For thousands of Alabamians, Spring Break means one thing: grab your cooler and your kids, gas up the car, and head for the white sandy shores of the Gulf. But last year's oil spill devastated )the region's economy, and tourists stayed away in droves. As Brigid Galloway reports, officials are optimistic this tourist season will be better than last.
If you're interested in history and looking for a good day trip, you might consider visiting the state's oldest "black city." It's tucked between Oxford and Anniston...but you'll need better directions than that, because it's not easy to find Hobson City on a map and it's even harder to find it in real life, as WBHM's Tanya Ott recently discovered...
StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. Each month on Tapestry we'll bring you stories from Alabamians.
Birmingham Mayor William Bell is used to being in the public spotlight. But when he stepped into the StoryCorps booth with his son Tony Bell, he relayed a very personal story from Tony's childhood...
This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM's Michael Krall.
This month we're talking about things to do on spring break. We've already talked about going to the beach, but what about hiking? The Appalachian Trail begins in Springer Mountain, Georgia, about five hours from Birmingham. When Jennifer Pharr Davis first heard of the Trail, she didn't think it was something she wanted to hike. Spanning almost 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, the trail seemed very long and difficult. But during hear years at Samford University, Davis read a bit more about the Trail and it seemed like something that was more than just hard - hiking the Appalachian Trail was a life-changing experience.
Davis chronicles her journey in the book Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail. She spoke with WBHM's Michael Krall and describes the desire she felt during her college years to hit the trail...
History abounds in Alabama, from the Civil War, to the civil rights movement, to Birmingham's steel industry. But just south of Tuscaloosa, you can discover the history of people you might call the original Alabamians. WBHM's Bradley George takes us to Moundville Archeological Park...
The Moundville culture may be gone, but what we can learn from contemporary cultures? That's the focus of this month's 3 to See from WBHM intern Ben Johnson.
If you'd like to share your 3 to See in an upcoming month, join our crew of community producers. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put the words "Community Producer" in the subject line.
Think dealing with a few suitcases is annoying? Imagine keeping track of wheelchairs for a whole team. Patty Cornelius is Director of Athletics at Lakeshore Foundation. She doesn't have a physical disability, but she often travels with disabled athletes. Cornelius spoke with WBHM's Andrew Yeager about some of the particular issues disabled travelers face.
One fun thing about travel is meeting new people, including those who might speak differently than you. Commentator Jeff Weldon lives in Connecticut and talks with a New England accent. But when someone from Tennessee mistook him for an Englishman, Weldon says he had to draw the line.
We wrap up our tour of things to do on Spring Break where we started, on the Gulf Coast. The Flora-Bama Lounge is one of the famous watering holes on the Gulf. The bar and package store straddles the Alabama-Florida state line. It was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. But bar has since rebuilt, and it remains a favorite hangout for tourists and locals.
Joe Gilchrist and Lisa McKinney. Two of the characters you'll find at Flora-Bama Lounge.
So, the Flora-Bama is just one of many unique places to see in Alabama Birmingham resident Ginger Brook loves to travel. As a seventh-generation Alabamian, she especially loves exploring small towns, abandoned gas stations, and old churches. Brook chronicles her travels on a blog, called Deep Fried Kudzu. She tells WBHM's Bradley George her blog started with another purpose in mind.
Tapestry is produced by Bradley George and Michael Krall. This month we had help from Brigid Galloway, Ben Johnson, Jeff Weldon, Tanya Ott, and Andrew Yeager. We'd love to hear your feedback on the show. You can also reach us through Facebook and Twitter. I'm Greg Bass. Enjoy your Spring Break. We'll see you next moth.
If you've got a story idea for Tapestry, drop us an e-mail.