Reed Bookstore – Birmingham, Alabama

Reed Books is a bookstore owned by Jim Reed and is located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.  It is more than just an antique book store, it is also a museum of cultural artifacts.

When I first walked in the door, my jaw dropped and my eyes started to bulge out of my head.  I was speechless.

I could spend an entire day at this bookstore.  However, this is not a place I should be allowed to go unsupervised with a credit card.  The results could be disastrous.

Vulcan Park – Birmingham, Alabama

Vulcan Park is located at the top of a mountain in Birmingham, Alabama.  It is home to the largest iron statue in the world, which locals like to call The Original Iron Man.

Visitors can take an elevator up to a walkway near the top of the statue.  The view of Birmingham from there is breathtaking.

Vulcan Park also includes a museum that explains the role of iron production during the industrial revaluation and how Sloss Furnace (a facility that produced iron and steel) was responsible for the massive growth of the city of Birmingham.

Sloss Furnace – Birmingham, Alabama

Sloss Furnace began operation shortly after the Civil War and continued until 1970.  It was a huge producer of iron and steel, which was used in buildings all over the United States.  Sloss Furnace also provided the necessary material for weaponry during times of war and even produced common household products.

Sloss Furnace is also considered the most haunted place in Alabama.  An untold number of men lost their lives at Sloss Furnace, due to the dangerous working conditions.

In the 1990’s, a foreman named James “Slag” Wormwood was in charge of the night operations at the furnace.  In spite of limited visibility and extremely dangerous working conditions, Slag wanted his shift to produce at the highest level.

Slag refused to allow the men to have any breaks.  He would push them to work beyond their limits and completely disregarded the safety of his crew.  As a result, substantially more men were killed in workplace accidents whenever Slag was in charge.

Slag died one night when he “fell” into the largest furnace at the facility.  The workers claimed Slag slipped off the walkway; however, Slag would have no reason to be on that walkway and the story was viewed with great suspension.

In spite of the lack of evidence, everyone believed the night crew murdered Slag by throwing him into the furnace.

Various people have claimed to see Slag haunting the area.  He appeared to them as a badly burned man or as a man on fire.  They said Slag would push them and yell for them to “Get back to work!”  A few people that claimed to have seen Slag, also suffered severe burns when touched by him.

The hauntings at Sloss Furnace have been investigated by numerous paranormal investigative teams, including Ghost Adventurous, Ghost Hunters, and psychic investigators from AIRLINE.

Civil Rights Institute – Birmingham, Alabama

The Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, is an amazing museum and educational center.  As you view the exhibits, you can hear the personal stories of  numerous people involved in the civil rights movement.

I was walking through the museum, and I was struck by the courage and solidarity of those fighting for equality.  I was also struck by the ignorance and hatred of those fighting against equality.

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If we are wrong, the Supreme Court is wrong.

If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong.

If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Church Police – Literally

This week, the Alabama senate voted to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located in Birmingham, to have their own police force.  The church has over 4,000 people in attendance each week and they run a private school.  They said having their own police force would help to keep everyone safe.

I was flabbergasted when I first read the article.  I admit they have a lot of people on their campus, but it still seems strange for a church to have its own police force.

I have been thinking about the pro’s and con’s of this decision.  If there is an emergency on the church campus, they will have the ability to respond quickly and potentially save lives.

However, what if there is a crime?  What if the crime is committed by a beloved member, volunteer, or leader?  Will the police force be able to maintain objectivity and investigate the crime?  Also, allowing people to police themselves often ends in disaster.

What do you think about this church having its own police force?

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http://www.waff.com

Lost in Birmingham and Feeling Foolish

Gwen and I went to Birmingham on Monday.  We were ready to go home, but got confused as to which parking garage we had used.  We ended up going to the wrong one and spent the next hour trying to find our way back to the Jeep.

Gwen found a UAB employee and asked her to help us.  I told the lady, “I think we parked in the 7th Av garage, but I am not sure.”  She asked me if I had my parking ticket.  That’s when it dawned on me.  The garage name is on the parking ticket, which has been in my bag the whole time.

I wonder about myself sometimes.

While we were wandering around lost, I noticed some interesting looking statues and decided to take a few photos.  I guess it wasn’t a total waste of time.