I waved goodbye to my Auburn cousins, thanking them for my visit and use of their laundry machine(yeah for clean clothes) and headed to Birmingham for lunch with their younger sister. Years ago, my mother’s beloved sister moved to Atlanta and her family has grown and spread out over the South from Charlotte to Birmingham. On this trip, I have had the pleasure to visit with several of members of this clan and have delighted in their company and their knowledge of the areas that I drive.
My young cousin and I met up in Birmingham’s Homewood neighborhood. The sunny day allowed us to walk to lunch at Little Donkey, a mexican restaurant with a nice patio and good food. Next door is Octane, a new, hip and hospitable coffee spot. Homewood is a vibrant neighborhood, with a park that is full of activity, on this afternoon is was hosting a volleyball tournament.
Before leaving town, I went downtown, stopping at Kelly Ingram Park across from the 16th Street Baptist Church and the Civil Rights Institute. Kelly Ingram Park was the meeting point for sit-ins, boycotts and marches and today has several sculptures depicting attacks and consequences for those protestors. I could hear the members of the Baptist Church at Good Friday services when I went up the Church’s stairs to take a photo of the front door. Around the side of the Church is a memorial to the four young girls that were killed in the 1963. After saying a prayer for those girls, their families and the brave Civil Rights marchers, my thoughts went to the book I read to my kids many years ago, The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963. I struggled to adequately explain the Civil Rights era to my children, but greatly appreciated Christopher Paul Curtis’ book for the assistance it lent me.