Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Fiction 55

Jim and Jane are colleagues.  They were staying in a hotel for a business conference.  They have their own rooms.  Wanted to relax.  Met in the bar.  Had a few drinks.  Jim asked her to come to his room.  Jane refused.  Jim asked: Are you afraid of me?  Jane replied: I am afraid of me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Birmingham, Alabama

We went to Birmingham, Alabama to attend a close relative’s wedding.  Given that we had come to Birmingham for a wedding, we had very limited time to do “sightseeing” in Birmingham. 
The city definitely has an important place in US history for its Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was an effort by black people in the 1950s and 1960s, especially in the South, to eliminate racial segregation and discrimination (er go gain equal rights).  This movement was led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
MLK chose to do this via non-violent protests and civil disobedience.  He was definitely influenced by the philosophy of non-violence practiced by Mahatma Gandhi. The non-violent protests and civil disobedience included a bus boycott.  This was because blacks were allowed to only sit in the back seats of the bus and not the front seats.   They also had several “sit-ins” and “marches” to protest racial inequality.  Those who took part in these movements were punished by the local government authorities.  They were attacked with fire hoses and police dogs.
People in many cities throughout the South participated in the Civil Rights Movement.  However, Birmingham had a defining moment.  During the Movement, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was bombed by the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan.  Four young black girls attending the church were killed in September 1963 and the whole country mourned.  This was a turning point for the Movement and it helped the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, under President Lyndon Johnson.
Here are a few photos:
                                                           16th Street Baptist Church
                                                                     Church Sign
                                Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Assasinated at the age of 39
The caption under the statue says: I ain't afraid of your jail
This sculpture is dedicated to the foot soldiers. Here is the caption:
This sculpture is dedicated to the foot soldiers of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement.  With gallantry, courage, and great bravery, they faced the violence of attack dogs, high powered water hoses, and bombings.  They were the fodder in the advance against injustice, warriors of a just cause; they represent humanity unshaken in their firm belief in their nation’s commitment to liberty and justice for all.
We also found time to visit Vulcan Park where we saw a 56ft tall Vulcan statue (The Roman god of metal, work and forge).  This was commissioned by Birmingham to represent their new growing city at the 1904 St. Louis World Fair.

                                                     Vulcan (not Spock from Star Trek)

                                                    Overview of the City of Birmingham

                                                               Streets of Birmingham

Birmingham at night


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The South

What comes to your mind when you think of “The South”?  When I say The South, I mean the Southern part of the United States.
Do you think of a classic movie like Gone With The Wind?
Or perhaps its Southern Hospitality…because the people are gracious, friendly, polite, and respectful.
Are you a foodie because Southern food is so yummy.
Or do just think of the Southern Girls because they are so beautiful and have that wonderful accent.  (Daisy Duke Y’all)
Perhaps you think of its history and the dark/ugly side of racial discrimination.
Does Martin Luther King come to mind and his struggle for civil rights through non-violence?
Maybe it’s George Wallace - the controversial Governor of Alabama.
Did you say entertainment? Let’s not forget the KING (ELVIS) is from The South as is Britney Spears.
Of course The South is also known for football - not soccer, not futbol but American football.  The South has most of the top high school teams in the nation.  And of course everyone knows that in college football The South RULES!  Especially the state of Alabama (Roll Tide!)
Now why am I writing about all of these things regarding The South? Well, we are visiting The South for the first time this week.  We are attending a wedding in Birmingham, Alabama and then we will stay back for a few extra days and visit Atlanta, Georgia.
See y’all after I return.
Yes, I said y’all. 
See, I already have a (wannabe) Southern accent.