Planet weekly 462

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


ADOPT-A-SCHOOL BREAKFAST Reminder: Civic Hall of Fame Nominations Due July 1 The Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for the 2014 class of honorees through July 1. The program is designed to honor citizens who have made significant, long-term contributions to the overall development of Tuscaloosa County. Any organization, business or individual citizen is encouraged to submit a nomination. Get a form on our website homepage at, by calling 205-391-0556 or emailing carolyn@ If an individual has been nominated in the past, a new form is required. A monument stands in Government Plaza and the induction ceremony will be there in September. Adopt-A-School Breakfast Set for July 29 Celebrating the completion of 29 years of supporting area schools, the annual Adopt-A-School Breakfast Seminar is set for 7:30a.m. on Tues., July 29 at University Church of Christ to officially kickoff the 2014-15 AAS year. The focus this year will be Partnerships...Building the Future To-


JUNE 26 + JULY 10

gether. Keynote speaker will be Bill Canary, President and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA). This event provides a unique opportunity for school personnel in both the Tuscaloosa County and City Systems to meet and network with community and business leaders. Early bird registration, $16/person, is available until July 1. Cost is $20/person afterward. Deadline for registration is July 22. Forms will be posted on our website this week. For sponsorship info and more, contact Loo Whitfield at 391.0563 or Community Foundation Funds Children's Center The Community Foundation of West Alabama presented the Tuscaloosa Children's Center, Inc. (TCC) with a grant of $10,000. TCC, in collaboration with local law enforcement, the DA's Office and DHR, provides investigative, advocacy, community education and counseling services to Alabama's smallest victims of crime. The Foundation provides responsible and professional financial management of invested funds and distributes earnings from these investments according to donor intent and community

needs. Visit for more info. Save the Date: Adopt-A-School Golf Tournament The annual Nucor Tuscaloosa Adopt-ASchool Golf Tourney will be held at Ol Colony Golf Course on Sept. 11. Get your teams together! Details to come. Save the Date: Washington Fly-In As always, our schedule while in the nation's capital will allow time for interaction with our members of Congress as well as engagements with other elected officials. It's also an opportunity, unlike any other, to network with fellow Chamber members. This year, the agenda will include some fun time at a Washington Nationals baseball game. Make plans to join us Sept. 24-26 and watch for more info coming soon. Bryant Museum's "Mamma Called" Wins an Emmy The Paul W. Bryant Museum proudly announces that the documentary on the life and times of legendary Crimson Tide football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant was presented the 2014 Emmy for Best Historical Documentary by the Southeast Chapter

of the National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences! Collections from the Museum provided historical info, film footage and photos and was produced by UA Center for Public Television & Radio. Cookbooks Raise Funds for Secret Meals for Hungry Children In the Secret Meals program coordinated by Alabama Credit Union, local elementary school administration identifies students who are exhibiting signs of hunger that originate outside of school (hoarding food on Fri. or are unusually eager for breakfast on Mon. morning). School officials provide ACU with a number of food packs needed each week and ACU gets the supplies delivered to the school. The teachers then discreetly deposit the food packs into the at-risk students' backpacks on Fri. afternoon. The confidential program feeds well over 1,100 children so far. For each donation of $10 (and every $10 increment), you can get a beautiful spiral bound cookbook, Serving Alabama. These can be hand-delivered to your business or you can stop by the main branch on Paul W. Bryant Dr. to pick them up. Email for details.

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

Photo: Michael C. Palmer

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>>> planetweeklyissue462

STORIES 4 FOREVER GONE // ANNE R. GIBBONS Destruction of historic structures continues





2 0 5 . 5 2 3 .1460

Minimum wage is bumped up at FIVE Bar & Chuck's Fish


8 engendering synchronicity // bridgett trejo

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. © 2014 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 four 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.

Tuscaloosan's unusual success story

14 EXPLORING ALABAMA // JEROME ADAMS Immersion Archaeology

15 FROM THE GROUND, UP // JUDAH MARTIN Children create healthy eating habits

27 UMPHREY'S MCGEE RETURNS // TREY BROOKS Coming to the Amp in August


entertainment 10-12 13




Events Calendar


Road Trip


Tuscaloosa music



23 Horoscopes // Sudoku 24 CROSSWORD PUZZLe


JUNE 26 + JULY 10


>>> O P - E D | A N N E R . G I B B O N S


Photo: Preserve Tuscaloosa Image courtesy of Jason Townsend

I was appointed to the Tuscaloosa Historic Preservation Commission for a three-year term in April 2011. I had been approached a couple of years before about my willingness to serve on the HPC. And I was willing, even eager, to serve. I believe in the intrinsic value of historic preservation and was instrumental in persuading my neighborhood to request (and receive) historic district status. Following the tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, the number of people applying for a certificate of appropriateness for repairs or rebuilding in historic districts was monumental. The HPC increased the number of meetings to expedite the huge increase in applications, and for several months we met semimonthly instead of only once a month. The first year I served on the HPC was both painful and rewarding. Painful because at each meeting we saw horrific pictures of the devastation wrought by

the EF4 tornado. From images of debrisfilled lots where homes once stood to uprooted trees and shattered buildings, the color slides shown at each meeting were grim reminders of the storm that changed so many lives--and altered the landscape of Tuscaloosa forever. The experience was rewarding because almost without exception the commission is made up of people who are advocates for historic preservation in general and the historic preservation of Tuscaloosa in particular. In the months after the tornado, commission members worked diligently to balance the demands of historic preservation with the very urgent need for people to return to their homes. Gradually, the town and its residents began to regain their equilibrium. As the number of petitions for certificates of appropriateness slacked off, the HPC returned to monthly meetings. Over the next two years I became more and more disillusioned with historic preservation efforts in Tuscaloosa. Most

HPC members recognize the economic and cultural value of preservation and are committed to helping Tuscaloosa retain its historic character. Apparently, city officials do not share that commitment. In 2010 the city appointed 48 people to serve on the Greater Downtown Advisory Committee. That committee was composed of elected and appointed officials; members of cultural arts groups and the downtown business community; individuals interested in historic preservation; home builders and Realtors; and people with an interest in transit and educational issues. Members of the advisory committee brought diverse points of view to the table. Through give and take, compromise and consensus, discussion and debate, those differing views were melded into a thoughtful, comprehensive, workable plan for developing and preserving downtown Tuscaloosa. The Greater Downtown Plan lays out in clear detail the steps necessary to create “a vibrant, progressive, and sustainable greater downtown Tuscaloosa.” But the Greater Downtown Plan is far more than a list of dos and don’ts. It offers us—the people who live, work,

Photo: Preserve Tuscaloosa


JUNE 26 + JULY 10


worship, play, and shop in Tuscaloosa— a blueprint for success. It is our town’s equivalent of Coach Saban’s “process”: “The process is what you have to do day in and day out to be successful. We try to define the standard that we want everybody to work toward, adhere to, and do on a consistent basis.” One of the key components of the downtown plan is the importance of preserving our town’s architectural and cultural history. “Historic preservation is increasingly being recognized as an essential component of a city’s economic development strategy. Studies indicate that the rehabilitation of existing buildings stimulates a greater economic return per dollar spent than do highway construction, new construction, and the expansion of industry. Historic preservation has additional economic benefits in terms of tourism, the enhancement of property values, and the promotion of community sustainability. The importance of historic preservation to community revitalization has been demonstrated in thousands of towns all across America and the lessons they provide are relevant to Greater Downtown Tuscaloosa.”

Photo: Preserve Tuscaloosa

Photo: Judah Martin

Donovan Rypkema, a nationally recognized expert on the economic benefits of historic preservation, notes, “I cannot identify a single example of a sustained success story in downtown revitalization where historic preservation wasn’t a key component of that strategy. Not one. Conversely the examples of very expensive failures in downtown revitalization have nearly all had the destruction of historic buildings as a major element.” Sadly, before the Greater Downtown Plan had been implemented, the 4/27 tornado struck our town. Not surprisingly, city officials and residents alike turned their attention toward rebuilding and recovery. Before long a plan for renewal and rebirth had been developed. The Tuscaloosa Forward Plan promised mixed-use development, walking and biking paths, parks, and neighborhood stores along the tornado’s path. Tuscaloosa had the opportunity to reinvent itself as a greener, more inclusive, cleaner, safer, altogether superior community. Was it a perfect plan? No. Would it create a utopia? Certainly not. Was it put together through compromise, give-andtake, and negotiation? Yes. Not everyone likes Tuscaloosa Forward. And surely no one likes it in every particular. But whether you love it, hate it, or are supremely indifferent to it, the plan represents the ideas and aspirations of ordinary citizens. No PACs contributed time or money to creating Tuscaloosa Forward. No special interest group exerted undue influence on the plan. Together, the community created a vision for our town. Together, we were ready to move forward. Mayor Walt Maddox was the indisputable local leader in the days, weeks, and months after the EF4 tornado destroyed one-eighth of Tuscaloosa. His caring concern for his constituents was palpable. He and other city employees worked tirelessly coordinating efforts to clean up the city and begin the rebuilding process. The mayor and city council used a tragic event as a catalyst for positive change. But something happened on the way to implementing the Tuscaloosa Forward Plan. The plan, which represents the cumulative effort of hundreds of volunteers who collectively spent thousands of hours reading, thinking, debating, negotiating, arguing, compiling, and writing, is being systematically dismantled. Through facile zoning variances, ready forgiveness for planning and zoning infractions, and political double-speak, commissions, agencies, and elected officials are emasculating the Tuscaloosa Forward Plan. A zoning variance here, a slackening of the rules there, a shrug of the shoulders

at noncompliance are whittling away our community vision. That same disregard for the Tuscaloosa Forward Plan is reflected in the city’s historic preservation efforts—or rather the lack thereof. “Comprehensive Planning will be essential to preserving our neighborhoods, promoting economic development and ensuring a high quality of life.” That’s not a quote from some local preservationist or pie-in-the-sky national consultant. That is point 3 on the city of Tuscaloosa’s website under Core Beliefs of the Maddox Administration. See for yourself at core-beliefs. Unfortunately, that core belief is being consistently ignored by our elected and appointed officials. In the past year, we, the residents of Tuscaloosa, have destroyed the Kilgore home on the University of Alabama campus, the Searcy house on Greensboro, and the cluster of homes in the 2600 block of University Boulevard, as well as smaller, less-imposing but no less culturally important homes and businesses. We may not have swung a wrecking ball, torn out planking, or dismantled a staircase. Nonetheless we have been complicit in the destruction of those historic buildings and we continue to allow our heritage to be destroyed. City officials may talk about the importance of historic preservation but they have done almost nothing to protect these significant and irreplaceable structures. So… Where do we go from here? How can we help preserve what’s left of our town? How can we see that comprehensive planning is more than just a bulleted item on the city of Tuscaloosa’s website? How can we ensure that the Greater Downtown and Tuscaloosa Forward plans are fully implemented? How do we begin fulfilling the promises laid out in those two visionary documents? In the past twelve months some exceptional buildings in our community have been lost—in large part because the city failed to enforce its own zoning laws. We need elected officials who are committed to protecting the cultural and architectural history of Tuscaloosa. We need planners whose vision includes preserving and repurposing older buildings rather than demolishing them. We need to make our voices heard in letters to the editor and in emails and phone calls to elected officials. We need to question candidates about their commitment to historic preservation and make our wishes known at the ballot box. And we need to monitor the actions of city council members to be certain that they are doing more than mouthing empty phrases while allowing developers to

destroy our heritage. The April 27 tornado demolished 12.5 percent of our town. That’s more than enough destruction to last a lifetime. Anne R. Gibbons is a member of

Preserve Tuscaloosa, a grass-roots organization devoted to local preservation. A native Tuscaloosan, she lives in the Hillcrest historic district.

"Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things." ~ Russell Baker ~

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

Jacob Thompson JUNE 26 + JULY 10


PHOTOS: Rachel Bolton

>>> M U S I C | T H E L M A PAU L S E N


Rachel Bolton

Staff from the Planet Weekly had the opportunity, recently, to attend a performance of the Debbie Bond Trio in the intimate-listening courtyard of the Rock House Eatery in lovely, lakeside Guntersville, Ala. We couldn’t help but notice a photographer moving about, taking multiple shots from all angles, dancing to the rhythm as she went. PW decided to check out this photographing fan, Rachel Bolton, who’d driven in from Huntsville to catch the show. Here’s what we learned: PW: You are from Huntsville, and you are a civil engineer. What does your job involve? RB: Right now, I'm working for Croy Engineering. We have a Huntsville office but we are headquartered in Marietta, Georgia. Specifically, I'm working on wid-

ening a road adjacent to a new Walmart, emergency signal preemption, and traffic signal inventory. I also have a strong background in Traffic Incident Management. I am very passionate about saving lives on our roadways! PW: You live with your husband, Richard, & dog, Teddy. What does Richard do? And what breed is Teddy? RB: Well, I'll be nice and mention Richard first (of course!). He has been working as a software engineer for a major financial software company and works from home. He actually has family ties to Pickens County but he's from Oklahoma. A distant relative was rumored to have been hanged by the Home Guard during the Civil War for being a Union sympathizer. As for Teddy, who is a wire fox terrier,

Depitction of a prehistoric wedding ceremonyDebbie Bond Trio playing at the Rock House Eatery in Guntersville, Ala.


JUNE 26 + JULY 10

come along this year. Do you camp? RB: I have been going since 2010. I didn't get to see Willie King live. He passed away the year before, in 2009. I enjoy listening to stories the various musicians tell about Willie because he influenced everyone differently in their own special way. Everyone has a com2014 Freedom Creek Festival // Danny "Mudcat" mon theme, and that's being Dudeck (r) with SharBaby Newport in center of photo positive about life. Everyone I've met that knew him just wants to have you can imagine the antics he causes but a good time. I'm a big fan of The Secret. we wouldn't trade him for the world. What a character. He was actually lucky enough Everything happens for a reason. I love that Freedom Creek is low key. to attend this year's Freedom Creek It's like our own little secret place, once a Festival. year. However, it's not at Freedom Creek PW: How did you first become anymore. It's at Cookieman's Place [an acquainted with Debbie Bond's music? indoor/outdoor venue in Aliceville, availWhen was that? able for events and parties]. Who's Cookie RB: I first saw Debbie in 2010 at the Man? I don't really know but I didn't see Freedom Creek Festival in Old Memphis any cookies while I was there. And I love at Willie King's old place. I saw an ad for me some cookies!! It is convenient being it somewhere in Huntsville and 'Burnside' closer to town. I hope it survives. I think it caught my eye. I think one of his grandwill. I still go and everyone always comes son's was playing that year. I think he was back because we all know it's not about playing on Friday and I went Saturday so the location, it's about the music. The I didn't get to see him. It doesn't matter huge shade tree is nice too! I got to camp one time at the festival. I remember it was hot, of course. It was at Cookieman's Place in 2012 and a storm came rolling in. It was in the middle of the afternoon and a dark cloud was in the distance. I told my husband we better head back to the tent and put the rain fly on. Next thing we know we are getting hit by a microburst with 60 plus mile an hour winds. Debbie Bond / I looked out the tent and saw the tall pines bent over and started because I left as a lifelong fan of Willie screaming in exhilaration. It was a blast! King, his legacy, Debbie Bond, Mudcat, Continued on page 26 and Willie Lee Halbert! PW: Are you a big fan of the blues in general? What other kinds of music are you drawn to? RB: Absolutely. I love the blues probably the most of all the genres. I like R.L. Burnside, Keb Mo', Murali Coryell, oh! and you can't forget Albert Castiglia. I'm also a huge fan of Bluegrass. I love the Steeldrivers, Cherryholmes, Chris Stapleton, Dan Tyminski, and Ronnie Bowman. Check out Ronnie and Chris's song they wrote together 'Here I Am'. You won't be disappointed! I've been to different concerts anywhere from VNV Nation to Danzig to Ozomatli. PW: How many years have you been attending the Freedom Creek Festival in Pickens County? Tell us about your experience there. Teddy got to Rick Asherson


>>> T H E R I G H T T H I N G | J U DA H M A R T I N


Charles Morgan III (L) and Chris Eddings (R)

The folks at C huck ’s Fish and FIVE know that the simple things make all the difference, like when they wrap their shrimp in a strip of bacon. So simple. So brilliant. Bacon enthusiasts rejoice. The same formula applied when the restaurant’s management decided in May to raise their starting minimum wage by $3 to $10.25 an hour. “We want our workers to be able to go out to have a beer when they want to, or to be able to go see a movie, to do all of those little things that will make them happy outside of work,” said Jason Greear, head chef for Chuck’s in Tuscaloosa. For Alabama, the minimum wage remains stagnant at $7.25 an hour and a lot of folks, for one reason or another, would like to keep it that way. The founder of Chuck’s Fish, Charles Morgan III, can’t speak for his father, a man known for his opposition to the racial violence that plagued the south of his generation. Still, the elder Morgan is remembered as a man ahead of his time who, like his son, defied popular opinion in favor of doing what he felt was right. Known to many by his nickname, "Chuck,” he worked as a civil rights lawyer and, after the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, he delivered a controversial speech blaming Birmingham's white business establishment for profiting from the city’s racial tension. A slew of death threats forced

him to close his office and move his family to Atlanta. There, he established a regional office for the American Civil Liberties Union. Now, in each of his son’s restaurants, several copies of a photo taken of the elder Morgan holding the 30-pound king mackerel he caught to win a fishing tournament in the 1980’s hang on the walls. The photos are accompanied by a large-type paragraph detailing his work during the civil rights movement. "The restaurant is basically named for that photograph," the younger Morgan told The Birmingham News. "That's 'Chuck's fish.' That's about his only fish, but it was a good one." While Morgan III may not be as involved in politics as his father, he seems to carry the torch of his legacy of pursuing change by doing something few businesses dare to. “Some businesses and industries might be attracted to the state of Alabama because of the low minimum wage," Morgan told the Birmingham news. "The reason we're here is because of the abundance of talented people in the work force." At each location, all employees begin at $10.25 an hour. The store’s employees still work their normal hours, roughly 30 hours per week. Menu prices remain at the fixed rate they were sold for before the raise. Instead, the raise is funded by reallocating some of the restaurant’s normal profits. "The people that work so hard for us

— porters and line cooks — we want to make sure that they have just as much of a chance to earn a decent living, and we want them to be capable of climbing the wage ladder just as rapidly as anybody else in our restaurants," Cris Eddings, managing partner for both restaurants, told "Across the board, we want everybody to have the same chance to achieve the same quality of life no matter what position you're in in the restaurant. If you work with us, you're going to get paid well.” According to Greear, the new raise increases the restaurant’s overall wage standard by 30 percent. He said that the standard wage increase for most restaurants usually tends to be only about ten to 15 percent. “That’s what we feel is reasonable to live on,” Greear said. “A few of [our workers] have children to support. It’s easier for them now to be able to pay their bills and to do the things they need to do. [The decision to raise wages] came from the top down. The guys there saw a need and they addressed it.” Greear, 37, has worked for Chuck’s for three years, and has watched many employees who began in entry-level positions rise through the restaurant’s ranks. “They start on these lower stations and work their way up,” Greear said. “Generally, in terms of promotions, it’s all based on tenure and experience: how many stations you can run, what all you can do in the kitchen. And it all depends on the worker. Some of the guys only want to work one station.” He pointed to an employee slicing a slab of meat behind the counter. “Antonio over here can work all five stations,” he bragged, smiling. When Antonio Sanders started working there three years ago, he was hired as a dishwasher. After about eight months, he asked Greear to be moved up to work as a chef. He didn’t have any prior professional experience as a chef, but he was raised in what he described as “a cooking family.” Greear though his skills just needed to be cultivated. “We’re willing to train guys here,” Greear said. “If somebody has the drive to work, we can teach you and we can work with you.” Greear said that the restaurant has a remarkably low turnover rate, and he

makes a point to maintain his current staff by training them so that they’re able to operate each of the restaurant’s stations. When he feels a worker has made sufficient progress, he contacts his supervisors to suggest a promotion. “It’s easier to keep your employees than to have to retrain new people,” he said. “If I had to constantly train new guys, then we’re not going to have the same product and the easiest ways to keep employees is to make them happy.” Still, the seasonal nature of the restaurant industry does present a small challenge. Typically, Greear oversees about 12 people who work in the kitchen, and another five porters who work in the back of the restaurant. Once business picks up during football season, he plans to hire an additional two kitchen workers for the duration of the season. Luckily, news of their new wage increase has attracted a fair share of applicants. Maintaining consistency and high wages requires adherence to a formula, though. Greear suggested that a business can only do it successfully if they make a point to operate with a business strategy that is contingent on the success of those efforts. The unique thing about Chuck’s is that the store only operates from 5-10 p.m. Most of the workers begin preparing for the shift by coming in a few hours before, thereby allowing them to maintain a 30+ hour weekly schedule. By opening the store later in the day, managers can maintain a full staff with high wages. “We bring in [new workers] based on skill and need,” Greear said. “I’m not going to hire someone unless I can give them the hours that they need.”


JUNE 26 + JULY 10



>>> T O W N P R I D E | B R I D G E T T T R E J O


When one admires a butterfly in all its elegance and beauty, the transition it experienced seldom gives pause. The chrysalis that protected it with hardened proteins, and prepared it for the flight ahead, is all but abandoned and forgotten. A similar process can be ascribed to all living things. We must be nurtured and meticulously created before we are born. Even after birth, we continue a journey that guides each individual to his or her destiny. This story is about one person’s inspiring journey; one with an ending that just might surprise you. Toney Brooks was born and raised in Tuscaloosa. He attended Tuscaloosa High School and the University of Alabama. "We all have mentors in our lives that come and go. My favorite was a teacher, Miss Anna Brown. Miss Anna taught Senior English at Tuscaloosa High School. She dubbed us, 'Little Lambs.' Somehow, Miss Anna made me want to sit still, study and learn, no small accomplishment. She instilled the desire in her students to memorize Shakespeare. To appreciate Salinger. To marvel at Hemingway, a man who never met an adjective he couldn’t live without. Anna Brown made me and many of my contemporaries want to write. She was the best teacher I ever had.” Brooks went into the radio business instead. His 30-year career began in Tuscaloosa working for the legendary Bert Bank, a survivor of the WWII Bataan Death March in the Philippines. “Bert inspired, and employed, an entire generation of radio and TV majors at the University.” Brooks had risen in the ranks to program director at WTBC when Vietnam knocked. But before that war, the children of the sixties narrowly avoided a far worse conflict. “Bert reluctantly put me on the air in 1962 with strict instructions: play music, watch the wire machine, and don’t talk. Until then, I’d done odd jobs around WTBC ever since graduating high school in 1961. I would do most anything that would allow me to hang out at the sta-


JUNE 26 + JULY 10

tion, an experience that, to me, was like a dream come true. I went on the air in 1962 when the station converted to a 24-hour broadcast schedule. We did that because we all thought the world might blow sky high at any second. And it very nearly did. “The Cuban Missile Crisis was an intense time, to say the least. My newly acquired on-air position required that I check the Associated Press wire machine every 10-minutes from 3 a.m. until 6 a.m. No problem; I was officially a disc jockey. Another (more studious) University of Alabama student handled the midnight to 3 a.m. shift, a difficult shift for a student. The late Stan Siegal, who eventually went into television, followed my show at 6. “Stan’s brother, Don, was student body president at the University in 1964. I helped Don with his campaign, as did the radio station and everyone who worked there. We even covered the election results live from the Student Union (now Reese Phifer Hall). That was a first! Don’s now a partner in a large Birmingham law firm.” In Vietnam, shortly after the Tet offensive in 1968, Brooks was named War News Editor of the American Forces Vietnam Network located in Saigon. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Army Commendation Medal. “I was the Walter Cronkite of Vietnam. I went on TV each evening to present war news to the troops, the international press corps, and Vietnamese civilians. I don’t know what the locals really thought of American soldiers, since the most popular TV programs at the Saigon station were Laugh In and Combat. There’s a message there, probably. “One day after enjoying lunch at the floating restaurant on the Saigon River, a kid came running up to me. He pulled on my sleeve and said, ‘Combat starring Rick Jason and Vic Murrow.’ I think it was the only English he knew. I bet he thought I knew Jason and Murrow personally. “Saigon was easy duty, as the saying

goes. We lived in air conditioned hotels converted to barracks, dined at fancy French restaurants and, in my case, got to rub shoulders with the best foreign news correspondents of the day.” After the war, Brooks went into broadcast management where he ran a highly successful rock station in Denver. Later, he became president of the group that owned it and expanded to 12 stations. Eventually tiring of radio, which had become “absurdly corporatized,” he moved to Europe to salvage values and rediscover himself. In the UK he picked up where Anna Brown had left off; it is here that Brooks returned to writing. In England’s West Country, he published a fantasy fiction book about King Arthur’s return. “Actually, it was more of a West Country tourism book.” Yet he credits that book with bringing him and artist Holly Sierra together for a unique project: creating a deck of tarot cards. Brooks is the wordsmith on this collaboration and Sierra is the artist. The contribution of both—Sierra's art is otherworldly and Brooks' descriptions and instructions are described as wise, clear, entertaining—has won accolades and attention; the deck was acquired by U.S. Game Systems, Inc. When one mentions the word tarot, some people experience mixed emotions. This may be because it is so widely misunderstood. Briefly, let’s explain what Tarot is not. Tarot is not divination in the strict, modern sense of the word; it does not conflict with religion. Everyone enjoys free will and takes, or at least should take, responsibility for their actions. Therefore, it follows there is no fixed, divine will for tarot to apprehend. Destiny is real, fate isn’t. Destiny is derived from the choices we make. Tarot is a tool for personal and spiritual development. The society we live in tends to devalue the immaterial – things it cannot see, smell, touch, taste or feel. The mystical is disparaged and dismissed as fringe and irrelevant to busy, mod-

ern lifestyles. Consequently, there’s a growing hunger for rational spirituality. Many are awakening to their spirituality through yoga, meditation, reiki, chakra work and other life-changing transformative tools, including tarot. Tarot is first and foremost a journey of self-discovery. It teaches us to listen to the inner voice and trust it. To change the world, it’s often said that we must first change ourselves. This means we must alter our worldview from one of abject materialism to one that balances the material and spiritual realms. By definition that is a paradigm shift. Toney Brooks has a very unique way of looking at life that offers much inspiration, say those who know him. He and artist Holly Sierra designed Chrysalis Tarot with the idea of enhancing the world by re-imaging the metaphysical and emphasizing a renewed appreciation for nature. Synchronicity, a Jungian concept, is defined as meaningful coincidence that aids discernment in making destiny-driven choices. “We invented a fun-loving group of medieval troubadours made up of artists, musicians, mimes, poets, and muses, to replace traditional tarot court cards. In fact, we threw much of traditional 16th century tarot out the window. It had devolved into a thick and murky dogma with arcane symbols, irrelevant Kings, Queens, Knights, Hermits, Hierophants (most people don’t even know what one is), and other subtle religious nuance.” In addition to engendering synchronicity, the tarot deck Brooks and Sierra created, Chrysalis Tarot – the name suggests personal transformation – teaches how to communicate with one's personal unconscious and interact with the Collective Unconscious, which is like a memory bank for humanity. To learn more about Chrysalis Tarot, which has won rave reviews from around the world, visit Bridgett Trejo is a freelance writer living in New York state.

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

>>> T H E AT R E | A D A M M I L L E R


Theatre Tuscaloosa presents "HairJuly 18–27 in the Bean-Brown Theatre on Shelton State’s Martin Campus. This winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, is family-friendly and piled bouffant-high with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs. It's 1962 in Baltimore, and the lovable teen Tracy Turnblad has only one desire – to dance on the popular Corny Collins Show. When her dream comes true, Tracy is transformed from social outcast to sudden star. She must use her newfound power to dethrone the reigning Teen Queen, win the affections of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a TV network, all without denting her 'do! Directing this production of "Hairspray" is University of Alabama alumnus and current New York resident Michael Thomas Walker. Theatre Tuscaloosa Executive Producer Tina Turley said she is excited to see "Hairspray" come together under Walker’s guidance. “I had the pleasure of teaching Michael when he was in college, and last January he performed his one-man show, 'Bubba,' as a part of our SecondStage program,” Turley said. “I am thrilled to have him back this summer to direct 'Hairspray'.” After graduating from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, Walker moved to New York City. He got his MFA in Theatre from Rutgers in 2012 and returned to NYC where he works in theatre, film and television. In 2006, Walker played the role of Edna in the national tour of "Hairspray"; he reprised this role at the Walnut Street Theater in 2008. “I am looking forward to revisiting this play,” Walker said. “I try to pick shows that

spray "

excite me and challenge me as a director, and "Hairspray" definitely does both.” Walker said audiences should expect an exciting and hilarious musical comedy with a message. “'Hairspray' is set in the 1960s, yet it’s still relevant in today’s society. The songs are catchy, the dance numbers are big, and there are a lot of humorous moments, but it also speaks about issues that are important right now such as bullying, identity, segregation and racism,” Walker said. Working alongside Walker, the "Hairspray" production team includes: Choreographer Delle Kincaid, Musical Director Leslie Poss, Scenic Designer Wheeler Kincaid, Lighting Designer Erin Hisey, Costume Designer Jeanette Waterman, Sound Designer Frank Duren and Prop Designer Kim Palm. The "Hairspray" cast brings together a vibrant mix of Theatre Tuscaloosa veterans and newcomers. Returning to the Bean-Brown stage are Tim Davis, Courtney Dover, Gavin Dover, Craig First, Diva Hall, Candace Hilton, Clemmie LaShaun Hilton, Israel Hilton, Glen Johnson, Brent Jones, Lindsey Jones, Kaylee MacKnight, Emily McGuire, Drey Mitchell, Kim C. Palm, Charles Prosser, NorQuina Rieves, Wesley Rorex, Jenny Ryan, Christopher Smith, Logan Spradley, Destiny Stewart, William Travis and Kathy Wilson. They are joined by Theatre Tuscaloosa newcomers Matthew Dunkin, Caroline First, LaPorsha Lewis, Nicole Pietrangelo, Karina Simonis, and Emily Hoppe. Hoppe said she is thrilled to make her Theatre Tuscaloosa debut as Tracy Turnblad. "This is my second time to play Tracy, and I am just as excited as the first,"

Hoppe said. "'Hairspray' tackles serious issues like self-love and societal acceptance in an energized, hilarious way. It is brilliantly put together – not a single dull moment. The songs are beyond fun, the scenes zip along, and everything is bigger than life! We are all having a blast, and so will the audience!" Theatre Tuscaloosa’s 2013-14 Season: Cheers to 15 Years! is presented in cooperation with Shelton State Community College and is sponsored by Jamison Money Farmer and Co. "Hairspray" is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial, Buffalo Rock and Play it Forward sponsor Bank of Tuscaloosa. Additional sponsors include Tanner & Guin LLC, MercedesBenz, Afflink, Warrior Roofing, Bank of Moundville, Left Hand Soap Company LLC, Randall-Reilly Publishing, f8 Productions LLC, Martin Luther King, Jr. Realizing The Dream Committee, TotalCom Marketing and Town Square Media. Performances will take place Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays and Wednesday at 2pm. All proceeds of a pay-what-you-can final dress rehearsal on Thursday, July 17, at 7:30 pm, will benefit the Charlie Dennis Memorial Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for

seniors (60+), and $14 for students and children. Special rates are available in advance for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 391-2277.

Blaine Duncan & the Lookers

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

JUNE 26 + JULY 10



>>> wine REVIEW | J O N R O G E R S


W here to E at in T uscaloosa


p.m. - 6:30 p.m. featuring 1/2 price appetizers. $2 Domestic Draft Beers and $3 Well cocktails.

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.

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

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 Maggie's Diner 1307 Ty Rogers Jr. Ave | Tuscaloosa // 366.0302 Mr. Bill's Family Restaurant 2715 McFarland Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 333.9312 Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd *402 | Tuscaloosa // 366.8780 Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip | Tuscaloosa // 342.0022

Castello B anfi is a family owned vineyard estate and winery in the Brunello region of Tuscany that is known for their commitment to excellence and sparking a renaissance in the art of Italian winemaking. Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino is a dry red wine. The varietal is 100% Sangiovese and comes from the Tuscany region of Italy. Although from Tuscany, since it is not a special blend, this wine is not considered a Super Tuscan. Alcohol content of Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino is 14.0% by volume according to the bottle. According to the tasting notes, this wine comes from the estate vineyards in the southern part of Montalcino where the soil is well-structured and calcareous. Also, Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino is aged for 10-12 months in both French oak and Slavonian oak barrels. Following barrel aging there is an additional 6 months of aging in the bottle. For this review, I had assistance from my friend Dave. He did a great job with a previous review of J Lohr Wildflower and his help was again much appreciated. In appearance, this Rosso di Montalcino from Banfi was burgundy in color with per-


JUNE 26 + JULY 10

haps some copper in the rim. The wine was very leggy with two waves of legs. The first wave fell really fast and the second fell slowly. Banfi Rosso di Montalcino was very aromatic and the aroma was noticeable from afar. Dave immediately noticed black pepper, whereas I picked up smokiness and berries. There was a little kick in the nose of alcohol too. We spent a good deal of time on the nose with this wine. As a result we ended up with some interesting observations. Dave noted the aroma to be similar to the aroma when smoking meats. He also picked up what he called “black ink like from a magic marker.” I think it’s important to point out that all the complexities of the wine’s aroma were very enjoyable to us. The Banfi Rosso di Montalcino was intense in its flavor, which we liked. Unmistakably Sangiovese. I noticed berries in the taste with a little hint of dark chocolate at the end. Tannins were well behaved with just a bit of bitterness noted. Mostly noticed behind the upper lip. The wine’s finish was long with the alcohol carrying through. Overall we both really enjoyed this medium dry, medium body Rosso di Montalcino Sangiovese. Dave especially enjoyed the aroma and I liked the wine’s general complexity. There’s a lot going on with this wine! Recommend! Price for Banfi Rosso di Montalcino about $22.00. Please visit my blog at “Wine had such ill effects on Noah’s health that it was all he could do to live 950 years. Show me a total abstainer that ever lived that long.” ~ Will Rogers ~

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.

MEXICAN Chipotle Mexican Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0140 Don Rafa's 2313 4th Street | Temerson Square // 345.9191 El Rincon (2 locations) 1225 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa, AL // 366.0855 1726 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.1274 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 Taco Mama 2104 A University Blvd, Tuscaloosa 409-8173

FINE DINING 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 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


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 // 556.4112 Eclectic menu, extensive wine list. Dinner at Kozy’s is a romantic experience complete with candlelight and a roaring fireplace. | Twin 3700 6th St, Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa Country Club | 758-7528 | Certified USDA Prime Steaks; specialty Sushi and cocktails. Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 5 – 10 p.m.

JAPANESE 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. 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.

ITALIAN Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue Broadway Pizzeria 2880 Rice Mine Road Northeast Tuscaloosa, // 391.6969 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 The Blue Plate Restaurant (Was Northport Diner) 450 McFarland Blvd, Northport // 462-3626 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.


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

Chicken Salad Chick The Shoppes at Midtown & Essex Square, Northport | Said to be the very best chicken salad that can be found anywhere. Chili’s 1030 Skyland Blvd | Near McFarland Mall // 750.8881 Fax: 758.7715 // Dave’s Dogs 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 722.2800 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.

through Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. till 9 p.m. (Sunday Brunch 10:30am-3pm). 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. Hooter’s 5025 Oscar Baxter Dr | Next to Jameson Inn // 758.3035 Wings, clams, shrimp and of course the Hooters Girls 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.

Tacogi 500 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 342.3647

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

Logan's Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd E // 349.3554

Wilhagan’s 2209 4th St | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 366.0913

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 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 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 vegetables Mon–Fri 10:45 a.m. - 9 p.m.

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 Dickey's BBQ 9770 Alabama 69; Midtown; and 13544 Hwy 43 North at Rose Blvd. Great Texas Barbecue. 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. 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

The Southern Dining Room Grill (Behind Ryan's) 4251 Courtney Dr, Tuscaloosa 331-4043

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.

T-Town Café 500 14th Street, Tuscaloosa | 759-5559 | Mon - Fri: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sat: 5 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sun: 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Tee’s Ribs and Thangs 1702 10th Avenue // 366.9974 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily

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

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

Buffalo Phil’s 1149 University Blvd | The Strip // 758.3318 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar

Twin Restaurant 3700 6th Street |Tuscaloosa | 758-7528 A full service restaurant specializing in Sushi, Prime Steaks, made fresh daily pasta, and whiskey oriented cocktails 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. // Former Tuscaloosa Country Club

Billy's Sports Grill Historic Downtown Northport / 879.2238 Good food, beverages and family friendly Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thursday

Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave // 248.9370


>>> beer review | B R E T T R E I D

FLORIDA CRACKER // SO-SO // DECENT SUMMER BEER In celebration of Father’s Day, I spent the day with my dad working on his new house. We ate some gnarly Mexican food, presented gifts, and then brought the party back home where we sat outside and drank some beers. He chose Coors Light, he has a refined palate as you can tell, and I went with the Florida Cracker from, my favorite as of late, Cigar City. I picked up this sixpack while I was in Orlando and I’m just about to the end of it. I was expecting a little more out of this one, and I might even be inclined to say I was a little disappointed. I’ve come to expect so much, but this just really wasn’t hitting the right marks for me. Being the men that we are, we drank out of the cans, so no pouring was happening here. As always, I looked it up online, and it seems from many reviews that this bad boy pours a cloudy straw color with tons of bright white head that lingers for ages. The smell was quite potent, but in a good way, I suppose. There was a lot of lemon and other citrus fruits accompanied by some coriander and something like clove, maybe? There was a light, earthy note to it that didn’t really settle well with me, almost spoiled. It had that classic smell of old stale beer that we’re all so accustomed to, but none of us enjoy, at least I hope you don’t enjoy that rancid smell. Anyways, I was looking to move past the aroma, as it left me with some doubts as to what this would actually be like, but I wasn’t completely excited about this one. The flavor pretty much mirrors the aroma with the lemon and coriander, but the sour taste that I smelled came powering in with a vengeance. Midway through, you start to get some flavors in the way of orange peel that seem to continue to the back of your tongue and into the corners of your cheeks. There is an astringent quality that can be accredited to the citrus in this brew, which is somewhat unappealing to me. At the end, you really start to pick up on the malt character that seems to come in around the same time you pick up on the hops. The hop profile is much more earthy and herbal that I would like for a Belgian, but the yeasts pair with it nicely to add a sweetness to it that the beer really needs to make it drinkable. By having this component, the quality of the beer skyrockets by making it very nicely balanced, because you still get some of that sharp lemon bitterness that is now tamed to a consumable level. I continued to keep getting those harsh

bites in the back of my cheeks and jaw from all the citrus that has been packed into this beer. It’s just a little too harsh for my tastes, but some people may be into that. There were some nice aspects of the taste, but not enough to make me rave about it. The mouthfeel was pretty light; good for a summer time beer, as it is intended to be. The main problem I had, was that it was highly carbonated and didn’t feel great on the tongue. Coupled with light body, this would be an alright session beer for the beach or in the summer in general. If the beer had been a bit smoother and had a little less of the harsh citrus, I could drink this beer all day long. Overall, this was a miss for me by one of my favorite breweries right now. I know that they can’t do everything right all the time, but at the same time, you come to expect a certain standard of quality from a brewery. This just missed on almost all the marks for me and I wish it hadn’t. I would probably only drink this if someone else bought it from now on, because of this experience. I’ll know next time, but more importantly, I’m glad I didn’t make my dad drink this and make him think this is the kind of beer that I enjoy drinking. That would be a lie. A lie on Father’s Day.


JUNE 26 + JULY 10





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

Happy Hour 3pm-6pm with $5 house wine, $5 top shelf, $3 well. $1 off bottle beer

Tut’s Place 1306 University Blvd | The Strip // 759.1004

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 Hot Wok Express 6751 Alabama 69, Tuscaloosa // 758.0148

O nce, I was asked by a Texan if I had ever tried Texas barbecue. I smiled and simply replied, “Have you ever tried Alabama barbecue?” I get a little defensive when it comes to Alabama food. Many would argue that Alabama has the best barbecue in the south. However, there is no exact science to what determines the best barbecue. Bringing the taste of Texas to town is Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Dickey’s provides Texasstyle barbecue which is smoked on-site daily. I am pleased to say, I have tried Texas barbecue and it’s pretty darn good. As soon as my husband opened the door to Dickey’s, I smelled the sweet and smoky aroma of barbecue. My mouth watered. The restaurant is quaint and furnished for casual family dining. The look of the restaurant was that of a western theme with wagon wheel light fixtures and distressed novelty signs. A few flat screen televisions line the walls. As soon as you enter the door your eyes hit the menus hanging from the ceiling. Ordering is done at the counter. All the obvious choices are offered, pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket, and chicken. A few surprises were on the menu, including barbecue honey ham, spicy cheese sausage, and polish sausage. As I read the menu out loud, the employee behind the counter added “and alligator and kangaroo.” His straight face cracked with a smile as he glanced over at his co-worker saying “man, I couldn’t keep a straight face!” The employees were nice and genuinely pleasant. As appetizing as the fictional kangaroo and alligator sounded, I went with the pulled pork plate ($9.50). My husband took a chance and ordered the barbecue ribs plate ($9.50). Including two drinks the ticket came out to just under $30. My eyes widened with excitement when we rounded the corner to fix our drinks. Sitting at the end of the beverage station were complementary ice cream cones! Barbecue and ice cream — such a treat. By the time we topped off our drinks and filled up extra cups of barbecue sauce, our food was served. My pulled pork plate was ac-


JUNE 26 + JULY 10

companied with a side of macaroni and cheese and barbecue beans. Sweet barbecue sauce was thinly spread across the pork. Dickey’s offers up two other sweet and spicy sauces for your barbecue enjoyment. The spicy sauce had a nice tangy kick to it. A little too hot for my taste buds. The sweeter sauce was a favorite, with a hint of tang. For some reason, I felt the need to start with the sides. Judging by the look of the macaroni and cheese, it was obvious that it was prepared with overprocessed cheese, or, as some refer to it today, “liquid gold.” Nonethless, it was not terrible. It was warm, soft, and creamy. The barbecue beans were underwhelming. They were sweet, but lacking a complementary ingredient like bell pepper or sausage. My husband had a side of the macaroni and cheese and waffle fries. The waffle fries were seasoned and had a mild Cajun taste. They were delicious! Next came the main course, the pulled pork. I gathered a little bit of pork off of the top, dabbed it in the sweet sauce, and stabbed a pickle slice. It was very good. The pork was flavorful and honestly did not need too much sauce. My husband’s ribs were tender and had a satisfying amount of meat. The bark with a chunk of meat made the best bite. Even with full bellies, we could not resists the free vanilla ice cream cones. We really enjoyed the taste of Texas Dickey’s Barbecue Pit brings to Bama and will definitely make plans to visit again. Dickeys Barbecue Pit has two locations in Tuscaloosa and one in Northport. They are open daily from 11:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m. Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating! Cindy Huggins, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist, food service director, and local “foodie!” Follow her on Twitter @DietitianCindy.

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.

Honeybaked Ham Company 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


Swen Chinese Restaurant 1130 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9887

Barnes & Noble 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa 349.6366

Trey Yuen 4200 McFarland Blvd E // 752.0088

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.

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. California Underground 13552 Highway 43, Northport | 339.8660 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 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 758.0112 Subs n' You 2427 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.758.0088 Roly Poly Sandwiches 2300 4th Street | Tuscaloosa // 366.1222 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 Pizza Palace Buffet 6521 Alabama 69 Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 752.5444

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 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 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

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The soldier that Tom Cruise plays in “Edge of Tomorrow” gets his butt kicked all over creation. “Bourne Identity” director Doug Limon’s supercharged, imaginative, science fiction time-loop thriller synthesizes elements of “Starship Troopers” and “Source Code.” Surpassing Cruise’s earlier desolation Earth outing “Oblivion,” “Edge of Tomorrow” differs chiefly in terms of story and setting. Although “Oblivion” occurred on post-apocalyptic planet Earth, “Edge of Tomorrow” takes place before the apocalypse, with mankind desperately pitted against aggressive extraterrestrials with no compassion. Lightning-fast, squid-like creatures called ‘Mimics’ have invaded Earth. These invincible whirling dervishes with tentacles have been on the warpath now for the last five years, blitzing their way across the European continent, and advancing toward England without any sign of slowing down. Predictably, Cruise lands on his feet in the middle of this catastrophic, life and death mayhem. He doesn’t play the usual heroic character that he played in “Top Gun.” This represents the first time Cruise has portrayed a yellow-livered skunk. He goes from being a coward to a hero in an arc that is as entertaining as the film is exciting. You can differentiate Tom Cruise movies by how often he gets his butt kicked. Remember “The Last Samurai?” Cruise had to grovel in that splendid fish-out-of-water spectacle set in Japan. Usually Cruise doesn’t grovel. His groveling, however, makes his subsequent acts of heroism all the more convincing. Mind you, “Edge of Tomorrow” would still qualify as a good, solid movie even if Cruise weren’t getting kicked all over creation. Mankind is poised on the brink of extinction as these insatiable aliens decimate populations. The futuristic, 80-pound, exoskeleton combat suits that the soldiers wear looks as cool as the aliens are imitating. Everything about “Edge of Tomorrow” looks great. This isn’t a shiny, chromeplated, sci-fi epic, but a tarnished, grungy-looking one. Some of the performances stand out. As Master Sergeant Farrell, Bill Paxton steals every scene

that he has with his Southern-fried drawl, while Brendan Gleeson makes a curt supreme army commander and reminded me of Norman Schwarzkopf. Last but not least, lean-muscled Emily Blunt is pretty hard-nosed and business-like as the pugnacious ‘Angel of Verdun.’ Alongside these fine performers, Cruise holds his own as a disgraced officer who redeems himself in the crucible of combat. Oscar winning “Usual Suspects” scenarist Christopher McQuarrie and “Fair Game” co-scribes Jez and John-Henry Butterworth have adapted Japanese author Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel “All You Need is Kill,” which came out in December 2004. As a military public relations officer for the United Defense Force, Major William Cage (Tom Cruise of “War of the Worlds”) has never fired a shot in combat, but he does a commendable job as long as he is stationed far behind the lines. Imagine Cage’s horror when UDF General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson of “Braveheart”) decides to embed him with ground troops as they storm the French beaches in a last ditch effort to thwart the Mimics. Cage flatly refuses Brigham’s orders to follow the troops into battle. Not only does Brigham order Cage arrested and demoted to buck private, but he also assigns him to join a first wave combat unit. Although “Edge of Tomorrow” is a sci-fi saga, the beachhead scenes where Cage and his unit are flown into action against the Mimics is reminiscent of Spielberg’s classic “Saving Private Ryan.” Like “Starship Troopers,” the soldiers are flown into combat and dropped from helicopterstyle planes. Once on the ground, the troops rely on their heavily armed battle suits to shred the Mimics with fusillades of gunfire. The Mimics are slaughtering soldiers left and right until one of them smashes headlong into Cage. Our terrified protagonist uses a mine to kill one. When Cage kills a large ‘Alpha’ Mimic, the slimy critter douses him with its blood. Incredibly enough, despite dying from the Mimic’s blood, Cage discovers that he gets another chance to live and fight again! Essentially, like the Jake Gyllenhaal character in “Source

Code,” Cage relives the first day over and over until he encounters another soldier, Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt of “Loopers”), who experienced the same sensation when a large ‘Alpha’ Mimic killed her. Before he meets Rita, Cage is killed several times in combat. Meantime, each time that he dies, Cage awakens just as suddenly to find himself back at Camp Heathrow alive and well. Director Doug Limon displays quite a bit of flair in handling the same scene over and over again. Each time that Cage reawakens from his death, he devises new ways to contend with the Mimics. Sergeant Rita explains to Cage that the same thing occurred to her at Verdun until she received a blood transfusion. Eventually, as he relives the same day over and over again ad nauseam, Cage becomes so familiar with the turbulent events of that day that he can anticipate when and where the Mimics will strike. Before long, Rita trains Cage so that they become a dynamic duo, and they discover that the Mimics have a secret that makes them invincible. When they try to convince their superiors, especially General Brigham, that they can destroy the Mimics, they are treated as deserters. Although it boasts some fascinating as well as formidable alien adversaries,

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“Edge of Tomorrow” doesn’t emphasize horror so much as tension and suspense. Meaning, you can watch it and not worry about leaving your lights on when you sleep for fear of nightmares. Basically, it boils down to a crackerjack mission movie with Cruise and Blunt assembling up their own crew of misfits to destroy the aliens and save the day. Director Doug Limon and his writers steer clear of romance in any way, shape, or form. The single drawback to this otherwise atmospheric, first-rate actioneer is that the filmmakers don’t provide enough details about the invaders from space. Nevertheless, watching Tom Cruise get killed dozens of times until he knows what to do is as stimulating as it is amusing.

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Photos: Jerome Adams


This spring the University of West Alabama offered an undergraduate course titled Archaeology Field School at Fort Tombecbe under the guidance of Professor Ashley Dumas, designer and anthropologist. Class started at breakfast and ended after supper with a lecture. Wednesday evening's class involved a lab so the collected artifacts could be processed properly. The objectives of the course were stated in the announcement for the course as follows: "Participants will learn the basics of archaeological excavation and artifact processing at the colonial Fort Tombecbe site(1736-1797) on the Tombigbee River in west Alabama." The site had been investigated in the 1980s but not much else had been done since then. Two years ago Dr. Dumas conducted a similar class as described above and this year's "dig" was a continuation. The French were the original builders on the site, followed by England and finally, Spain, before the territory became part of the United States of America. Each country built structures generally using the same site with modifications and additions/subtractions. The humidity, soil material and climate in general caused the structures to decay fairly rapidly. Each succeeding group had to rebuild structures using some of the materials left by the others. Under the shallow topsoil is a huge chalk layer left from when an ocean covered what is now called the Black Belt area. Chalk is the remains of tiny creatures that lived there 80 million years ago and presented a challenge to build-


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ers. Europeans constructed ovens for bread-making, using mud and bricks of clay. However, chalk, though rigid at first, crumbles when heated. Clay had to be brought in for ovens and fireplaces. When mixed with the chalk the resulting material was still weak. In one of the "units" (a marked off area under investigation) that participants BJ and Jean were exploring, broken pieces of orange colored bricks (clay material) indicated what may have been a fireplace of the barracks area for the soldiers. They also uncovered pieces of lead which may have been where the soldiers made shot

tion and were asked if they would like to be involved in another in the future. For most it was the first "hands-on" field study they had ever done. A "dig" is hard work and in the late spring in Alabama, very warm. However, when artifacts are discovered buried for three hundred years it can be quite rewarding. In participant Lee's unit he found a small piece of cloth that had survived due to some type of micro-environmental condition! Dr. Dumas identified it as possibly linen. In other units, pieces of Choctaw pottery with

for their guns. Dr. Dumas had copies of very old drawings of the fort site used by the different military groups and information from previous archaeological investigations. This allowed an "educated" guess of the location of structures. Differences in the colors and textures of the chalk layer indicated walls, trenches, and other clues became data to locate their positions. Near the bottom of one indication of a post was a circular spot where an iron nail had been driven into the post and into the chalk to give more support. On the day of this investigation participants had been working for three weeks and had become quite familiar with the site and artifacts found. The next day was to be an "Open House" with the community invited to see the "dig." All of the students and volunteers working there seemed to be sincerely interested in this archaeological investiga-


decorative markings were found. Also, European type ceramic pieces of dishes with decorations and glaze were recovered. Iron nails and lead shot bits, and a red bead were also found. Bones of different kinds of animals such as deer were clues to the diet of the occupants of the forts. What one hears may soon be forgotten. That which one sees may be remembered longer. Understanding comes from being involved in the learning. Dr. Ashley Dumas' design of The Archaeology Field School at Fort Tombecbe covered all bases. It is not likely that any participant will ever forget this experience while Exploring Alabama!



New children greet the Druid City Garden Project curriculum with naive wonder. Wait, so you really can grow food? What about ice cream, can you grow ice cream? Originally, the Druid City Garden Project was intended to be a part of a nationwide trend of using vacant, urban spaces to grow produce to sell for subsidized rates and give away for free to anyone willing to help out with the farming. Instead, the first space they found was at University Place Elementary School. The project's staff and volunteers realized then that they could potentially make a different kind of impact. If only they could grow ice cream. The children's questions might seem cuter if their eating habits were not so troubling. Instead, they are a haunting reminder of just how far Alabama has drifted away from its not-so-distant agricultural past. Ironically, Alabama is one of few states

in the U.S. where weather conditions are fair enough that produce can be grown year-round without pause. Temperatures reached a record low for the state during this past winter, and still food was produced. Given the circumstances, Lindsay Turner, executive director for the Druid City Garden Project, finds it more than just a little unsettling that the concept of growing their own food now seems foreign to so many children. "We've lost our understanding of why eating food that's grown locally is important," she said. "In Alabama, that's a remarkable change." Of course this could have something to do with the economic demographics of the schools she has worked in, too. In almost all of the schools, at least 80 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch. For a family living on a compromised income, getting to choose where their food comes from and how it is grown can seem like a luxury they can't afford.

Before working with the garden project, Turner headed Homegrown Alabama Farmer’s Market, where she helped to implement an incentive program for customer’s using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, formerly called food stamps. With the garden project, low-income families are introduced to farmer’s markets directly, where they can purchase fresh produce from the garden project at subsidized rates. Turner insists that poverty should not prevent a family for accessing healthy food. "This is critically important to understand," Lindsay said. "Alabama is one of the most obese states in the nation, and a growing number of our children and adults are running into these health conditions like hypertension, blood clots, high blood pressure." The goal of the Druid City Garden Project is to reach children in the critical habit-forming phases of their youth and change the way they think about food and how it is produced. The project was founded in 2010 after Andrew Grace and his wife, Rashmi, filmed a documentary called Eating Alabama that chronicled a year they spent exploring and eating only locally grown food. Since then, the garden project has moved into two other schools, Woodland Forest Elementary School and the Sunshine High School in Hale County. In the fall, they will implement programs at the Tuscaloosa Magnet School and Oakdale Elementary School. The project's staff and volunteers designed a curriculum for students that is based on the state's education standards. Now, instead of learning about plants in a classroom, the children can put their feet in the dirt and grow their own. Josalyn Randall, garden manager for the project and a professor in New College at the University, guides the students along. Randall, now 34, has been growing her own food and eating locally since she was an undergraduate in college and now spends about 30 hours gardening each week. For her, sharing her knowledge with students is a labor of love. "The kids are willing to try foods that they wouldn't have before because they've had a part in growing them," Randall said. "They've started those seeds, they've watched them grow into a plant. They'll eat radishes and arugula and salad mix right out of the garden. Kids will come to the farm stands with their parents and they say “Mom, buy that broccoli, I grew that!’" With her help, the University Place students learn gardening in all of its hideous glory. To their horror, Randall tells them how “amazingly good” worm poop is for their food. They even have their own worm castings, housed in a bin where the worms chew through mounds of discarded cabbage and other types of greens. The bin’s stench is unbearable, but the com-

posting produced is necessary, since the garden’s red clay soil is too mineral-rich to produce food reliably without it. Also, Randall is pretty sure the garden used to be a parking lot at some point. The garden is divided into multiple sections, and the students work primarily with plants grown in raised beds, growing produce like radishes, collard greens and kale. “They do tastings sometimes and the lessons will be completely centered around the food, and they'll get to harvest and actually prepare a meal,” Randall said. That’s usually a lesson for the older kids. To meet the state’s education requirements, the lesson involves using traditional math skills to measure and weigh the food for the meal. As part of the project’s Budding Entrepreneur’s program, the students learn basic business and financial literacy skills by helping to run the weekly farm. Generally, most items are sold for only a dollar or two, cheaper than grocery store prices and even the other farmer’s market vendors. Starting in the fall, University Place students will run their garden without the garden project’s help. Though the garden project aims to spend only three years working directly with each school, they have been with University Place for four years, since the school’s original garden was destroyed by the 2011 tornado. “This year, the students be fully responsible for starting their seeds, doing their planting,” Randall said. To prepare for the transition, teachers from the school have already formed a garden committee. Each participating grade level will have specific responsibilities: third grades will choose “water leaders” responsible for keeping the plants hydrated, fourth graders will run the produce stand and fifth graders will choose harvest leaders. Randall said she will not be too far away, though. The garden project staff will serve as consultants for the school during their first transition year, and Randall plans to grow back up plants to continue supplementing the produce grown by students. Now, since students are out of school for summer, Randall and interns for the garden project continue to cultivate the 2,500 square foot garden space at University Place to continue raising money for the project by selling produce. Each summer, Randall seems to run into more students at the farmer’s market. Usually, they excitedly wave to her and shout “Miss Randall!” before dragging their accompanying adult over to the stand. “The idea is to have a ripple effect,” Randall said. “We hope to change the kid’s eating habits and affect their parents’ eating habits and their neighbor’s eating habits. I think this is something that connects people to a bigger community.”


JUNE 26 + JULY 10




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


“Seven Deadly Sins” Exhibit WHEN: 9 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: The Arts Council Gallery PHONE: 758.51.95 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Work by quilter and artist Yvonne Wells at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. The exhibit is the compilation of seven quilts created by Wells from 2004 - 2006, all within the same theme of the Seven Deadly Sins. Exhibit concludes on Friday, June 27. The Rude Mechanicals WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Marr’s Spring Park PHONE: 348.0343 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The Rude Mechanicals will perform William Shakespeare’s The Gentlemen of Verona in Marr’s Spring Park, on campus at UA directly behind Rowand-Johnson Hall. Attendants are advised to bring their own picnic blankets and bug spray. Performances end Saturday, June 28. UA Sculpture: Summer 2014 Exhibit WHEN: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: University of Alabama Gallery PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The UA Gallery is hosting an exhibit of work by Craig Wedderspoon, Associate Professor of Sculpture at the University of Alabama, and Virginia Eckinger, who is currently opening a studio in Northport. “Down to the Light” Exhibit WHEN: 10 a.m. COST: WHERE: Tuscaloosa Museum of Art PHONE: 562.5280 LINK: The museum will display paintings by Evan Wilson. The paintings include “Down to the Water, Alabama Baptism,” from the Huntsville Museum of Art, and “Textures,” from the private collection of Mr. and Mrs. John McDowell. The exhibit will end on Friday, July 4.


Southern Rock and Roll Blues Show WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: $20 WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The Southern Rock and Roll Blues Show will feature performances by local acts like The Blues Crew, The Toney Boys and Cooter Brown. Shawna P, a contestant on NBC’s The Voice, will also perform.


West Alabama Mountain Biking Association Weekly Beginner’s Ride WHEN: 5:45 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Monny Sokal Park PHONE: 562.3220 LINK:


JUNE 26 + JULY 10

DESCRIPTION: Interested in mountain biking but don't know where to ride in Tuscaloosa? Come out to Sokal Park and join the beginners' group that ride out weekly on Monday evenings.


WII for All WHEN: 3:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Tuscaloosa Public Library, Brown Branch PHONE: 205.391.9989 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Young children as well as teenagers are invited to spend the afternoon playing Wii video games in the Children’s Books section of the Brown Branch of the Tuscaloosa Public Library. Bama Art House // "Alan Partridge" WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: -$7, general admission -$6, students and seniors -$5, Arts Council members WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Starring Steve Coogan. Taco Tuesday WHEN: All day COST: N/A WHERE: Jim N’ Nick’s BBQ PHONE: 567. 0256 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Every Tuesday, local restaurant Jim N Nick’s adds barbecue tacos to their menu, along with queso dip and drink specials.


Preschool Story Time WHEN: 10 a.m COST: Free WHERE: TPL, Brown Branch PHONE: 391.9989 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Preschool story time consists of stories, songs, activities and crafts.

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MITTENS THE LAP CAT // PRISCILLA THE PUP Meet Mittens, a beautiful gray and white adult female tabby with perfect tiger striping! Mittens is medium in frame, though she could stand to lose a few pounds! She is very laid-back and not very excitable. She would be an excellent lap cat and would do well with children who can handle her gently. She is not recommended for a home with large dogs. Mittens is negative for FIV/ FeLK, current on her vaccinations and spayed. If you are interested in giving Mittens the forever home she wants and deserves, visit the West Alabama Humane Society or call us at 554.0011. This precious pup is Priscilla, a nine-to 10-month-old female Terrier mix with a scruffy white coat and red and tan markings. She is all legs right now and weighs only about 13 pounds, though she will fill out and get closer to 25 or 30 pounds in full adulthood. Priscilla has a very sweet and loving personality, though she is still a puppy and will need training and structure to help her develop into a well-mannered adult dog. She should be fine around children 10 and older, though she is not the best fit for younger children since she is still a bit jumpy and mouthy. She seems to do well with other dogs. Priscilla would be fine in an apartment as long as she gets daily exercise. She will require a fenced yard if left outside unattended. Priscilla has started her crate training. She is up to date on her vet care, will be spayed before adoption, and is micro chipped. She has started her heartworm and flea/tick prevention though she is too young to be tested for heartworms. If you are interested in giving Priscilla the forever home she wants and deserves, visit the West Alabama Humane Society or call us at 554.0011.


Kentuck Art Night WHEN: 5 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Kentuck Art Center PHONE: 758.1257 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Local galleries and their artists are featured in an “open house” atmosphere. Patrons can visit galleries in any order which is convenient, but are encouraged to visit all to take advantage of what is offered.

FRIDAY, JULY 4 Happy independence day! MONDAY, JULY 7

West Alabama Mountain Biking Association Weekly Beginner’s Ride WHEN: 5:45 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Monny Sokal Park

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>>> EVENTS CALENDAR | PHONE: 562.3220 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Interested in mountain biking but don't know where to ride in Tuscaloosa? Come out to Sokal Park and join the beginners' group that ride out weekly on Monday evenings.


Bama Art House // "Under the Skin" WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: $7, general admission; $6, students and seniors; $5, Arts Council members WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Starring Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy McWilliams.

The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa will present the collaborative exhibit “Wash” at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center on July 11, 2014 from 5 – 8 p.m. This installation will feature large format sculptures, digital imagery and music created by visual artist Jamey Grimes and composer Rick Snow in the Black Box Theatre. The two artists will blend physical forms, digital images and sound to form one complete sensory experience. The forms, created by Grimes, are constructed of corrugated plastic which has been cut, melted and suspended from the ceiling. Several color groups exist, but the largest group of white and clear material was chosen and will be filled with original video using projection mapping techniques. The video is coordinated with Snow’s original music to create a living, changing environment that viewers can enter and explore. The abstract forms, colors, and sounds are inspired by nature, but remain open to viewer interpretation. Large enough to walk into, the viewer will be surrounded by light and sound within the installations. Video is generated by both artists and is derived from natural patterns, the shape of the sculpture and unique sounds performed during the event. Variations on this installation have been presented at the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center and the Chipola Center for the Arts in Mariana, Fla. Alternate sculpture and projection pieces from this series will be concurrently on display at Kentuck Art Center's T.E.M.P. Gallery for the month of July, located across the river in downtown Northport. Each time the work is installed, it is unique to its location. The July 11th presentation at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center will be the largest and most complex collaborative work to date. This performance is an extension of an exhibit in The Arts Council Gallery that will be on display from July 7 – 25. Grimes will fill the gallery with installations that utilize

color and form to create an environment for viewers to explore. The Arts Council Gallery hours are 9 a.m. – noon and 1 – 4 p.m. on weekdays. “My sculptures are fragments of a conversation with Nature. The dialogue can be hostile, soothing, or both. Storms, trees, and the sea personify heightened emotion, wisdom, and awareness. Reflecting on my own vivid experiences with nature, I realize that imagination plays a powerful role, transforming observations into unique, dream-like forms,” commented Grimes. In reference to his technique, Snow created a generative system where material and events can be spun out for an indeterminate amount of time without ever repeating. “At times I allow this system to directly create an experience for the audience. In other work I explore the way a performer or even an audience member might interact with the system and influence or even directly control the resulting materials through the use of microphones, sensors or cameras,” noted the composer. Jamey Grimes is a native of Tuscaloosa, where he is a full-time instructor in the Department of Art & Art History at The University of Alabama. He received a 2012 - 13 Visual Artist Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Grimes has shown his artwork extensively around the U.S. Rick Snow is a composer of acoustic and electronic music as well as a creator of multi-modal artworks of sound and light. Custom interactive computer sound and projection mapping instruments and installations comprise his most recent work. His work has been performed/exhibited in many venues in the United States as well as selectively in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Wales. A native of Tuscaloosa, he currently holds a Professor of Practice position at Tulane University in New Orleans where he is the Director of the Music Science and Technology Program.

Summer LEGO Camps at CHOM! WHEN: 9:30 a.m. COST: Non-members: $35, Members: $30 WHERE: Children’s Hands-On Museum PHONE: 349.4235 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Learn all about motors, robotics, and pneumatics and where power comes from. Learn how to program using ‘We Do’ Robotic software. ALSA Support Group WHEN: 6 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Hospice of West Alabama PHONE: 519.9030 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The Alabama Chapter was founded in late 2004 to serve the needs of those living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and their caregivers. The ALS Association sponsors seven ALS Support Groups in Alabama for ALS patients (PALS), their families, caregivers, friends and anyone interested in supporting the ALS community.


PHONE: 758.1257 DESCRIPTION: Children 9-12 are invited to learn basic hand building skills. Students will take home bug mugs, masks, leaf plates and bowls and face mugs.


Sundown Lecture Series WHEN: 5:15 p.m. COST: Preservation Society Members: Free; General public: $5. WHERE: Jemison Van de Graaff Mansion PHONE: 758.2238 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Since starting the organization Petals from the Past in 1994, Horticulturists Jason and Shelley Powell have applied contemporary techniques in growing old-garden plants along with new varieties. The topic for the lecture will be “how to propagate plants of the era." TPL Monthly Book Discussion WHEN: 5:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: TPL, Weaver Bolden Branch PHONE: 758.8291 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The Tuscaloosa Public Library will discuss Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Clay Days with Hayes Dobbins WHEN: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday COST: $95 WHERE: Kentuck’s Clay Place

THOUGHT ABOUT A CAREER CHANGE? Help Local Businesses Get More Customers! Sell Advertising Space in the Planet Weekly Experience is necessary. Please Call or Email Linda Johnson 205.792.7239 •

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

JUNE 26 + JULY 10








MONTGOMERY The Capitol Sounds Concert Band, The Davis Theater for Performing Arts

HUNTSVILLE Terry McNeal, Moe’s Original BBQ Blackbird, Bandito Burrito

NEW ORLEANS Weapon Head, Gasa Gasa Plastic Planets, Howlin’ Wolf

MONTGOMERY Shane Owens, Double Branch Hunting Delilah, Blue Iguana

NASHVILLE Vince Gill, Ryman Auditorium Old 97’s, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom Summerland Tour, Wildhorse Saloon

NEW ORLEANS Johnny Angel and Helldorado, Pour House Saloon NASHVILLE Mimosa and Two Fresh, Anthem


BIRMINGHAM Same As It Ever Was, Zydeco Damon Wayans, Comedy Club Stardome Super Bob, Iron Horse Café

MONTGOMERY Jonathan East Band, Blue Iguana NASHVILLE Katy Perry, Bridgestone Arena Dave Rawlings Machine, Ryman Auditorium Black Flag, Exit In Billy Joe Shaver, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill ATLANTA The Temptations and the Four Tops, Chastain Park Amphitheater Honeyhoney, The Masquerade NEW ORLEANS Justin Moore, Champions Square at MercedesBenz Superdome Cardinal Sons, Gasa Gasa

New Edition, Chastain Park Amphitheater NASHVILLE Yonder Mountain String Band, Ryman Auditorium Jamestown Revival, High Watt BIRMINGHAM Q Dot Davis, The Nick HUNTSVILLE Sage and the Saints, Rock House Eatery, Guntersville


HUNTSVILLE City Lights and Stars, Burritt Museum MONTGOMERY King Bee, Riverwalk Amphitheater


HUNTSVILLE Jim Parkers’ Songwriters Series, Von Braun Concert Hall Grandma’s Feather Bed, Renaissance Theater at Lincoln Center Peter Moon Band, London’s

BIRMINGHAM Tommy Emmanuel, BJCC Cannibal Corpse, Iron City Archnemesis, Zydeco Six Shot Revival, The Nick


ATLANTA Pat Benatar, Chastain Park Amphitheater Jose James, Variety Playhouse Jefferson Starship, The Villages Amphitheater

BIRMINGHAM George Lopez, Comedy Club Stardome

saturday, JUNE 28



ATLANTA Rebelution, Tabernacle A Wilhelm Scream, The Masquerade

NEW ORLEANS Ought and Dub Thompson, Gasa Gasa


NASHVILLE Burlap to Cashmere, Rocketown NEW ORLEANS Diarrhea Planet w/ Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, One Eyed Jacks Nothing More, Howlin’ Wolf The Foreign Exchange, Tipitina’s


NEW ORLEANS Magnetic Ear, Gasa Gasa

MONTGOMERY Beavers Brothers Band, Chuck’s Marina Timmeh, The Sandbar Modern Day Job, Head on the Door NASHVILLE The Paranormals, High Watt ATLANTA Jackyl, Wild Bill’s


NASHVILLE Swans, Exit In

ATLANTA Zak Waters, The Masquerade

ATLANTA D. I., The Masquerade

NASHVILLE Bad Suns, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill NEW ORLEANS Space Waster, Gasa Gasa


BIRMINGHAM Phantogram, WorkPlay Theater



BIRMINGHAM Catharsus, The Nick




HUNTSVILLE Chris Simmons, Sebastien’s on Main


BIRMINGHAM Touche Amore, Zydeco

NEW ORLEANS The Dear Hunter, House of Blues HUNTSVILLE Russell Gulley, Humphrey’s Gus Hergert, The Station Bar and Grill


ATLANTA Trapt, The Masquerade

BIRMINGHAM moe., Avondale Brewing Company

BIRMINGHAM Lindsey Sterling, Iron City Goatwhore, Zydeco

MONTGOMERY Tony Brook, Niffers at Lake Martin

ATLANTA Lionel Richie and Cee Lo Green, Chastain Park

HUNTSVILLE Beach Boys, Von Braun Concert Hall Everymen, Coppertop


>>> 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. 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


JUNE 26 + JULY 10

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




DID'JA KNOW? Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

So, celebrate! Have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July experience.

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

Buffalo Wild Wings // 523-0273

Gallettes // 758-2010

Jackie's Lounge // 758-9179

Rhythm & Brews // 750-2992

1831 // 331-4632

Capones // 248-0255

Gnemis Top Shelf Tavern // 343-0020

The Jupiter // 248-6611

Rounders // 345-4848

Alcove // 469-9110

Carpe Vino // 366-8444

Grey Lady // 469-9521

The Legacy // 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


JUNE 26 + JULY 10


>>> H I G H T I D E | S T E P H E N S M I T H


They carry the weight of the world on their shoulders from the players to the media, but it’s special to have a head coach that knows how to win through it all.

PHOTO: UA Athletics

10. Mike DuBose (1997-00) PHOTO: UA Athletics

PHOTO: UA Athletics

9. Mike Shula (2003-06) Shula took the reins as the Tide’s head coach after Mike Price was terminated in 2003. His finest coaching performance was in 2005. After a 6-6 season in 2004, Shula coached Alabama to a 10-2 record in 2005. He made three bowl appearances as the Tide’s head coach. (Alabama won the


JUNE 26 + JULY 10

6. William A. “Bill” Curry (1987-89)

8. Dennis Franchione (2001-02

PHOTO: UA Athletics

DuBose became Alabama’s head coach after Gene Stallings left in 1996. His best coaching seasons were in 1998 and 1999. In his second year, DuBose guided the Crimson Tide to a 7-5 season. In 1999, Alabama notched a 10-3 record under DuBose. DuBose won a SEC title with Alabama in 1999 and was named SEC Coach of the Year in the same season. He led the Tide to the 2000 FedEx Orange Bowl. (Alabama lost to Michigan 35-34) Alabama finished the 1999 season ranked No. 8 in the nation. DuBose guided the program to its first top-10 finish in five years. DuBose placed Shaun Alexander, Chris Samuels, Cornelius Griffin, Deshea Townsend, Curtis Alexander and Fernando Bryant in the National Football League. Overall, DuBose was 24-23 in his tenure at Alabama.

2006 Cotton Bowl 13-10 against Texas Tech) Under Shula, Alabama finished No. 8 in the nation in 2005. Shula placed 13 Crimson Tide players in the NFL, including DeMeco Ryans, Brodie Croyle, Roman Harper and Charlie Peprah. Overall, Shula was 26-23 in his tenure with the Tide.

In 1985, Perkins coached Alabama to a 9-2-1 season, including a 25-23 victory over Auburn in the 1985 Iron Bowl. The Crimson Tide defeated Southern California 24-3 (Aloha Bowl) in the same season. Alabama achieved a 10-3 season in 1986 under Perkins. The Crimson Tide defeated No. 12 Washington in the Sun Bowl 28-6. Perkins placed nine players in the NFL, including Joey Jones, Emanuel King and Jon Hand.

Franchione coached two seasons at the Capstone, but posted an overall record of 17-8. He led Alabama to winning record in his two seasons at the helm. In 2001, the Crimson Tide notched a 7-5 record under Franchione. Alabama defeated Iowa State 14-13 in the 2001 Independence Bowl. In his second season, Franchione guided the Tide to a 10-3 record. The Crimson Tide defeated Hawaii 2116 in the Aloha Bowl. Franchione placed Saleem Rasheed, Jason McAddley, Terry Jones and Freddie Milons in the NFL. 7. Walter R. Perkins (1983-86) Perkins succeeded the legendary Paul Bryant in 1983. In four seasons, Perkins compiled a 32-15-1 record. His best seasons were in 1985 and 1986.

PHOTO: UA Athletics

There's more to coaching than having a clipboard and calling plays. Coaches are mentors. They are called upon to groom and mature players into being better athletes and people. To be a successful head coach at Alabama requires three things: class, winning titles and strong recruiting skills. Of course, it’s always a plus to defeat Auburn as an Alabama head coach. Here is a list of the top 10 best coaches in Crimson Tide history.

Stallings was on Bryant’s staff for two national titles in 1961 and 1964. His best seasons were in 1991-92, 1994 and 1996. In 1992, Alabama defeated Florida 2821 and won an SEC title. Stallings guided the Tide to the 1993 Sugar Bowl against No. 1 Miami. Alabama defeated Miami 34-13 and notched its first national title since Bryant. Stallings coached the Crimson Tide to six SEC West Division titles (1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996). He won SEC Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1994. Stallings won numerous awards in 1992, including Walter Camp Coach of the Year, Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award. Stalling placed 29 players in the NFL including, Siran Stacy, Mark McMillian, John Copeland, Eric Curry, Derrick Lassic, Antonio Langham, David Palmer and Jay Barker. 4. Frank Thomas (1931-46)

PHOTO: UA Athletics

Curry became Alabama’s head coach in 1987. He posted a 26-10 record in three seasons as head coach. Curry’s finest coaching performance was in 1989. Alabama had a 10-2 record in 1989 and won a share of the SEC title. Curry was honored in 1989 as the SEC Coach of the Year and received the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award. He made bowl appearances in all three seasons. (Alabama won the 1998 Sun Bowl against Army 29-28) Curry’s 26-10 (72.2 percent) record gave him the highest winning percentage among Alabama coaches since Paul Bryant. Curry put 12 Crimson Tide players in the NFL, including Derrick Thomas, Keith McCants and Bobby Humphrey. 5. Eugene C. “Gene” Stallings (19901996) Stallings was a Bryant disciple. He was Alabama’s defense coordinator from 1958-64.

PHOTO: UA Athletics

Thomas took the helm at the Tide’s head coach in 1931. In 15 seasons, Thomas compiled a 115-24-7 record. Thomas never coached a losing season. His finest coaching season was in 1934 and 1941. Alabama finished the 1934 season undefeated (10-0) as SEC Co-Champions. Thomas coached the Crimson Tide to 1935 Rose Bowl Game. Alabama defeated Stanford in the Cory Whitsett Rose Bowl 29-13 and won a national title.

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

>>> HIGH TIDE | C O N T I N U E D In 1941, Thomas guided the Tide to a 9-2 season. Alabama defeated Texas A&M 29-21 in the Cotton Bowl Classic and notched a national title. Thomas made six bowl appearances as Alabama’s head coach, including wins in the Rose Bowl (1935, 1946), Cotton Bowl Classic (1942) and Orange Bowl (1943). He was the coach and mentor to Hall of Fame coach Paul Bryant. Thomas placed 47 players in the NFL, including Paul “Bear” Bryant. 3. Wallace Wade (1923-30)

(2008), Home Depot Coach of the Year (2008), Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year (2008) and Walter Camp Coach of the Year (2008). At Alabama, he’s a two-time SEC Coach of the Year recipient (2008, 2009). Overall, Saban has posted a 79-15 as Alabama’s head coach. Since 2007, Saban has put 44 Alabama players in the NFL Draft. 16 of the 44 players were first-round picks and four of them are Super Bowl Champions. 1. Paul W. “Bear” Bryant (1958-82)

The Planet Weekly has an opening for a local wine-sav-

PHOTO: UA Athletics

Wade became Alabama’s head coach in 1923. In seven seasons, Wade posted a 6113-3 record. His best coaching seasons were in 1925, 1926 and 1930. In all three seasons, Alabama won a national title under Wade. 2. Nicholas L. “Nick” Saban, Jr. (2007-present) PHOTO: UA Athletics

Saban took the helm as the Tide’s head coach in 2007. After finishing 7-6 in 2007, thing started to take shape for Saban and Alabama in 2008. His finest coaching performances thus far were in 2009, 2011 and 2012. The dynasty started for Alabama in 2008 under Saban. Alabama has won three national titles (2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons) in a fiveyear span. Under Saban, the Crimson Tide has brought in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation in six seasons. He’s coached Alabama’s lone Heisman winner, Mark Ingram (2009). Saban has collected numerous awards, including SN Coach of the Year

do you have the nose? and the palate?

vy writer/reviewer. In fact, we have openings for writers on subjects that our audience would enjoy... humor, technology, books, style, City Hall, social issues, PHOTO: UA Athletics

It’s been 31 years, yet Bryant is still the most revered public figure in Alabama sports history. He started as an assistant coach from 1936-40. Under Frank Thomas, Bryant compiled a 29-5-3 record at Alabama. In 1958, Bryant returned to Alabama and became the Tide’s head coach. In 25 seasons, Bryant was the epitome of class, winning and college football for Alabama. He compiled a 323-85-17 record with six national titles (1961, 1964-65, 1973, 1978-79). Bryant coached the Tide to 13 SEC titles (1961, 1964-66, 1971-75, 1977-79 and 1981). He was a 3x AFCA Coach of the Year recipient (1961, 1971 and 1973). At Alabama, Bryant was a 10x SEC Coach of the Year recipient (1961, 196465, 1971, 1973-74, 1977-79 and 1981). Bryant was the winningest head coach in college football history upon his retirement in 1982. He brought fashion to football with his signature houndztooth hat. Bryant placed 84 players in the NFL, including Joe Namath, Ken Stabler, Lee Roy Jordan, Ozzie Newsome, Ray Perkins, Johnny Musso Woodrow Lowe and Barry Krauss.

small business, local trends, music, theatre, the arts... You'd get serious exposure. You'd interact with other dedicated writers and editors. You'd meet interesting people. You might even become famous. But that's not the point. You'd be writing for our readers. This is what it's all about. So think about it. If you can write, if you can critique, if you can ask good questions, if you can investigate, if you can report, or help people, then we'd like to hear from you. Email Please be sure to attach a sample of your writing. We're also looking for a person who'd like to sell advertising space for us. Just call 205.792.7239.

“It’s not the will to win that matters— everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” ~ Paul "Bear" Bryant ~

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

JUNE 26 + JULY 10


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


Over the years since it was first published in 1900, there have been dozens of reimaginings on "The Wizard of Oz." From the 1939 film starring screen legend Judy Garland, to the current hit movie, "Oz: The Great and Powerful," starring James Franco and Mila Kunis. In recent years, there has been a trend of warped lands-a-twisted present or future where the loveable characters we remember are remade into something more sinister and everything is backwards. It’s not surprise that in 2007, SyFy, the top science fiction and fantasy channel, aired a dystopian Oz called "Tin Man" starring Zooey Deschanel and Alan Cumming. "Tin Man" was about D.G. (Deschanel), a midwestern waitress who finds out her family isn’t what it seems when she’s cast into a tornado by her father to escape the “Long Coats” who are chasing her. She’s deposited into a broken down and dead world referred to as The O.Z.- a once beautiful and lush land. Now, under the reign of Azkadellia, The O.Z. is a land of control and terror, where the local wildlife is vicious and bloodthirsty, and so are the people. She meets Glitch (Cumming), a brilliant scientist and former advisor to the old queen of The O.Z., who had his brain removed, a former security officer, or “Tin Man” named Wyatt Cain, and a psychic but cowardly lion named Raw. Together they embark on a journey to Center City, each after different things, but with one common purpose-stop Azkadellia from destroying The O.Z. "Tin Man" has some very familiar faces, and some not so familiar. The most noticable is Zooey Deschanel. The dark haired, blue eyed actress leads the cast of "New Girl," runs a website called, and has her own band, She & Him. Alan Cumming, who plays Glitch, is best known for being a Broadway actor in shows like "Cabaret," and for his role in movies such as "Burlesque" and "Spy Kids." Wyatt Cain is played by Neal McDonough, who not only played in "Captain America: The First Avenger" as Timothy Dugan, but also tried his hand at video game voicing when he voiced The Flash in the popular video game "Injustice: Gods Among Us." Kathleen Robertson, who plays the sorceress Azkadellia, has appeared on various television shows and has been in a smattering of movies, the biggest name movie being "Scary Movie 2" as the sex bomb Theo. Though not many have heard of it, "Tin Man" was not ignored by the media. In 2008 it won 6 primetime Emmy’s for outstanding makeup, art direction, costumes, editing, styling, and overall outstanding mini series. It was nominated for 17 other various awards. Critics also awarded praise to the mini series, as the New York Times called it “An ‘Oz’ for a new gilded age”. Be warned, however. "Tin Man" may not be suitable for all ages, as it contains references to drug use, some strong language, and non gory violence. "Tin Man" is available for purchase on Amazon, and is also available for stream on Netflix.


JUNE 26 + JULY 10



weekly overview



A change in your financial situation could see you pondering some fresh ideas. As Mercury continues its retrograde phase, you might want to rethink your budget or figure out the best way to save money without cutting back too much. The New Moon in Cancer on Friday may be very helpful for you, encouraging you to make a fresh start in any area you choose. Take it easy over the weekend, as someone with a hidden agenda may seem overly friendly. Have a good plan in place, because some parts of this week could cause you to feel somewhat unsettled. Perhaps a friendship is a cause for concern, or a love interest seems to prefer to be alone rather than with you. Short trips bring pleasure, as does participation in group activities. Sweet words of love can make a relationship come alive. However, you will need to trust your intuition and let your desires take you where they will.

Major plans could encounter challenges before they get underway, as conflict between family and career could cause trouble. However, Venus in your spiritual sector enhances your relationship with yourself, so you may find the courage to stand firm. The New Moon in Cancer is the best time to come to grips with a plan that could be a game changer. There are romantic opportunities this weekend, but don't take someone's word as gospel. If your creative This might not be the best time to ask favors, as others may seem indifferent. An edgy link midweek suggests that certain folks may need space, and they could have a desire to do their own thing. Yet, when it comes to romance, you'll be at your flirtatious best. Whether you're in a long-term relationship or looking for love, social events can add sparkle to the days ahead. The New Moon on Friday is perfect for starting a new spiritual practice, such as meditation or yoga. Career matters benefit from more interaction with key people. Perhaps an informal meeting could help you make the right impression. Take it easy midweek, particularly if you feel stressed. A conscious effort to slow down could make it easier to focus. However, if you're living on your nerves it might help to book a massage or spa treatment as a way to soothe ruffled feathers. Friday brings a chance of new beginnings in a social setting. Perhaps it's time to move in new circles? You may need all the patience you can muster, especially early in the week. Certain folks could let you down and be disruptive. Yet being pushed out of your comfort zone in this way might encourage you to give as good as you get. Perhaps it's time to stand up to someone who's been doing this for too long. A New Moon in your career sector on Friday brings an opportunity for a fresh start, whether it's a new job, contract, or idea for a business.

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

Anxious feelings could leave you needing to retreat. Perhaps it's time to relax and work on stress-busting techniques, especially on Wednesday. Far horizons call with a focus on travel, learning, and expanding your options. This week brings a special opportunity to move outside your comfort zone. In particular, the New Moon brings a two-week window of opportunity in which to make a fresh start. Be careful in romance this weekend. All that glitters may not be gold. Certain friendly ties could be more of a burden than usual, particularly if they're argumentative. Be the best friend you can be, but don't expect the same treatment in return. However, the same folks could revert to their usual open and supportive selves in few days. Think about making a fresh start with shared finances. Friday's New Moon brings opportunities to consolidate debt and make radical changes where necessary. Keep receipts if buying big-ticket items this weekend. You may be curious to explore options for new contracts, jobs, and work in general. With Mercury in Gemini and making some spectacular aspects this week, it's a good time to advertise your skills and services, apply for interviews, and get things up and running in general. There is also a lot happening on the home front, with the chance of a surprise visitor showing up. Socializing and home entertainment can be fun and delightful, with plenty to anticipate. A dream or moment of quiet contemplation could bring inspiration, thanks to your intuition. When it comes to family affairs, a friend could suggest a radical solution that you might want to adopt. Kindness, sympathy, and good feelings abound, making for easy relationships. Friday's New Moon can be perfect for starting a diet or fitness routine, particularly if you're eager to get a beach-ready body. A romantic opportunity could be too good to miss on Saturday.

Don't take it personally if someone backs out of a commitment. This is one of those weeks when disruptions can occur right when you don't need them. Midweek may need special attention, as an impulsive desire to shop could affect your finances. If you can't stick to a budget, take a friend with you who can intervene at the right moment. The weekend seems made for romance, but try not to get stuck with someone who is a bit of a drain.

Strengthen relationship ties and pursue partnership interests through understanding and listening. Though you're willing to discuss key matters, midweek may be a test of your patience. You might feel you've reached a point of no return regarding a certain person. However, a chance to clear the air and come to grips with the central issue could make it easier to cooperate on a range of matters. Start home-based DIY projects on Friday to coincide with the New Moon.


JUNE 26 + JULY 10



Across 1. Alphabetically first pop group with a #1 hit 5. Bogart classic "Key ___" 10. Struck, old style 14. Buckwheat pancake 15. Encore 16. "Have a ___ day" 17. Source of unexpected problems 19. "The Green Man" novelist Kingsley 20. Kipling's ___ Khan 21. Visible 23. Completely, after "from" 26. Spoken tribute 27. Game requiring delicate lifting 32. Time for the history books 33. Browns 34. Volley of gunfire 38. Actor-musician Arnez 40. Ivan and Boris 42. Flooring wood 43. "Here am ___ me": Isaiah 45. Alters 47. High ____ kite 48. Auto mechanic 51. Traditional ark site 54. Exam for a wannabe D.A. 55. Watercolor with gum 58. Martinez of the Mets 62. "___ She Lovely" 63. Dental mold 66. Altar event 67. King of Thebes, in myth 68. Joined two loose ends 69. Decreasingly 70. H.S. class 71. Highest number on the dice Down 1. Kindergarten books. 2. Vapid


JUNE 26 + JULY 10

3. Stem 4. Arctic jacket 5. Statute 6. Way back when 7. ____ avis 8. Walking difficulty 9. With no assurance of payment 10. Reacts angrily toward 11. Outdated copier 12. Danish topper 13. Irritable and impatient 18. Womb occupant 22. Northern diving birds 24. 11-member cartel 25. One of the Gabors 27. Kind of cure 28. Makes mad 29. Project for Poirot 30. Animal catchers 31. Knesset member's home 35. Plumbing problem 36. Ornamental receptacle 37. Initial 39. Thankless types 41. Sylvia __-, British leading lady 44. Film figure with fangs, for short 46. Ivory, Coast et al. 49. Study of morals 50. Bikini trials, briefly 51. "If I Had ___ Like You" (1925 hit) 52. ____ the Riveter 53. Em, Polly and Rhody 56. Irish republic 57. X-ray ___ (kids' goggles) 59. 503, at the Forum 60. Female red deer 61. Wave, to a Frenchman 64. 1973 Supreme Court decision name 65. At wit's ___

All winners will receive an email with information as to where to pick up their prizes. No purchase is necessary. In the event of a tie, winners will be chosen at random. A total of up to 10 prizes will be awarded. Contest ends on July 11, 2014.


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

>>> CO R R E C T I O N |


Photo by Michael Palmer

Price Hamilton Bagby

Josh Thomas

In issue #460 of the Planet Weekly, which covered from May 29 through June 12, we made an error in the Ham Ham Jam Jam story on page 27 of that issue. Trey Brooks, our music editor, had written a fine tribute about Ham and the groups that participated in this 6th annual event held at Egan's on the Strip. In searching for an authorized photo of the artist, however, our graphics person goofed; he mistakenly chose a picture of Ham Bagby's look-alike, Josh Thomas, thinking it was Ham minus the bushy beard. Well, Josh was amused and made the article his profile picture on his Facebook page. It got a lot of likes. The remarkable resemblance to each other has resulted in this kind of confusion before, according to Ham. As writer Trey Brooks said, "Ham Ham Jam Jam VI showed just how much Tuscaloosa appreciates its musical heroes. Ham Bagby will continue to be an inspiration to future musicians in and around town. Due to the nature of college bands being around for only a short time, it’s always refreshing to know some things never change, and some artists will grace the scene for years to come." We meant no disrespect with this innocent error, and apologize for any confusion it may have caused.

Alabama State Nurses Association Recognizes Shelton State Nursing Faculty The Alabama State Nurses Association, District 2, recognized four Shelton State Community College nursing instructors at a reception at DCH Regional Medical Center recently. Kim I. Smith, Vicki Hannah, Julie Jones, and Lauren Yeager were awarded Citations of Excellence for outstanding service and exceptional commitment in the profession of nursing. Arlene Morris, the state president of the Alabama State Nurses Association, was the keynote speaker.

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

JUNE 26 + JULY 10


>>> M U S I C | CO N T I N U E D FR O M PAG E 6 state, and perhaps even the region. As a young professional, what are your thoughts on this? RB: Well, I grew up listening to 70s vinyl and appreciating the older types of music. I feel like kids and young adults growing up now are being exposed to music that just lacks... well... everything. There are no roots the music can tie back to unless, of course, it's a cover song. Artists get forgotten and people don't tend to seek out what's not on the radio. It's easier that way. It requires no effort on their part. Which is exactly what the next generations are all about. PW: We thought the Debbie Bond Trio gave an outstanding performance at the Rock House last Thursday evening. Did you enjoy the show? RB: I thoroughly enjoyed the show and the food was excellent. It was nice to Darrell Tibbs, well-known percussionist who has toured just take it all in. I really felt or recorded with the Neville Bros., Kenny Loggins, Donna Summer, The Moody Blues Band, Michael McDonald, the privileged to have gotten to Huntsville and Muscle Shoals Orchestras, just to name few. hear Darrell Tibbs [the Today he resides in Huntsville and joins the Debbie Bond percussionist with the trio]. I Trio when they play in north Alabama. heard he recorded with the Neville Brothers. How cool is that? When we got out everyone's canopies were PW: Any thoughts to add to this interblown over and I heard that people took view as we close? shelter in the building. It passed over real RB: Sure. Thanks for coming up to me quick and the music just resumed like nothand asking to share my story. ing had happened. PW: Thanks so much for talking with PW: Do you go to a lot of other music us and for your interest in and support of events? these important local artists. RB: I really don't go to any large festivals. I guess I don't see the fun in that. I love low key, small venues. I usually avoid big arenas too. I like the setting to be more intimate. It's more special that way. It's all about the connection between you, the friends you meet, and the musicians who drove hundreds of miles to play just for you. PW: You said you were a fan of longtime bluesman R. L. Burnside. How did you become exposed to the music of him and others like him? RB: I discovered R.L.'s music from a friend of mine. He had the 'Wish I was Rachel Bolton in Heaven Sittin' Down' album and I was hooked. From there I started seeking out other artists like him. PW: You describe yourself as an amateur photographer, although that's a nice piece of equipment you use. What type of camera do you shoot with and how long have you been at this hobby? RB: I have a Nikon D5000, a DSLR. I’ve had mine since 2010. I'm still learning how to use it. Before that I used early digital 'point-and-shoot's' and even further back - 35mm. I was 16 when I started using disposable cameras. I'd also like to add that photographing people candidly can be very difficult because it's all about predicting their next move. PW: A big part of Debbie Bond's message has been that Alabaman's are too often unaware of the blues legacy of the Richard Bolton and Teddy


JUNE 26 + JULY 10



The genuine automatic and guaranteed profanity cut-off switch has served me well in life. For sixty years, it has kept me out of much trouble…and maybe caused more trouble at certain times. Let me expound briefly. First thing I learn on Day One of being an actor—at the age of 13—is, don’t carry who you are onto the stage. Save it for backstage. This means that if you flub a line during a live performance, you don’t curse aloud. To do so, back in these olden days, will mean instant dismissal. Flub a line, just keep on talking till you find that line, thus making the other actors breathe sighs of relief. When something—anything—goes wrong during performance, don’t burden the audience with it. The show must go on! I carry this bit of wisdom with me when I begin appearing on live radio shows, then again on live television programs. Flubs are acceptable. Losing It is not acceptable. It is easier on the radio, since you can simply flip a switch on the microphone, burst forth with a profanity or a sneeze, then switch it back on and continue as if nothing happened—the audience being none the wiser. During television shows, you can’t control the sound, so you just repress the urge. In later life, after the broadcasting career, this little bit of enforced behavior stands me in good stead. When speaking before customers or in front of audiences, I am unable to curse involuntarily. To do so would make the audience uncomfortable, cause the subject at hand to become sidetracked, and generally ruin my timing and pacing—both of which are key to good conversation, good expounding. To whom do I owe this early wisdom, this enforced behavior? Well, in early broadcasting, my mentors were Harriett Rowand, Don Rollins and Joe Langston. In The Theatre, there were folks like Marian Gallaway, Frank Stallworth, Bill Fegan. I at least got to thank Joe Langston and Don Rollins for their help. I am guilty of never going back to thank the rest. It seems that these tiny bits of knowledge, almost unnoticed when born, become bigger and more influential as time goes by. Therefore, in my lifelong archives of columns and stories and true tales, let it be known that my thanks is sincere. Don Rollins Joe Langston Just saying


©2014 by Jim Reed

>>> MUSIC | trey brooks


It’s an interesting thing when you can quite literally watch an artist grow. Sometimes the ascent is quite rapid. Many in Tuscaloosa can remember seeing the Alabama Shakes playing at local bars and then opening for Neil Young in less than a year. But more often than not, the growth of an artist is a very slow process. While this may mean they have to wait for the fruit of their labors to become ripe, it also means a loyal fanbase that will stick with you after the critical praise and mainstream radio are gone. It’s that type of foundation that can lead to a long, impactful career in music. In several ways, Umphrey’s McGee appears to be one of those bands on the rise. Their name keep creeping towards the top of festival lineups, and their choice of venues is growing to include larger crowds. But those who have followed UM can tell you the success has been over a decade in the making. This is a group that formed back in the late 1990’s at Notre Dame before relocating to Chicago. Their main introduction to larger audiences came at the very first Bonnaroo in 2002, and they have been welcomed back to the festival several times as it has grown, including playing the main stage at this year’s event. They have also formed a partnership with the band moe. to host another wildly successful music festival: Summercamp. On August 28th, Umphrey’s McGee will return to play in Tuscaloosa, and their growth can be noted by which venue they will perform in. Twice in the past they played the Bama Theatre. Given Umphrey’s impressive light show and the artist’s proximity to the crowd, both performances were filled with energy, maybe even too much. The crowds at those shows got wild, even leading to some audience members trying to climb on stage and scaffolding. I would venture to say that the management at the Bama did not approve. Still, the shows were fun and the band played well. However, two years ago they played on campus for Greekfest, opening for Nelly. The show was short, and the crowd was not very into the group. It was easily their worst performance I’ve seen. However, in August they will be playing at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheatre. There will certainly be a major difference going from a 1,000-seat theatre like the Bama to a 7,000-seat outdoor-amphitheater. But Umphrey’s are no strangers to these types of venues as most of their career has been spent doing outdoor festivals all over the country. But the move still puzzles me with regards to the management at the Amp. This is a venue that struggles to sell out for much more well-known acts. No doubt UM carries a much less expensive price tag, but I wonder just how many tickets they can sell for a Thursday show. Certainly the return of University students for fall semester helps as they will be the target audience, but the choice remains odd. However, I will be there nonetheless. This is one of my favorite bands to see live and I can’t pass up the opportunity to see them in Tuscaloosa again. I wonder if the upward momentum of their name will continue, and I wonder just what impression they will leave on the Amp. Still, I will enjoy the music while it lasts. Just like success could always be just around the corner, so too could be the end of a group.





JUNE 26 + JULY 10



JUNE 26 + JULY 10

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