Showing posts from August, 2013

Warren St. John's insight on the soul of Alabama's maybe-not-so enigmatic coach

The Saban profile itself in GQ.

Interview with Birmingham native Warren St. John concerning his profile of Alabama's Nick Saban, which now available online at (link) |
Great writing, including one of those magnificently lucky moments at the end in which the author happens to catch the perfectly telling moment.

Of course, those moments aren't luck. They don't just happen. You have to be there. You have to be listening.  And most importantly, you have to reconstruct a map of story to arrive there at just the right point.

Barton Beach Perry Lakes Park, near Marion

Scenes from Barton Beach and Perry Lakes Park in Perry County. More photos available of this remarkable spot.

'Southern League': Birmingham Barons Break Racial Divide : NPR

An NPR story on The Barons' first integrated team, drawing from an interview with Larry Colton, the author of a new book, Southern League, which tells the story of the Barons and their integration.

Link: 'Southern League': Birmingham Barons Break Racial Divide : NPR:

New Birmingham Barons Stadium named Ballpark of the Year

News release announcing the selection.

Excerpt: "The 2013 Ballpark of the Year is ... Regions Field in downtown Birmingham. This new ballpark is so special that it would've won no matter what year it opened

Complete Review of the field by

Doggie Work Day This Saturday, Back By Popular Demand!

For those of you with dogs who want another dog park in the region, this weekend you have a chance to help build one.

Doggie Work Day This Saturday, Back By Popular Demand!: Last month, Red Mountain Park announced the groundbreaking of Remy's Dog Park thanks to the generosity of community leader Ken Jackson! Volunteers from across Birmingham stepped up to the plate and did an amazing job prepping the future site of Remy's Dog Park! 90 volunteers contributed over 210 hours of service to benefit our furry friends! Two acres were cleared, but this is going to be the biggest dog park in the region at a whopping 6 acres!

You asked for another chance to get out and help prep for the pups, so we're offering two more shifts ...this Saturday, August 17. You can come either 7:00 am - 10:00 am or 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Email or call (205) 202-6043 to secure your spot today!

National Blog features Greensboro Bamboo Bike Project

Link: An Alabama Town Revives Local Manufacturing With Bamboo Bikes | Co.Exist | ideas impact:

Exceprt: "A group of activists and artisans in the small Alabama town of Greensboro (population 2,497) are bucking the trend of declining manufacturing and unemployment across the South with an unlikely solution: making high-end bikes from bamboo grown on the side of the road."

Homewood council committee discusses plans for pedestrian bridge, trails linking city to Birmingham, Mountain Brook |

There is talk about a collaborative plan to link the Homewood, Mountain, and Birmingham with a pedestrian-bicycle network, something that is long overdue.

Link: Homewood council committee discusses plans for pedestrian bridge, trails linking city to Birmingham, Mountain Brook |

HOMEWOOD, Alabama -- Cyclists, runners and pedestrians could soon have a clear over the mountain, around the zoo and -- safely -- above U.S. Highway 280 if local elected officials get their wish.

NPR: Determined To Reach 1963 March, Teen Used Thumb And Feet

NPR's Morning Edition interviews Gadsden Councilman about his trip to The March on Washington.

Link: Determined To Reach 1963 March, Teen Used Thumb And Feet : NPR: Robert Avery was 15 years old when he hitchhiked from Gadsden, Ala., to Washington D.C. He was interviewed by several news organizations about his trip and is seen briefly in The March, a documentary film made by filmmaker James Blue for the United States Information Agency.

The New Yorker on Bessemer's Thorton Dial and his Advocate from Atlanta Bill Arnett

To read this article in the New Yorker by by Paige Williams, you'll need a New Yorker subscription, or you can go out and buy this week's edition on the newsstand.

Link: Bill Arnett, Thornton Dial, and the Black Vernacular Art of the American South : The New Yorker

The article features artist Thornton Dial, who is eighty-four and lives in Bessemer, Alabama, and explores his relationship with Bill Arnett, the Atlanta-based advocate for outsider art. It also mentions Lonnie Holley of Birmingham and explores Arnett's relationship with the Southern black artists he champions. Arnett has been the subject some critical pieces. This piece paints him as unselfish and well-intentioned, though sometimes difficult. It is a nice read, especially about Mr. Dial, who finally again seems to be on the verge of getting his due as a major American artist.

Annie Laura Burton, seamstress for the Homewood High School Band, has the job all sewn up (photos, video) |

Great piece and great photos.

Link: Annie Laura Burton, seamstress for the Homewood High School Band, has the job all sewn up (photos, video) |

"Annie Laura Burton, 84, has been the seamstress for the Homewood Patriot Marching Band for 41 years. Since 1972, she’s been hemming and stitching, securing buttons and letting out seams, pinning a tuck here and altering a cuff there."

New York Times recognizes BHAM revival - A Return to Downtown Birmingham -

Get on board the Greater Birmingham Bandwagon.

Link: A Return to Downtown Birmingham -


"Long scarred as the site of brutal civil rights struggles and decades of industrial collapse, downtown Birmingham, Ala., has struggled to attract new business or visitors, even from its own region.

But some recent efforts give the city a bit of hope."

My comment: It's a little more than a bit, and it's a little more than hope. But we'll take what we can get.

Growing tomatoes in Mobile has led to a life of crime (Bill Finch) |

Tomatoes rapidly growing tomatoes have landed Mobile naturalist and writer in trouble.

Link: Growing tomatoes in Mobile has led to a life of crime (Bill Finch) |

Excerpt: "Matter of fact, the tomatoes have gotten so big and are so uncharacteristically healthy, they seem to have attracted the attention of the city's Urban Development Department."