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13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey Commemorative Edition

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Written in the rich tradition of Southern story-telling, 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey has captivated generations of readers of all ages with its colorful and suspenseful legends. In these tales of spectral visitations, Windham and Figh infuse each sto …

A Good Valentine in the Black Belt!

Located in County | What you’ll find: Archeological | Architectural | Arts & Culture | Birding | Camping | Dining | Historical | Museum | Outdoor Recreation | Shopping | To Delete | Trips

We got a good valentine from Mother Nature today. I am sitting on the front porch beneath the gently tinkling wind chime listening to the train go by. It is pleasant out here in just a sweater. The sun is shining brightly overhead. It is almost enough to make me forget the frigid temperatures of the last few weeks. I made a trip to Kentucky this week. From the time we got just south of Birmingham all the rest of the way, the roadsides were covered with snow and icicles were hanging from the rocks.

A Renovator, Not a Preservationist

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Monroe County is best known for being the home of Harper Lee’s iconic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. This time the trip was about early history and the Federal Road. The Federal Road was the way west out to the colonies. There has been a lot of interest in it lately because its Bicentennial is coming up in a few years in 2014.

A Visit to the National Voting Rights Museum

Located in County | What you’ll find: Historical | Museum

Selma is famous for its Selma March, commemorated every spring with a Jubilee Bridge Crossing. It also has the National Voting Rights Museum open all year around. The museum has recently moved to new headquarters from a historic building on Water Street.

Celebrating the Season’s Flowers

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I know spring is here when I see the daffodils, the bridal wreath, the flowering quince and the camellias all abloom. We’ve had such an unseasonably cold winter that our earliest spring blooms are more appreciated than usual. My wonderful camellias that usually grace the garden from November to April have just started blooming. My white camellia is at least 20 feet tall.

Fooling Folks into the Black Belt

Located in County | What you’ll find: Archeological | Architectural | Arts & Culture | Birding | Camping | Dining | Historical | Museum | Outdoor Recreation | Shopping | To Delete | Trips

A group of tourists from Michigan recently visited: they traveled through Selma and walked across the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge that is the landmark of the Voting Rights Movement. From there, it was on to Gees Bend and then to Black Belt Treasures before dinner at Gaines Ridge.

Gardening Season

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Flowers from my friend Cindy's yard. by Linda Vice, The Front Porch Philosopher Spring came yesterday. It felt like it had been here for at least two weeks already. People I know are turning on their air conditioners already. Most of them are middl …

Haints and Haunts for Halloween

Located in County | What you’ll find: Archeological | Architectural | Arts & Culture | Birding | Camping | Dining | Historical | Museum | Outdoor Recreation | Shopping | To Delete | Trips

Ghost Stories in Alabama “Come away with me to a place where magic still happens and legends never die” has become the tagline for tourism in rural Southwest Alabama. Kathryn Tucker Windham, our Patron Saint of  Tourism in this area said it best. She g …

Living with History

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Living in an old house is both a delight and a responsibility. Like old people, old houses require more maintenance to keep them looking good. My old house was built in 1897, The man who built it owned a sawmill. He said he never wanted his house to pop and creak. Mr. Alex Gunn was a 90 something year old neighbor of mine said that there is enough lumber in the foundation of my house to build two houses, This fact turned out to be true.

March 16, 2011 Kiss Me I’m Irish

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Linda Vice enjoying a beautiful spring day! The Front Porch Philosopher by Linda Vice St Patrick’s Day is upon us. People are wearing shirts and buttons that say “Kiss me. I’m Irish”. Some are and some aren’t. For one day, they adopt the carefree aspec …

March 9, 2011 New Orleans Mardi Gras

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I can honestly say I have lived to see shocking things on the streets. Let me alter that to say they would be very shocking on the streets of rural Southwest Alabama. In New Orleans at Mardi Gras, they had an air of normality. That is how strange New Orleans is to the rest of the South.

Mardi Gras Time in Rural SW Alabama

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We in rural Southwest Alabama live close enough to the coast that we have always paid attention to Mardi Gras. When we were in high school, the local band always marched in Mobile parades until the year that some of our girls threw water balloons out of a hotel window and ruined some society matron’s mink coat.

Quilting Lessons at Gees Bend

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Have you heard of the Gees Bend Quilters? Lots of people have. Many people have been to Gees Bend to see them. Even more have purchased their quilts to display as fine art. Now, for the first time, people are actually coming to Gees Bend to take quilting lessons!

Renovation Post 1: A Ghostly Presence

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Ghost Stories in Alabama I have lived in the same house for 38 years. It has been my haven for all this time. The moment I walked in it said to me “Where have you been all this time?” It was love at first sight. I never hesitated to buy the house even …

The Sun is Shining in rural Southwest Alabama!

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The Front Porch Philosopher by Linda Vice Today the sun is shining and it feels like February ought to feel in rural Southwest Alabama. The house is quiet today after sporadic dragging and hammering for months. I have been adding a bathroom to my old h …

To Kill a Mockingbird: 50 Year Anniversary

Located in County | What you’ll find: Archeological | Architectural | Arts & Culture | Birding | Camping | Dining | Historical | Museum | Outdoor Recreation | Shopping | To Delete | Trips

It was the 50th anniversary of the book “To Kill a Mockingbird”. It may turn out to be the fiction bestseller of all time. Almost every student in America reads it at some time. It is a multilayered work telling the story of life in a small rural town with the good, the bad and the ugly with honesty and humor. Those of us who live in the area will find ourselves, our lives and our ancestors embedded somewhere in its pages. This book has probably done more for us in the South to examine our prejudices and lay them aside in honor of the plight of the whole human race than the author ever imagined as she pinned her narrative. It is a morality play told through the fresh eyes of a child.

Visiting Black Belt Treasures…Again!

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I have been to Black Belt Treasures twice recently. This is the nonprofit artist gallery in Camden. This is one of the places to put on your must visit list when touring the Black Belt. If you have time for only a day trip, we recommend that you visit …

Wilcox County Pilgrimage

Located in County | What you’ll find: Archeological | Architectural | Arts & Culture | Birding | Camping | Dining | Historical | Museum | Outdoor Recreation | Shopping | To Delete | Trips

It’s always a good time for a road trip to Wilcox County, but a special time to come is on February 25 for the Tour of Homes. The thing that makes this tour special is that these homes are where real people live. These are not museums always open to th …

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