Five minutes can feel like an hour to a young child. Here are some tips for building the skill of patience (which is necessary over a lifetime!).

Here’s wishing all our Druid City Living readers a great week, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved, and above all else: Have fun!

And remember: If you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

Enjoy your week, T-Town.

About 1000 job seekers and 65 employers attended the second annual job fair held in Tuscaloosa on July 11 at the McDonald Hughes Community Center. The job fair was sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army, West/Central Alabama Chapter, the Tuscaloosa County Parks and Recreation Authority (PARA), and the Alabama Department of Labor.

Billie Jean is a beautiful, sleek, solid black beauty with the longest tail! This gorgeous feline is the Humane Society of West Alabama’s Pet of the Week!

At differing times in life, everyone should take time to reflect and be painfully honest: What have I accomplished? What were my mistakes? Where do I want to go from here? And, how can I do better in the future?

Here’s the deal with mistakes: most people think of failure as an enemy to success. It’s not. The only way you learn from mistakes is to make them.

Tuscaloosa’s One Place, A Family Resource Center (TOP) has launched the public phase of a $1 million capital campaign in conjunction with their 20th Anniversary celebration. The “Families Helping Families” campaign will support the purchase and renovation of the new building.  Families Helping Families is driven by two local families, Dave and Jenny Pass and Chris and Allison Gunter. 

I can’t tell you how fun it has been catching up with my fellow foodies of Tuscaloosa to talk all things food! This month, my pal Deidre Stalnaker, Director of Communications at The University of Alabama, dishes on her love of local food. 

How would you describe your food personality? 

 
Eclectic. My likes are all over the place. Growing up, my father was in the Army, so we moved around a bit. We’d be eating my Nanny’s fried chicken livers down in Prattville, schnitzel and hot potato salad in Landstuhl, Germany, sloppy Joes in Olympia, Washington, (I was in first grade and there was a restaurant that specialized in them) – and everything in between.  

 

My dad and I recently tried the lengua tacos from the Mexican market on Veteran’s Parkway. They’re good if you can distract yourself from the fact it’s a cow’s tongue!  

 

What is your favorite home cooked item? Any special story behind it? 
 

I don’t have just one favorite, but one of my favorites is squash casserole. When I was little, I wouldn’t eat it because I thought it looked gross. My dad told me to try it and if I didn’t like it, he’d give me a dollar. Best time I ever lost money.  

 

Do you like to cook? If not, who is your favorite cook in your life? 

 
I like to cook on occasion. The fact that I don’t have to everyday makes it more fun. My favorite cook of all time is my grandmother, Nanny Stalnaker. She didn’t have a recipe for anything, she just knew.  

 

What is your favorite dish in Tuscaloosa? 

 
The brisket tacos at River. River’s menu changes seasonally, so they may not always have them. The tamales from the Mexican food truck on the UA campus is a close second. 

We typically think of our dream as something off in the future, at some time or place we may or may not ever reach. We can focus so much on hoping for a better future that we overlook the good things in our lives today. Often, even when we achieve some or all of our desires, we complain about them, take them for granted, or dismiss all the work it took to accomplish them. 

Theatre Tuscaloosa will bring fun and energy to your “Summer Nights” with their July production of Grease 

“The stage version of Grease came out in the early 70s,” said Tina Turley, executive producer for Theatre Tuscaloosa. “It was a raucous and rebellious answer to the squeaky clean 50s portrayal of teenagers. The script has morphed over the years to lean towards the movie. The movie is a cult classic, and people will not be disappointed when they see our production.” 

The 1978 movie of the same name, developed from the stage production, portrayed a milder toned-down version of the original storyline, including additional songs written specifically for the film version. “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “Sandy,” and “Grease” are songs originally written for the film adaptation. Theatre Tuscaloosa has made it a point to acquire the rights for all three.  

“We want our audience to be involved and sing along to all these fun tunes,” Turley said. 

Later revivals of the stage production, including Theatre Tuscaloosa’s, follow the film-version more closely, while still addressing the original themes of love, friendship, peer pressure, and personal core values.  

“Everyone knows a Danny, or a Rizzo, or a Sandy, or a Kenickie,” said Nolan McKinney, a rising sophomore at UA playing Danny Zuko. “I want to show the audience that this show can really connect with anyone and can take anyone away from whatever trouble they may be having in real life. I always try to help find an escape for the audience members, so they can enjoy it and live this story with us.” 

Opposite McKinney will be 2018 Miss Alabama Callie Walker playing Sandy. 

Grease is such an iconic film and stage production,” said Walker. “Just being given the opportunity to be a part of it is an honor!” 

Director Stephen Tyler Davis leads a rehearsal of Theatre Tuscaloosa’s upcoming production of Grease.

This production also welcomes Stephen Tyler Davis back to Tuscaloosa. After earning his bachelor’s degree from UA, Davis went on to earn an MFA in theatre, and work for the New York Musical Theatre Festival. This summer, he’s lending his experience to the cast as the director of Grease. 

“He’s so much fun to work with,” said McKinney. “The way he directs is so perfect, because he guides you in a certain direction, but he lets you take your own spin on it, which is what you want in every director, but it’s harder to find.” 

In addition to the familiar characters and catchy music, audiences can get ready to experience high-energy dance numbers throughout the performance.  

“I consider myself a strong actor/singer, not the strongest dancer,” said McKinney. “I really appreciate Lindsay Troha, our choreographer. She’s fantastic because the way she choreographs is so well-done. You don’t have to be an incredible dancer, and I think it really keeps the energy of the show so alive and high and it just makes it really enjoyable for everybody.” 

It takes a special cast to put on such an iconic story so familiar to most audiences. The production team feel they have just the right performers to present this cult classic. 

“We decided to do Grease now because there were so many talented young people to do the show,” said Turley. “I’m excited to see so many young people doing theatre, and those of us older ‘young’ people will have a ball watching it!” 

“This casting was perfect for the show,” McKinney said. “I’m excited for everyone to see all the hard work we’re putting into it.” 

The production of Grease runs July 12-21 in the Bean-Brown Theatre on the Martin Campus of Shelton State Community College. Purchase tickets, or get more information, by calling the ticket office at (205) 391-2277 or visiting theatretusc.com. 

Grief never completely goes away, but over time, it become easier to endure. It’s important for families to give themselves and their children permission to feel happy again. Be assured that the memory of a loved one will continue to live on in everyone’s hearts as the family moves forward.

You might try some of these ideas:

Here’s wishing all our Druid City Living readers a great week, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved, and above all else: Have fun!

And remember: If you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

Enjoy your week, T-Town.

It is sort of an unwritten rule in show business that the second sequel is the place where any successful series begins to lose its inspiration. In many cases, what comes of Part III is the distressing down slide of creativity into a product that becomes little more than an annuity in action. Or as Roger Ebert once called them “a creative void.” Some properties avoid this soaking of formula, with rare exceptions. I can think of Christmas Vacation, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Toy Story 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Rocky III, and, of course the two great returns: King and Jedi

Now we can add to that short list Stranger Things 3, which is not only wildly entertaining but also restructures a series that was threatening to repeat itself. Personally, while I dearly loved Season 2, its tendency to dip back into the better elements of Season One were kind of obvious. It wasn’t bad but one could sense a bit of nervousness from the creative team to up their game in what had become a surprise cultural phenomenon. The result was a bit overstuffed with plot elements that seemed drawn out – although the final reveal was quite a kick.

The newly renamed Tuscaloosa Tennis Center held a grand re-opening weekend in mid-June. Events included free tennis clinics for 5-18-year olds, tours of the facility, free play, and a member appreciation mixer. In addition, the Center held a “Tennis & Tech Day” for youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of West Alabama, who visited the facility and the nearby Gateway.  

Director of Tennis Mike Goldammer said the event was a great way to bring Tuscaloosa together. “We want to know our neighbors and be a good neighbor.” 

Tuscaloosa is hot.

Nationally acclaimed comedian and Tuscaloosa native Steve Brown once said that the city is so hot that it feels like the sun is perched on people’s shoulders, glaring intensely at them.

But is T-Town’s high heat a trait that’s only been a part of the Tuscaloosa experience in recent memory, or has it always been this way?

I love July.

Cities display flags along the highways. I always wonder why they aren't displayed all year round. I sit up a little higher in my car when I go by, realizing how lucky I am to be an American. Even in the midst of so much controversy, we should all appreciate the right of choice to debate.

This summer movies are everywhere, and this season, there is something for everyone. Something to show the kids at home. Something to take the kids to. And something just for mom and dad. You’ve already seen my summer blockbusters movie wrap up, so I thought I’d dig a bit deeper. Here are my recommendations – hope you enjoy, and don’t forget the popcorn!

On Thursday, July 4, Tuscaloosa kicks off the ninth annual Celebration on the River event. Tuscaloosa and Northport residents can expect plenty of free family activities, as well as a performance by the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, and a fireworks display over the Black Warrior River. The Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority’s free Kids Zone will include lots of kids’ games and activities, wet and dry inflatables, a photo booth, caricature art, balloon art, an ice cream eating contest, and more.  

Sometimes a long illness might give families time to confront the possibility of death. Other times, the death of a loved one comes suddenly, as in the case of an accident or suicide. You’ll want to approach the situation differently depending on the circumstances.

Here’s wishing all our Druid City Living readers a great week, filled with all kinds of outstanding local events. Get out, get involved, and above all else: Have fun!

And remember: If you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

Enjoy your week, T-Town.

Meet sweet Rhubarb! This beautiful kitty is the Humane Society of West Alabama’s Pet of the Week!

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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