-step. We are exclusively paired and don’t want to dance with anyone else. Will I be in love with Dot forever? Will Arthur Voss remain my bodyguard for life? Is Pat Flood going to remain my best friend? I now know the answers to these questions, but in junior high I don’t. Shall I reveal the ending or leave you guessing? I’ve always felt I don’t want to know my own fortune, but in these pages, I sometimes do know how things turn out, but the story must be told while simultaneously the characters within don’t know outcomes even when their later versions do know the answers. Time travel is always confusing like this, but time travel must be done in order to get the stories told. Will Pat Flood be my best friend till we’re 80 and barely able to remember the stupid and silly gags we loved, the snickering fun we had? The junior high school gymnasium doesn’t smell like sweaty locker room mildew tonight while the dance is going on. The nostrils only pick up what the sweet hormonal couple wants them to pick up. The smell of Dot’s perfume. The fragrance of the flower in her hair. The smell of Wildroot Cream



Oil hair tonic from my fevered scalp, the rustle of one too many petticoats, the riding up of my underwear, the squeezing-toe leather shoes, the slow dance music, the dimmed gym lights, the chaperoning teachers, the coeds all transmogrified by their acne treatment salve, their new lipstick, freshly Pepsodented teeth, lacquered nails, home-permanent natural curls, saddle oxfords and penny loafers shuffling over the polished hardwood flooring, the scuffed shoe polish, the crepe paper decor, watery Kool-Aid punch, cool kids outside catching a smoke, brittle teachers, hawklike, searching for cool kids outside catching a smoke, pre-air-conditioning gym floor humidity-laden, red dirt and weeded grass and cool fungus fragrance outside the school while we wait for her father or my father to pick us up and deliver us to our respective homes. Dad drops Dot and me off at her house while he gives us a full three minutes alone, during which he drives to the end of the block on the pretense of U-turning the damp green Willys car, and taking his time to do it as if he couldn’t just turn around in front of her house, but that would be dropping the pretense, wouldn’t it? Dad is complicit in the romantic effort to give us lovebirds a chance to cuddle, but all I can get the courage to do is shake Dot’s hand and run to the car, never having been kissed, never having kissed. Kissing would break the spell, don’t you know? The magic spell consists of never realizing your dream, which gives the dream such power, such magnification. The intense pleasure of anticipation is all there is, the knowing that if you break the spell with a kiss or a too-too touch, you just might fall from the grace of unfulfillment. The pressure of Almost is so powerful, so fantasy-making, so just plain carnal, though I’m not yet sure what carnal is, nor can I ever be sure. The overwhelming pleasure of knowing Dot and handholding Dot and dreaming of Dot and talking too long on the phone with Dot in the hallway of my parents’ home just feet away from their bedroom door, trying not to stand over the floor furnace too long, trying not to be heard by anyone but Dot. You see, at this point, here at this moment, I close the red clay diary and close my eyes and almost nap, then open up, get alert, and start again that which is never ended–the story of me and Dot and Arthur and Pat and who we are and who we were before now and who we were before the before time, and then who we will yet be and who we might be once we stop being we four who walk the dusty earth of 1954 Tuscaloosa Junior High. The faux doze starts once more, and I am closing the page, topping the pen, ready for the next episode of what’s happening these many decades later, tonight, on Planet Three. Does Arthur Voss ever have to fight anybody on my behalf? No, but nobody picks on me the rest of eighth grade, thus I am afforded the opportunity and mixed-feeling pleasure of living to enter the ninth grade ©2014 by Jim Reed Note: Jim Reed's Red Clay Diary column does not end with a period (.). He has his reasons.


>>> MUSIC | trey brooks


Snoop Lion




March 4th of this year brings us the holiday of Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. In a religious context, Mardi Gras is the final night of celebration for Catholics before they must start the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. While Mardi Gars represents one day, the celebration of Carnival, which culminates in Mardi Gras, can last several weeks. In fact, many now use the term “Mardi Gras” to reference the entire Carnival festival. Over time, Fat Tuesday has lost a lot of its original religious meaning here in the United States, and it is celebrated by many who do not identify as Catholic. In fact, in recent times it has been seen more as an excuse to party. But in a more important sense, Mardi Gras has become a way for the Delta Mississippi region to celebrate its French and Cajun heritage. In our time, the city most people associate with Mardi Gras is New Orleans. To its credit, the Crescent City throws one hell of a party this time of year. It is also the cultural epicenter of the Delta region. The Fat Tuesday parades in the Big Easy are some of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, and Bourbon Street has become a worldwide symbol for Mardi Gras celebrations. New Orleans is not the only major city in the United States with French heritage (both St. Louis and Louisville are named for French monarchs), but it remains the most visible area of French influence on American culture. That being said, New Orleans did not start the tradition of Mardi Gras in America. That distinction belongs to another former French colony. In 1703, the city of Mobile celebrated the first Carnival in America. This was fifteen years before New Orleans would have its first celebration. While it doesn’t share New Orleans’ reputation, the Mardi Gras festival in Mobile is still one of the best in America and celebrates the heritage of probably the most unique city in Alabama. There is a focus on historical tradition in Mobile, which is not absent in New Orleans but does not receive the same amount of attention as some of the more mainstream activities. Many of the traditions in Mobile center on the city’s mystic societies. Over 40 mystic societies operate in Mobile, many acting as secret societies, and have been very influential on the culture, economy and politics of the city. Some of the more notable mystic societies include the Order of Myths, the Knights of Revelry, the Mystics of Time and the Crewe of Columbus. Each of these societies holds a parade as part of the Carnival festivities. Aside from Fat Tuesday, the day to be in Mobile for Carnival is Joe Cain Day. Held the Sunday before Mardi Gras, this day celebrates the man who brought the parades back to the city after the Civil War had halted celebrations for a time. For more family-oriented fare, one should look to attend Lundi Gras (Fat Monday), the day before Mardi Gras. So if you’re considering a vacation to celebrate Mardi Gras, I highly recommend you give Mobile some consideration. The festivals shine a different light on the holiday, and the crowds are definitely more manageable than the ones in New Orleans. The Gulf Coast region has endured some major disasters over the years, including major hurricanes and the oil spill. But festivals such as this show the resolve of the communities on the coast to smile in the face of tragedy. The traditions of Mobile go back three centuries, and they are on full display during the Carnival celebration.






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