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People, Places and Things

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Gwen DeRu
          Gwen DeRu
Gwen DeRu

By Gwen DeRu
Here’s wishing you a safe, healthy 2014…plus ‘all’ that you wish for you and yours!!!  Enjoy….and Share the remainder of the Season!  HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LeBOISE DeRU, SENATOR LINDA COLEMAN, BETTINA BYRD-GILES, RENEE KEMP-ROTAN, DRU HARRIS EALONS, CHUCK GEISEE, JAMES WILLIAMS, KYLE WHITMIRE, WILLIAM BARNES and HAROLD COX.

SHOWTIME BIRMINGHAM STYLE 2014 – PERFORMERS ARE INVITED – The Sickle Cell Foundation of Central Alabama is inviting all performers that might be interested in performing at the Showtime Birmingham Style 2014 to audition Saturday, January 18 at the downtown Birmingham Sheraton Hotel, 9 a.m.  DETAILS – Must be 21, bring your music on CD (or instrument), sing, dance, a comedian, an instrumentalist or a member of a choir (individual or group.  There is no Entry fee.   It is a black tie, red carpet event on Saturday, February 1st.  There will be a First Place Prize – $1,000, Second Place – $500 and Third Place – $250.  Call (205) 780-2355 or 1-800-735-0405 or email caprenia.anthony@yahoo.com.

FREEDOM TREE PLANTING – The public is invited to attend the Freedom and Tree Planting reception and kick-off featuring Mayor William Bell, Sr., former NFL player Gary Burley and music legend Bootsy Collins who will debut the commemorative song and video, Saturday, 2 p.m. at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.  Call (205) 943-2006 for more. Or email prostartacademy@bellsouth.net.
PPT Art LoversFOR ART LOVERS….
A New Art Form by Artist John Solomon Sandridge – A portion of the proceeds will go to BCRI Reception with Artist, Saturday, January 11 at 3 p.m.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) will present “Numinousneoism™, an exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist John Solomon Sandridge on January 13 through March 23, 2014 in BCRI’s Odessa Woolfolk Gallery.    A special reception with the artist will be held Saturday, January 11 at 3 pm in BCRI’s Rotunda. The reception is free and open to the public. For more information call 205-328-9696 x 234.
BIRMINGHAM ATTORNEY GOES TO EGYPT – Local attorney Kathleen Johnson, of the firm Gespass and Johnson, has been selected to observe the referendum on Egypt’s proposed new constitution, scheduled to take place on January 14 and 15, as part of a United States delegation organized by Democracy International. She has vast experience in human rights and election work in some of the world’s most dangerous places, beginning as a United Nations Volunteer in Bosnia during, and immediately after, the wars in the former Yugoslavia. Since, she has investigated allegations of war crimes in Albania and Kosovo and has observed elections in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She has also served in various capacities for elections in less troubled countries, including post-war Bosnia and Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Estonia, Ukraine and Venezuela. Her international human rights advocacy has taken her to the Philippines, Bosnia, Croatia and Tajikistan.
MOUNTAIN BROOK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOURTH ANNUAL LUNCHEON – The Mountain Brook Chamber presents its Fourth Annual Luncheon, Thursday, January 16, 11:30 a.m. at the Club Grand Ballroom.  Mr. Richard C. Kessler Chairman and CEO of the Kessler Enterprise, Inc. is the keynote speaker. Reservations are required.  Call (205) 871-3779 or welcometomountainbrook.com
REGISTER FOR THE V2V 10K – Register for the (Village to Village Run) January 25, 8 a.m. at welcometomountainbrook.com.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY OF SERVICE – Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve will honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 20) with a day of service project coordinated with Hands On Birmingham to work on Long Leaf Cottage, one of the Preserve’s original buildings, that is being renovated into an educational facility for the Preserve.  The annual day of service commemorates the civic contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  This is the 14th year that Hands On Birmingham has coordinated one of the largest days of service in the Hands On Network nationally.
Volunteers can register at http://www.handsonbirmingham.org/MLK.
FOR OUTDOORS LOVERS
THIS SATURDAY, 9 a.m. Dayhike at the Limestone Rail Trail in Elkmont, Alabama.  Details: This trail is located in extreme North Alabama just to the west of I-65 and a few miles south of the Tennessee-Alabama border.  The hike is rated easy.  We will hike a total of 5.3 miles.  There is lots of lovely scenery along the path that was once a part of the Tennessee and Alabama Central Railroad.  We anticipate that fall color will abound in the trees surrounding the trail.  The trail is flat, no hills, and it winds through wetlands with wildlife and a great variety of birds.  On the trail you will pass the site of the Civil War Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle.  There is a brief presentation, at the beginning of the trail by Richard Martin (who is responsible for the trails created) on how the trail was created.  Well-behaved, supervised children age eight and over able to walk 6 miles without complaining are welcome.  There is an optional dinner afterwards.  Depart 9 a.m. from the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride.  Info: Terry Clement, (205)221-5901.
THIS SUNDAY, 1 p.m. Dayhike in Oak Mountain State Park. Details: Enjoy a moderate four-mile walk in the woodlands near Birmingham on a Sunday afternoon.  This is an excellent outing for introducing your friends to Southeastern Outings and for making new friends who enjoy the outdoors.  Parts of this hike may be off the color-coded trails.  There will be some ups and downs.  Well-behaved, properly supervised children age eight and up able to walk the distance of about 4 miles and complete the hike are welcome.  Share an adventure!  Bring a friend. Depart 1 p.m. from the Oak Mountain Park office parking lot. Please bring $3/person ($1 seniors) park admission fee plus your drink.  Info: Bonnie Black, (205)764-2989
CLASSES FOR MANAGING ‘YOUR’ MONEY – MAKE SMART MONEY MOVES – The Birmingham Public Library is offering free classes on money in the LAST The last CLASS is Jan. 23 – FOR CHILDREN….Bring the little ones to see Phillip “Mr. Mac’’ McEntee as he leads “A Penny Saved’’ in this 3:30 p.m. children’s program at Avondale Library, 509 – 40th St. South. Using Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “A penny saved is a penny earned,’’ Mr. Mac will teach children about the importance of saving money.  The classes are part of a national grant program known as “Making Cents: Resources to Help Your Money Grow” and “Smart investing@your library®,” a partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. The Birmingham Public Library and 14 other libraries in Jefferson and Shelby counties offer the series. The programs will end in May 2014. Other BPL locations include Avondale, Five Points West, North Birmingham and Springville Road.  All classes are free and open to the public. For more information, call Jim Murray at (205) 226-3690, visit www.making-cents.org.

HERE ARE A FEW MORE THINGS GOING ON…
THIS WEEKEND….

PPT CARLOS MENCIA**CARLOS MENCIA at the STARDOME COMEDY CLUB. The Mind of Mencia (Comedy Central) and HBO Specials Comedy Central presents Carlos Mencia WB Recording Artist at the Stardome, again.  WE love him here in Birmingham.

THEN, AT THE STARDOME… DON’T MISS… next weekend, COREY HOLCOMB on January 17-19 and HENRY CHO on January 30-February 2.  Tell Bruce that Gwen sent you.  Enjoy some good laughter and fun times while you eat some great food with your great friends.  See you there!  For more, call (205) 444-0008.

TODAY… STEVE ROBERTS QUARTET with ASHLEY ROBERTS, 8 p.m. at Ona’s Music Room.
FRIDAY…
**FRIDAY AFTER WORK, 4:30 – 9:30 p.m. at 25 West Oxmoor Road, Suite 26 in Homewood.  Call (205) 572-1295 for more.
**STEVE MCCULLOUGH BAND 10 p.m. at Ona’s Music Room.
SATURDAY…
**ON PURPOSE with DWIGHT HOUSTON, 10 p.m. at Ona’s Music Room.
SUNDAY….
**PHASE II BAND AND SHOW, 9 p.m. at Tide & Tiger Lounge, 409 Graymont Avenue (across from Legion Field.)  For more, call (205) 229-4829 or 502-3880.
MONDAY….
**NAPPY NIGHT – Music at Boujee Lounge, every Monday at 204 Avenue U in Pratt City, 8 p.m. with good jerk food, vendors and music.  See you there on Mondays!
TUESDAY…
**MUSIC with DJ BATMAN…at the New Tide and Tiger!!
WEDNESDAY…
**MUSIC with DJ BATMAN…at the New Tide and Tiger!!
AT THE NEW TIDE AND TIGER – In the neighborhood… Around the corner… Down the street…and across from the Legion Field Stadium on Graymont is the ‘new’ TIDE AND TIGER…. With music, good food and fun times.   You can even play cards on some nights and get Dance Classes by PASQUALES every Saturday at 4 p.m.  Check out the ‘new’ Tide and Tiger Lounge.  For more call (205) 503-3880.  Don’t say that I did not tell you when you hear about this ’best kept secret’ around. Tell them Gwen sent you.
**BAMA presents UAB Brass Quintet in free concert – The Birmingham Art Music Alliance will present the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Music’s Brass Quintet in a free concert of newly composed music by BAMA members at 7:30 p.m., in the Samford University Brock Recital Hall, 800 Lakeshore Drive.

COMING SOON…,
IN 2014 –

PPT NAREK ARUTYUNIANJANUARY 23 – NAREK ARUTYUNIAN, clarinetist performs Thursday, at the Alys Stephens Center.
JANUARY 24 and 26 – RIGOLETTO, Friday, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. at the Wright Center, Samford University with Todd Thomas (Baritone, Rigoletto), Jan Cornelius (Soprano, Gilda), Michael Wade Lee (Tenor, Duke) and Steven White, Conductor.  Call (205) 322-6737.
JANUARY 25 – C. S. LEWIS’ WILLIAM AND THE SENATOR’S DAUGHTER, 7 p.m. at the Brock Recital Hall, Samford University.
FEBRUARY 1 – SICKLE CELL GALA at the Sheraton Hotel.

MARCH 8 – UNCF MASKED BALL GALA, 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Birmingham Ballroom.
NOW…. a BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU DR. JESSE J. LEWIS, SR., LeBOISE DeRU, SENATOR LINDA COLEMAN, BETTINA BYRD-GILES, RENEE KEMP-ROTAN, DRU HARRIS EALONS, CHUCK GEISEE, JAMES WILLIAMS, KYLE WHITMIRE, WILLIAM BARNES and HAROLD COX.…AND TO ALL CELEBRATING!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL YOU BIRTHDAY BALLERS…MANY, MANY MORE HAPPY BIRTHDAYS!!  ENJOY!!
Well, that’s it.  Tell you more ‘next’ time.
(People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu is a weekly column. Send comments to my emails: thelewisgroup@birminghamtimes.com or gwenderu@yahoo.com)