Thursday, October 14, 2010

prattville and birmingham, alabama

so if you are following, you know i picked a very cute town to stay in outside of montgomery - prattville, alabama.  the b & b was great and super comfortable and i slept in instead of getting up to run.  and i forgot to mention the breakfast was not only delicious, but served on fancy china w/a really nicely set table.  so here are some views of the town.

 cute shopping area

think one of my b&b hosts said this was a textile mill

old building

 there is a space in the little downtown where a building was knocked down and it was made into an adorable little park

cool architecture

FABULOUS tasting water!

fountain in another little park

the mill again

a lot of the trees down south had really interesting bark like this.

the park again.  this time i didn't have to avoid a photo shoot!
 little topiary monkey riding a bike!  complete w/hat.

then it was on to birmingham, alabama.  i went to see the civil rights institute and the 16th street baptist church (where the four little girls were killed in a bombing.)  i am kind of glad the church was not open that day for tours, b/c i think it would have been a little much.  it is horrific enough learning about the many murders without actually visiting the sites.  but i am glad i got to see the outside.

there were so many bombings in birmingham during the 60s that it earned the nickname bombingham.  i am pretty sure i read that there were nearly 50.  yes, that is five zero.

a city park in birmingham called kelly ingram park was the site of many of the confrontations during civil rights demonstrations.  the dogs, fire hoses, etc. and there are some statues depicting those events.  the public safety guy "bull" connor was a psycho it seems.  ringing the park and in other parts of downtown as well, there are displays describing different events.

 i just noticed the reflection of my flip-flopped foot in that one.  birmingham was very segregated and one of the actions was boycotting stores that were discriminating.

the displays also had quotes from the time.  and cut-outs of people.

the center of the park

 this is kenny.  he was at the 16th street baptist church during the bombing.  he was 14.  he wasn't super near where the bomb blew apart the walls but he was in the church and got blown a couple feet.  he told me that the street was blocked off and that the police were not allowing ambulances near.  his father was at the church too and later took him to a hospital to get checked out.  he was not hurt, just very shaken up he said.  he is homeless.  i gave him $5 b/c he said he was hungry.  he is training to be a tour guide at the civil rights institute.  (i wasn't totally shocked b/c i was talking to a worker at the bbking museum and we got talking about alabama and he said another visitor told him about being at a birmingham museum where his guide was a homeless guy.)  i asked him if an agency was helping him to find housing and i think the sum of his answer was "sort of." there are some new places about 1/2 way built that he thinks he will be eligible to get into.  he said he is still in touch w/people he demonstrated with as a teenager.  black and white he told me.  he was sure to tell me that although bad things happened to him during the civil rights movement he never gave up.

 this photography exhibit was great.  all portraits.  i am pretty sure that is sarah vaughan on the poster.

statue of the reverend fred shuttlesworth, a leader in the civil rights movement.  i saw a letter to him from president obama somewhere and obama said "i stand on your shoulders."  his house was bombed.  and a mob of klansmen attacked him after he tried to integrate one of the schools by enrolling his children there.  he was knocked unconscious.  President Clinton awarded him a presidential citizens medal.  in 2008 the birmingham airport was renamed the birmingham - shuttlesworth airport!

 the 16th street baptist church

 spike lee did a documentary on the bombing.  i think it is called four little girls.

this was a great museum.  and had the most comprehensive exhibits showing a timeline of the entire span of the movement.  the exhibits showed what was going on nationally as well as what was going on specifically in birmingham.  

 statue of martin luther king in the park

 a depiction of kids being sprayed by firehoses

 a depiction of the attack dogs used on demonstrators

had to eat at ANOTHER dreamland bbq it was so incredibly good!!!  thankfully my gps steered me correctly to this one.  i can't even explain how good this sauce is.  it is kind of sweet but also tangy.  and they serve slices of soft white bread w/a big container of the sauce!!  yum!!!  i wish the waitress would not have told me that they ship their sauce....oh, and i tried chicken instead of ribs and it was equally delicious.  the mac cheese is super good.  and the baked beans were to die for.

next entry:  the great smoky mountains national park!!!!
and i will try to do new orleans today or tomorrow!!

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