Sunday, July 5, 2015

Birmingham, Alabama, June 17, 2015

My in-laws and I like Birmingham, Alabama... a lot.  Considering that it was only 2 hours from Chattanooga, we decided to make a day trip out of it, after a couple days of rest from Bonnaroo for yours truly.  Here's what we did in the biggest city in 'Bama.

Lynyrd Skynyrd is still beloved here.

Stop #1 = Miss Myra's Pit Bar-B-Q, in Vestavia Hills, just outside of Birmingham.

Their BBQ was seriously delicious.

Even Christopher liked it.

Grandpa Lowell enjoyed having the day off to spend with his grandson.

Ditto with Grandma Pam.

The thing that sets Miss Myra's apart from other Birmingham BBQ is their white sauce, which is more traditional in northern Alabama (like Huntsville and Decatur).  It simply sits in bottles on the table at Miss Myra's, but it's good enough to put on everything.  I put it on my chicken, pulled pork, and potato salad, and I was tempted to put it into my sweet tea (just kidding).

This is one way to make white barbecue sauce (although the restaurant did it without the horseradish and Creole mustard).

Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham.  These statues are in memory of the victims of the bombing across the street.

16th Street Baptist Church, where the bombing happened (just beyond the people walking).

Our next destination was the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, across from both Kelly Ingram Park and the church.

The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a native of Birmingham and a singular figure in the civil rights movement.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Barriers exhibit

Needs no introduction (sadly).

Whites only recreation.

Birmingham Black Barons uniform

Willie Mays played here in Birmingham (we'd stop by the baseball field later on).

A white classroom...

...compared to a black classroom.


This stained glass window is from the 32nd Street Baptist Church, which relocated to a newer building in 2002.  This original window was removed and preserved as a "silent witness" to the civil rights movement.

"The greatest colored show on earth..."

The exhibits were quite strikingly arranged.

A typical black home, which you could walk through.

Map of black neighborhoods in Birmingham.


Another poignant exhibit.

Brown v. Board of Education exhibit.

Yikes... no wonder this was anonymously donated (seriously).

Chris didn't know what he was seeing, but he was a good boy... up to this point.



Rosa Parks statue





This was a destroyed bus on display.




Chris loves anything to do with automobiles, and couldn't be separated from the bus.

He seriously threw a fit when we left the room.






Exhibit on the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, a few yards away from where the bombing actually happened.



View of Birmingham and Kelly Ingram Park from inside the Civil Rights Institute.

This exhibit was dedicated to the first black mayor in Birmingham's history, Richard Arrington, Jr.

The 16th Street Baptist Church, seen from the mayor's office exhibit.

Dr. King statue inside Kelly Ingram Park.

A shocking statue inside Kelly Ingram Park.


The last time we were in this park, we missed this pathway through barking dog wall statues.

More than a little unsettling.



Rickwood Field, the oldest professional ballpark in America (1910).

Both white and black leagues played here and won pennants.





Final stop = the J. Clyde, on beautiful Cobb Lane.


Chris got his bottle, and we got ours.

Southern beer at its finest.

Coming up = Father's Day weekend in Cincinnati and Louisville.

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