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People, Places and Things

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By Gwen DeRu

TODAY…
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Get all the latest news!

FRIDAY…
**MOVIE NIGHT: SLAY THE DRAGON. Rent and Watch the documentary: ‘SLAY THE DRAGON’ and other movies at Sidewalkfest.com.

SATURDAY…
**FUN, GAMES, YARD AND HOUSE WORK including Uno, Monopoly, Solitare. Weeding the pretty flowers in the beds, cutting the grass, cleaning the grill or just sitting outside if the weather permits.

SUNDAY…
**FAMILY TIME AND GOOD FOOD. Someone is cooking a good meal! Check out tips for growing tomatoes. (Something to do outside that you can eat later.)

MONDAY…
**PLANNING AND MORE CATCH UP. Pull out that long to-do list and see what can be done during the week or weekend ahead. Making plans for the future and getting back to normal as best as you can.

TUESDAY…
**READ A GOOD BOOK… THE OTHER MADISONS: THE LOST HISTORY OF A PRESIDENT’S BLACK FAMILY is a good one. And, so is FASTER: HOW A JEWISH DRIVER, AN AMERICAN HEIRESS, AND A LEGENDARY CAR BEAT HILTER’S BEST. There are a few on the bookshelves, just laying around …or get an e-book.

WEDNESDAY…
**WEATHER WATCHING FOR THE WEEK AND WEEKEND. Looking for the weekend and thinking of what to do that depends on good weather outdoors. Getting out of the house even if going nowhere.  Take a walk if the weather is good.

THURSDAY…
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!

FRIDAY…
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch the documentary: ‘THE BOOK SELLERS’ at Sidewalkfest.com.

FOR OUTDOORS LOVERS…
When you can get outside (more) and go places of interest, here are a few places to visit outdoors, at the beach or in the mountains.
**BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS – If you love flowers, plants, short walks, herbs for cooking, quiet places, strolling and relaxing water, then the BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS will give you a little of it all and more.  You can even get a little of Japan in the mix. If you enjoy great food, you can have lunch in The Gardens Café by Kathy G that serves some of the best in the state.  Visit often and enjoy the Art of Kathy G in the food as the seasons change.
**CHEAHA STATE PARK – Alabama is home to great places to hike, see waterfalls, beaches and so much more.  Check out the mountain views while hiking at CAVE CREEK TRAIL in Alabama at the highest point in the state – Cheaha State Park.  It is not too far even if you live in Georgia.  It is a trip that you will never forget with big rock formations, flowing water, and fantastic views of hills and mountains as far as the eye can see.  Take plenty of photos for the memories.
**CAHABA RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE (near Montevallo) – If you were not a nature lover before the present time, once you get outside, you might just become the Number One Lover of Nature. For the best of nature, a great waterfall, scenery galore, and easy walking, check out FALLING ROCK FALLS TRAIL The best part of the trip is at the very end when you get to see the 90-foot waterfall making it worth whatever time it took to get there.  You can see the cavern that is located near the falls, just know that you are at the ‘top of the falls’ when you see the water…So watch your steps as you make your way to the bottom.
**BON SECOUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE – If you want to head to the Gulf Shores area where there are many more places with water, one of trails that has an amazing scenery and is nice to walk is the PINE BEACH TRAIL.  While at the Gulf, you can even make your way to the beaches along the coast of Alabama.

FOR GARDENING LOVERS…
**TIP FOR GROWING TOMATOES – If you love tomatoes then you already know that the Tomato Season is here …or almost here.  The taste of savory sauces and fresh summer salads are getting nearer and nearer.  You may even be planning on growing your own tomatoes this year.  They are very good, so why not?  Here is a tip to help with growing tomatoes that are plump, juicy, and lots of them.  ADD FISH PARTS.   Lots of farmers plant fish heads that they freeze first, so as not to smell, before putting them under the tomato.  It provides nitrogen and calcium during the decomposition. You will get healthy leaf and branch growth and eventually great tasting tomatoes.  ADDITIONAL TIPS:  Put EGGSHELLS crushed (broken) very small or ASPIRINS in the soil, around the root of the tomato plant.

FOR LOVERS OF ART…
IN YORK, ALABAMA… by way of Birmingham and a Miles College Professor….
AT ALTMAN RIDDICK GALLERY…LATER…
**TONY BINGHAM’S EXHIBITION OPENS IN YORK – Tony Bingham’s exhibition MEMORIAL MEDITATIONS will open at Altman Riddick Gallery, 630 Avenue A Street in York, Alabama 36925. The exhibition will close on Friday, May 22, 2020.

FOR BOOK LOVERS…
Here are a couple of books to read anytime, after washing your hands, before the news reports, during your down time or just to keep boredom away (with so much going on).
If you love motorsports, then you will love this book….
**BOOK: FASTER: HOW A JEWISH DRIVER, AN AMERICAN HEIRESS, AND A LEGENDARY CAR BEAT HILTER’S BEST – The book ‘FASTER’ written by best-selling author NEAL BASCOMB. They were three – a car, a driver and an heiress. They were the unlikeliest of heroes. Jewish driver Rene Dreyfus, a former top driver on the international racecar circuit, had been banned from the best European teams—and fastest cars—by the mid-1930s because of his Jewish heritage. Charles Weiffenbach, head of the down-on-its-luck automaker Delahaye, was desperately trying to save his company as the world teetered toward the brink. And, heiress and fellow racer, Lucy Schell, the adventurous daughter of an American multi-millionaire, yearned to reclaim the glory of her rally-driving days. As Nazi Germany launched its campaign of racial terror and pushed the world toward war, these three misfits banded together to challenge Hitler’s dominance at the apex of motorsport: the Grand Prix. Their quest for redemption culminated in a remarkable race that is still talked about in racing circles to this day—but which, soon after it ended, Hitler attempted to completely erase from history. Bringing to life this glamorous era and the sport that defined it, Faster chronicles one of the most inspiring, death-defying upsets of all time: a symbolic blow against the Nazis during history’s darkest hour.
This story of Jewish driver René Dreyfus (nicknamed “Jesse Owens on wheels” in the New York Times’ review of the book); heiress and formidable fellow racer Lucy Schell; Charles Weiffenbach, head of French automaker Delahaye; and Nazi driver Rudolf Caracciola has come roaring to life in truly cinematic fashion. Without spoiling the Grand Prix’s conclusion—though readers can probably predict how the race turned out—know that Faster chronicles what its publisher deems an “inspiring, death-defying” venture that Adolf Hitler soon strove to completely erase from history.
**BOOK: THE OTHER MADISONS: THE LOST HISTORY OF A PRESIDENT’S BLACK FAMILY – The book: ‘The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family’ is written by BETTYE KEARSE. For Ruby Laura Madison Wilson, her family’s ties to President James Madison had long been a point of pride. “Always remember—you’re a Madison,” she told her daughter, author Bettye Kearse. “You come from African slaves and a president.” Kearse, a retired pediatrician, felt differently. She was unable to separate her DNA from the “humiliation, uncertainty, and physical and emotional harm” experienced by her enslaved ancestor, a woman named Coreen who was, in fact, the Founding Father’s half-sister. According to family tradition, as passed down by generations of griot oral historians, Madison raped Coreen, who gave birth to a son, Jim, around 1792. Jim’s son, Emanuel Madison, was Kearse’s great-great-grandfather. The Other Madisons marks the culmination of Kearse’s 30-year investigation into not only her own family history, but that of other enslaved and free African Americans whose voices have been silenced over the centuries. Though she lacks conclusive DNA or documentary evidence linking her to Madison, Kearse hasn’t let this upend her sense of identity.
**BOOK: FIGHTING WORDS: THE BOLD AMERICAN JOURNALISTS WHO BROUGHT THE WORLD HOME BETWEEN THE WARS – The book ‘Fighting Words: The Bold American Journalists who Brought the World Home Between the Wars’ was written by NANCY F. COTT. In the years between World War I and World War II, American journalists struggled to address many of the same debates that dominate today’s media landscape: democracy versus authoritarianism, interventionism versus isolationism, and objectivity versus propaganda, among others. Nancy F. Cott’s Fighting Words highlights four foreign correspondents—Dorothy Thompson, John Gunther, Vincent Sheean and Rayna Raphaelson Prohme—who wrestled with these issues. Cott draws on details from their personal lives and reporting trips to China, Palestine, Moscow and Berlin to reveal both “the making of the modern self,” in the words of publisher Hachette, as well as the role international reporting played in shaping the United States’ own burgeoning national identity.
(Thanks Smithsonianmag.com and Melian Solly.)

FOR THE COMMUNITY…
**2020 SICKLE CELL VIRTUAL WALK OF CENTRAL ALABAMA – This community wide charitable event, has evolved into the 2020 Sickle Cell Virtual Walk. The Official 2020 Sickle Cell Virtual Walk of Central Alabama Day is Friday, June 19, 2020, which is also World Sickle Cell Awareness Day. For Virtual Sickle Cell Walk registration details go to www.sicklecellbham.org.

FOR MOVIE LOVERS…
**BLACK MOVIE NIGHT – Movies are a great form of entertainment. The Black Business School has created the Black Movie Night in an effort to build a new and better black version of Hollywood by making movies and celebrating black filmmakers in the community. Here are a few coming. Check them out!
**May 21 – RESURRECTING BLACK WALL STREET: THE BLUEPRINT is directed by Dorian Chandler.
**June 25 – THE BLACK LOVE BLUEPRINT is directed by Dorian Chandler and executive produced by S. Tia Brown.

AT THE SIDEWALK FEST…
**SIDEWALK HOME VIDEO MOVIE: SLAY THE DRAGON – The movie ‘Slay the Dragon” is a documentary directed by CHRIS DURRANCE and BARAK GOODMAN. ‘Slay the Dragon’ shows how gerrymandering has become an immensely powerful weapon of partisan advantage, creating an unresponsive and unaccountable government. But ahead of the 2020 elections and a new round of redistricting, voters are fighting back. With exclusive access to influential, citizen-led activist groups, as well as the legal team that brought the most important voting rights case in a generation to the Supreme Court, SLAY THE DRAGON chronicles the civic grit that is turning the tide in the battle for the legitimacy of U.S. democracy. It influences elections and sways outcomes – gerrymandering has become a hot-button political topic and symbol for everything broken about the American electoral process. But there are those on the front lines fighting to change the system. (Rent a movie at Sidewalk Home Video)

**SIDEWALK NEW CLASSES FOR FILM MAKERS –
-VISUAL APPROACHES TO DOCUMENTARY, Friday, 5:30 p.m. with Bud Simpson
-INDIE DISTRIBUTION with RUMUR FILMS, May 19th, 6:30 p.m. with Michael Galinsky.
-INTRO TO FINAL CUT PRO X, May 21, 28 and June 2, 8 p.m. with Dionna McMillian.
-THE NAKED TRUTH: GETTING TO THE HEART F PERFORMANCE, May 23, 2 p.m. with Ya’Ke Smith.
(For more and to register, go to www.sidewalkfest.com)

**SIDEWALK FILM CENTER TEEN VIDEO CHALLENGE – Sidewalk Film Center (SFC) is accepting submissions from high school juniors and seniors for the Teen Video Challenge. The Challenge creates a platform for those teenagers to create a video diary of how COVID-19 is affecting them and gives them a chance to show us how their lives have been altered. SFC will accept up to 50 submissions from Birmingham area juniors and seniors. All submissions that follow the guidelines will be made available to watch on Sidewalk’s YouTube channel. The top five, as selected by the Sidewalk programming team, will receive a $100 stipend, two Sidewalk Film Festival passes, and automatic acceptance into the Sidewalk Film Festival as part of our teen filmmaker programming.
**SIDEWALK FILM CENTER YOUTH BOARD – The Sidewalk Youth Board is a group of high school students from across the Birmingham area that shares a love for movies. The Youth Board writes, produces, directs, edits, and eventually screens their own short film, which will also appear in the Sidewalk Film Festival lineup.
Youth Board Members: Learn about filmmaking from local professionals- scriptwriting, shooting, editing, and everything in between. Produce a short film as a team that will premiere at the Sidewalk Film Festival. Learn about film analysis and festival programming. Get an inside look at how film festivals like Sidewalk operate throughout the year. Serve as the screening committee and programmers for the Sidewalk Film Festival Teen Filmmaking Category. Youth Board members also get to help the programming team choose films submitted by other teen filmmakers for consideration at the festival. Questions about Youth Board can be emailed tokiwi@sidewalkfest.com. Application deadline is tomorrow, May 15.

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 and gwenderu@yahoo.com.