The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Answers and Go New Hampshire, Go Hillary

New Hampshire.

Three things.

1. All the media outlets have emphasized that the voters in New Hampshire take their vote very seriously. Rather than just voting “against” her or him for unknown reasons, many of which are based on ill-conceived notions or prejudices, they evaluate each candidate on the issues and what that candidate says to them. In this case, Hillary Clinton definitely prevails, because she addressed the issues, including the economy, which is very important to New Hampshire voters. Obama did not address the economy over the last few days. In addition, “Hope” is not a plan, and when all you are offering is empty hope, voters do not know that you have any plans. Hillary has plans.

2. In New Hampshire, you can not vote twice, like in Iowa. People whose candidates were not faring well did not get to recast their vote for another candidate

3. The people in New Hampshire realize it is OK to be human. Hillary Clinton’s emotions, both during the debate and Monday showed her to be human. Your eyes can fill with tears and you can still be strong.

What a victory for Hillary Clinton. New Hampshire is good to the Clintons. And again, like in Iowa, what a night for the democratic party. While the number voting in the Republican Primary decreased , the number voting in the Democratic primary grew.

And I can not wait, if John McCain becomes the Republican nominee (not that I think he could sustain his momentum), Hillary’s end the war message would smother his hawk message.

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I can not believe that the Jefferson County Commission is giving money to The Eagle Forum to host a forum. And they will discuss issues like gobal warming. This is like paying the contrarians to spread their lies and seems just a little too partisan to me. Is it even legal? Shouldn't be. Somebody should raise a big stink about this.

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That being said, here are answers to the Alabama Quiz posted yesterday.

1. Here's the answer from the State Archives , which is where most of the answers and pictures come from, unless otherwise noted or linked. In 1817, when William Wyatt Bibb was appointed Governor of the brand new Alabama territory, Bibb realized he needed an official seal for his commissions and other state papers. With permission of President James Monroe and a law adopted by Congress, the territorial governor was authorized to select a design for a seal. Governor Bibb believed the best seal would be a map of the territory showing its rivers. It also showed the territories (now states) surrounding it.
By 1819, when Alabama became a state, the territorial seal was designated by the first legislature as the state seal. The state seal remained unchanged for 50 years, until the Reconstruction period when a Republican-dominated legislature had a new seal made. It consisted of an eagle perched upon the shield of the United States seal. In the beak of the eagle was a banner reading "Here We Rest". Around the new emblem were the words "Alabama Great Seal". This seal was used for 71 years to authenticate official documents and letterhead.
In 1939, a bill was introduced by the legislature to restore the original seal as the Great Seal of Alabama. When the bill came up it was approved unanimously by the Senate and the House. Governor Frank M. Dixon approved the new law and the Secretary of State had a new Great Seal created. Act no. 20.



2. The Crimson Cross of St. Andrew and a white field were adopted in 1895. The act did not stipulate as to the shape of the flag, so now you see both square and rectangular flags.


3. The state bird is the Yellowhammer.

The common flicker is the State Bird of Alabama. Alabama has been known as the "Yellowhammer State" since the Civil War. The yellowhammer nickname was applied to the Confederate soldiers from Alabama when a company of young cavalry soldiers from Huntsville, under the command of Rev. D.C. Kelly, arrived at Hopkinsville, KY, where Gen. Forrest's troops were stationed. The officers and men of the Huntsville company wore fine, new uniforms, whereas the soldiers who had long been on the battlefields were dressed in faded, worn uniforms. On the sleeves, collars and coattails of the new calvary troop were bits of brilliant yellow cloth. As the company rode past Company A , Will Arnett cried out in greeting "Yellowhammer, Yellowhammer, flicker, flicker!" The greeting brought a roar of laughter from the men and from that moment the Huntsville soldiers were spoken of as the "yellowhammer company." The term quickly spread throughout the Confederate Army and all Alabama troops were referred to unofficially as the "Yellowhammers."





4. “Alabama” is the official state song. Here are the words to the first and seventh verse:

1 Alabama, Alabama, We will aye be true to thee, From thy Southern shore where groweth, By the sea thine orange tree. To thy Northern vale where floweth Deep and blue thy Tennessee. Alabama, Alabama We will aye be true to thee!

7 Little, little, can I give thee, Alabama, mother mine; But that little--hand, brain, spirit, All I have and am are thine. Take, O take the gift and giver. Take and serve thyself with me, Alabama, Alabama, I will aye be true to thee.

Listen to our state song being sung. Does this take you back to grade school? Who all had Ms. Brown for their music teacher?

5. “We Dare Maintain Our Rights” comes from found on our state coat of arms. "Audemus jura nostra defendere"

Well and good, if only we all had equal rights. That day is a comin’.

6. The Southern Longleaf Pine is the official state tree. Great pine cones. When I was little, daddy planted a long leaf pine in the front yard. I could jump over it. For years. But suddenly it grew taller and faster than me, and it was a mistake to try to jump over it. I won’t elaborate.

7. Red Hills Salamander is the (cutest) official state amphibian. Click here for details and a picture of this endangered amphibian, which lives only in a few counties in south Alabama. I took a field trip in college to the Red Hills to scout for these critters during a herpetology class taught by Dr. Mount.

Click here for a picture and the story of the Red Hills Salamander.

8. Blackberry is the official state fruit. Yall don’t need pictures of blackberries, I am sure. But those of you who have tasted my pecan cobbler (from Miss Julia May) and those who love my peach cobbler, bring me a bunch of fresh blackberries this summer and let me make this for you.
Blackberry Cobbler.

4 cups fresh blackberries


1 cup sugar


1 Tbsp cornstarch


1/2 tsp lemon juice


1 cup all-purpose flour


2 tsp baking powder


1/2 tsp salt


1/2 cup milk


1/4 cup butter melted


1 egg


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread blackberries in ungreased favorite cobbler dish. Mix sugar, except for I teaspoon, with cornstarch and lemon juice. Drizzle cornstarch mixture over blackberries and stir gently. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl. Stir in milk, butter and egg. Spread batter evenly over blackberries and seal edges. Sprinkle with remaining sugar Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown . Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.


This is best served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream melting around it.



9. Conecuh Ridge Alabama Firewhiskey is the official state spirit. I could have used a shot of this when I lost this whole post and had to start over yesterday. And I think it would go well with the blackberry cobbler.

Travel Girl must have liked it. Scroll down to "Wednesday, May 10, 2006" to see what she said about Alabama, but her whole journal is pretty good reading.

10. Black Bear is the official state mammal. Yeah, I see a lot of these in Alabama.

11. Peach is the official state tree fruit. One recipe is all you get per post, but when the fresh peaches come in, I will provide. Mmmmm.

12. Fighting Tarpon is the official state saltwater fish. Travel girl mentioned this along with the Firewhiskey, so I guess they go together good also.

13. Camellia is the official state flower. You have already seen my favorite, and the Camellia show at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is coming up, I will let you know when.


And you know, when I was entering grade school, the Goldenrod was the state flower. Then the powers that be named this non-native shrub as the Alabama state flower. Go figure.

14. Hematite (red iron ore) is the official state mineral. Vulcan sits atop Red Mountain, named after this ore. Read the story of Vulcan at the Vulcan link.

But here’s something you don’t know. My great Aunt Rose Openshaw Johns Cannon (reputed to be the most beautiful girl in Birmingham) was at one time married to Col. Llewelyn Johns. Before she became his widow, he paid the freight to have Vulcan shipped back from St. Louis to Birmingham after the World’s Fair. That is my Vulcan connection.

15. Marble is the official state rock. This sculpture of the Head of Christ by Giuseppe Moretti who also sculpted Vulcan, is carved from Alabama marble. Many of you have seen this sculpture, either in Montgomery or here in Birmingham when it was part of the Vulcan exhibit.



16. Racking Horse is the official state horse. The Racking Horse Celebration in Priceville is a big deal. Racking Horses

17. Largemouth Bass is the official state freshwater fish. There is some question about fees paid as part of the bond issue that is bringing Bass Pro Shop to Leeds. Gee, Bessemer is not the only city that has questionable bond dealings.

18. Wild Turkey is the official state game bird. I really thought Wild Turkey was the state spirit.

19. Square Dance is the official state American Folk Dance. There used to be several Gay Square Dance Clubs in the state, like the Rocket City Rainbow Squares in Huntsville and a similar club in Birmingham. Are they still around?

20. Pecans are the official state nut. Again, only one recipe per blog, but Chef Julia May’s Pecan Cobbler is a favorite around here around Christmas.

21. Basilosaurus cetoides is the official state fossil. Believe it or not, this is a whale, and an entire fossilized skeleton was found on a plantation in south western Alabama in 1834. And always remember this, from our state archives site: "Fossil remains of the Basilosaurus cetoides may not be removed from the state without prior written approval of the governor".

22. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the official state mascot.


Did you know that the females also come in a dark or black form? The tiger stripes are still visible and here are some great pictures, be sure to look at the "golden form" picture link.

And don’t confuse them with the smaller but also black pipevine and spicebush swallowtails that we see around here.

23. The monarch butterfly is the official state butterfly. Monarchs migrate, and again, when I was little there was a tree at the “top of Vestaven Way” behind our house where these butterflies would congregate by the hundreds or thousands on their way to Mexico. Pretty neat, huh. Now, tell me how the butterflies with their tiny insect brains find their way.

Also notice this monarch butterfly is on a goldenrod, the former state flower. The monarch wouldn't be caught dead feeding from a camellia. And hey, Mr. Monarch, this might remind you that your title could be stripped at any time for the younger, more hip butterfly.

24. The Alabama Redbellied Turtle is the official state reptile. This picture was taken by my professor, Dr. Mount. 25. The Star Blue Quartz is the state gemstone.
26. Scaphella junonia johnstoneae is the state shell.


27. The Demopolis Christmas on the River Tournament is the official state barbecue championship. Read about it

28. Stockton Fall Horseshoe Tournament is the official state horseshoe tournament. I don't believe this tournment still takes place. If anyone knows differently let me know. Really, all you need is a few guys and girls and some horseshoes and posts and this tourney could be revived!

29. Alabama Theater for the Performing Arts is the official State Historic Theater. If anyone missed this question I am embarassed for you. Oh, on the website, you will notice Gordon Lightfoot is coming in February.

30. The Pine Burr Quilt is the official state quilt.
Here are instructions for how to make the quilt. Let me know if you make one. I will buy it from you. Look at the picture on the instructions to see the full quilt. Beautiful.

11 comments:

Trey said...

Hey! Whose predjudices are you calling "ill-concieved"?

Joe Openshaw said...

Trey,
Anyone who won't vote for someone because of their race or gender or sexual orientation. Mostly that means republicans and closed minded democrats living in the past. Don't worry. That does not include you, because I know you look at the issues and the candidates before you make your decision.

Susan F said...

Hi Joe. I enjoyed reading the answers. I am embarrassed to reveal my score though.

I had always heard tales of black bears. But I saw one with my own two eyes as he was digging in my garbage can and walking off with my sack of trash--right here in Helena, Alabama. I was scared to death some redneck hunter would shoot it -- the game warden didn't seem concerned at all. So there's my bear story . . .

Anonymous said...

Joe, You're not completely right about Republicans. The GOP has asked both Colin Powell and Condi Rice to run in the past.

Anonymous said...

Joe: Hey neighbor, I gotta tell you, the Mrs. & I spent last night watching the New Hampshire results at the Birmingham Obama Headquaters. I know you've settled on Hillary, but I think if you saw the crowd and talked to those in attendance at the event you'd have a much deeper appreciation for Barak.

Not much I can do to help Obama in Bessemer these days, but will do my best to get the word out in Montevallo. This guy is the real deal and, if we don't let the guardians of the staus quo confuse and beguile us, he could very well lead our nation to a place we have not dared to go since our dreams were snuffed out in Dallas some 45 years ago.

Trey said...

Thanks joe, I was kidding obviously. But I did do some self-examination to make sure that my opposition to Hillary didn't have any roots in sexism. And I don't think it does. I'd feel the same way if Bill was running.

In fact, that Hillary is a woman makes me feel much better about the prospect of her winning.

lipscomb crooner said...

mz mangum was my music teacher at cloverdale elementary school in montgomery where i played the sticks in the rythmn band and sang. she wore a pitch pipe on a chain around her neck. she always had it with her.she was wonderful.
if it is of interest i can still sing the sidney lanier high school alama mater also.
lipscomb crooner

Anonymous said...

I'm a republican and I dont care what race/gender/sexual orientation someone is! Dont label everyone by their political affiliation! Sounds like you are 100% biased for Hilary no matter who is running..

Joe said...

Anonymous,
Please read what I write before you respond. I did not label "everyone." I said those who won't vote for someone because of their race, gender or sexual orientation MOSTLY means republicans... Mostly does not mean everyone.

Yes I am for Hillary, why else would I be running as a Hillary delegate? But if she does not become the nominee, I will support whoever the democrats pick.

Other Anonymous: If you have read my columns and postings over the last several months, you will know that I was leaning toward Obama but as I have already explained, we need a president with experience and the ability to heal our image around the world. Other than that, their ideas and platforms are about the same.

Anonymous said...

So I assume that it is "MOSTLY" republicans who judge like that. I guess I can say MOST democrats are idiots. Have some basis and facts if you are going to post something like that.

HEADHEART JOURNAL said...

Ultimately, we have to go beyond race and sex.