As in the past few weeks, The Vagabond has been discussing a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....
The Public Library
“The Thursday Study Club realized many years ago, with Sir Francis Bacon, that “Reading maketh the full man.” Little did the club
Elections are about choices - specifically, choices between different visions. And in the elections for our state legislature on Nov. 4, there couldn’t be more at stake.
But what’s been interesting to watch is how so many sitting legislators have gone to such extreme lengths to run away from their record of the past four years.
How many times this year have
Sometimes back The Vagabond came across a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women's Club called A Little Book About Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. For the last few weeks we have been reporting on this old pamphlet. It continues....
“The common school is the greatest discovery ever made by man.”
“In the home of Gabriel Hughes
In two weeks, voters across our state will head to the polls and decide who will be leading Alabama for the next four years. As voters are evaluating the candidates, I think it is important that we carefully look at the candidates’ background and how the candidates have presented themselves in their campaigns.
Last week, I questioned why my opponent, Doug
This week we are back on the pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....
“On August 23, 1855, a small group of Baptists under the leadership of Rev. J.J.D. Renfroe, met and organized the First Baptist Church. Phillip Archer helped write the Articles
The New Canaan Baptist Church celebrated its 17th anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. New Canaan Baptist is known as “A Little Church with a Big Heart.”
The program included a 50-plus mens choir from Birmingham called the Men of Praise. These men did an awesome job of singing songs of praise.
Pastor Larry G. Weathers of the Antioch Missionary
As a state representative, there are a lot of causes I am proud to make a stand for. My two biggest priorities, and what I have devoted the majority of my time to, have been job creation and education.
But I have also been proud to take a stand for our second amendment rights, and proud to say that I have
This week the Vagabond will take a break from the little pamphlet written by the Woman Club called A Little Book about Gadsden.
This week, there are 42 descendants of A.L. Wood-liffe who are in town for a reunion, coming from Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Alabama. The group is planning to visit to the Etowah Historical Society and
It’s no secret that women are a little more than half of our population. In fact, out of the more than 2.7 million registered voters in Alabama, just over 56 percent are women.
And yet, women only hold a few elected offices in our state government. In the state legislature, only 14 percent of senators and representatives are women. In the
The Vagabond recently came across a pamphlet written by the Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden. It tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. For the last few weeks we have been reporting on this old pamphlet. It continues....
“The Agricola Furnace Company was organized in 1925. It manufactures warm air furnaces of cast iron and steel
Now that the campaign season is entering the final five weeks, there will be a huge increase in the TV ads, mail pieces and other campaign activity - all meant to persuade voters to vote one way or another. It’s the homestretch, and things are going to be ramping up.
However you may choose to vote, the most important thing you
Andy’s Taco Soup and Alabama Cornbread
There are many things I believe a person in leadership should be - responsive to constituents, strong in core values, possess the ability to make tough decisions and most importantly, function as a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. And being a good steward of taxpayers’ money means finding real solutions to the budget problems of our state, not simply
The growth of motor travel has brought about the rapid development of the good roads movement. Gadsden is connected with the remotest parts of the country by many fine paved highways. The coming of the bus lines in 1920 was the last step in the evolution of transportation in Gadsden. The Greyhound and the Crescent Lines serve the community.
A Praise Celebration
One of the joys of life is celebrating the length of days on earth. Saturday was a day of celebration for Gertie Thompson Lowe. Gertie celebrated her 80th birthday at the Antioch Family Life Center with more than 160 guests in attendance.
The guests were welcomed by the hostess and memories of Gertie’s achievements were given by friends and
Matthew’s French Toast and Apple Dip
This week I want to share with you my grandson’s favorite breakfast at his Gann’s(me) house. His request is quite simple. French Toast, Thick Sliced Applewood Bacon, and Coffee with French Vanilla Cream. Mary, my sister, and I always cook our bacon in the oven. I use a large cookie sheet, covered with foil, and
One of the biggest threats to our children’s education is when the politicians think they know better than the professional educators.
Last month, 30 of Alabama’s public school superintendents joined in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the so-called Accountability Act, and asking the Alabama Supreme Court to uphold a lower court’s decision that the Accountability Act is unconstitutional.
Among those 30
It was a busy weekend in the neighborhood.
On Saturday morning, the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of East Gadsden held a Women and Youth Conference. Three lecturers spoke on the theme “How to Reclaim, Retrain and Retain.” Jimmie Leonard kept the group moving with the song “Happy.” Guest speaker Dr. Doris Petty of Bessemer expounded on the subject of commitment, stating
The Vagabond recently came across a pamphlet written by the Woman Club called A little book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. For the last two weeks we have been reporting on this old pamphlet. It continues....
“Gadsden civic leaders were preparing for a big development program in this year, following the huge public land
Mary’s Scalloped Potatoes and Fudge Plate Pie
Football season is here and I enjoyed every game that I watched this past weekend. It is so much fun now that Matthew is old enough to discuss a game with me. Grandchildren are such a blessing! Of course, my favorite part of the game is to know what all of you had to
The following is excerpted from a book written by the Gadsden’s Women’s Club called “A Little Book about Gadsden.” The book tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area.
Civil War Days - 1861
The Civil War stopped all internal improvements. [Etowah] County, then [called] Cherokee, furnished five companies of soldiers who were part of the 19th Alabama Regiment whose first
Recently, our state leaders have been going around patting themselves on the back for how much they have changed things over the past four years. They say that over the next four years, they are going to “be bold,” if not “bolder,” than they were before. They plan to go even further than they have in the past. This should
The Vagabond recently came across a book written by the Women’s Club called A Little book about Gadsden. It tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It begins:
“A young man trekked south, led by a dream to found a town somewhere between Nashville, Tennessee, and the Georgia coast. Spurred on by the development of the railroads, Gabriel
Once again Gadsden, Alabama, has maintained its status as the City of Champions with the help of Khamari Smith and De’Andre Riffin.
After winning in the local elementary school track and field competition, the youngsters went on to participate in the district, state and national competitions.
Each year, Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American
We celebrated Labor Day earlier this week in honor of the working families throughout this country. It is a fitting time to celebrate working families, since jobs are by far the No. 1 issue on most peoples’ minds these days.
As we get closer to Election Day, you will see more and more political ads talking about “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But
Stuffed Jalapenos and Icebox Cookies
Football season is here! I can remember years ago when “tailgating” meant eating out of the trunk of your car. Are any of you old enough to remember packing your trunks for the college games? Ladies, do you remember wearing dress clothes and gloves? Things have really changed. As far as the food, we tried to
Taco Salad Casserole and Mother’s Peach Macaroon Pie
On a hot summer day in the South, a salad is so light and refreshing. This taco salad is a little heavier than most salads, but it is oh so good. I enjoyed making this for my family this week. I used the fresh tomatoes from our garden, which are slowly coming
by Jon Costa
The Medicare Minute for August, 2014 provided by the Medicare Rights Center and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, is entitled “Medicare Coverage of Home Health Care.”
Home health care is care you get at home to treat an illness or injury. If you or a loved one needs help at home, it is important to understand
Matthew 25 contains a description of the Last Judgment. In verses 32-41 it explains in parables, and I quote from the King James version as follows: “And the Lord shall answer and say unto them: Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done to the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me.”
Alabama is on a political slippery slope. Our descent is being aided by millions of dollars of campaign contributions controlled by a handful of political operatives who obviously believe many Alabama citizens should be only seen, not heard. This attitude is hardly new to this country, or even to Alabama.
The Tidewater region of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and
Alabama is definitely facing some major problems with our state budgets, and it’s time for state leaders to take these problems seriously and find real solutions. But combining the two budgets is not a real solution.
Our state leaders need to realize that simply taking money from one pile and moving it to another is not a good idea.
The Vagabond recently had someone visit the Eto-wah Historical Society about one of his ancestors, Joel Chandler, Sr. The Va-gabond came up with the following information.
The very first distance ancestor of Joel Chandler, Sr., was Gilbert Sieur Le-Chaundeler De L’Aigle of France. His son, also from France, was Le Chaundeler De L’Aigle was born in 1210 and died
The thing that troubled me most as I began to seek the Lord in my life was the permanence of it all. In seeking security in God I also experienced a sense of not being able to turn back to my old ways. The more that the knowledge of God was raining on me, the more afraid I became
The Vagabond recently spoke with Lloyd Wagnon, who manages to still keep a busy life.
After becoming Alabama’s youngest Registered Professional Land Surveyor in 1949, Wagnon entered private practice in Gadsden. Through the years, he designed and executed many of the area’s finest residential subdivisions and established many land boundaries throughout Etowah County.
Wagnon served the City of Gadsden as a member
Cornbread Skillet Casserole and Winter Fruit Salad
My sister discovered these two recipes when she was clearing out a drawer in her kitchen. My mother had several different places that she placed her recipes. I cannot believe that I missed these when I was writing my cookbook I thought I had covered all of the little places. Mother and I talked
One of the most memorable events for a family is family reunion. Family members and friends get together to reminiscence about the past, present and future.
During the weekend of Aug.15, the Price-Wright-Green family traveled to Washington D.C. in celebration of their 68 years of the family getting together.
Some of the family members in the Alabama and Georgia
There’s no doubt we have a jobs problem in the state of Alabama. We are the only state in the country with a rising unemployment rate, which is now at 7 percent. Last year, the state created only 366 new jobs, and we are now ranked 49th in the country for job creation. By Gov. Robert Bentley’s own measuring stick,
Back when Gov. Robert Bentley was campaigning in 2010, he made some bold statements. Statements such as, “I believe the people of Alabama need to decide at the ballot box on a YES or NO vote whether to allow gambling or abolish all forms of gambling.”
And Gov. Bentley and I were 100 percent in agreement. I firmly believe that we
The Vagabond recently showed a presentation about Noccalula Falls, which mentioned the cave that was once there. This is the story about that cave:
Throughout Lookout Mountain are many mysterious caves in which all sort of legends are connected. For instance, Confederate soldiers entering the cave and staggering out days later at a distant location. Then there are those caves that
German Freezer Soup and Mona’s Vegetable Spread
Yes, the weather is way too hot to think about making a pot of soup. German soup has to be made in the summer when all of the vegetables are growing in the gardens.This “freezer soup” is so close to my heart. My mother and I would bring baskets of tomatoes out of the
Famous Blueberry Dessert and Apple Surprise
The comforting sounds and smells of the kitchens of the South are forever preserved. The wonderful smells that I remember as a child that came from my aunt's kitchens were unreal. My aunt, Sue Lankford, would always have a cake in the oven or a cake waiting to be sliced when you walked in her
The meeting for the newly chartered Sons of Confederate’s Emma Sansom Camp No. 253 will be held on Thursday, Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Etowah Historical Society located in the Elliott Community Center at 29th Street and Meighan Boulevard (U.S. 431) in Gadsden. The historical society genealogist will help in finding your Confederate ancestor in order to join
This week students and educators across the state will return to school. What makes this year different from the last two years is that they will be going back to school two weeks sooner than before.
In 2012, the Alabama legislature passed a school start date bill that gave schools more flexibility in setting their schedules and allowed summers to last
In 1868, three years after the Civil War, Gadsden’s first industry came about in the form of a hat factory. The hattery, as it became known, was established by Allen Gaylor near Noccalula Falls. He brought his family from Tennessee and came into this area to start his trade.
The hattery was located near the present-day Kiwanis Building on the old road
I believe that education is the great equalizer. If you give children a quality education, then with hard work they can make their dreams come true. That is why it is so disheartening to see millions of dollars taken from their education every year so that a handful of (mostly wealthy) donors can get yet another tax break.
It seems the
The Best Banana Muffins and
Fresh Blueberry Pie
After World War ll, a lady described a typical picnic lunch for that time in history. She said they packed a shoe box lunch and took off in the pony cart for a beautiful place in the woods. The usual contents were: fried chicken, tomato sandwiches, buttered
There is a simple business principle that many understand and that economists have spent years dissecting and discussing in books, on television and in newspaper articles - creating jobs for people means generating revenue for all sectors.
Unfortunately, for Alabama, there are people in leadership that don’t understand that simple principle. Instead of wanting to create jobs that will help solve
This week The Vagabond talks about the Work Projects Administration and Forrest Cemetery Chapel.
In October 1929, the stock market crashed wiped out 40 percent of the paper values of common stock and triggered a worldwide depression. By 1933, the value of stock on the New York Stock Exchange was less than a fifth of what it had been in 1929.
Chicken Salad and Chocolate Chess Pie
A light chicken salad plate with a small pimento cheese sandwich, fresh fruit, and a chocolate dessert is so beautiful and refreshing in the summer. I like to center a scoop of chicken salad on curly lettuce and surround it with strawberries and cantaloupe cut into bite size chunks. Add a pimento cheese sandwich that
Have you ever wondered about the little marble water fountain on Broad Street near the Emma Sansom statue and in front of Gadsden City Hall?
Recently on the “Welcome to Gadsden” Facebook page, a photo was shown of the old fountain, and folks began asking about it. The Vagabond did research on this subject and found it had a very interesting
Maybe it’s because I am a father and my wife is a teacher that I have a unique perspective. But I believe, wholeheartedly, that every child deserves a quality education. Regardless of if they are zoned for this school or that school, can afford private school or can’t afford private school.
Alabama should provide a quality education for all of our
Years ago the Vagabond had the opportunity to meet Darryl Patton, an herb expert and author of several books, including one on the late Tommy Bass, who lived in Cherokee County. Darryl has also written a book called America’s Goat Man. He writes:
“With an iron-wheeled wagon overloaded with pots, pans, car tags, lanterns, five-gallon pails and bales of hay hanging
Pat’s Squash Cornbread and Oven Garden Vegetables
When I was reading through Cherry Clements cookbook, "Mama's Bequest", she had signed the inside cover, "Do not let good cooking die out". I love her Southern Georgia cookbook. As Southerners, we can not let Southern cooking "die out". I have heard so many people say that Southern cooking is going to be a
A special Thank You. There has been much said about the Central-Carver Reunion 2014 this past week. Yes, it has been about remembering, reminiscing and the gathering of classes, families, friends and classmates returning to Gadsden that some have not seen in 45 plus years. Central-Carver School (Wildcats) is embedded in the hearts and minds of the alumni and community.
It’s politics 101. You don’t make promises you can’t keep or lead people on to think you might do something you know you will not be able to do.
But that is exactly what Gov. Robert Bentley did to educators this year.
At the start of the year, Bentley proposed a 2.5 percent pay raise for teachers and support personnel. Newspaper headlines
with State Rep. Craig Ford
I love America, and I especially love Alabama. That’s no secret, as I believe all people in politics should truly love our great nation. But I have to say, this summer, I find myself loving America a little more than usual.
With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, celebrating everything that our forefathers tirelessly
By Mary Payne
Who is it?
This question can lead to a lot of problems.
If someone knocks on your door and you aren’t expecting anyone - Do Not Answer.
Home intruders are not going to answer truthfully - “Oh, it is a home invader and I am going to steal your money and injure you.” They are going to say that
Science is moving closer to God
We have Holy Scripture and church doctrine that help us to understand the existence of and our relationship with God. Jesus, as God’s Word, took God’s message to a new level. Even with scripture and church doctrine, we can enhance our understanding and relationship with God in other ways as well. We can get a
There is no doubt that God has been good to me. I have received so many blessings in my life, but none have been better or more rewarding than being a father.
With all the responsibilities a person can have today, being a parent is by far the most important in significance, and it is a responsibility that I take more
For the last few weeks, The Vagabond has been talking about Etowah Historical Society founder Mary Harrison Lister and the interesting story about her life. This week is another story that must be reported once again.
Another Gadsden’s finest and original member of the Etowah Historical Society is Hazel Oliver. Because she stays extremely active and involved in many things, no
There were a lot of surprises that came out of last week’s primary elections. One thing that was not a surprise was all the ads and mail pieces about Barack Obama.
It only makes sense. Republican legislators don’t want to talk about their own record. They want to make every election a referendum on Obama’s presidency.
I don’t blame them. What record
The Vagabond recently visited the state archives in Montgomery, where he discovered several photos of Etowah Historical Society founder Mary Harrison Lister. The following is a continuation of a book written by Elbert L. Watson about Mary Harrison Lister:
“Let me backtrack for a moment to September, 1961, when I spoke to the society on the life of David W. Baine,
My, how the tables have turned.
Four years ago, Republican politicians in Montgomery were applauding Republican prosecutors for investigating public corruption in the bingo trials - an investigation that led to exactly zero convictions.
Now, these same Republican politicians are claiming that politics is behind the investigation into their own corruption, and that the investigation is nothing more than an attempt to
The Vagabond recently visited the State Archives in Montgomery, where he discovered several photos of Etowah Historical Society founder Mary Harrison Lister. The following is a continuation of a book written by Elbert L. Watson about Mary Harrison Lister:
“Another high moment for Mrs. Lister and the Historical Society occurred in the following spring, when Mr. M.M. Johnson, one of Emma
The Vagabond recently visited the State Archives in Montgomery, where he found several photos of Etowah Historical Society founder Mary Harrison Lister. The following is a continuation of a book written by Elbert L. Watson about Mary Harrison Lister:
“We all know that the Etowah County Historical Society is here because Mary Harrison Lister was determined that such an organization should exist.
John 15:13 reads, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Thousands of men and women in the United States Armed Forces have not only given their life for their friends, but for all of us. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those men and women who lost their lives for
What if Etowah County and the 4th Congressional District had the same leadership in our congressional representative as they do in South Alabama?
Last week, Congressman Bradley Byrne of Mobile made a strong public stand for construction of a bridge on Interstate 10 over the Mobile River. The congressman called the project “a national priority” and warned that inaction would endanger
The Vagabond recently traveled to Montgomery to the state archives, where he discovered several photos Mary Harrison Lister, the founder of the Etowah Historical Society.
The following piece is a continuation of a book written by Elbert L. Watson about Mary Harrison Lister:
“My next direct contact with the society was at its Christmas gathering held at Mrs. Lister's beloved Aloha Lodge
I have always believed in the power and value of education. That is why I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who are graduating this month.
Whether you are finishing high school, a vocational program or a college degree, you should be proud of how hard you have worked and what you have accomplished!
Getting an education is a
“I have thought about you folk a great deal the past week, and particularly so yesterday since that marked the day when we laid your mother to rest.
“I can understand that your Christmas season had overtones of somberness since it was during this season that she was taken away.
“Ramona and I have felt this lost as well, since Mrs. Lister
The Vagabond recently received an e-mail from David Vincent. He writes:
“My grandfather was W.H. Vincent and he lived over off of Robinson Avenue in East Gadsden. He was in a club called the Alabama Astronomical Society back in 1938. I have this old article and several old photos, some with names. I have attached photos. I have always been curious
The storms that hit Etowah County and Alabama last week left a devastating impact on our community. While the EMA is still working on a damage assessment, it is already clear that in Etowah County we have suffered far more damage than the required threshold to be declared a federal disaster area.
In my opinion, if even one house or business
Earlier this month, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau briefly granted approval to a new powdered form of alcohol. A couple of weeks later, the agency withdrew its approval, saying it was given in error.
The incident brought powdered alcohol to the national media’s attention, as well as the attention of many parents and addiction experts. I believe Alabama
Known for its square bottles and black label, Jack Daniel’s is a brand of Tennessee whiskey that is among the world’s best-selling liquors.
Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel was born in September 1850, although seemingly no one knows the exact date because the birth records were destroyed in a courthouse fire.
If the 1850 date is correct, he might have become a licensed
The Vagabond spent time in Montgomery this week pulling information out of the State of Alabama Archives with City of Altoona councilman and historian Ryan Cole.
If you have never been to the state archives, you must go!
This past February, the archives opened up a new museum called “Voices of Alabama.”
The museum was a 12-year undertaking with many
“Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.”
It’s an election year, and you have probably seen that campaign slogan on billboards and yard signs all across the state. But are we really creating jobs here in Alabama? Or is job creation just more election year rhetoric, like the teacher pay raise?
The news seems to be mixed at best. On the one hand, economists at the
Despite months of promising a pay raise for educators, it turns out that all the governor’s talk was just that - more election year rhetoric.
After four years of constant assaults on our public schools, this budget and the governor’s empty promises for a pay raise are just one more attack on education from the Republican Supermajority in Montgomery.
Gov. Robert Bentley
Horror stories began to surface during the late 1950s and early ‘60s when the many dams were constructed along the Coosa and other rivers in Alabama. Stories of catfish as large as a Volkswagen have been told over and over again for more than 50 years.
While these stories have been told as true, there were stories of river monsters of
Another legislative session has ended in Montgomery. And like most years, this session had its share of disappointments.
While there were some positive things that came out of this legislative session, the $400 bonus and conditional 4 percent pay raise for state employees next year, as examples, the bad outweighed the good.
Once again, legislative leaders refused to pass bills
We should be thankful that God does not operate like the folks in the fairs and carnivals that take your good money to play a game that is almost impossible to win.
The phrase they shout at their clientele when 99 percent of them can’t win the game is, “Close, but no cigar!” This phrase goes back 100 years when
The history of Etowah County goes back much further than most hear about.
What is now Etowah County was first a part of the State of Georgia. After the war with the Creek Indians, the portion of the county lying south and west of Big Wills Creek became a part of the Mississippi Territory and was located in Monroe County,
There is no doubt that I would not be the man I am today had it not been for the women in my life. From my mother to my wife and daughter, they have all shaped who I am. But more importantly, they have also helped shape the community we live in. I have seen in all of them a
Last week The Vagabond received a call from Wes Gwin, who was seeking information on where the old Owens Family Cemetery was located. It became a cemetery back in 1874.
A quick call to family member Nathan Owens revealed where the cemetery was located - off Main Street in South Gadsden near the top of a hill. The cemetery entrance is
Budgets are about priorities. Whether it’s your personal budget or the state’s budgets, we find a way to pay for the things that are most important. What we have learned this year is that a pay raise for our educators and retirees is not important to the leadership in the Alabama legislature.
Just compare the budget proposed by Gov. Robert Bentley
For the last few weeks, The Vagabond has been discussing some of the folks who settled in the area west and north of Attalla before the Cherokees were removed. This area was from around Highways 77 and 431 all the way up to Sand Valley Road and over to Reece City.
Last week The Vagabond discussed the Engle (Ingle) family that
We are now more than two-thirds of the way through this year’s legislative session in Montgomery and, once again, our state leaders have denied the voters of Alabama the chance to vote on a statewide lottery.
This goes beyond just arguing over the merits of a state lottery. This is about democracy!
How can we trust the voters to elect us but
For the last few weeks, The Vagabond has been discussing some of the folks who settled in the area located west and north of Attalla before the Cherokee Indians were removed. This area was from around Highways 77 and 431 all the way up to Sand Valley Road and over to Reece City.
Last week The Vagabond