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Festivals, Car Shows, Parades and Wheat Harvest 2013

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Hope everyone had a great  Fourth of July.

 car show helen keller festival 

The last few weeks have been hectic since you last heard from me.  I was a volunteer photographer for the Helen Keller Festival and I can certainly say, I’ve covered just about every inch of Tuscumbia Alabama.   I filled up a one terabyte hard drive this weekend with the addition of around 4000 pictures.   I’d been wondering why it was running so slow the last couple of months and when I checked my available storage, I had less than 1 gigabyte left. Monday I get a second hard drive of 3 TB just for my pictures.     

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Two things, well three that our area likes are parades, car shows and festivals celebrating our historical heritage.  Every parade in our area has the American Legion Post # 31 at the head of the parade. When needed Alabama has one of the largest contingent of service personnel based on population going back to the Civil War.  Our area voted to stay in the Union, but was out voted by the southern counties during the succession convention.  A nearby county seceded from the state of Alabama afterwards and formed the ‘Free State of Winston’.  

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My first stop was for the historical marker dedication at the home of native son Henry (Heinie) Emmett Manush.  Heinie won the AL batting title in the last at bat of the season with a .378 average beating out Babe Ruth that year.  Being a native son of Tuscumbia is a disadvantage when the best known native is Helen Keller.    

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Up next was our most famous native celebration during the week of her birth on June 27, the Helen Keller Festival.  The cemetery of her Grandfather and other relatives, the Glencoe Cemetery established 1816 located in the middle of a limestone quarry once operated by Helen Keller’s Father is only open for visits during the festival.  The area was part of the Glencoe Plantation at one time. One of the tombs belonging to Col. James McDonald had a service medal from the War of 1812 on it.  Recently another cemetery was uncovered in the overgrowth on the property.  Restoration plans are in the works on what is thought to be a slave cemetery of the former plantation.  

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The next day brought the parade.  Antique cars, firetrucks, bands, trucks, horses and a tractor lined the parade route.  A trailer truck modeled after the Duke’s of Hazard car pulled the Helen Keller Festival board.   The crowd found out the reason you have the draft horses at the end of the parade and they stopped to allow all the kids to pet the horses. Needless to say, the street department was busy afterwards.  A street concert and vendors were down town after the parade.  

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Friday after work, I went by my old high school Deshler for the Civitan’s spaghetti dinner and hit the park for arts and craft vendors and concerts by several local bands before the headliner concert by country music star Darryl Worley.  I’m the first one to admit, I not a fan of country music and hadn’t heard of him and the next night’s headliner Restless Hearts, but I have to admit, I enjoyed both concerts.  Darryl Worley’s manager allowed me up on the side of the stage to get pictures during his concert.     

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   historical speaker David Gregg 

   Elayne Godman  

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Saturday was a very busy day; 5K and 1 K races, car shows, Tennessee Valley Art Center meet the artist reception for Elayne Goodman and The Helen Keller Art Show of Alabama.  It is an annual juried competition of works by Alabama children who are visually impaired, blind or deaf-blind.  The Tuscumbia depot and Shoals Model Railroad club had events.  The Tennessee Valley Historical Society had a lecture series all week at Coldwater Books on some of the history of the area.  The stagecoach stop found years ago inside a house when it was demolished was opened for visits.  Several of the grand homes in town started out as log cabins and were added on to as finances improved.  I’m not sure how many trips I made between Spring Park and downtown Tuscumbia, but if the number of partial bottles of water in the back of my camera bag in an indication, it was several.  Very nice folks kept giving me cold bottles of water. I would drink until they got warm and save the rest for later, then wonder why the bag had gotten so heavy.   The end of the day was more concerts ending up with Restless Hearts.   

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Sunday morning brought a non-denominational church service in the park followed by more bands.  The festival at Spring Park came to a close with a packed park concert by the Sidewalk Prophets.    

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Farmers have just about finished combining wheat and are planting soybeans over the stubble.  Cotton is no longer King in our area.   

My third planting of corn got flooded again, a third of the row I planted came up.   My pickling cucumbers are coming in.  My neighbor planted their cucs three times without luck, but they have a bumper crop of peaches and cream sweet corn.   So things worked out as we supplied each other with the missing vegetable.     

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My blueberries are loaded this year.  I’ve been making blueberry muffins and eating them.  I was going to make some pancakes, but my date received habits from the laboratory spill over to my home, and the mix had a 2007 date on it.  Oh course the hooligans are very helpful picking with me, only they don’t share.  Oh course Levi is still picking on the girls and then having to run for his life.  

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Hopefully I’ll get all of the photos processed by the time the W C Handy Jazz Festival starts at end of the month.  Ten days of nothing but sitting in a lawn chair and listening to good music.