Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ponderings 2

These peanut butter cups weren’t that great but I wanted something sweet to eat. As I progressed on my sugar high, I decided to read the label not for nutrients but to see where they were manufactured. I'm leery of buying things made in China.

On their website under contact is listed. Fred's Inc.

Attn: Service Center

4300 New Getwell Road

Memphis, TN 38118

There I was eating chocolate candy, loaded with carbs, calories and fat manufactured on Getwell, Road.

For those smokers who are in a hurry or don't want to get out of the car in the rain for a pack of smokes or other tobacco products,

there's Drive Thru window .

** Let Everybody Know It's Your Birthday! click photos to enlarge

In case you can't see it, "Sakes Alive General Is 65"

click photo to enlarge

More Landscaping Gone Wild!


Gardendale Library has a 3D metal sculpture of a person reading.

There are no pine trees near the sculpture so...

Who provided these lovelies?

Picture 1, "I need a laxative."

Picture 2, "I'll just sit here on the [toilet] and read until something happens."

That's it***

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My niece (AM) treated me to my first meal at an authentic French restaurant. She’d been there before and told me how much she enjoyed it the fabulous food.
I made sure I knew where it was before our set day of meeting. I also wanted get an outside picture so that I could blog about it here. I got the picture and also deleted it by mistake. So the photos you see are other people's photos coming from the WEB.

I was impressed with the shabby chic decor. High ceilings, open air atmosphere. Though it was a beautiful day we dined inside as opposed to
al fresco as many Parisians do.
The wait staff was neatly attired and knowledgeable about the menu selections.
AM and I ordered different meals so that we could taste each others. That way you get more exposure to what’s available.
I made sure that I didn’t eat too much earlier in the day so that I’d have a cleansed palate for the evening meal. Not only was my palate cleansed, I was starving. Had the appetizer been a fancy name for fried chitterlings with pineapple sauce, I probably would have eaten it and I don’t eat chitterlings.

Our appetizer was a group of tiny fried balls of something with a pink sauce drizzled around it. It was similar to a crab cake only smaller and round. It was delicious. We were also given a small basket of bread about the size of melba toast along with what tasted like honey butter. Delish also.
AM ordered duck w/fruit red sauce. Her sides included a potato gnocchi and something else I don’t remember.
I had the herb roasted lamb, along with cabbage prepared in a different way and the ratatouille.
We tasted each others meals. The meats were seasoned well and very tender. Everything was scrumptious.

Before we received our meals chef Jean Evens Estinfort came to our table and greeted us with, “Bon soir. Comment-allez vous?”
After having had French in high school and college, all I could come up with was, “Com ci, com ca,”(sp???) I was trying to answer swiftly so that I would seem to be fluent in the language. Now I don’t know if it was French or Spanish.
Chef Estinfort was gracious though. He didn’t comment on whether I’d committed a faux pas (more French) or not. The three of us chatted for a while about France and my desire to someday go there and what to expect. He assured us that it is safe and if we ever decide to go he’d give us the names of some of his friends.
The other chef is Serge Pambo. They are cousins. Both have an impressive culinary background.
AM and I had dessert. She had something that looked like strawberry cheesecake with cake and a fluffy top to it. I had the homemade tart with fresh fruits. It wasn’t too sweet and tasted as if it may have been sweetened with honey.
I took my camera in order to get shots of our meals but that thought went right out of the window once our meals arrived. Though I was eating primly, I was starving like a refugee from a third world country. By the time I thought of taking a picture the meal was half gone.
AM and I laughed and talked about a lot of things. She can have you holding your side from laughing at all of the funny things she says. I had a magnificent time.
Props for the photos
Au revoir***

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wilkerson School

Wilkerson Elementary School 11-6-1959

Wilkerson School
From BPL digital collections

So enthralled was I with the movie premiere for Barber of Birmingham that I went on a full fledged nostalgia trip. You’ll notice that nostalgia is a part of my profile. I started out by visiting my elementary school. I didn’t have an appointment and couldn’t get irritated had I been turned away.
Wilkerson School's Namesake

From BPL Digital Collections
Malachi Wilkerson (1884-1934), a teacher at Industrial High School for 25 years, was the choral music director and head of the manual training department.
Birmingham's Wilkerson Elementary School was named in his honor.
*Born in Birmingham, Alabama on January 8, 1884 Member of first graduating class of Industrial High School in 1904
*Attended Alabama A & M University and Tuskegee Institute
*Joined the Industrial High School faculty in 1911
*Served as choir director at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
*Organized and directed immensely popular singing events for the community
*Died in Birmingham, Alabama on March 28, 1935
I happened upon the school nurse whom I know personally. We hadn’t seen each other in a while so amiable chatter and catching up ensued. After telling her why I was there she began to direct me to the Principal’s office. About that time one of the parent volunteers walked up saying she was headed to “the office.”

DIGRESSION :I’ve noticed that if a student is told to go to “the office” he/she isn’t usually in trouble. Things are calm. But if a student is told to go the “Principal’s Office!” that’s not a good thing and unpleasantness is on the horizon.

She (school nurse) introduced me to Ms. Tarrant (parent volunteer) and it turns out I know Ms. Tarrant's brother. I remember double dating with her brother MT and his date. (I don’t remember her name) and my date, JW . I don’t remember the whole date but I do remember going to Baskin-Robbins in Five Points West Shopping Center toward the end of the date. Baskin- Robbins always had exotic ice cream flavors . I got ginger ice cream. I really liked the flavor. My date didn’t like it at all.

The Principal, Ms. Constance Burns was very cordial. I told her I was a part of the first grade class when Wilkerson School opened. The classes went from first to eighth grade. Kindergarten was not a part of the public school system at that time.

First Grade. Do the math if it's that important to you

I asked if I could take a few pictures and also stated that I wouldn't take any pictures of the students. She agreed and offered to show me around.

Needless to say, nothing looked the way it did back then.

I didn’t really expect it to.

The school was designed with two staggered, open, overlooking tiers. Third floor could look over to second floor and second floor could look down to first floor. First grade and some second grades were on first floor. Second and third grade were on second floor/tier. Third floor held fourth ,fifth and sixth grades. The yellow wall to the right was open with decorative fencing for safety purposes.

Wilkerson was closed for a number of years I think in the 1980’s but, later reopened with an entire revamping.
This room was locked but it appears to be where our Art room and Library once were. Art teacher, Mrs. Patton. Librarian, Mrs. Robinson and later Mrs. Jones. Mrs. Robinson is the mother of Carole Robinson. She was one of the four girls killed at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
I remember this as the Seventh and Eighth Grade hall. Also the Music room was there. Mrs. Crowell was the music teacher.

Here's something that we didn't have. An elevator! Accommodations weren't made for the physically challenged back then. Any other types of challenges weren't really addressed either. I'm glad that now everyone has an equal chance to succeed to their individual fullness.

The back of the school is somewhat similar to the old days. (yes, I said it) The window facade is different. No twisting and pulling forward to open windows. The door and walkway to the left originally opened to the Science room, Mr. Foster and the Band room, Mr. Jones, followed by Mr. Williams.
Here are some of the student's dioramas displayed on the wall in the school's entrance way

I'm not familiar with this book. Sounds interesting. I'll have to read it.
This appears to be a story quilt. Probably each person contributed a square depicting their interpretation of a story.

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Diary of Anne Frank
These are great books for use when teaching children about injustice and oppression.

The school is painted in bright cheerful colors. It is clean. The students were well mannered with none loitering about.

I thanked Principal Burns for the tour.

I've been working on this post for a while. As sometimes is true Blogger has become temperamental and will not allow me to spell check or add any additional photos.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Barber of Birmingham

Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement

I don’t have a bucket list but some people do. Possibly on some bucket lists may be, “Attend a movie premiere.” I had that privilege last Thursday, March 2nd at the Alabama Theatre. Advertised as a black tie (optional) affair, the documentary was free and open to the public. There was no way I wanted to miss this event since I grew up during this era living in the same community as Mr. James Armstrong and being playmates and school chums with his sons Dwight and Floyd.

We attended Malachi Wilkerson Elementary School until the Armstrong boys later made the groundbreaking step of being the first Black students to integrate the segregated Graymont School. Their father had filed a class-action suit against the schools of Birmingham to desegregate them. It would make common sense for the Armstrong’s to attend Graymont School. It was just one block from their house. Wilkerson School was several blocks further.

Attendees mingle and prepare to "walk the red carpet" to see the premiere of The Barber of Birmingham.
Hezekiah Jackson and Shirley Gavin Floyd were influential in the launching of this grand event.

This couple sang, "The Lord's Prayer."
The Carlton Reese Memorial Choir sang two songs associated with the freedom movement. Carlton Reese, now deceased was a talented musician who had a strong foothold in the music of the Civil Rights Movement. The voices of these singers was rich and strong. Their only accompaniment was hand clapping and toe tapping. Each song began with a song leader with the remainder joining in. Very similar to a field holler. Call and response.
The Armstrong family and other vital members of James Armstrong's legacy
Dwight Armstrong and his wife Bonnie.
I find Mr. Armstrong’s bravery to sacrifice his son’s very similar to the way Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Issac for something he believed in. And just as Issac was saved so were Dwight and Floyd Armstrong. Of course it was no walk in the park but to be 9 and 10 years old and endure the harsh cruelty they were subjected to is hard to fathom.
Mr. Armstrong was the flag bearer in 1965 during the first march from Selma to Montgomery in a fight for voting rights. Grandson, Darren Armstrong (above right) is now keeper of the flag. This young man stood in the place of his grandfather at the 46th annual reenactment of the march. To have a vote is to have power. Up until this time very few Black people could vote. They were subjected to having to pay poll taxes and pass ridiculous tests. If Black people were allowed to vote this would mean they would have a voice in the running of the government.Racists groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and White Citizen’s Council didn’t want Blacks to have that power. Resorting to intimidation and violence these racist groups and those in league with them were the ones who turned a peaceful march for human rights into Bloody Sunday.

Director Robyn Fryday

Here are some extra photos I took.
This was formerly Graymont Elementary School located at 8th Ave. W.
The Armstrong home 9th Ct. No. B'ham, AL
Armstrong Barber Shop located at 8th Ave. No. B'ham, AL