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Posts tagged ‘#Historic’

“Sauntering Selma” Selma, Alabama

A monumental historical event is about to occur in Selma, Alabama. Selma is all the rage right now, Oprah does a movie and the world notices. One day, a few years back, luck took me to Selma and I had a few short hours to experience Selma.  Hate, courage, fear, triumph and hope. 

 This March, 2015 marks the 50th year anniversary of another time when Selma, Alabama was in the national spotlight.  Mass demonstrations were held for the purpose of voting rights for African-Americans.  A march from Selma to the Alabama capital, Montgomery on March,21,1965 was led by Dr. Martin Luther King.  The events which took place during this time led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  

Check out the history and stories behind the culmination of events. Visit, saunter and change. 

-"Trouble with you is the trouble with me   Got two good eyes but we just don't see" Jerry-“Trouble with you is the trouble with meGot two good eyes but we just don’t see” Jerry Garcia

Selma's song is both ugly and beautiful.

Selma’s song is both ugly and beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The name Selma, means a throne or high seat. Taken from a collections of 13th century poems “The songs of Selma.”   On the banks of the Alabama River and located next to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, this park is a great spot to begin this tour.  

For my non USA history friends or if you are an alien living in the U.S. A brief description of the significance of Selma.

Plaque on Edmund Pettus Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

Before the historic March 21,1965 march led by Martin Luther King and on a sunny Sunday afternoon, 600 marchers, walked over the arch of the Edmund Pettus Bridge who were singing “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.”  They were met by Alabama State Troopers and a Sheriff with his posse on horseback. They were given two minutes to return to their homes or church.  When they did not move, the troopers hit the marchers with nightclubs, whips, rubber tubes, kicking those who went down and then to add more horror to the scene, the posse rode full on into the crowd.  To mention, they were wearing gas masks and hit the crowd with a wave of teargas.   A news crew happened to be on the scene, and these images were shown in homes across the country. Outrage ensued. This was a huge and pivotal moment in the voting rights movement and  called “Bloody Sunday.”

For my USA friends who are non alien beings, most of us have seen photos.  Great place to stand and think.

For my USA friends who are non alien beings, most of us have seen photos. Great place to stand and think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday March 9th, 2000 “Turnaround Tuesday,”  peaceful marchers marched over the bridge where the previous Sunday’s blood was shed. Leaders knelt down to pray and turned around. Later that evening, one of the leader’s  named Rev. James Reeb was killed by an attack on a Selma street. There is a park near the Voting Rights Museum that commemorates Rev. Reeb and others who died in this quest for basic rights under the 15th Amendment.     After Turnaround Tuesday, the injunction against the marchers  right to protest was lifted, leading the way for the historical march on March 21.  4000 people left Selma for the 54 mile march to Montgomery.  

"Martyrs of the March"

 

Other things to see in Selma include; historical neighborhoods, architecture and more.   

 Jesse James slept here.

Jesse James slept here.

 

 

 

 

Historical significant buildings. This is the only existing example of a river hotel left in the State of Alabama.

 

Architecture and shops

Architecture and shops

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art and Museums

Art and Museums

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Neighborhoods

 

Live Oak Cemetery is on The National Register of Historic Sights.  Bucket list in a bucket list!  My pick for a must see.

"Quintessentially Southern Cemetery" PJ

“Quintessentially Southern Cemetery” PJ

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the earth comes a child

Out of the earth comes a child


Eternal Sit

Eternal Sit

 

Caretaker cottage

WTH? Missing the bust

WTH? Missing the bust

WTH?  Is it on someone's mantle?

WTH? Is it on someone’s mantle?

 In 1865, one of the last Civil War battles was fought in Selma.  One of my friends recently summed up her take on the cemetery as “A Quintessentially Southern Cemetery.”   Suffragettes, artists, soldiers and leaders.  This place has it all. 

I like to goof off. I like to make fun of things and have to admit that this subject has given me pause and a writer’s block.  Just today, the injunction against the back and forth struggle in Alabama for same sex marriage was lifted. There is absolutely nothing funny about human inequality and the continued inability to play in the same sandbox. I have my one usual word; ONE. The end.  I give this place 5 megastars *****

I have a thing for graves and took lots of pics. Check out my Instagram for more photos at; kickingthebucketlistwithmeg

Megatips- If you can get to Selma-Do it!

  1. Check out Lemon Pie at Downtowner and New York Strip at Tally-Ho. Both places are on the list of 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. I was not playing this game when I visited and can’t wait to try.
  2. Do NOT miss the cemetery. *****
  3. Make sure to make your first stop at The Visitors Center on Selma Avenue. The Park Contact Station at 816 Selma Avenue can help guide you and answer questions. Great walking maps and informational pamphlets.
  4. Good to know; If you are a poet, the 13th century poet who wrote Songs of Selma is called Ossian.
  5. Many upcoming activities are planned including a visit by President Obama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic 54 mile march from Selma to Montgomery.  http://www.nps.gov/semo/planyourvisit/calendar.htm

#3 Historic Hot Dogs-Chris’s-Montgomery Alabama-A Short Megabite

*100 Dishes to eat in Alabama before you die is a compilation of food to chow down on Bama style.  Thanks to Tourism Alabama,  www.alabama.travel  my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier. I am going to have some fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.  Download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbertville and ends in York. From the little old diner to the white cloth joint, it is an opportunity to explore and experience pride in the food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food with some Alabama style. 

#3 or 98 “on the 100” This wiener is a hot mess

Hot Dogs, hard work, legends and hootch.  Chris’s Hot Dogs is located on historic Dexter Avenue in Montgomery Alabama. I would suppose this hot dog joint made it on the “100 list” due to a long run.  Having been in existence since 1917, a host of characters came through the doors during historical events, including prohibition. 

Historic Dexter Avenue

Historic Dexter Avenue

Crossing this off my 100 list was fun.   I had won a raffle that included 4 free meals at Chris’s. I had great company and then there are the wiener jokes.  My 12 year old inner self loved this visit.  Know that I held back my real thoughts; I tried to keep it clean but be forewarned.

Historic hot dog's

Historic hot dog’s

The story goes that Chris came to the USA from his home country of Greece. He went through Coney Island and settled into Montgomery Alabama where he had family that operated a restaurant.   His experience with wiener stands at Coney Island gave him a great idea and he struck out on his own selling newspapers and hot dogs.   Over time, the window grew to a counter and in the 1940’s a dining room was added and wieners were at one time, sold 24/7.

So I walk in and immediately realized that I was in another dimension.  I saw a host of interesting characters sitting at stools who all glanced at us as if we were one of the third kind.  An uncomfortable moment as I caught a glimpse of the nasty filthy dirty sauce festering in an area where the food is put together.     On the upshot, I had to pause and realize that all it takes to make a legacy is a burner and a grill.   I admire that.

Because of this proximity to the Alabama Capital, many politicians sat at the counters alongside families.  It is reported that the likes of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Elvis, George Wallace, FDR, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah are among the patrons.  The walls are lined with articles and a few photos of politicians and some celebrities, as well as notes to the owners are on display.  The most famous patron was Hank Williams, who reportedly was kicked out late night many times.  There are no photos of that. As far as Whoopie and Oprah, I have to wonder if this is urban legend, and if not, what they might have thought.  Oprah was recently on this street shooting her next film “Selma,” so this visit is plausible although, the news reported where she ate and I did not see Chris’s mentioned.

The menu is basic greasy spoon food.  I ordered the Chris’s special hot dog which is your basic hot dog served on a basic bun with mustard, kraut and Chris’s special and legendary sauce. And, if size matters to you, there is a special with two dogs in one bun.   For $2.50 you get about 6 inches of goodness.   

Wiener, you are a hot mess!

Wiener, you are a hot mess!

I am going to go out on a limb and say that this one was not in the wieners circle. The many reviews were nearly as entertaining as the visit.       The reviews fell into two categories; nostalgic love and extreme disgust.  A few of the quotes;“Past its prime,” “depressing bygone relic,” “don’t use the bathroom before you eat,” “Hank peed here,” “run down and dirty but clean enough to apparently pass an inspection,”“tired décor and cleanliness not a priority.”   On the nostalgic front, I heard violins, singing angels, and aliens. For example, one reviewer wrote, “A magical experience.”     Yes, that is true, if you are a stoner.  More accurately would be, “hats off to skirting health codes and inspectors.”  Having said this, quite possibly, this could be a perfect place to go after bars.  Take note, they close at 7 p.m. folks. Better yet, if you love Budweiser, history and wieners,   make this your daytime go to place.

Or, drink where Hank actuall

Or, drink where Hank actuall “is”

This is the second time that I have been disappointed while visiting places on my “100 list.” I can only imagine what this place could be with some TLC and pride. In fact, It would be such a fun place to have. I read some reviews from people who travel to Alabama from many places in the USA and from all over the world. IYIKES! Alabama has so much to offer. Check out my MEGatips. 

I sadly have to give this place only * MEGastars for Nostalgia and a good time. 

 My Wiener Buzz-

 MEGatips

  1. Want a great hot dog at a fun place?  Try the food at The Montgomery Biscuits Stadium. There is some dog gone good wieners and biscuits there.  And DO NOT miss those biscuits!
  2. What is considered a 7 course meal? A hot dog and a six pack.
  3. What has 100 teeth and eats wieners? A zipper
  4. Why were the hot dogs shivering? Because they were served with chili.

Prattville Alabama, Just The Usual Historical, Haunted and Paranormal Southern Golf Town.

I love when I am driving along and fate chooses me to take a closer look at something really interesting. Such was the case when I was playing “100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.”  I checked out a restaurant called Jim’s Place, which ranked due to home style Southern cooking. Jim’s did not rock my world, but led me to barbecue nirvana at Fat Boy’s Bar-B-Que (see two prior blogs).

I had fun here. So bear with me as I travel “near.”  I saw Prattville Alabama the Meg way.  Aside from being owned in a game of golf, I found some off the beaten path and freaky places; A haunted factory and swamp, a curious cross garden, a well that holds healing powers.

GOLF

There is this lil golf course in town.  Namely, The Capitol Hill Golf Course which is on

Playin til dusk

Playin til dusk

the Robert Trent Jones Trail. This course is on the radar of worldly golfers and wins many “bests.” It get’s nods from the likes of The N.Y. Times and was named the number two public golf site in the country by Golf World readers. This little attraction has hosted the Navistar LPGA and this past week, Alice Cooper so that’s cool.   Three complete 18 hole championship golf courses.  The Senator is a Scottish links style course. The Legislator is traditional and plays along a scenic bluff and dips into a beautiful SWAMP.   The third course is The Judge, which has views along the winding Alabama River. The first tee has a spectacular view of both the river, the Montgomery skyline and on the first hole, a sign which dares you, “Prepare To Be Judged.” SNAP!  Difficult, beautiful, public and at a reasonable price, this lil place brings in over 100,000  people per year.  It’s impressive. If you golf, put it on your damn list.

DOWNTOWN

Fat Boy’s Bar-B-Que is near the historic downtown. There is a short trail along the Autaugua Creek with great seating and picnic areas.  On the quiet day that I was there, there was outdoor action;picnickers, fly fishing, bikers and walkers.  A canoe/kayak map is available on the trail along with some of the key historic points.  It brings you into downtown with an awesome view of an old brick complex which was home to the First Industry in Alabama.   Revitalization is happening.

Looking for a new home?

Looking for a new home?

Myself, I saw a lot of great buildings just waiting to be used in creative ways.

The place reminds me a bit of the paper mill industry where I grew up.  In the spirit of revitalization, an old mill was turned into hip condos with a restaurant overlooking a dam and river. A museum with the history of paper sits adjacent to these places. People love it.  I would think that model would work very well in this spot.

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ARCHITECTURE

Before I get to the weird, hang with me.  The downtown is on the National Historic Register.  If one is an architecture buff, there are some cool buildings in this area to see.  From the Southern Antebellum Mansion, Greek Revival, to the Italian style. Prattville was settled pretty early, 1833, and by a dude from New England.  New England +Alabama+ industry = interesting.

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"Shotgun House"

“Shotgun House”

 

 

 

Myself, I enjoyed learning about cool old “shotgun houses” on Hunt’s Alley.  I thought they were awesome.  There were old outhouses out back surrounded by tall bamboo.

Now is this  the place to sit and think- or what?

Now is this the place to sit and think- or what?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GHOSTS

If architecture and history doesn’t make you quiver, or you are into the paranormal, there is a haunted old cotton mill in downtown Prattville. Daniel Pratt Cotton Gin Mill Company is reportedly the subject of a haunting.  Some say it is haunted by the workers who died in the mill. Others say it is most definitely a woman, a mother, aka “The Lady in Black,” who looks for her child, Willie Youngblood. Poor lil Willie reportedly died in an elevator shaft after a fall. And his mama, who was widowed, threw herself in the creek and drowned.   Apparently, now wanders there in eternity looking for her Willie. Some say the ghost of the founder Daniel Pratt walks there.

A Ghost lives here

A Ghost lives here

SyFy channel recently visited Prattville to do a story aired on “Deep South Paranormal,” entitled “Got them Lady In Black Blues.” Now, I did not see this show but I was able to read about the episode and watch a short clip.  You too can recreate this moment. All that you apparently need is to recreate the Blair Witch dolls, get in the creek on a boat with some candles, special potions, a mirror and a ghost vibe.

I went during the day and the Lady in Black did not show herself. Just for fun I checked the death records and census in Alabama. I found no matches, but I did find a Drucilla Youngblood, Wana Youngblood, a Ferral Youngblood and and I-da Youngblood. I swear that I am not making that up. I am going to start a rumor with these names. *Disclaimer, if these are your relatives, no offense intended.

Ghostly

Ghostly

Just for kicks, I dug through the Alabama genealogy websites and found a story of a man who was paralyzed at work, the wife treated his bedsores with acid, kid drinks the acid and dies. His name of course was Willie Youngblood.

 

 

 

CROSS GARDEN

Just out of town and on the way to the swamp, I saw a cross garden that I had read about. No words needed.   This scared the beejeesus out of me.

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THE WELLS

Artesian Wells are the reason that Prattville is called the fountain city.  To my shigrin, these now mostly capped off wells are consistently listed as an attraction. Now, I don’t know about you but looking at a drinking fountain doesn’t exactly tickle my fancy.

 

 

 

However, I checked out this well in a haunted swamp which reportedly has magical powers.  Now THAT is interesting. Apparently, this area was settled by a group of Native Americans called The Creek Indians. The Creeks were in this area until about 1814 and used this well for legendary healing properties. The county is named Autauga which gets its name from the creek word “Atagi” which was the word for pure water.  The healing powered well, is a pipe, in a grubby swamp with water running supposedly from an artesian well, I drank from it.

I actually went swamping because I had heard that there was a cat like Chupacabra, or a witch (apparently the same thing.)  I had been watching too much “Finding Bigfoot.”    What I did find by a quick search, was that the stories seem to be more about; little people, strange creatures, phantom lights, orbs, unusual amounts of snakes and lizards, unusual sounds, Civil War soldier ghosts, The ghost of a woman who killed those who have wronged her, Indians, settlers and soldiers.  Also, the ghost of a mother looking for her child and if you are brave enough to say “we have your baby” three times, she may appear. That should cover the urban legends. It is my understanding that there were no civil war encampments, nor battles in this area.  It has been suggested that perhaps soldiers from the Creek Indian War are the apparitions. The paranormal researchers seemed to zero in on the phantom lights.

Bear Creek Swamp

Bear Creek Swamp

The cypress swamps are so freaky that if one had an altered state from polluted well water or whatever, I am certain that little people and cat witches could appear.     Other fun killers who were with me, just thought it was a swamp, with garbage in it.  I took photos in different lighting and I really grooved on the place.  Now, I would not want to be out there alone, especially at night.   I could totally imagine how this was a serious creep out when it was more primitive, or if you were a kid playing Bloody Mary.

Megatips-*When in Prattville, eat at Fat Boy’s.  Take a walk downtown and don’t miss the photo ops. Checkout the Shotgun Homes. Don’t be a buzzkill if your friends want to see the swamp.   http://youtu.be/9KYTpF5mYyE

I give this place about 4 ****megastars.

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