The Year of Moving Forward

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

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bessemer Happenings and Roses, Roses, Roses

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 21, 2007), is the second workday at Jonesboro Community Garden. We have a few more trees to plant, and mulch to spread and more. Please bring gardening gloves, sunscreen, snacks, water, and tools. 8 to 12.

This rose is Mutabilis, first recognized in 1894. Our small shrubs will grow to about 6 feet and be covered with blooms that change colors from a peachy yellow to a cameo pink and finally a crimson on the third day. This change is caused by sunlight acting on pigments in the petals. The fragrance changes also, and the rebloom is continuous.

In the next few weeks look for some major announcements and a few meetings here in Bessemer that you might be interested in. I will make one announcement now. Most of you already know this, but we will have a new newspaper called The Western Tribune, or “Trib.” Publication will begin in May, and yes, my voice will be heard. To subscribe, or to place an ad, or just to get information, call 425-7171. Subscribe to be sure to receive the premier issue May 16, 2007.

I was told this is The Black Prince Rose but I have my doubts. Anybody know?

On June 4 there will be a meeting at 7th Street Baptist Church with the police department and our city council person Earl Cochran. This meeting will focus on safety and security, and some new ideas will be introduced. Old ideas like noise will be discussed also. I will confirm the date and time closer to the event.

Soon after that will be a Town Hall meeting, more for the whole city, at Broken Vessel Full Gospel Church, at which several new ideas for the city will be introduced. When the date is confirmed I will let you know, and you really should attend, plus you will get to see the inside of the restored church.

These two roses are rugosas, an ancient class of rose known for their tolerance of poor conditions and many, many thorns. I am impressed with their fragrance.

Look for the building on 19th Street to come down real soon. This, according to Earl. I was pleased that Earl agreed with me on some things. One is that to be progressive in today’s world concern’s for the environment is a must. The U. S. Pipe expansion has not been announced, but whether it is located in Bessemer or Birmingham, the new plant will be environmentally friendly and upgrades to the old plant will bring it up to standards (of some level) also, according to U. S. Pipe officials.

The blooms of Cl. Clotilde Soupert are so full and so heavy that the stems of this young plant can not hold them up. It was introduced in 1902, and is another old rose with outstanding fragrance. I'm hoping as the climber matures the blooms will be better supported.

Here is something of note. Northport, AL resident, and Alabama School of Fine Arts Student (in Birmingham) Elizabeth Esser-Stuart received a $4000 scholarship from the American Civil Liberties Union for her role in protecting civil liberties for young people.

Elizabeth took action when the principal of her school forbade students from wearing t-shirts with the slogan, “Gay? Fine by me.” Elizabeth, only a sophomore at the time, did copious legal research on students’ constitutional right to free expression and worked to educate her fellow students on the importance of free speech. On several occasions, she presented research to the principal that made it clear that the ban was unconstitutional, urging him to reverse his policy. He refused.

Subsequently, Elizabeth contacted the ACLU of Alabama. Working together, they challenged the principal’s action. Elizabeth’s extraordinary efforts to protect her fellow students’ constitutional rights paid off when the principal agreed to let the students resume wearing the shirts.

“In a time when our rights are being threatened and core values undermined, it is inspiring to see young people stand up and defend our freedoms,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. “This scholarship is one way the ACLU can recognize the bravery and determination of these young men and women who could be tomorrow’s leaders.”

Want a T shirt?

This might be Jeanne D'Arc, a noisette from 1848. There are three of these vigorous climbers in our yard and they also produce a good fragrance. In a few days they will be covered with blooms.


Anonymous said...

Way to go, Elizabeth! Stories like this one give me hope for the future.

Anonymous said...

We are very proud of our daughter, Elizabeth Esser-Stuart. It is fascinating that the local papers chose not to publish the ACLU Press Release. Elizabeth sought to protect free speech and ultimately she was rewarded with a feeling of accomplishment and a clearer idea of who she is and what really matters in life. This issue helped clarify her career goals and we are very grateful that the ACLU rewarded her with a Youth Activist Scholarship. We are confident that she will ultimately use her many talents to benefit others and that she will continue to safeguard human rights.