Why do I do this? Good question; maybe I'll have that figured out by the 10th anniversary. But I am having fun, and learning a lot about the state's history that I didn't know despite seriously reading and studying it since high school. I guess that Alabama history we studied in the fourth grade back in my day eventually took root. Of course, it also helped to have a dad with his own interest in history. He thought about becoming a history teacher but felt he wouldn't be able to support a family and took industrial engineering at Auburn instead.
I've covered a wide range of topics on this blog that reflect my own interests. I'm a retired librarian, so that accounts for the number of library history posts. I've always been a film and TV buff, so Alabama connections in those areas is a natural topic. I've been writing and publishing poetry since the late 1960's and non-fiction articles almost as long, so I've explored a number of writers and books in posts on this blog. I'm especially interested in once popular but now forgotten or always little-known authors; Harper Lee and Rick Bragg get plenty of coverage without me. I also enjoy doing the posts on individual old photos.
I've also done a number of pieces on various aspects of my family's history. We are fortunate to have a lot of old photographs, letters and other ephemera not only my immediate family's but from my parents and paternal grandparents. I've also written posts related to a general theme of "history in unexpected places."
So I've been doing this thing for over five years now, posting more than 475 items. I guess I'll top 500 before the year is out. Five years, 500 posts--might be a good time to take a break. But why would I do that? After all, the pay is so good....
In 1959 Alabama Power completed Weiss Dam, which created Weiss Lake in Cherokee County. Sometime in the mid-1960's my parents and grandparents bought a cabin there. You can read about it here. This photo shows my younger brother Richard and I exploring the shore. In those days there was not yet much development along the lake; I'll bet that's changed!
Cohen was a very prolific novelist and short story author who lived in Birmigham in the 1920's and 1930's. Several of his tales were adapted for movies and television. I've done a blog post on a few of his book covers here. I've also done a post on one of those film adaptations, The Big Gamble. That film happens to star Dorothy Sebastian, a Birmingham native. I've written about her as well.
This photograph of Gunn's Pharmacy in downtown Birmingham was taken in 1915. Read more about it here.