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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Birmingham, Alabama

Judi and I drove to Alabama because I wanted my car while I was there and when it was time for me to come home, Basil flew up to drive back with me. After I picked him up at the airport, we spent a day in Birmingham. We heard there was a special "walk with a guide" on Saturday morning meeting at the Civil Rights Institute so we started there. Sixteenth Street Baptist Church National Historic Landmark is right across the street. This is where 4 little girls were killed with a bomb during Sunday School  in 1963.
 We got there early and found this park across the street.
This is the first black RN in Alabama. She started a camp for kids where they received health care.
These sculptures portray the events of the civil rights movement in the 1960's.

I confess to being largely ignorant about the civil rights movement. I was a young teen in those days and did not pay much attention to events that did not directly affect me. These dogs must have been extremely frightening.
"I ain't afraid is written under this sculpture. I know they must have been afraid, though. But sometimes you gotta do stuff afraid.
There were several large water hoses that looked like cannons pointed at these children.
"At the center of non violence stands the principle of love."

We are walking around the University of Alabama Hospital, looking for The Museum of Health Sciences which I was interested in visiting. We never found it. See the guy in the yellow shirt on the bike? He is a policeman. He stopped to help us but he didn't know where it was. He said, "I don't know how old this map is." We talked to a couple of other hospital employees who never heard of it. We eventually figured out it is in the library.The library was supposed to be open but all the doors we found were locked. I looked it up when I got home and it really does exist but is closed on Saturday. The University of Alabama is a 1000 bed hospital and occupies about 6 blocks of downtown. I was chronically lost while Jenny and I were there. Ask her about me driving around,  trying to find the discharge door and the transportation employee chasing me down the street.

We also visited Vulcan Park and museum. This statue of the Roman god of the forge is a tribute to the city's iron and steel industry and was created as a exhibit for the 1903 World's Fair and won the grand prize. When I saw this platform, I said, "Oh, please let there be an elevator. (there was)
Here is yours truly, talking to Jenny on my new cell phone. I entered the 20th century and purchased one for this trip. It took me about a month to learn how to answer it, another month to learn how to call someone and that is still about all I can do. I did download Scrabble, though and I am getting really good at that!

One of the things that I enjoyed most about Alabama is the flowers. West Texas is so dry, it takes a lot of effort to maintain them, but here they are everywhere and  yards are full of beautiful flowering plants like these rhododendrons at the park.

1 comment:

Camezi said...

The first half of your blog almost made me cry. I can't imagine being treated like that. How hard it must have been!