By Jeanette Dunnavant, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

Crape Myrtles are beautiful this year!

We are very fortunate to have such beautiful crape myrtles this year and just in time for the 20th Annual Ardmore Crape Myrtle Festival and the Miss Crape Myrtle Beauty Pageant. Join us for festival fun on Saturday August 25th, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM, at the Ardmore John Barnes Park located on Ardmore Ridge Road. The festival offers something for everyone. The Kids’ Korner will have rides, games and lots of fun for the little ones. Over 40 vendors will be participating this year offering delicious festival food as well as arts and crafts of all types. The Ardmore AL/TN Chamber of Commerce hosts the event and will be selling crape myrtles in all colors from miniature 1-gallon containers to large plants in 7-gallon containers. The hard to find deep red crape myrtles in 3-gallon containers will also be available. It is suggested that you pre-order and reserve your plants. Admission is free; however, donations are accepted and appreciated.

Live music of country, gospel, bluegrass and rock and roll can be enjoyed at the amphitheater. Bring your chairs or blankets and settle in for a wonderful day of music.

The pageant will be August 24th, 5:30PM, at the Ardmore, TN Annex building. The pageant is a wonderful opportunity for young ladies to learn the art of pageantry. Admission is $3.00 for everyone but participants.

For more information about the events above, contact Linda Higginbotham at 256-423-8252

The election is on. Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan was splendid: the race will indeed be about competing ideas. The incumbent ticket has very little faith in markets and individuals; the challengers believe in the market and have had success in the private sector. Americans who count on government programs for their subsistence will vote Obama, and those with a vision for success and prosperity in their lives will pull the lever for Romney.

The last ideological election we had was in 1980. Ronald Reagan’s solid across-the-board conservatism contrasted (favorably) with Jimmy Carter’s faith in pacifism and big-government spending schemes. This year Romney’s private sector prowess is up against Obama’s genuine enthusiasm for federal redistribution.

At the moment, Obama is better at making his case than Romney, which is a mixed blessing: the more Obama makes his case, the more independents sprint toward Romney, by default.

If Romney wants to win, he needs to respond regularly to Obama’s false claims on the campaign trail. Almost every day, the President says something that simply isn’t true. But he sounds so believable! By limiting his responses to the obvious–the “you didn’t build that” speech–Romney is throwing away Obama’s daily gift. Think of how entertainingly Romney could make his case. He could run a new ad every day, responding to yesterday’s falsity.

Instead, the tone of a Romney speech seems to be: I’m business savvy, and you’re all responsible adults. Vote for me and let’s get to work. It’s genuine, but falls short of being inspiring.

Meanwhile, there couldn’t be a more favorable contrast–for the Republicans–than that between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. Biden resembles Walter Matthau in the Grumpy Old Men movies, blurting out this or that racial slur and then stubbornly standing behind it. We’ve come to expect his faux pas, but we still shudder.

Along comes Paul Ryan, the all-American, slightly shy (or so it seems) budget expert. Ryan, who is so well-versed on fiscal policy that he has spent some time tutoring his congressional compatriots, represents a new generation of leaders. He wants to bridge the gap between his parents and his children. And the gap is literal: without serious reform Medicare will go bankrupt even as it blows the rest of the budget.

Ryan, who is hard not to like, is well-positioned to make the case for compassionate conservatism without having to use the word “compassionate.” The angry Left is, of course, working overtime to demagogue the Ryan budget. The problem for them is, if they’re going to convince Americans that a Romney presidency means that it’s over for senior citizens, they’re going to have to convince us that Ryan—whose budget has passed the House—is callous.

Advantage team Romney.
The Will Anderson Show M-F 6pm-8pm on 800 and 1230AM and 106.5FM WBHP
By Will Anderson

The next two weeks offer lots of fun and exciting events to attend.

The 20th Annual Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days will be August 3rd and 4th at 20147 Elkton Road, Athens, AL. Show grounds open at 9:00 AM on Friday and 7:00 AM on Saturday. There will be gasoline engines, steam engines, antique tractors, cars, trucks, horse drawn equipment, parts vendors, collectibles, and much more. Events include the Parade of Power, Fast Crank Competition, Slow Races, Skillet Throw (for the ladies), Pedal Pull (for the kids) and lots of fun for the entire family. Live entertainment on Friday night will be at 5:00 PM. Admission is $5.00. Children 10 and under are admitted free. Free parking. Contact David Hargrove at 256-431-6226 or Allen Dement at 256-431-0619 for more information.

After you have enjoyed a day at the Farm Heritage Days, drive to Ardmore for the 20th Annual Ardmore Police Rodeo, August 3rd & 4th. The rodeo will be held at the Ardmore, TN John Barnes Park located at 30500 Ardmore Ridge Road. It’s time for bucking, roping, bare back riding, barrel racing and much more. Bring the kids to see the rodeo clowns. Admission is $10 (6-12 years) and $12 (adults) in advance or at gate. 5 and under are admitted free. Two $100 cash giveaways each night. Be sure and purchase your chances on the saddle to be given away. A new Buckle will be given to each event winner. Contact Officer Tom Combs – Rodeo Coordinator at 256-434-0329 or Ardmore Police Department at 256-423-2146 for more information. Contractor this year is Burgess Rodeo Company.

Come to downtown Athens August 4th, 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM, for the monthly Cruise In on the Square. Bring your antique vehicle and park around the square. Join the fun by enjoying delicious dishes offered by our downtown restaurants. Come early and check out the great buys at the downtown businesses. Be sure and get an ice cream cone at Limestone Drug or milk shake at Kreme Delight. Make it a family night. Contact Tom at 256-457-9179 .

The 9th Annual Ardmore Quarterback Club Car Show will be August 11th at 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

One of the biggest and best car shows in Tennessee and Alabama is in Ardmore at the Ardmore, TN John Barnes Park located at 30500 Ardmore Ridge Road. Awards will be presented in 10 classes with the top five by class. Live music will be provided by Microwave Dave. The Club Grand Prize is a 1967 Chrysler Imperial. Pre-enter by August 4th and the fee is $20.00. Day of Show entry fee is $25.00. Spectator admission is $5.00 per person or $15.00 per family. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Contact: 256-423-7588 for more information.

On August 11th, the Athens State University Community Band will hold its annual Concert on the Square at 6:30 PM on the east side of the Limestone County courthouse in historic downtown Athens, AL. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy the music under the direction of Mr. Dan Havely. The concert is free but donations will be appreciated.

For information about the above events and other Athens-Limestone County events call 256-232-5411/256-867-1438 or visit our website www.VisitAthensAL.com. By Jeanette Dunnavant, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

The dirt road leading to Taos Pueblo was rough and dusty, and bordered with chamisa and sage brush. Across the vast flats was Taos Peak, and the gray and looming Sangre de Cristo Mountains that rose up against blue sky.  Ahead was a round brush-arbor surrounded by tents, pick-up trucks, vendor stands and hundreds of Native Americans.

The 27th Annual Pow-Wow sponsored by Taos Pueblo was underway, and Native Americans from across the country had come to dance, socialize and celebrate their culture.  Leslie Pitts, age 12, a freckled face red-head and beginning 6th grader at Tanner High had his face stuck to the window of the Chevy Caravan as his father, Bonnie pulled onto a grassy spot and parked. We had driven to Taos to attend the Pow-Wow and visit my daughter, Shannon, after first stopping off at a Dude Ranch in the Texas Panhandle.

The sound of drums and singing in a language that I didn’t comprehend came from the direction of the brush-arbor.  We walked over and stood in a shady spot among mostly native spectators.  In the center of the arbor circle was a small fly tent that protected a handful of young Comanche drummers and singers from the hot sun.  Drumming and singing began. Men dressed in colorful regalia of beads, moccasins, feathers and scarves entered the outside of the circle. Each held a gourd in one hand and feathers in the other. They began a “Ho yah, ho yah,” chant to the rhythm of the drums and rattled their gourds as they slowly danced toward the center of the circle.  Most of the dancers displayed Armed Forces patches on their colorful scarves. Several were Marines.

Women dancers wearing long skirts stood at the back of the circle and danced in place, moving their feet to the beat of the drums. The closer the male dancers got to the center of the circle, the louder the drumming and singing.  I found it mesmerizing.  The announcer said that it was the Kiowa gourd dance and the circle represented earth and the four directions. He explained that the women stood at the back out of respect for the men. Traditionally they didn’t participate at all, he said.  But the women’s movement had changed that. Go girls!

Afterwards, I strolled off to find food. “I’ll take one of those chicken tacos,” I said to a tall white woman who was wiping sweat from her face.  She dumped a cup full of grilled chicken strips into a big tortilla, threw in onions, poured on red chili sauce and rolled it up like a newspaper.

“Do you want a roasted green chili on the side?” she asked.

“Heck yeah, why not?”  I bit off a chunk and swallowed it.  “Mmmmm pretty tasty.  I took another bite.  A fire ignited in my mouth and quickly spread to my stomach.

“Oooooh weeee.  Hog dog almighty!  Do you sell bottled water?”

“Sure, two bucks.”

I didn’t care if it cost ten bucks.  “Gimme two of ‘em.”

Folks, an Alabama gringo’s stomach is designed to process watermelons and cornbread, not fire bombs.  Later, I wandered off to visit other vendors. I spotted an old native man, his face bronze and wrinkled, sitting stoically behind a table beneath a fly tent. Books were stacked on the table. I walked over to check them out.    The old man wore an open collared yellow shirt with military sleeve patches and a red bill cap.  Pinned to the front of the cap was a Marine anchor and globe. Stitched across the front in bold yellow letters was “Navajo Code Talker.”

I offered my hand.  “Sir, I honor you for your service to our Country.”  He nodded, smiled slightly, but said nothing. His grip was firm for a ninety-year-old man. I had just met Chester Nez, the last survivor of the original 29 World War II Navajo Code Talkers. He was reared in a hogan in New Mexico, jerked from his happy home at a young age, and sent off to a white man’s school where his name was changed, and he was punished for speaking his native language. It was his unwritten language that helped America win the war against the Japanese in the Pacific. He fought at Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Bouganville and Guam.

Leslie walked up.  “Leslie, I want you to meet a real American hero,” I said.  “One day you can tell your grandchildren about him.”

Leslie’s freckled face beamed as he shook hands.  “Good to meet you sir.”

This time the old man smiled and spoke.  “Good – to – meet – you -.”

Judith S. Avila, co-author of Code Talker was present. It’s the first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo Code Talkers of World War II.  I had to have a copy.

“Would you like it signed?” she asked.

“Absolutely.”

And it was.  “To Jerry Barksdale – Walk in beauty!  Cpl. Chester Nez.”

The book is excellent reading and published by Penguin Group, 300 pages and includes the actual Navajo Code and rare photographs. It sells for $26.05. I recommend it. I also recommend attending the Taos Pueblo Pow-Wow if you get the chance. It’s usually held during the second week of July.  And go for the chicken taco.  But do not – I repeat – do not eat the roasted green chili pepper!
By: Jerry Barksdale

 

The South has produced some of the best known authors. Harper Lee is from Alabama. Margaret Mitchell, Flannery O’Connor, and Carson McCullors are from Georgia. William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams are from Mississippi. Truman Capote is from Louisiana, and these are only a few of the Southern Writers.

Saturday, September 8, the Center for Lifelong Learning is hosting a free workshop, Kudzu Chronicles, a Southern Writers Event at Art on the Square. There are four panel discussions – Writing Tips, Writing Children’s Books, How to Get Published, and Researching and Genealogy. The featured speakers include C.S. (Christopher) Fuqua, Robert S. Davis, Dr. Julie Hedgepeth Williams, and Frank Travis.

Robert S. Davis is the author of Civil War Atlanta and Andersonville Civil War Prison. He has more than 1,000 publications dealing with genealogy, history, records, and research. He has been widely quoted by or appeared in CNN, Time, Smithsonian, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

C.S. (Christopher) Fuqua is the author of Alabama Musicians: Musical Heritage from the Heart of Dixie. As a guitarist and craftsman of Native American flutes, C.S. Fuqua’s interest in music led him to research and write numerous magazine articles about music and musicians. A native Alabamian and full-time freelance writer, he lives in Athens, Alabama. His published books include Notes to My Becca, Divorced Dads, and the four-novel audio book series Deadlines. His poems, short stories, and nonfiction articles have appeared widely in newspapers, magazines, and journals.

Dr. Julie Hedgepeth Williams is the author of A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwell’s Story of Survival. Dr. Julie Hedgepeth Williams is a journalism professor at Samford University. She received a B.A. in English and history from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, a Master’s in journalism and a Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Alabama. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Frank Travis will be presenting Livin’ Poetry. He is known throughout the state of Alabama as “Mr. Poetry,” as most of his spare time is spent performing his “Livin’ Poetry” presentation at schools all across the state.

Friday, September 7, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, there will be a Meet and Greet event with the authors. Participants will be able to talk with authors and get books signed. Stop by the Silent Auction to bid on other signed books from authors such as Rheta Grimsley Johnson, Daniel Wallace, Mark Childress, and many more. Refreshments will be served. The fee is $20.

For a brochure about this event, call 256-233-8260 or go to our website, athens.edu/CLL. This is such a great opportunity for Athens. Whether you want to write your family history or write a novel, Kudzu Chronicles will give you a chance to hear from people who have already been successful. Ask your questions, learn how to do the background research and get the writing tips you need to get started or get finished. Learning is a lifestyle and this is a very special learning opportunity.


Athens Now is pleased to welcome Sarah Moquin Chadwell, the Director of the Family Resource Center here in Athens to our writing staff. Sarah graduated from the University of Alabama, and has had a career in broadcast journalism and media consulting. Her column will be focusing on the stories of the people of Athens she encounters every day, and her desire is to give them “a voice.”
Welcome, Sarah!


Don’t you just love a simple question?

It’s probably due to the fact that simple questions require minimal brain power to process and respond as we are facing the never ending complexities of our smart phone, Facebook, CNN, twitter (still haven’t tried it) life.

Dry or wet food for the cats? Jeans or shorts? Tomatoes with or without the skins before placing in the salad?
My name is Sarah Chadwell, and I work alongside three educated, talented, and gifted woman who are finding that simple questions posed to them each day are requiring more and more complicated, heart wrenching, and resource draining answers.

You may have heard of the Athens Limestone County Family Resource Center. We are located on Jefferson Street right next to Dub’s, and on most days you will find single struggling mothers, jobless fathers, and families who find themselves under – educated or with low incomes and who are about to be homeless or hungry. They also realize they need someone to help them make a positive change on a path that is going totally off course.

These families have simple questions: “Do you have diapers, as I cannot buy them this month?” “Can you help us find a job?” Or, “We have been evicted and are living in the hotel with our two children, is there a low cost place to live?”

Our Social Worker, Parent Educator, and Juvenile Community Service program directors just don’t know how to give a simple answer. That’s because they know that these questions are just the top of a mountain of personal and family circumstances, social and education issues, drug or alcohol addictions and more that have brought them to our Resource Center.

Let’s go back a few years ago, when Governor Bob Riley had the opportunity to do a study asking another simple question: “How can we improve social service support to Alabama families in need?” The answer was based on research in other communities and states, research that showed that to create a positive change for a family in need, you must solve the immediate crisis first (emergency shelter, food and safety.) But in addition, you must provide the social service tools, the personal one-on-one guidance and mentoring, in order to help the family move out of their situation for the long term.

So, the simple answer to Governor Riley’s question was that “communities need a Family Resource Center to create positive changes for both now and the future.”

The Athens Family Resource Center has operated for over five years at their Jefferson Street location, and is designed to be the “go to place” to find information on existing resources (food banks, community action, hospice, Learn to Read, DHR and so much more) AND provide a visiting home for resources not available in our community but that are needed. Here in Athens, we provide an opportunity for families to visit the Morgan County Career Link / Employment office, Madison County’s LAUNCH to help youth find jobs, Morgan county Vocational Rehab to help our disabled, and the Madison County Crisis services to support victims of violence. Even if they are based in other counties, they are funded to provide personal support to families here in our community.

Once that simple question of “can you help me” is asked, we find that by having all the puzzle pieces or social services information at our fingertips, we can empower each family to find an individualized solution that works.

It only involves our staff and their talents who are using community resources to support local families with our local government support.
Sound simple? It may.

Why should you care? That’s really up to you. It is your community and our families’ future. Just one simple question to think about!

People who know me can’t believe that I am really a shy person. How could I be shy when I seem so at ease while I talk on television and radio, give speeches to community groups, and introduce myself in crowds? This is how I can do that.

As I said in this column before, we moved a lot when I was a kid. Moving was really hard for me, especially when we moved while I was in high school. I had visions of not going to the prom, and being left out of everything that makes high school special. Not only was I going to miss prom, but we moved in the middle of the year, and everybody already had their groups formed. On top of that, our stuff was not going to get there in time for Christmas.

Since my life was “ruined,” I figured I would go spend money at the base shopping center. I was really surprised to run into a boy by the name of Alan Boyd there. Alan and I met in middle school in Clarksville, Tennessee. As we sat in the cafeteria catching up, I told him about my ruined life, and he told me that since I was in a new place, I could be anything I wanted to be. All I had to do was ‘fake it until I make it.’ I was really glad to have a friend in our new place, but he was leaving the next day.

Talking with Alan made me feel better, but I wasn’t sure I could do it. I knew mom always said things such as, “The new place will be as good as you let it be,” or, “You will have as much fun as you want to.” And those sayings always seemed to work out. I decided I would try it.

The first day of school at Mannheim American High School in Germany, I said hello to everyone I saw. I asked questions in class. I went home with a stomach ache. Every morning I had to remind myself that I was going to ‘fake it until I made myself one of the popular kids.’ Every morning I would tell myself I could do it.

By spring, I knew quite a few kids in school. I tried out for cheerleader and made it. I tried out for drama club and “starred” in a play called “Zingu.” I ran for Junior class Secretary and was elected. I had “made it.”

This may sound easy, but it was not. Every day I had to remind myself that I could do these things. Every day I had to force myself to perform the actions that would help me succeed. There were days I wanted to hide in the corner, and there were days I did not think it was working.

Some say you can change a habit in 30 days. I think it takes longer than that. There are days I still want to fall back on my old habits. From 13 Things to Avoid When Changing Habits, ZenHabits, http://zenhabits.net/13-things-to-avoid-when-changing-habits/, Jim Ryun, former athlete and politician, is quoted as saying “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Aristotle is quoted as saying, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” So, if you are going to make learning into a lifestyle, you might just have to “fake it” for awhile in the process, but if your heart is true, you will indeed “make it,” and the effort will surely be worth it.
By: Wanda Campbell

The Tanner Tractor and Truck Pull, hosted by the Tanner Quarterback Club, is one of the largest events in the South. The pull will be at 7:00 PM, July 27thand 28that Tanner High School. Each night includes six classes sanctioned by the NTPA/Mid-South Pullers Association. On Saturday night the dual-wheel farm tractors join the competition.

Bring the entire family and enjoy this event. If you only go to one tractor/truck pull this year, this should be the one. Each night is full of excitement and fun. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children over 6. Children 6 and under are admitted free, and concessions are available. Event proceeds benefit the Tanner High School athletics and Tanner youth sports.

To find out more about the Tanner Pull call 256-497-4309 For information about this and other Athens-Limestone County events call 256-232-5411/256-867-1438 or visit our website, WWW.VisitAthensAL.com.
By Jeanette Dunnavant, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association


I am so excited and I can’t wait! We have three bushes that are loaded with green tomatoes, and you would think I had never been in a garden before.

We had gardens in a lot of places when I was growing up. I was never responsible for the planting or caring for plants; Mom and Dad did that. I did not have to pick much because I was allergic to most of the plants. My eyes swelled up and I “got itches,” so I could wait by the car while everyone else worked the garden.

I did love the food that came out of the garden though, especially homegrown tomatoes. I would eat okra if it was fried real hard, and green beans were okay. The corn was great, as was shucking ears when they were picked. I was not as fond of squash or zucchini, unless they were dipped in cornmeal and fried. The field peas were the worst, no matter which way they were cooked. Canning and freezing were not my favorite work, and fortunately, I did not have to do it often.

Gardens were a lot of work when I was a kid even though I only did a little bit of it. Once I got married and moved away from home, there was not much time to think about gardens.

We had four kids, and both of us worked most places we lived. There were lots of reasons not to have a garden. The biggest reason, though, was that I had a black thumb.


In the early ‘90s I got a subscription to Plant a Month Club. A nursery would send me a new plant every month with instructions for how to care for the plant. I would put the plant in full sun, partial sun, lots of water, no water – whatever the directions said to do. It did not matter. Within two weeks my plant of the month died. I am not talking droopy leaves, wilted died; I am talking all the leaves falling off, black stalks died. You could hear plants coming to my house crying before they ever got there. They knew their fate.

So how did I get three bushes full of tomatoes? That was easy. I used the pots my mom used to grow her garden last year. Mom can grow sticks so I knew the pots had absorbed good gardener vibes. And, I let my granddaughter, Christina, plant them. She is only 12, but she likes to plant things. I asked my sons to water and feed them. Ben is very into organic gardening and how things work, so he was willing. Brian just likes to help out. That leaves picking them. I will probably get someone else to do this part too, just to be sure my bad gardener cooties don’t get on them. I will just look and enjoy the fruits of everyone else’s labor.

Knowing your limits is part of learning. Knowing how to delegate is learned, too. That’s how you get three bushes full of tomatoes.
By Wanda Campbell

Tired of the hustle-bustle urban life in Athens? I recommend a therapeutic day trip to tiny Aliceville in Pickens County, Alabama where life
is slow and folks are friendly. Recently I accompanied Athens residents Bill Ward and Jerry Crabtree there to visit the Aliceville Museum, touted as “Home of the Largest World War II German POW Camp Collection in the U.S.” Bill, a board member of the Alabama Veterans Museum, is a native of Pickens County. Jerry Crabtree is President of the Veterans Museum, and a retired Athens cop. I soon learned that when Bill Ward is driving, having a cop onboard is mighty handy.

We departed Athens at 7 a.m. and drove to Moulton, where I hoped to have a fine breakfast to sustain me during the 3-hour drive. When we headed down scenic Alabama 33, (that meanders through Bankhead Forest,) my stomach growled in protest. There would be no breakfast. At Double Springs, a blue and white cruiser did a U-turn, and flashed on blue lights.

“Sir, you were doing 65 in a 35,” the young cop said, pulling out his ticket book.

“Yes sir, I’m awfully sorry,” said Bill apologizing. I’ve never witnessed such boot licking in my life, but it worked!

“Well, I’ll just give you a warning ticket,” the cop finally said.

That’s when Jerry Crabtree flashed his cop card and the officer wilted like a vampire before a cross.

“Ya’ll have a nice day,” he said, and we sped off.

“Just professional courtesy,” quipped Crabtree.

My stomach growled. “I’m hungry.”

“After touring the museum we’ll eat at the Plantation House in Aliceville,” Bill said. “It’s a fine place.”

A hungry man doesn’t care how fine a restaurant is; he wants food, now! Bill pulled in at Barbara Ann’s place, a logger’s hangout. While he
pumped gas, I gourged down a giant chicken biscuit. My stomach stopped complaining and converted into a grease trap.

At Carrollton, we stopped at the courthouse to see “the face in the window.” According to Bill, after being arrested for burning the courthouse in 1876, Henry Wells was placed in the garret of the newly-built courthouse for safe keeping from a mob. While looking out at the mob, lightning struck and imprinted his likeness on the glass. I didn‘t believe it. We stood in the middle of the street in a rain shower looking up.

“Look!” said Bill. “Do you see it?”

“Well, I’ll be doggone,” I said, seeing a face. Whether it was Henry Wells, I can’t say, but the face is there.

At the Aliceville Museum, housed in a 1940’s Coca- Cola bottling plant, we were welcomed by a friendly brunette named Bobbie Renee Unruh, its Director. By the way, admission is only $5.00 for adults, and $4 for senior adults, Military and students.

After Rommel’s proud Afrika Corps crumbled before British forces advancing across North Africa in 1942, 6,000 German POWs arrived by train in tiny Aliceville on June 2, 1943. There they were confined behind barbed wire on 400 acres. The Geneva Convention
was strictly followed. Officers didn’t work, and, if the enlisted men chose to work outside the camp, they were paid 10? an hour. They were fed foods that many Americans couldn’t obtain because of rationing. Peanut butter on white bread, something that they had never heard of, was their favorite. The POWs organized an orchestra, produced plays and concerts, wrote poetry, and promoted the arts. The walls of the museum display drawings, portraits and paintings, and in the courtyard are three sculptures. The museum is also chocked full of American military memorabilia, and for the record, Pickens County boasts two Medal of Honor recipients. Remarkable!

Finally, Bill decided it was dinner time and took us to the Plantation House, a roomy, two-story former family home that has been converted into a restaurant. A salad bar and large buffet of fried chicken and such made the waiting worthwhile. The museum is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4p.m and by appointment on Saturday. The Plantation House is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

So, get out of your rut and visit the Aliceville Museum. Remember, there is no Cracker Barrel in Bank Head Forest and don’t dare speed in Double Springs – that is, unless you have a cop card! A plate of fried chicken at the Plantation House will make your trip worthwhile.
By Jerry Barksdale