Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood recently celebrated 50 years. Every time I introduce a client to our area, they are focused on neighborhoods – the dynamics of the small towns that surround our growing little city: Brookwood. Vance. Northport. Lake View. Coker. Moundville. They also want to know more about the smaller neighborhood pockets – the historic districts, Alberta, downtown Tuscaloosa, The Townes, Riverchase, Northriver, Lake Tuscaloosa, Northwood Lake, and Waterfall, to name a few.  

Preston Lee Parker, 16, a junior at American Christian Academy (ACA) in Tuscaloosa, recently received a $1000 grant from the Masonic Grand Lodge of Alabama and Masonic Lodge 509 in Brookwood. The grant is to support ACA Fishing Team. 

Parker is the grandson of Robert Wayne Parker of Cottondale. The fishing educational program is designed to introduce students to fishing and to show students the ever-increasing career and educational opportunities through fishing. It also shows students how the basic elements of their education are used by tournament anglers every day out on the water and how you can use fishing and having fun to sharpen those basic skills that will help you later in life - no matter what your career choice.

Styling bookshelves is a favorite of mine. It’s so easy to let your creative juices flow without worry because there really isn’t a right or wrong way to style them. And, once styled, if you don’t like the look, you can always empty the shelves and arrange them again and again. 

Hello! I’m Kathryn from the blog Woodbank Lane. Want to talk about bookshelves for a minute? Good. Me, too! If you’re bored with your décor or just want to freshen things up a bit, try restyling your bookshelves.  

It’s abundantly clear we have plenty of foodies in T-Town, but exactly how does one raise a future foodie? I’ll admit, now that I’ve joined the mom club, I’ve realized that raising a “good eater” is not a cake walk. 

However, through my experience with my own kiddo and after getting advice from my experienced mom friends, I’ve got some great advice to share in raising your own future foodie at home. And if your child is on the older side, and you’re feeling like it’s too late to raise a foodie, take heart. I didn’t start to love vegetables or cooking until I reached college. 

Here are four tips for raising up a future gourmand. 

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Tuscaloosa was widely known as the home of three prominent poets— Alexander B. Meek, Robert Loveman, and Samuel Minturn Peck.

The Bama Theatre will host the premiere screening of a locally produced documentary, “The Strip: Tuscaloosa’s Most Colorful Quarter Mile,” on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are priced at $8, student/senior tickets are $7, and the Bama Bar will be open for the event at 6:45 p.m. The screening is affiliated with the City of Tuscaloosa’s Bicentennial Celebration.

A Tuscaloosa Police officer has died after being shot on Monday. 40-year-old Dornell Cousette, a 13-year veteran of the TPD, passed away at DCH Regional Medical Center after being shot around 6:30 p.m. at a home in the West End of the city.

“Heroes come in many different forms,” said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox during a press conference on Monday night. “In our community, our heroes wear the uniform of the Tuscaloosa Police Department. Tonight, one of our heroes has died in the line of duty protecting our community.”

In today’s fast-paced world, finding time for family play may be a challenge. However, is it worth it? You bet. Enjoying time together as a family is tremendously beneficial. In fact, for healthy relationships to flourish, it is a necessity. We can schedule time for playing together, and develop the ability to capture unstructured moments of fun.

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.

The Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority is seeking nominations for Grand Marshal(s) of the 44th Annual West Alabama Christmas Parade. The parade will be recognized as the official Bicentennial parade held on Dec. 13, in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Meet Slinky - she's the Humane Society of West Alabama's Pet of the Week!

The masses have returned.

Tuscaloosa is weird. Within our humble city lies all facets of industry providing gainful employment to anyone looking to make an honest living. Good, hard-working, blue-collar people are primarily what make our area tick. The industries feed our economy and our families whether you or a family member are directly employed by them or not. 

I recently had a friend in another state complain that she didn’t know what her child did at school all day. I was a little confused, so I probed a little further. It turns out that she was eagerly waiting to pick up her child from PreK and once they were in the car she was asking, “What did you do at school today?” Her child would inevitably reply, “Nothing” or “I don’t know.”  

This was becoming a source of frustration and an impasse between my friend and her child. I assured her that they were indeed learning amazing things in the PreK classroom, but she was going about it all wrong if she wanted to get the daily happenings.  

We often hear “teamwork” applied to our work environments. But being an effective part of a team is important in your marriage, family, church, and civic groups, as well as your work. Each role you have in life makes you part of a different team. Having a team approach to others is essential to developing supportive relationships so that you can experience success no matter what aspect of your life is involved.

So, what are the elements that indicate whether you are an effective team player? 

When someone offers a motivation to “run toward a goal,” it’s usually meant metaphorically. For Janie Ross, this was a literal means of achievement. For the past 33 years, running has been a hobby for Ross. In June of this year, she completed a goal that started decades ago to run a marathon in all 50 states plus Washington D.C.  

“My first marathon was in 1990,” Ross said. “I did another one a couple of years later, and liked it, so somebody said, ‘Why don’t you join this club?’ The club members do 51 marathons.”  

She hit the southern states early on, which were the easiest logistically. The further she got from home the more challenges she faced. This last year presented the most challenges because she’d saved the most difficult for last. 

“You have to see where there is one that fits into your schedule,” said Ross. “Over the last year I did eight marathons and it was pretty difficult to schedule because you have to say, ‘When can I be gone?’ and ‘When is there a marathon?’”  

Rhode Island presented its own challenge because it only has four marathons in a calendar year.  

“Last February,” Ross said, “Tammy Denson and I were scheduled to go to Rhode Island and a nor’easter came in and we couldn’t get a flight out. So, we had to switch that one to the only other available marathon in Rhode Island that we could go to which was the end of October.” Out of all 51 marathons, that’s the only one she couldn’t get to and had to reschedule. 

While Ross has pursued this goal on her own, she’s had several people who have supported her along the way, especially toward the end. Her husband Gerald, and friends Tammy Denson and Andrea Hirst, all who have run marathons with her, helped her push through to achieve her goal. 

“When my husband and I determined I needed to wrap this up, he said, ‘I’ll go to every other one and get Tammy to go with you to every other one.’ And that’s a pretty big challenge! That’s not like saying, ‘Do you want to go to the beach with me?’ The two of them got me through the last year.” 

She was able to mark off marathon 51 in June of this year when she competed in a marathon in Anchorage, Alaska, with her husband and Hirst. It turned out to be her favorite marathon location. Omaha, Nebraska, comes in as her least favorite location. 

“It was very hot,” said Ross about Omaha. “A lot of it was run along the levee so there was no shade. It was pretty tortuous.” 

Though it was her least favorite, Omaha was not the marathon with the most challenging conditions. That prize goes to Kennebunkport, Maine, which she ran in 2017. This marathon, run alongside the ocean, presented hypothermic conditions with pouring rain, 40-degree temperatures, and a 40-mph wind coming off the ocean. According to Ross, that’s all part of it. 

“When I’m training, I can look at the weather when I’m at home and say, ‘Ok it’s going to be coolest Wednesday morning, so I’ll go out early Wednesday morning.’ But when you get to that marathon you just absolutely have to suck it up and endure whatever challenges come your way.” 

Over 30 plus years of running, Ross has never had knee problems, mainly because she takes such care in the shoes she wears. 

“One of the most important things is to make sure you don’t exceed 300 or so miles on a pair of shoes,” said Ross. “Typically, I’ll do 30 miles a week so every ten weeks that’s another pair of shoes.” 

Now that she has reached her goal, Ross plans to start cycling again, and get back into some of the other activities she loves, including rappelling, backpacking, and mountain climbing. She’d also like to learn to paddleboard. She will continue to run, possibly in some half marathons, and maybe one day get to run in Canada, because there’s just something about running for her. 

“You’re either running or you’re not,” said Ross. “If you ride a bicycle you can coast downhill. If you’re running, or even if you take a walk break, you’re still propelling yourself every inch that you go. It’s just that challenge of saying hot, cold, sleet, hail, rain, wind, you’re going to do it, and that’s the greatest challenge.” 

The City of Tuscaloosa is hosting its first Live at the Plaza – Football Watch Party for The University of Alabama football game as they play against South Carolina this Saturday, Sept. 14. The game begins at 2:30 p.m. and the viewing begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until the end of the game.

Very early in life, children learn their actions (e.g. crying, smiling) have an impact on the world and those around them. They also possess an inborn desire to assist others and affect their world. As toddlers, they imitate the actions of adults. They want to help and try very hard to do things for themselves. So, what changes that helpful child who attempts tasks far above her abilities info a helpless 12-year-old who must be coaxed to pick up her socks? We do.

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.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox was recently appointed as a senior fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Program on Crisis Leadership for his effective leadership during times of crisis. Maddox has served as a fellow since 2014. 

Mason is a cute little ball of fluff. This beautiful kitten 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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