Welcome to Pell City, Alabama. Starting July 25, 2006, I will not be posting, or even trying to post on a daily basis. PC is a great place, and I don't want to quit altogether. Instead, I'll just try to improve the quality of the site and I'll try to post when I have a good picture or story to tell. Thank you so very much for the encouragement and kind remarks you have given me.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Wintery water way (www, get it?)
I enjoyed visiting the art gallery and seeing the work from local artists. Here are a few names that I picked up during my visit: Nick Phillips www.therealityofdreams.com Janice Entler Carol Little www.littleartwork.com (The link is broken but you can get some cached results from Google.) Tom Goodwin David Foote Zeke
Well if you have not guessed by now, here is the answer. These works of art from local artists are on display in the gallery at the First American Bank in Pell City. It was a nice surprize to find this gallery when I was entering the bank to discuss financial business.
The art works were placed there by the non-profit 'Council of the Arts' which promotes local arts through exhibits, educational programs, fund raising and public events.
I selected this photo, not so much for the chair, but for the sailboats on the water and for the top of the chair with a painting of a lighthouse on an island.
Have you guessed, yet, where all this art can be found? If not, here is the key: look back over the posts for the last five days. In each post, one word is written in all capital letters. Take all the capitalized words and read them in order.
I believe the pieces shown here were made during Art Camp.
These pieces are catching mostly, I think, because of their rusty colors. This will be my last pottery picture for awhile; you can BANK on that. However, there are plenty more pieces to see where these came from. I hope you have been able to discover where this art is displayed, especially if you are local to Pell City. Tomorrow I'll tell you how to find the clues.
One of the great things about pottery art is that you can really use this stuff. This fellow's contenance was one of my favorites on display. What AMERICAN cannot relate to that stogey biting, wide eyed, mustachio'd, pearly white grin?
My guess is, not many people in Pell City know where to go to find artwork like this on display. I stumbled on it myself just a few days ago. For a few more days, I will bring you pictures from this collection, along with a few hints about its location. If you think you know the spot, why not leave your guess in the comments?
Every day the Amtrak Crescent No. 19 travels from New York's Penn Station to New Orleans' Union Passenger Terminal. The return route is also run daily by the Crescent No. 20. The two pass each other in the vicinity of Concord, NC. And while the passengers may completely unaware of the fact, for a little under six and a half minutes, they are touring Pell City, Alabama.
Many of the residents here may be equally unaware. Passenger trains are not well travelled in America, the trains don't stop here, and there are many more freight trains which ride the same rails through town.
I have ridden this train three times, twice passing through Pell City. It is a great ride and I recommend it to all.
What Can I say? This is a real experience in local color. It is difficult to walk in looking for one item, without finding many more things you need. But you had better arrive before five. At quitting time it is locked up as tight as a jailhouse.
Driving past the walking track a few weeks ago we saw a large group of young folks playing ultimate frisbee, at night. This was the best shot of the lot, although it does not show the whole group. They were very nice and looked to be having a good time. Several were also curious about me and came by to speak. I was even invited to join in. Oh, for those days again...
Here is a closeup shot of the mill from yesterday. For some reason the stairs caught my attention. There is no obvoius way to get up to that stairway, and once you get closer to the building, there is no way to even see it. Nevertheless, it waits all alone for the rare roofer or mill worker who is compelled to the less used areas for inspection or repair or whatever.
Here is Avondale Mill. It is centrally located in Pell City at the intersection of Hwy 231 and Hwy 78. The old brick chimney is one of the taller, free standing structures in down town. One strange thing about this mill is that it does not have rail access, even though the trains pass within one block of the property.
My father and grandmother worked in textile mills, far from here and long ago. Still there is a connection. My sister also once worked in a closer mill, but since it is a competitor, I won't mention its name here.
I don't know who she is, but this lovely lady marks the southern tip of Mill Village. It is not apparent from this photo that she is standing in the middle of fountain. I have never seen any water in the fountain. If it ever starts flowing again, I promise you another picture.
There are not many statues on public display in Pell City, so this must suggest that the mill was at one time very important to the people here.
While the textile industry in America has seen some hard times, there are still some mills left. Avondale Mills has one mill in Pell City that survives to this day, even though it was built just before the Boll Weevil arrived in Alabama and began decimating the cotton farms.
Tomorrow, a closer view of the lady in the background.
This is the main part of the Pell City High School campus. On a normal day, the parking lot is full and the decibels are up. Don't be fooled by the van in the foreground. When school is in session, the high speed activity will be in and around the school.
There are colleges nearby, but none inside Pell City. So this is the town's final, full time contact with the youth at large. My deepest admiration to the teachers and school staff who give their best for the benefit of our children.
This is the new Pell City High School gymnasium. It is hard to be patient when a new building is going up, especially when it is part of the high school. This structure is too big to to house just the gym, so hopefully, the students and community will get plenty of use there.
Gee, I never heard of the Panic of 1893. It may be time to revisit the library! I am very familiar with the panic of 7:53. That is the time in the morning after which I will be late for work. The National Register of Historic Places does, indeed, list Pell City Downtown and two other districts in Pell City. That is three historic places out of a collection of nearly 79,000.
What is the greatest invention of all time? Some say it is the wheel, and a few fine examples can be seen here. Some say it is the valve, and again, that is evidenced in this picture. However, it is the steam engine which, in its simplicity: combines these other great inventions, drove us through the American Industrial Revolution, outlives engines with more modern designs, and still, after over a century, makes a great picture. This specimen lives on the front lawn at the (you guessed it) St. Clair County Courthouse.
The ubiquitous Historical Marker - These metal plaques are one minute reminders of the many significant events which have occured in our own neighborhoods. This marker, in front of the county courthouse, reduces the history of St. Clair to a mere snapshot, albeit, a long exposure snap.
You will get at least two more of these markers in the coming days.
Most of us know someone in the military. With the many friends and family members stationed around the world, there is, at home, a widespread agreement that we should "Support Our Troops." This view is held both by those who agree with the war in Iraq, and by those who oppose it.
As the ribbon says, in Pell City, we support our troops.
This is a part of the Pell City Fire Academy, "Training Alabama's Finest."
You have to be brave to run up into this building, even moreso, a burning building you are less familiar with. There are not many tall buildings in Pell City, so now you know the Fire Department can handle any size building. The hospital may be the tallest (ah, future picture idea).
There is more to the Fire Academy, but this is the part that first grabs your attention. It reminds me of the time I tried to put an addition on our house. Word of advice: call a professional.
Ok, that is the last Fire Department picture for awhile.
The name Pell City Fire & Rescue may be a little misleading. So far this year, the department has responded to twice as many medical emergencies as fire emergencies, and last year the ratio was four to one. Maybe they should be called Pell City Rescue & Fire! Whatever and whenever you call them, they will not let you down.
This is Station No. 1. Off to the left of this photo is the Fire Academy. You will one picture of the training tower, but tomorrow ... more about the award winning.