The Birmingham Crisis Center: talking does help

Crises Center

Talking does help.

The Birmingham Crisis Center’s simple motto seeks to very simply convey its mission to Central Alabama, to serve the unmet needs of people experiencing personal crisis or mental health issues and respond with services that promote coping, emotional health and well being.

“We are a safe place,” said Valerie Shayman, the Crisis and Suicide Line Program Coordinator at the Crisis Center. “Our staff and volunteers pride themselves in making sure this is a non-judgmental, safe, and comfortable atmosphere so all of our clients can receive the support they need and deserve.”

And its clients are indeed the Crisis Center’s first priority. As the Center provides support services over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and has been in operation since 1970, it is clear that the Center is committed to maintaining a safe environment for their clients.

The Crisis Center offers several different specialized programs with which it serves its clients. They include the Crisis and Suicide Line (with recently added texting and instant messaging), age-specific lines including Teen Link, Kids’ Help Line and the Senior Talk Line, a Rape Response line (along with other services for victims including exams, legal advocacy and counseling), a Payee Program and the Piper Place Day Program, which offers mental health services.

With so many areas of service, the Crisis Center is always in need of volunteers.

“We’re looking for you!” Shayman said. “We are interested in a wide variety of volunteers! Key traits that work best in our programs are open-minds, nonjudgmental attitudes, patience and a willingness to help others.”

Samford Seniors Emily Bruchas and Ali Rames have been volunteering at the Crisis Center this semester as part of their Family Studies curriculum at Samford University.

“Volunteering at the Crisis Center has given me first hand experience in counseling,” Rames said. “I love being able to make a difference in someone’s life, whether that means helping them through a situation, or simply listening to them talk.”

Bruchas further explained the importance of a listening ear. “I’ve realized that even as a student I can help individuals deal with the current problem in their life. However, I’ve also realized many people just need someone to talk to, especially the elderly. It makes me re-evaluate what we need to do in society to give everyone a full and healthy life,” she said.

After the prospective volunteer completes an application on the Crisis Center’s website, an interview is scheduled with the appropriate coordinator. Volunteers then complete extensive training, which is designed to help the new volunteer be prepared for a variety of circumstances.

“We include group discussion, role-play, and multimedia in our training,” Shayman said. “All volunteers complete ‘shadow shifts’ as well. During a shadow shift, the new volunteer has the opportunity to observe calls or Rape Response cases as they occur to help them feel more prepared for when they begin working cases or taking calls on their own.”

For more information about the Crisis Center or to find out how you can get involved as a volunteer, visit http://www.crisiscenterbham.com/index.php.

Alternative way of dressing up your photographs

You see people with the photographs hanging by a clothes pin on a string all the time. However, I like to spice mine up a little bit by adding scrapbook paper. Taping scrapbook paper to the back of your photographs helps them look a little more decorated and more appealing to the eye when hanging on the string at the top of your room.

Supplies you will need for this craft:
-Your photographs
-Scrapbook paper
-Tape
-Scissors

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Tear out your scrapbook paper from your book (if you just have single sheets of scrapbook paper ignore this step).

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Trim down your scrapbook paper to be the size you want for the photograph.
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Trim down your photograph. Do this if you want your photograph to look more square or you just want to cut away some excess space in the picture. The photograph should be small enough that it still shows some of the paper that it’s on top of.
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Flip over your photograph and put tape on all four corners. You can use glue or other sticky items, but I think tape is the less messy option.
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Flip the photograph over and press it down on to the scrapbook paper.
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And presto! You instantly have a more decorated photograph and it took hardly any time at all!
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After you do this to all your photographs, you can pin them on a string and they will look really nice!
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By Jenna Adams
Photographs by Jenna Adams & Cole Adams

Ruffner Mountain: a close escape for Birmingham

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When the hustle and bustle of city life becomes too much, there’s always Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve.

Just ten minutes from downtown Birmingham, Ruffner Mountain, Alabama’s oldest nature center, is one of the largest urban nature centers in the United States. But despite its convenient proximity, Ruffner Mountain offers all the seclusion one could demand from a park.

In addition to seclusion, the certified wildlife preserve also affords visitors 12 miles of hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty. The trails also give hikers a peek into Birmingham’s history, as they bypass the sites of the iron mines used to craft Sloss Furnaces.

Ken Sransky, a native of Trussville, Ala., first came to Ruffner Mountain with his son Jamie to birdwatch. Today, he’s visiting because the park is hosting a special event – a birthday party for his 10-year-old grandson Sam and his Boy Scout troop.

“My son Jamie is an artist and an architect,” Sransky says. “He likes to get the kids outside so they don’t watch television all the time.”

Sam, his troop and most of his classmates are unavailable for comment. They’re on a scavenger hunt with one of the park’s rangers – one of the many events Ruffner Mountain provides.

One of Sransky’s favorite aspects of Ruffner Mountain is its proximity to downtown.

“I’m from Trussville, so it’s really nice having something so close,” he says. “It’s very peaceful.”

His wife, Patty, seconds his opinion.

“I love it here,” she says.

The dreams of the homecoming queen

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Homecoming Queen Rachel Gregory with young girl.

After four years at Samford University, Rachel Gregory will graduate with more than just memories – she’ll graduate with a crown.

Crowned homecoming queen for the 2013 to 2014 school year, Gregory was excited and honored, adding the event to her list of favorite Samford memories.

Other moments that made the list include playing on several intramural teams, participating in Step Sing, joining Alpha Delta Pi and leading a small group.

“I lead an incredible group of freshman girls who encourage me and challenge me daily in my walk with Christ,” Gregory said.

Extremely involved on campus, Gregory has not only led a small group but has been the chaplain for her sorority, served as a Rho Gamma and a Connections Leader and was involved with the Student Government Association.  As a freshman, Gregory competed in the SoCon Track and Field Indoor Championship and jumped her personal best in the pole vault.

Although she has accomplished many things in her time at Samford, Gregory has several dreams for the future.

“I dream of being used in supernatural ways to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to this earth,” Gregory said. “Most of my dreams kind of scare me, but maybe that’s because I cannot attain them on my own. I have to trust that God will provide me with opportunities and that He will equip me emotionally, spiritually, and physically to accomplish the dreams He has placed in my heart.”

She has more serious dreams like living overseas or going to seminary for a degree in Christian Education, but she also has dreams of entering a swing dancing competition and working as Belle at Disney World.

As an elementary education major, one of her biggest dreams is to teach in an international school. After graduation she will be certified to teach children in grades PreK – 6 and special education. She hopes to use her teaching degree as a means of ministry and aspires to be like Mrs. Robbins, her fourth grade teacher.

“She loved me so well and inspired me to want to be a teacher just like her. Since fourth grade, I have always had my heart set on being a teacher just like Mrs. Robbins,” Gregory said.

Already making an impact not only on Samford’s campus but in the lives of children, one of Gregory’s most recent favorite Samford memories happened during Homecoming weekend.

“After being crowned Homecoming Queen,” Gregory said, “a little girl asked, ‘Are you a real princess?’ I told her yes and asked if she was a princess, too.” When the little girl responded “Yes,” Gregory asked if she would like to try on the crown. “I gingerly placed it on her head,” she said. “She then ran over to her dad shouting, “Daddy! Daddy! I just met Miss Alabama!”

With a long list of Samford memories and accomplishments, Gregory has enjoyed her years at Samford. She said that her achievements have been by the grace of God and trusts Him to lead her toward her dreams. The recent addition of a crown is just a bonus among many wonderful college memories.

By Kaitlyn Bouchillon

Back Down South Films

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Back Down South Films co-directors, Stephen Stinson and Logan Dillard. Photograph courtesy of Jamison Skinner. 

At 22 years old, most people are figuring out their vocation and searching for that perfect job.
Former Samford University students and Back Down South Films co-founders Logan Dillard and Stephen Stinson quickly realized their dream job did not exist — so they decided to create it.

The idea was conceived when Dillard and Stinson produced a music video for a local Birmingham band for a class project during their senior year of college.

“It was a school project that originally wasn’t supposed to be that time consuming,” Stinson said. “We decided that if we were going to do a music video for a great friend, we needed to take our time and make it the best it could be.”

Without a budget and any real resources, the two rented out the deep end of the Samford swimming pool, brought in their own lights, and began filming a music video that soon became the foundation for what is now Back Down South Films.

After releasing the video the two received more coverage than expected, including support from Noise Trade and a few local magazine blogs. It was then that Stinson and Dillard realized their joint collaboration didn’t have to be limited to work in a classroom but could be something they pursued as a career.
“We realized that we don’t have to do this for a grade. We can do this because it’s something that we are good at and passionate about,” Dillard said.
The two said they believed that to make their dreams a reality, they would eventually have to take action.
“So many people are passionate about things, but they are too scared to pursue their dreams,” Stinson said. “There’s always going to be that point of time when you have to take that leap.”

That’s exactly what the two have done. They walked away from their jobs and started a company founded on their passion for producing quality films. With a love for storytelling, the two believe that in film production, “you don’t have to sacrifice quality for creativity.”
Dillard and Stinson shoot everything from weddings to music videos and enjoy both the production and creative aspects of film. “We don’t want to be one of those companies that just shows up for the production. The planning doesn’t bore us, because we love being involved in it,” Stinson said. “Eventually, we want to work with small businesses and local artists that need advice about what to do next.”

In the midst of the beginnings of this new company, Dillard and Stinson are basking in the freedom to truly pursue their passions. Back Down South Films is expanding quickly and the company that was once two college students’ dream has become a reality.
With the support and collaboration of the Birmingham community, the two are entering this season of growth and expansion with anticipation and excitement. “We feel this is the starting line of a race and we’re ready to sprint,” Dillard said.

For more information about Back Down South Films, visit www.backdownsouthfilms.com

By: Kadie Haase

10 things to do in Birmingham

Sometimes locals forget how much there is to do in Birmingham. If you ever have a day without any obligations, set it aside for exploring; get out into the Magic City and see all there is to see. Need suggestions? Let this be your guide.

1. Breakfast/brunch at Another Broken Egg

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This cozy restaurant is the perfect place for breakfast or brunch (depending on how early you want to start your day). The food is freshly made and you’ll enjoy the French country atmosphere. Another Broken Egg serves pancakes, omelets, French toast and many other breakfast choices, satisfying the hunger of every breakfast lover.

2. Either Birmingham Museum of Art…

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Even if art isn’t your thing (it’s not my thing), I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy the Birmingham Museum of Art. You can easily find yourself spending hours in this museum without even realizing it, admiring the more than 24,000 works of art. With one of the finest art collections in the Southeast, you’ll find paintings dating back to the early 13th century alongside intriguing modern art.

3. … or Birmingham Zoo

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The Birmingham Zoo is a great attraction for all ages. Feed giraffes, have birds drink out of the palm of your hand, enjoy a sea lion show or simply check out all 800 of the animals that call the Birmingham Zoo their home.

4. Lunch at Mr. P’s

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Mr. P’s is your classic deli shop. Meat is sliced in-store for delicious signature sandwiches made right in front of you. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is old-fashioned. A few favorites: the Blazer and the Fantastic Fred’s.

5. Picnic at Railroad Park

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Railroad Park is a beautiful space for residents and visitors of Birmingham to enjoy some fresh air in a city environment. I recommend getting your lunch to go, laying down a blanket on the green of Railroad Park and picnicking while taking in the amazing Birmingham skyline.

 

6. Either shopping in downtown Homewood…

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Downtown Homewood has much to offer in the shopping department. You’ll find locally-owned boutiques of all kinds. Downtown Homewood features stores offering children’s clothing, women and men’s apparel, accessories, home décor, maternity wear and so much more. Ambiance, pictured above, is a great example of the kind of shops you can find on this adorable strip.

 

7. … or Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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The Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers an escape from the city and a way to enjoy the outdoor air. Walk along the numerous gardens including the Crape Myrtle Garden, the Dunn Formal Rose Garden and the Asian Glade (pictured above) while enjoying seasonal flowers in the peaceful atmosphere.

 

8. Dinner at Little Donkey

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Little Donkey, which is located in downtown Homewood, is the place to go for fresh, unique Mexican food. From the chips and salsa to the slow-cooked meat, every food item is either bought locally or made from scratch in-house. The lively atmosphere and amazing food make for a great dining experience. (My personal favorite: La Taqueria with a side of Elote — corn on the cob with cotija cheese and ancho chili powder.)

 

9. Steel City Pops

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To cleanse your palate, stop by Steel City Pops, located conveniently next door to Little Donkey. With such a variety of unique flavors, there is something for everyone. Craving adventure? Try ginger wasabi. Want a classic? Chocolate is always available. All the pops are made fresh every day in the store with all-natural ingredients.
10. Visit the Vulcan

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To conclude your day in Birmingham, why not end it with a view? The Vulcan gives you an amazing perspective of the Magic City. Try to catch the sunset and watch the city transform from an urban metropolis to a sea of twinkling lights.
Using this guide, get out into your city. Explore and find things on your own. Birmingham is filled with many other great restaurants, attractions and places to shop. These are just a few fun and favorited places available to try.

By Abby Colella

Taylor Hicks: a Southern sound

Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks started singing before he could walk.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Hicks bought himself a harmonica at a local flea market when he was 16 years old and taught himself to play. He then taught himself guitar, then the organ and eventually began writing songs.

“Music is the common thread for me being an entertainer,” Hicks said.

His love for music and entertaining took him to Las Vegas in October of 2005 to audition for “American Idol.” With his enormous talent and the support of his hometown, as well as the entire nation, he went on to win the fifth season of “American Idol.”

“A lot of people love watching their hometown folks do well,” Hicks said. “When you get that opportunity you try to make the most of it and I’m very lucky to have that kind of support from my hometown.”

His childhood in Birmingham played an important role in the development of Hicks’ musical abilities. “I think growing up in Birmingham and being in the heart of Dixie, you pick up a lot of musical styles,” he said. With the influence of delta blues, gospel and country, Hicks had the opportunity to explore and learn about several genres. He also had the support of his family and friends. “Growing up in Birmingham, there were so many people who were supportive of me and my music,” Hicks said.

Even while making huge jumps in his entertainment career, Hicks still finds time to stay involved with the community of Birmingham. “I try to see my hometown people as much as I can,” he said.

Hicks is also the owner of Saw’s Juke Joint, an establishment that brings together great music and tasty BBQ. Saw’s Juke Joint is located in Mountain Brook and often features live music.

“I’m very thrilled to be a part of Saw’s Juke Joint,” Hicks said. “It’s a really neat thing to be a part of, because I think I’m hungry all the time.” Hicks enjoys throwing around culinary ideas for Saw’s and strives to stay involved with the musical end.

Hicks’s recommends that every newcomer to Birmingham catch a Baron’s game at the new field, get a beer and eat a hotdog. “Eat and watch baseball: the American pastime,” he said.

He also encourages visitors and natives alike to take advantage of the amazing food and atmosphere Birmingham has to offer. “We’ve come so far, as far as industry, the culinary arts and entertainment,” Hicks said.

Hicks’ personal favorite food spot: Sexton’s Seafood. “My family loves to go over to Sexton’s and get fresh fish so we can grill it,” he said. “Their crab dip is really good, too.”

In the end, it all comes down to faith for Hicks. “You have to have your ducks in a row upstairs as much as you have to have them in a row downstairs for you to gain a big break,” Hicks said. “I think God has carved out a path for me to be an entertainer.”

Hicks never hesitates to share where he came from. “I’m very blessed to be an Alabamian and even more blessed to be from Birmingham.”

By Abby Colella

Crestline Village: The Mayberry of Birmingham

Tucked between the peaceful streets of Crestline Heights and the sprawling greens of the Birmingham Country Club is a home away from home — a village of shops, restaurants and city buildings. Crestline Village is its own little town just miles away from the big city.

Nestled in the heart of Mountain Brook the community of Crestline Village is a present-day Mayberry. Crestline offers both residents and visitors a retreat from the busyness of city life and reminds the Birmingham area that neighborly values mean much more than just a friendly face or welcoming smile. The sense of community runs deep through the shop owners, restaurant managers and city workers.

When talking about Crestline Village, the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce says it best: “Welcome to Crestline Village. Welcome to family.”

Every family is unique and Crestline is no different. The old brick buildings bleed history, begging visitors to slow down and enjoy the moment. From the one-of-a-kind boutiques to the modern library and the mom-and-pop pharmacy, the village offers something for everyone.

The warm atmosphere that immediately sets visitors and tourists at ease also provides a respite for locals. It’s common to see local families having a picnic in the grassy area beside the Emmet O’Neal Library, playing a game with the kid-size chess set next to City Hall or enjoying a warm cup of coffee while sitting in Church Street Coffee & Books.

One reason that both locals and visitors feel right at home is because of the camaraderie between Crestline shop and restaurant owners. Instead of trying to beat out one another, the owners speak highly of each other and even plan events together.

Natalie Babington is the manager of Snap Kids, a children’s clothing store that features comfortable and stylish clothing for all ages, from newborn to kid’s sizes to tween. “All of the shop owners and managers get along great. We always are helping each other out. We plan sales together and things like that because we want to make sure we can maximize who we reach with our sales,” Babington said.

Instead of acting as a competitor, Snap Kids often works with their neighbor Snoozy’s Kids, which has everything from toys and baby blankets to jewelry for mom.

The owner of Snoozy’s Kids, George Jones, has owned the store since 1988 and has seen kids as customers come back in years later with their own children.

“I’ve been able to retain my customers as they go through the teen years and graduation gifts. There are grandmothers who came here to buy things for their children and now they’re buying for their grandchildren,” Jones said.

One of Crestline’s unique qualities is that many of the shop owners live close by are neighbors. Jones lives in Crestline and explains that while he has a fenced-in yard, there is a gate on each side of his yard leading to his neighbors’ yards. The sense of community that permeates Crestline Village is direct evidence of the community that surrounds the village.

“We’re made up of small stores, small boutiques and small business people. A lot of us live around here, so you live in your community,” Jones said. “You work in your community, and that can’t help but make even more of a sense of community. When someone comes in and you show them a gift and you know their child, you know who they’re buying for. It’s kind of Mayberry-ish.”

It’s easy to see the plus side of living in such tight-knit community, and it’s understandable that locals don’t feel a need to move anywhere else. “We have everything from a library and city hall to the police station and a grocery store. Children’s clothes, ladies’ clothes, if you’re planning a wedding or need a photograph, drugs, or a bakery, it’s all right here,” Jones said.

Newcomers to Crestline also agree: there’s no place quite like Crestline Village, where everyone knows your name.

Alex Stone grew up in Crestline, but her store, The Pantry, was located in Cahaba Heights until recently. Now that she’s moved “home,” Stone sees a steady stream of regular customers every day. “We love it here; it’s real homely,” Stone said. “Everybody knows everybody.”

The Pantry — a health-conscious, farmstead lifestyle store in Crestline Village — places an extreme importance on the quality of food. The store is also event driven, hosting wine and cheese events and gumbo and beer night every Friday.

While Stone runs The Pantry, her mother, Deborah Stone, runs the farm that provides the restaurant with its fresh products. Deborah Stone grew up on a farm before opening one of the first day spas in America, and she couldn’t be happier to finally be back on the farm. In a way, opening The Pantry has brought both mother and daughter back home.

Because The Pantry has its own farm, many of the items sold in the restaurant are homemade. They offer everything from jams and jellies to 12 different flavors of cheese made from one of their 150 goats. The Pantry restaurant truly begins at the farm.

There’s a grab-and-go section full of soups, casseroles and tomato pies that are perfect for busy parents to pick up and pop in the oven when they get home from work. There are several juices and even cow’s milk straight from the farm — courtesy of Poppy the cow.

Looking to appeal to all generations, The Pantry also has Steel City Pops available and many different health juices. In fact, The Pantry provides the milk for both the caramel and the tomatillo pop. Between the food, pops and juicing, they’ve figured out how to gain a wide customer base.

“The juicing brings in the teenage crowd and the health-conscious moms but then the food brings in a lot of elderly people, “Stone said.

As the restaurant owners get to know their customers, they’re able to personalize the Crestline Village experience. There’s one customer that comes to The Pantry and orders a juice customized just for her. “We make a Julie Juice, and Julie comes in here every day and grabs the same juice, so we have it for her at 12 o’clock,” Stone said.

The Julie Juice, made from two celery sticks, a handful of romaine, a quarter of a lemon, an apple and a handful of spinach, has become popular as more of Julie’s friends find out about it. Stone loves it because she’s gotten to know Julie’s inner circle, figured out what they like and can now invest in them not only as customers but as people too.

Caring about people is what it’s all about for The Pantry. There’s great value in eating farm-to-table, and The Pantry is the face of the farm — a way to bring the farm to everyone in Crestline.

Right past the old drugstore and across the street from the mighty Crestline Clock Tower is another shop that cares greatly about its customers and the Crestline community.

Church Street Coffee & Books moved into an abandoned Starbucks a little more than two years ago. Since then, the store has been selling coffee, pastries and books to customers who have quickly become regulars. The specialty coffees and drinks are delicious, but it’s the cookies that keep customers coming back for more. The best seller is the break-up cookie, which is a chocolate chip cookie with sea salt baked on top.

There’s a loft upstairs perfect for students who need to study and a patio outside with a view of the clock tower as well as ample seating inside. It’s hard to find a time of day when regular customers aren’t visiting with the staff because at Church Street, there’s no such thing as “just a customer.” Everyone is treated like family.

One of the co-owners of Church Street Coffee & Books, Cal Morris, doesn’t have any big dreams for future expansion. Instead, his dream is to be a welcoming place for the community.

“Honestly, I think we are living our dream. Our dream is here,” Morris said.

And that dream of community in Crestline Village seems to be shared by every shop owner. Who doesn’t want to shop, eat and spend their afternoons playing chess or having a picnic in a place that feels like home?

There are more than 50 shops and businesses that attract people to Crestline including ice cream parlors, photography studios, Mexican and Southern cooking restaurants, gas stations, clothing stores and so much more. Crestline Village offers it all!

The brick buildings, delicious food and welcoming stores will surely draw you into this quaint town, but the people of Crestline Village will always be what makes you want to stay.

Reed Books

Almost everyone has that one person who is most difficult to cross off his or her Christmas shopping list. However Jim Reed, owner of Reed Books, has a pretty simple Christmas wish.

“Find something that makes you smile and bring me that thing and your smile and that’s my present,” Reed said about receiving presents from his children.

Reed opened his shop, Reed Books: The Museum of Fond Memories, in order to get “away from the corporate world and the things that people do to each other in the corporate world.”

His shop is full of thousands of items he finds in a variety of places, each with a different story. He has purchased items at yard sales and customers have brought in stuff to sell.

“My favorite part is what people bring in here — not the things they bring but the stories they bring,” Reed said.
Reed’s items appeal to a large variety of hobbies and interests. He has brand new books and novels that are more than 500 years old for purchase. Reed has books on every topic you can imagine, perfect for the bookworm on your Christmas shopping list.

If you have a movie enthusiast on your shopping list, Reed has hundreds of theatre posters and publicity photos from films, comic books for the super hero fan and records for the music lover.

Reed Books has it all. The price range of items is anywhere from 50 cents to $9,000.

“There is no way to tell what something is actually worth because everything has an intrinsic value, and everything is worth a million dollars to me,” Reed said.

When you look around though, you cannot help but notice each of the many Santa’s adorned in various spots around the shop.

“Every day is Christmas here,” Reed said. “It is a secular thing with me. It has nothing to do with religion. It can depend on what society you’re in, but it’s a time when people are nice to each other. That’s what I like about Christmas; it’s that feeling that I had when I was a kid.”

You will surely find the most unique gifts this holiday season at Jim Reed’s Books. You will come away with a few items crossed off your list and an amazing experience in his shop as well.

“This is a place where I want you to feel like you have sanctuary from the world, even if for a couple of minutes. Come in here, you’re safe. That’s what I’d like it to be. That’s an ideal shop to me,” Reed said.

Check out Reed Books: The Museum of Fond Memories on 2021 3rd Ave N Birmingham, Alabama 35203.

by Madison Miles

It’s the vinyl countdown

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Sixty years ago the vinyl record made a name for itself among recording artists and musical junkies. As time ticked on and technology improved, the vinyl record seemed to exit the musical world.

In 1982, Philips and Sony collaborated to sell the Compact Disc commercially. Nearly 20 years later, a record company called SubPop was the first to distribute music in MP3 format. Now that CD and MP3 industries are expanding rapidly, the vinyl record seems to be the lost gem of the music world. Record stores can still be found scattered throughout the globe, two of which are sitting in Birmingham’s historical Five Points. Here are five possible reasons why the vinyl record keeps spinning.

 5. The Parents

“I think what it is, is the parents are beginning to introduce their kids to records again,” said Shirley Bourgeois, one of the owners of Renaissance Records. Many people from today’s generation grew up in a time where vinyl was the most popular medium for music. Their parents still have record players and are playing them for their children to hear.

 4. It’s an art form and a collector’s item

The intricacy of a vinyl record when it is being played goes without comparison. “It’s a form of art that the CD doesn’t give you, the quality of recording is superior,” said Marian Rosato, the owner of Charlemagne Records Exchange. Plus, antiques are something that people enjoy collecting and the vinyl record conveniently falls under that category. Not everyone has records today, so being able to say you collect them is unique. _MG_7075 copy

 3. Different than modern technology

An irreplaceable quality and caliber of music released through the record is undoubtedly matchless with music players today. “It’s really cool to look at a record playing, even if there’s no music, if you just sat there and looked at a record and watched it spin— it’s pretty cool,” said Wilson Brantley, Samford student and vinyl collector.

 2. Nostalgia

Music has the power to bring memories flooding back to the listener’s mind. Vinyl also has this effect on younger people today. “It just feels nostalgic even though I wasn’t even alive,” Brantley said. In a way, vinyl is a powerful tool to help connect people across all generations.

 1. You can’t beat the sound

“It is a novelty item and people like to have the ‘original’ sounds of the artist,” said Mathes Ballard, a student at Samford University and vinyl collector. Shop-owner, Bourgeios, would agree. She said, “To be honest the reason why I think it’s coming back is the sound, they rediscovered the sound.” She walked over to the turntable in her store and grabbed the first record she saw, Crimson & Clover by Tommy James & The Shondells. The rich sounds of “Crystal Blue Persuasion” filled the shop. She smiled and said, “The analog is so much better. It’s just a different sound.” _MG_7049 copy

While CDs and MP3 players seem to be the only way people listen to music today, the vinyl record provides remnants of the musical past. In fact, when asking Bourgeios whether she though vinyl had made a comeback or not, she said, “It has never gone away.”

By Jenna Adams
Photographs by Jenna Adams