Road Scholar to speak in Demopolis on Mt. Ida Quilt Project

Sarah Bliss Wright, a member of the Alabama Humanities Foundation’s Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, will present The Mt. Ida Quilt Project:  One Community, Two Quilts, Three Centurieson January 18, at noon, at the Demopolis Public Library.

About the presentation
“The Mt. Ida Quilt Project:  One Community, Two Quilts, Three Centuries” weaves together the stories of two quilts and the women who made them, connected by land but separated by three centuries.  Each 21st century woman adopted the square of the 19th century woman who lived closest to her present home and, through replicating the old quilt, came to know the original quiltmakers, the history of the community, a greater knowledge of Alabama history, and, in the end, created a sense of community that existed 163 years ago. The Mt. Ida Quilt Project is a history lesson, quilting tutorial, and introduction to valuable research tools easily available to novice researchers.

To read about more Road Scholar Speakers Bureau presentations, visit http://www.alabamahumanities.org/programs/road/.

About the scholar
Alabama native Sarah Bliss Wright spent thirty years in performing arts before quilts captured her attention.  Though she grew up surrounded by quilts, it was not until 2006 that the idea of turning her talents to textile art was born. A crazy quilt that she made from her late father’s silk neckties ignited a desire to add quilting to her creative pursuits.  Serious study of quilt history began after a serendipitous meeting of fellow Alabamian Mary Elizabeth Johnson Huff, well-known author of numerous quilt books.

Ms. Wright holds a BA in Psychology from Samford University (Birmingham, AL) and studied at the University of Exeter, England as a Rotary International Fellow.  She is curator for “Our Quilted Past,” an exhibit of Alabama feedsack quilts and Bemis Bro. Bag Company, and her research on the subject is published in Uncoverings 2013. A member of the American Quilt Study Group, Sarah lives in Mobile.

Call the library to reserve a plate lunch for $7 or bring your own lunch. The Friends of the Library will provide drinks and dessert. Call 334.289.1595 for more information.

About the Alabama Humanities Foundation

The Alabama Humanities Foundation fosters learning, understanding and appreciation of our people, communities and cultures. As the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, AHF supports humanities projects through grantmaking and conducts statewide programs including Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, SUPER Teacher Institutes and PRIME TIME Family Reading Time. For more information on AHF and its programs, please visit alabamahumanities.org or call (205) 558-3980.

 

DECA drive contributes 300 coats

Pictured are Holiday Cleaners employees with DECA members, Courtney Roberts and Brionna Howerton.

Demopolis High School DECA launched their “DECA is Driven” Coat Drive Campaign during the month of November to help make this Christmas season warmer for children and families in Marengo County. Coats and monetary donations were collected from classes at Demopolis High School and U.S. Jones Elementary.

The classes held a friendly competition to see who could win a wing party catered by Batter Up! Several local businesses also had donation jars to help the cause. ​This year’s coat drive was a huge success with 303 coats, nine stuffed animal toys, and $225.82 in donations! Donations were delivered to Marengo County DHR. The donated jackets and stuffed animals were generously cleaned and mended by the staff at Holiday Cleaners.

Stokes crowned 2017 Young Miss COTR (with gallery)

10-10-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Kylie Elizabeth Stokes (right) reacts as she realizes that she will be Young Miss Christmas on the River 2017 as Adalyn Broox Lindsey’s (left) name is called as first alternate.

Young Miss Christmas on the River 2017 saw 33 contestants compete for the title at the Demopolis Civic Center. They paraded in true pageantry form to show their best style, poise and beauty as the judges chose a top 15. These young ladies presented their best and included Millie Hill, Emery Wideman, Susanna Bell, Elliegh Reid Dossett, Mary Carlton Parten, Madisen Sewell, Maddie Grace Teel, Sha’Keithia Murphy, Kyle Stokes, Olivia Tripp, Anna Kate Morrison, Adalyn Lindsey, Ari Freeman, Ali Basinger, and Bailey Madison Bolden.

After the top 15 contestants walked a second time, the judges narrowed the competition down to a top 5, who were judged on their ability to speak in public and think on their feet by answering the question, “What do you look for in a friend?” These third through fifth grade thought very hard to come up with the best answer to win the judges over. After the judges reflected on their decision, the new Young Miss COTR and her Royal Court were decided.

Placing fourth alternate was Mary Carlton Parten wearing a beautiful white tulle gown with silver and gold sequins. Susanna Bell was awarded third alternate in an off the shoulder elegant princess gown with lots of sparkle. Wearing a fabulous white formal gown with a silver beaded bodice and white rosettes on the skirt was second alternate, Emery Wideman. Adalyn Broox Lindsey earned first alternate wearing a gorgeous white satin gown embellished with crystals.

Crowned Young Miss Christmas on the River was Kylie Stokes in a perfect satin Christmas red gown detailed with crystals. Kylie is the daughter of Wayne and Heather Stokes and attends U.S. Jones. She was extremely shocked and overwhelmed at winning the title. Ms. Stokes is excited and looks forward to riding and waving in the COTR Day parade. She wants everyone to know how much fun it was to compete in this year’s pageant and hopes that everyone will sign up for next year and have as much fun as she did.

Come out and support the last of the COTR pagaents, Little Miss COTR, tonight at the Civic Center at 6pm.

Jefferson VFD to host BBQ fundraiser Oct. 7 beginning at 9 a.m.

Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department will host its annual barbecue on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Jefferson Community Club. Barbecue by the pound will be available beginning at 9 a.m. Visitors can get to-go plates or dine in from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., or until the barbecue has sold out.

The cost is $9 per pound or per plate, which includes barbecue, homemade potato salad and cake, bread, and pickles. The barbecue is cooked over hickory coals at the Club’s onsite barbecue pit by members of the volunteer fire department. Pints of their signature sauce will be available for $3.

In recent years, the event has been a sell-out, so the department cannot guarantee that barbecue will still be available as late as 4 p.m.

“We pack the pit as tight as we can get it to cook as much as we can,” said Dave Compton, who is one of the overnight cooks and serves as maintenance officer of the department.

The meat cooks all day and all night Friday, and on Saturday morning they start pulling it off the pit, shoulder by shoulder, to chop it. The meat is sauced and then makes its way to the kitchen, where another crew starts packing pounds of meat to begin selling at 9 a.m. At 10:30, they begin making take-out plates and serving in the dining room.

The event is the department’s primary fundraiser, aiding the group in maintenance and upgrades to their equipment and facility, which is located next door to Jefferson Community Club. The fleet includes five trucks used to service the community–a service truck, brush truck, two engines, and tanker.

“Our barbecue has been a tremendous help to us over the years,” said JVFD Chief George Norris. “The funds we raise at this event help us do some of the things that we might not be able to do with only restricted funds that are allocated to us. It takes a lot of money and time to maintain a fire department, partly because of all of the equipment that’s required for us to not only pass inspection but to strive for a rating that helps ensure that our neighbors can see the positive results of fire protection when it comes time to pay their property insurance premiums.”

JVFD’s coverage area includes not only the immediate five-mile stretch adjacent to the station, but also mileage of highway 80 west as far as Plaza Golf Carts in Demopolis, County Roads 21 and 57, Rangeline Road, and dozens of dirt roads throughout the community. The department is manned entirely by volunteers.

“Everything we do is a commitment of time from our volunteers, a true commitment,” Norris said. “Our volunteers don’t just show up when we’re paged, fight a fire, then go home. We have a dedicated group of individuals who train several hours each month, keep our facility and trucks clean, perform maintenance, paint and keep the grass and brush clear around nearly 70 hydrants along the roadsides, and all of the other logistics that have to be in line for us to operate.”

Combining all of these efforts, Jefferson VFD volunteers commit nearly 2,000 man hours each year. That’s likely a modest estimate. But their work is necessary.

“Our department was established in 1986 after several properties in our community were lost to fire,” Norris said. “We’re not going to prevent every fire from happening, but we can help provide a sense of security and an awareness for safety when incidents occur. We’ve put an extra emphasis on outreach and fire prevention in the last couple of years, and we hope that every little thing we do to show people how they can be safe will help them if they’re ever involved with a fire or accident that could lead to a fire.”

Jefferson has a small population, but the broad area is literally a map of some of the county’s best pasture land and timber. A high percentage of JVFD’s calls are for brush fires, so controlling the fire safely before allowing it to overcome a property or reach a structure is usually the top priority.

“Fire protection, especially for volunteer fire departments, seems like it used to be a matter of putting water on a flame, but so many factors have changed it over the years,” Norris said. “Making way for every safety measure that we can changes the system. More money has to be spent on safety equipment, more hours need to be dedicated to training than ever before, and we have to keep all of these things in mind while we do the things that before may have seemed like such basic steps. We’re fortunate to have people who are committed to giving what it takes.”

To support Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department, make plans to attend their annual barbecue on Saturday, Oct. 7. For more information, contact a member of the department, follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JeffersonVolunteerFireDepartment, or email JeffersonVFDept@gmail.com.

Photo of the Day

If you missed opening night, you still have three chances to see The Canebrake Players performance of “Smoke on the Mountain” at the Canebrake Theatre in Demopolis.

Saturday, July 29th at 7:00pm

Sunday, July 30th at 2:00pm

Monday, July 31st at 7:00pm

Photo of the Day

Fireworks light up the night during Freedom on the River at the city landing in Demopolis.

2017 HWY 80 Songwriters Fest (gallery)

Friday on the Square: Jazz Concert with Cashmere Williams and Band

Join friends, family and co-workers to experience Friday on the Square featuring a jazz concert by Cashmere Williams and his band on Friday, April 28 at 6 p.m.   
Cashmere Williams has become one of the most prominent musicians in the Southeast. He has recorded three albums on Lenoah Records Label established in 1998. He started playing the guitar in church at the young age of seven years old where he honed his skills and learned how to interact with different musicians. In 1995, he was accepted into Berkley College of Music on a partial scholarship where he majored in composition and arranging while studying with world-class musicians. In 2003, he was asked to back Ruben Studdard and began touring nationally appearing on shows like: The David Letterman Show, The Ellen DeGeneres show, the Jay Leno Show, The View, and many more. After three years on the road, Cashmere slowed down so he could focus on spending time with his newly born daughter Harmonie Williams which spawned his latest release “New Birth” Presently, cashmere’s working on publishing his first book due for release in 2016.
“Police Chief Tommie Reese encouraged the arts council to contact Cashmere Williams for a jazz concert on Public Square,” says Two Rivers Arts Council President Carolyn Cowling. “Last year’s concert was a huge success and the weather was perfect. I think our community is in for an entertaining night of music!”
The event is sponsored by the Two Rivers Arts Council.  The event is free and the public is encouraged to bring coolers, chairs, and blankets for this night of jazz in Public Square in historic, downtown Demopolis. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the Marengo County History and Archives Museum located behind The Mustard Seed in the Rosenbush Building.
We encourage everyone in Marengo County to support the arts by becoming a member of the Two Rivers Arts Council.  An Individual membership is $25 and a patron membership that includes two membership cards is $60. For more information contact Judy Etheridge at 334-295-4254  or visit us on Facebook.

Photo of the Day

Logan Boone (left) and his fiancé Amber Nelson near the finish line during the Cock’s Crow 5K run on Rooster Day in Demopolis. Boone and Nelson each placed second in their respective divisions. (WAW | Michael Clements)

Demopolis In Bloom hosting 2017 Symposium

Demopolis In Bloom will host its 2017 Symposium at the Demopolis Civic Center, beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 30.

Teresa Johnson of Johnson’s Garden and Cafe in Duncanville will be speaking about Southern Living Shrubs and plants that grown in the Demopolis area. Mike Randall of BWI will be speaking about turf maintenance for the homeowner. Jane Watson will be speaking about and demonstrating how to establish a cut flower garden.

Demopolis In Bloom is sponsored by Collins Communications, George Franks, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Evans and Barbara Blevins. The symposium is offered at no charge to the public.