Tuesday, July 25, 2006

 

For everything, there is a season


In 1919 family owned Avondale Mills bought the textile mill at the heart of Pell City from the Pell City Manufacturing Company. May 22, 2006 Avondale Mills announced the closing of all their plants. It has been a tumultuous two months for many people.

Avondale Mills owned plants in South Carolina, and Alabama. The Alabama plants are in Pell City, Alexander City, Sylacauga and Rockford. In early June, another textile company agreed to purchase three of the plants. The plants in Pell City and Sylacauga, however, were not sold.

Avondale Mills' involvement in the Pell City community was notable, helping throughout its history including helping to build schools, city water, banking and ball parks.

The mill management applied for federal aid for the employees who would be out of work under a program called Trade Adjustment Assistance. This is a program to help those who lose jobs due to increased imports. The application got a boost in June when Alabama's Governor Bob Riley and US Representatives Mike Rogers and Spencer Bachus were asking for expedited help from from the President and from the Secretary of Labor. Apparently the lobbying helped because the application was approved July 5, earlier than had been predicted.

Avondale had spent millions to update and automate some of its mills. There was pressure from competition, but the decisive blow came in January of last year when a train wreck at Avondale's South Carolina mill killed six mill employees and also killed three others.

There has been help for the employees coming from the federal government, from the state, from Avondale Mills and from other companies. Dozens of companies attended a job fair in Pell City at the end of June designed to help mill employees find new jobs, and some have found jobs.

Many reports have been printed in the newspapers about the people of Avondale Mills. It is worth recognizing how many people speak of their employers and co-workers as family. The company and the employees had a relationship that shows grace even during this trying time. If they could bottle that and sell it, there are a lot of other companies that would benefit.

Today's picture is the Great Seal of the City of Pell City. The plaque is prominent in the City Council Chambers. I took this picture during the Block Party, June 2, after hearing the announcement that Avondale Mills was closing. Having lived in Mill Village for nearly a year, I immediately recognized the sawtoothed roof and tall stack of the mill. There is a lot of growth and jobs surrounding this area, but I doubt that any other single company will ever take Avondale Mills' place in Pell City.

Monday, July 24, 2006

 

39 Boats

So, somebody just drove a few of those big transporters into this vacant lot near the Post Office and dropped off 39 nearly identical fishing boats. Apparently, the boats are here for the big bass tournament which will be held on Lake Logan Martin at the end of this month. They all have company sponsor logos. I don't know if they are part of the competition, or just part of the show. Either way, I'd like to see them with their covers off, but I will be out of town that weekend.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

 

Blueberries

The blueberries have been very good this year, and I have have been fourtunate to get blue berries without having to pick them myself, although that can be fun, too. I think these were picked just off of HWY 231 on Easonville Rd. I highly recommend you try to get some. They taste great, a cup of raw blueberries has only 83 calories and it is about the best source of antioxidants you can find.

Thanks to KEP for the photo and for picking the berries.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

 

Gate House

The Gate House Market on Cogswell Avenue is a cute place with interesting things. I took this picture outside because I like the pots, but you can see the inside here. Their sign says "Come in and be surprised." I met some very nice people there. I guess that should not be a big surprise in pell City.

That's my reflection in the blue globe.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

 

I wonder if he could pull a skier?

This red, white and blue entry did quite well, dominating the single operator group.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

 

Oh those wonderful kids in their floating machines

OK, I like gadgets. So this was my favorite boat at the Cardboard Boat Regatta. The paddles on the sides of the boat are made entirely of PVC including the pedals inside. It was quite surprising how well the paddles worked considering that they are round and not flat. I believe that this was the fastest boat of the day. Unfortunately, it is a little complicated to operate and so it did not beat its competitor. Once the young sailor got it out and away from the rope, he took off!

Monday, July 17, 2006

 

On your mark, get set


The youth group prepared to launch their boat.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

 

STS115 ?

Some of the boats at Pell City's Cardboard Boat Race on Saturday came with a few extras. The wings and rocket engines were removed from this shuttle before take-off.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

 

Row Row Row Your Boat

Saturday was the annual running of the cardboard boats at Pell City's Lakeside Park. Here is the first of a few pictures. The King crew did well, winning against two other teams.

Friday, July 14, 2006

 

Correction


Last January I showed you this picture of some gravel in the gas station parking lot. I thought they were just covering a hole left by an old car wash that was removed. Well apparently it was much more than that. The BP has completely replaced its convenience store by building a new one in the back of the lot, and just this week started demolishing the old store.

I would like to commend the owners of this BP for two things, fresh Krispy Kreme donuts and copies of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the news stand. Oh, sorry, just the newspapers are in the news stand. The donuts are in the warm donut display inside. You probably knew that.

Monday, July 10, 2006

 

Two wheels

You don't have to drive a muscle car to appreciate the cars that were parked at Food World on Saturday. One group came by on bikes. The weather was good, so why not?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

 

Neighbors' hoods

Here is a broader view of the cars parked at Food World in Pell City yesterday. I don't think all these drivers came for groceries.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

 

Shiney things


The car enthusiasts are back on the pavement just like last summer. (I'll look up the link later.) (OK here it is.) This time they roped off a piece of the parking lot at Food World. Wow, the chrome under the hood of this Z car!

Friday, July 07, 2006

 

High for this week - about 92 F

We do get some hot days in Pell City.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

 

The Peppers are In

A favorite crop for many gardeners, peppers come in a variety of sizes and colors. Here we have chili peppers, jalepeƱos and habaƱeros.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

 

Read the writing on the road

I have no idea what this means. There is a broad white line painted on Hardwick Road. It is real road paint too, not some latex house paint used for a practical joke. It is inside city limits and not at a rail crossing, a street crossing or a school zone. There is a church two lots up on the right. If anybody knows this one I would be interested to find out.

Sorry I missed wishing you all a happy 4th of July. I was out on the road again.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

 

Saturday Car Wash

Saturday is a great time to drive by Sonic and have someone else wash your car. This picture, taken last Saturday, shows the youths at their fundraiser, for whatever youths raise funds.

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I appreciate all the support I have received while showing you pictures of Pell City. It really is a great place to live and it really is growing. Anyway, as you know, I'm not very good at this. So I plan to continue until July 25th. After that, I'll be stopping for an indeterminate amount of time. In the mean time, if someone wants to give it a try, I'll help you take over Pell City Picture Of the Day.

Thanks
...

Monday, June 26, 2006

 

Still Field Day

Pell City had two conspicuous sites where Field Day activities were held this year. This photo is from Pell City Lakeside Park where the St. Clair Amateur Radio Emergency Service set up. They are not really a club, and they do not charge dues. However, they do volunteer to provide communications when emergencies arise. Field Day is a fun way to practice and to get a little public awareness.

If things look a little slow in this picture, it is because the HF Bands die down in the middle of the day.

Next time you pass through Pell Cty (my QTH), be sure to CQ or call N4FCP on 2 meters.

73

Sunday, June 25, 2006

 

Field Day

Saturday was the beginning of Field Day, the annual demonstration of emergency readiness of Radio Amatuers. The 'Hams' here in front of Walmart are members of the Coosa Valley Ham Radio Association. They are using some of the newest digital radios available. They will be operating for up to 24 hours and logging there contacts with other operators.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

 

Crossing Over

This is the view of Pell City from the Talladega County bank of the Coosa River. From here one can get to Pell City by taking HWY 34 and crossing Stemly Bridge. From what I have been told, the bridge is not quite as old as Lake Logan Martin, which was flooded in the mid 60s. I also heard that this bridge is an improvement over the older road a little to the South. Way back when, the automobile traffic could use the railroad tressle, provided of course the train to the quarry was not coming through.
Thanks to TSB for the tip and BJB for the history.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

 

Guess


Sunday, June 18, 2006

 

Not the Momma

Happy Father's Day!

I think the pin is a reference to St. Joseph, carpenter and foster father of Jesus. It looks to me like a hammer and a saw.

When everything around you seems to be going crazy, it is wise to quote St. Joseph.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

 

PCCC

This is the Pell City Community Center. It may not look like much from the outside, but there have been some cool things inside. One was a book sale where I bought copies of two of my favorite books One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and Fox in Socks.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

 

Block Party 9

Oops, I thought I posted all the Block Party photos, except for one that I am saving for later. I forgot to mention all the great food. Here is a picture from the back of one of the restaurant booths. I think these folks are from Gadsden, AL. They are cooking onions and peppers on gas burners, and around front they sell sausage sandwiches. There was also pizza, barbecue, funnel cakes and lots to drink.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

 

Bessie the Wise

Somebody told me, it is not a good time to fish when the cows are laying down. I don't know if that is true, but I need all the help I can get. I wonder if someone could call me when this one stands up.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

 

Sweet and Free

Blackberries are showing up everywhere. These are a great sweet treat and usually you can find them for free. But if you start walking into the bushes to pick them, watch out for snakes.

Friday, June 09, 2006

 

Block Party 8


So this is a rock climbing wall, huh. Man I tell you, when I was a kid we had to climb REAL rocks.

And we loved it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

 

Block Party 7


The law was also at the block party. Some of them came on some pretty cool rides. By the way, that's a speaker on the side, not a rocket launcher. It is easier to identify from the side view.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

 

Block Party 6

Apparently there is no law prohibiting political advertising on the front lawn of the St. Clair County Courthouse. Several of these candidates also had individual booths at the block party. The Primary Election was yesterday, so maybe a few of the signs are gone by now.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

 

Block Party 5

It's a long way from Chicago, but that did not keep Elwood and Jake of the Alabama Blues Brothers from making their fifth appearance at the block party. The Brothers wanted you to know that if you missed them in Pell City, you can catch them in the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center in New York this September.

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