In my professional life, I have been guided by four leadership pillars: 1) Vision, 2) Organization, 3) Respect, and 4) Boldness.

As you know, the City Council recently passed the Elevate Tuscaloosa Plan. This bold vision provides the resources for our community to take on the challenges appearing over the horizon. History teaches us that having a vision is one thing, but implementing it is another, and Elevate Tuscaloosa is no different. In the months and years ahead, we will look to partner with community leaders as we seek to answer the significant questions that we have.

The Bicentennial Commission has planned out a year’s worth of events to celebrate Tuscaloosa’s 200th birthday. Part of that celebration is acknowledging how our city has grown and evolved over the last 200 years. In addition to events and activities, the Commission sought out local author and historian Guy Ward Hubbs to write a book on the history of Tuscaloosa.  

Hubbs united his storytelling abilities and knowledge of this area’s history with the talents and resources of designer Robin McDonald to create Tuscaloosa: 200 Years in the Making – a 200-page coffee-table style book that follows Tuscaloosa’s journey over the last two millennia through narration and pictures.  

There are so many ways to show children that you care and that you are “there with them” through the grieving process.

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 the all-around good dog, Baxter! He is a male German Shepherd/Terrier mix, and is between 1-2 years old, weighing 45 pounds. He’s the Humane Society of West Alabama’s Pet of the Week!

Welcome to summer in West Alabama, where the humidity levels are surpassed only by the number of orange barrels decorating the city. 

A couple of times a year, I dig into the old electronic mailbag for random questions I get from inquiring minds throughout the community. Some of them are serious. Some of them, well, not so much. 

If you are ever inclined, you can shoot me rando questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Maybe one day, if the stars misalign and you are incredibly unlucky, I’ll answer yours for the world (of Tuscaloosa) to see.  So, without further ado 

Music festivals draw crowds from all over with lineups of artists performing over several days. Fans of these popular events can get ready for a festival happening right here in town later this year. 

Tuscaloosa will host the Druid City Music Festival Aug. 23-24. To kick it off, Friday night will include 40 different jam bands performing across 20 different venues downtown, with the main event on Saturday in Government Plaza. 

“It’s a collective cool thing that’s going to happen Friday,” said Don Staley, President and CEO of the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission, and the architect of the music festival. “We’re going to have everything from bluegrass to rap; we’re at the Bama Theatre; we’re at an art gallery; we’re in different bars and restaurants.” 

One of the biggest challenges many of us face is simply being able to accept ourselves. Most of us have a tendency to be harshly critical, judging ourselves for our past and comparing ourselves to others. Often, this has become such an ingrained perspective that we really do not even know what would make us content or how to come to terms with the, often painful, experiences that have helped make us who we are.

Oh summer, how we’ve missed you. I think now is the perfect time to highlight a couple of simple recipes that perfectly reflect the lazy days of summer. Need a quick appetizer for pre-dinners or backyard patio parties? Try these caprese salad skewers. They take literally minutes to make, and they’ll go fast. And did you know that you can make s’mores at home without a campfire or a fire pit? Yep. These skillet s’mores are delicious, and they’re always a hit. 

Bon Appetit! 

Last year’s inaugural Druid City Songwriters Festival was a hit, with Tuscaloosa music lovers coming out to various locations throughout downtown Tuscaloosa to enjoy hearing over 30 songwriters. Now the free event, renamed the Black Warrior Songwriters Festival, is set for June 21-23. 

The festival will bring over 50 local and regional songwriters to several venues throughout downtown Tuscaloosa for intimate, “in-the-round” style performances. Organizers say these performances incorporate the rich storytelling culture of the region and highlight the deep pool of musical talent in the area.

Here are some ways to help kids express and manage their feelings.

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.

Tux is a big, beautiful cat! He has a handsome black and white coat and beautiful green eyes and a heart of gold. And he’s this week’s Humane Society of West Alabama Pet of the Week!

Tux loves to hang out in the enclosed “catio” and watch the birds. He will also come up to you and nuzzle your feet so that you can scratch his ears! 

Tux requires a cat-savvy human and a nice big space to call his own. The HSWA treats him every morning with a little bit of "kitty Prozac" paste to the inside of his ears which helps with his anxiety. He would do best as an only cat, or he could be adopted with another cat he has made friends with at the HSWA cat house. Tux is also an alpha cat, and one of our adoption counselors can tell you who his best match would be. 

For more information on how to adopt Tux, please visit humanesocietyofwa.org.

Tux is Negative for FIV, and FeLK, current on vaccinations, and neutered. The HSWA’s adoption fee is $75, to help cover a fraction of veterinary costs and general care expenses. Vet records are provided to Adopters.

Stephanie Barrett, a work-from-home mom of two in Cottondale, has a plan for working at home during the school term. 

Forty-three members of the 2018-19 class of Leadership Tuscaloosa, a nine-month leadership development program, graduated at a ceremony held at the Cypress Inn Pavilion May 9. 

Meet the PreK Pals! These kids are fantastic, and they’re the stars of this column. Alicia Jenne’, a veteran teacher of little people, is the PreK Pals Lead Teacher for PreK#1 at Rock Quarry Elementary School and our inquisitive “reporter” – asking the hard-hitting questions everyone wants answers to.   

We asked these PreKPals about the anticipation of their very first summer vacation. They have almost completed a whole year in OSR PreK, and they are already looking like KinderKids!  We wondered what it was about summer that they were looking forward to the most?  

 

Mills (5)  

 

“I can’t wait to go to the beach and get in the water!! I love making sandcastles with my mom!!” 

 

Alyssa (5)  

 

“I love that it will be sunny and hot and NOT rainy. I can’t wait to run and play all day with my friends!” 

On Thursday, June 13, all of Tuscaloosa’s many veterans’ organizations will be on hand to celebrate the 244th birthday of the U.S. Army (June 14, 1775). The event is planned for 3:30 p.m. at the Tuscaloosa Federal Building and Courthouse downtown. Everyone is invited to attend.

There are probably a thousand different reasons why the Marvel Cinematic Universe has remained so consistently entertaining, but the most obvious is that they have always remained relatively simple – not simple-minded just unburdened by overbearing themes and in-joke fan service.  Unfortunately, this is a credit that I cannot give to Captain Marvel.  Here is a relatively entertaining movie burdened by an unwieldy plot that writers Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden and Geneva Robertson-Dwore are never quite able to get under control.

Many war memorials are stark and seldom visited. They usually consist of stone, patinated bronze plaques, or rusting military equipment. However, there is one in Tuscaloosa that is pleasant and inviting. For nearly a century, it has been visited daily by thousands. It is a corridor of oak trees, a living memorial to 45 men who died during one of history’s greatest conflicts—the War to End All Wars, the Great War, or as it is now known, the First World War or World War I.

Five screenings will be featured in the Bama Art House Film Series Summer 2019 which will begin Tuesday, June 11.

A program of The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, the series will feature categories ranging from drama and family to documentary and modern western. Screenings will take place at the Bama Theatre on Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m. with the box office opening at 6:30 p.m. and doors/Bama Bar at 6:45 p.m.

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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