The pain of losing a family treasure to an awakening Birmingham

John W. Scott

John W. Scott

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is John Scott.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

It was a little slice of Birmingham cultural and architectural history.  If you’re of a certain age (that is, old) you may remember going to Waite’s after church on Sunday and having the egg salad sandwich or eclairs.

You may also remember the strange foods over in the small and dusty grocery section, my most clear memory being the tins of chocolate covered ants from South America.  Continue reading

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How Birmingham pulled off a billion dollar triumph!

Tom Cosby

Tom Cosby

Barry Copeland

Barry Copeland

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest bloggers are Tom Cosby and Barry Copeland.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Editor’s note:  We in Birmingham are often guilty of not celebrating our successes. It’s only appropriate that two of Birmingham’s greatest community leaders tell the story about how The Chamber of Commerce (BBA) along with ordinary citizens and political leaders pulled off one of Birmingham’s greatest successes. Continue reading

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Would you buy a pickle from Vulcan?

Darlene Negrotto, President & CEO of Vulcan Park Foundation

Darlene Negrotto, President & CEO of Vulcan Park Foundation

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Darlene Negrotto.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

Take a moment to recall a fond memory of Vulcan.

Perhaps it was a childhood outing with family, or a romantic evening admiring the city lights.

Now think of the hundreds of thousands of others over the decades who have held similar heartfelt memories – and know that similar memories will continue to be made far into the future.

Vulcan is a common thread in our community.  He serves as an important link to our past, and to the generations yet to come. Continue reading

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National publication embarrasses Birmingham

Railroad Park--One of many recent Birmingham successes

Railroad Park–One of many recent Birmingham successes

I love to read positive national stories about Birmingham…and there have been a lot of them lately.

So I couldn’t wait to read the article in City Lab titled, “How Birmingham thrived despite a county bankruptcy in Alabama’s largest city–a story of economic confidence in an unlikely place.

“A story of economic confidence in an unlikely place.”

Yes, the piece bragged about Birmingham.  It described how we’ve thrived since the Jefferson County’s bankruptcy.

But then the author hit us in the face with a pie… Continue reading

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What I found while walking in downtown Birmingham

Charles Kinnaird

Charles Kinnaird

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Charles Kinnaird.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

We are bombarded with news of political discord at the local, state, and national level. One can get disheartened watching news broadcasts these days, wondering if we can safely navigate the political shoals ahead. Recently I found a place where everything seemed to be working, in spite of what the news media may report.

Continue reading

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A white mayor for Birmingham?

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Last year who would have predicted that Donald Trump might win the Republican Primary?

Last year who would have thought that Bernie Sanders would still be giving Hillary Clinton heartburn?

People have become so unhappy with the status quo that they are willing to vote for outsiders and non-traditional candidates.

It’s become totally impossible to predict elections and that may be true for Birmingham also.

Continue reading

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Why a divided Birmingham can’t survive

Maury Shevin

Maury Shevin

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Maury Shevin.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

There are two Birminghams.

At least two.

The historical reason for our two Birminghams is known to most of us.  Our history of racial segregation and economic colonialism is pretty widely known.  The result of Birmingham operating under those conditions for nearly all of its first 100 years, has left people of good intentions trying to overcome a terrible legacy–a legacy of unprincipled abuse leads to a world of fear and doubt and mistrust.

How can any white man, in a suit, be trusted? Continue reading

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How we in Jefferson County got screwed

Jefferson CountyWhat’s wrong with Jefferson County?

We  suffered through a very public bankruptcy and then had a parade of County Commissioners convicted of crimes–with many serving jail time.

We’re now paying the price with punishing sewer rates that are projected to increase for the next 40 years.

How did we get ourselves into this mess?

Are Jefferson County politicians more corrupt than others? Continue reading

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You won’t believe my experience riding a Birmingham bus!

Malcolm Carmichael 1ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Malcolm Carmichael.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

A few months ago I discussed with some friends (all of us well over 65) how we might get around Birmingham if/when we could no longer drive.

“We’d take the bus,” one replied and we all laughed. None of us had ridden a public bus since the 1960’s.  We also didn’t seem to know anyone who rode the bus.

The members of my transportation discussion group all live in Mountain Brook or Vestavia.  “Let’s take some field trips,” I said. “Let’s catch the bus in our neighborhoods and go downtown for lunch.”

They looked at me as if I’d suggested we all get root canals. Continue reading

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Birmingham is surprisingly awesome

Rotary Trail--Birmingham is surprisingly awesome

Rotary Trail–Birmingham is surprisingly awesome (Photo courtesy of Rotary Club of Birmingham)

Surprisingly Awesome is my favorite podcast.  Each episode explores topics that would put most people to sleep, but the show makes boring topics interesting and fun.

Subjects like pigeons, mold, or concrete become fascinating.

Birmingham, Alabama would be the perfect topic for the show.

Birmingham may sound boring—but Birmingham is Surprisingly Awesome. Continue reading

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