Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wandering With The Wrights

If you remember in the last blog we had just arrived in Red Bay, AL to have some work done on our motorhome - most of it minor except for the painting needed after a tree jumped out and bit the back end of the bus on our way down.  Some people have to wait weeks to get into get work done, but we hit it just right and were in and out in record time.  Which was awesome as it gave it us more time in Birmingham and Montgomery.  While in Red Bay we met a delightful couple from Arlington Heights that just went full-time in May.  We went out to dinner with them and really enjoyed them - such a small world.

While at the Tiffin manufacturing plant we took a tour of the plant.  Tiffin builds most everything it self and uses very few outside sources.  The woodworking section of the plant was massive.

One of the first things we saw when we entered

The beginning of a Tiffin coach

The sides haven't been put on yet to make it easier to get all the cabinetry, appliances, etc. inside

Our coach in the service bay being worked on and Teddy wondering when he was going to get his home back

They have a very nice lounge available while waiting for work being done on your coach - most everyone has a dog.

The bays open at 7:00 am and if it is your day to go in you line up outside of the bay door they give you the night before.  So everyone is up early and headed to their bay about 6:45am  Kinda fun to watch - someone said it was a parade of Tiffin's.
We were told we needed to eat at the Mason Jar Restaurant in town so went our first Saturday there for breakfast and found it closed which we thought was odd.  When we went back a few days later the owner asked if it was our first time and we said yes - that we had come Sat and they were closed.  He said he has closed on Saturday's ever since his son started sports - most games are on Sat. and he didn't want to miss any - love his priorities.
Loved the mason jar chandeliers.
Tiffin has a great set up to allow you to wash your coach while you are there so before leaving she got a bath.  One more Red Bay story I decided I wanted a dim light in our bedroom and after seeing the mason jars Jerry suggested we get a mason jar fill it with a small string of lights and we would be all set.  I loved the idea but everywhere we went only sold cases of jars.  There was a hardware store right across from Tiffin so went in and asked and they had them - by the case.  The man asked what I needed and I said just one or two.  He asked if I could come back after lunch and I said sure - when I got back he had gone home and gotten me two his wife didn't use anymore and insisted I take them and wouldn't accept any pay.  The people we met in Red Bay were all so kind and helpful.  We won't mind returning at all when the coach needs something done.

All done at Tiffin we headed for a state park right outside of Birmingham.
When we arrived in Birmingham this was our welcome on our camp site.
The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed exploring this huge park on foot and by car
We visited many of the Alabama Civil Right Trail sights.  This was a self-guided tour that was fascinating.  We were there 2 hours and the time just flew by.  For a museum to hold my interest for two hours it has to be something and this was.
So informative and eye opening.  To think we were alive during a lot of this and at least for us were pretty oblivious to all that was going on.

16th Street Baptist Church that was bombed.  4 - 11 year old girls lost their lives and many more were wounded with shrapnel.

We weren't there on Sunday or would have attended their service.

The inside of the church was beautiful

We really enjoyed Birmingham and I really wanted to stay longer - little did I know what was ahead for us in Montgomery.

Before leaving Birmingham we visited the old Sloss Furnaces an old steel mill - this mill and the railroads really helped Birmingham grow into the industrial center that it became.  It grew so fast they called it the Magic City.

Jerry enjoyed this tour much more than I did :-)

A turbo compressor for the blast furnace
The size of this wrench gives you some idea how huge the furnaces were
Last but not least we toured the Golden Flake Chip Company which is huge in the south.

These were all the bags they sent us home with - gotta love free samples.  Also got to taste chips right out of the oil - still warm!
Jerry also visited the Southern Museum of Flight while we were in Birmingham - Teddy and I relaxed at home :-)

Visited downtown Montgomery which is the capitol of Alabama.  Many large beautiful well kept buildings.

Toured the First White House of the Confederacy

Capitol Building


Now this is where things got really awesome -  We were at the Dexter Parsonage Museum where Martin Luther King was the pastor from 1954 - 1960.  We had a wonderful docent, Marguerite Foley, who took us on a awesome tour of the parsonage and shared many wonderful stories.  Jerry and I were the only two on it.  The parsonage has been restored to when MLK and his bride of 2 months moved in.  This is the home that a bomb was thrown on the front porch that almost led Rev. King to give it all up - he was so upset and worried about his family after the bombing and many threats on his and his families lives that he seriously considered giving everything up and quitting.  While we stood in the kitchen of this parsonage Mrs. Foley played a tape of a talk that Dr. King gave in Chicago telling of his desire to quit and that he believes that Jesus spoke to him while in this kitchen late one night that encouraged him to continue with his stand for righteousness, justice and truth.  At the end of the tour we told Mrs. Foley we hoped to attend the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church on Sunday.  Turns out that she is a member and said if we saw her to come sit with her.  She also told us about a family down the street that had actually taken in 20 Freedom Riders into their home to keep them safe during this turbulent time.  To keep this short Jerry and I walked down to look at the house after the tour and Mrs. Harris who still lives there was on the porch swing -  she will be 94 next month.  Being the bashful person I am I asked if we could come and talk to her.  We were there with her on the swing for over a half an hour and her daughter Valda came.  Her daughter has written a book called "Just a Neighbor" a child's memoir of the civil rights movement.  It was the most enjoyable time.  They both told us stories and it was just a wonderful experience.  

Mrs. Harris and her daughter Valda Harris Montgomery

Took a drive and found where Jerry had come several times during his working days to teach classes

There is an extreme drought in this area and there are signs similar to this everywhere.    They haven't had any rain for over 60 days.  With no rain in that long many things get dusty - including Teddy.

Teddy getting a shower - not his favorite thing.

We made it to the church that Martin Luther King was pastor at this morning and we did sit with Mrs. Foley.  This is one of the friendliest churches we have ever been blessed to attend.  It was a great 2-hour Southern Baptist service!
This is our last night in Alabama - tomorrow morning we head to near Tifton, GA to meet some friends for Thanksgiving and then it is a short drive Saturday to Ray City, GA where we will be doing our next NOMAD'S Mission Project - looking forward to both.  We hope that you all have a Very Happy Thanksgiving - be safe and hug everyone you care about.

1 comment:

  1. We've talked about what a major undertaking it would be if our side by side residential refrigerator had to be replaced. For sure a slide would have to be removed.

    I can remember as a child visiting Virginia and seeing separate sinks for whites and "colored". Don't remember if they were different as in your picture.