Programs

Presenter: Stan Moss We will be looking at people who made Alabama a great place to live. There will be an overflowing cast of your favorite figures in Alabama history. The challenge is "Can you guess who?". Join us for the fun of discovering which Alabamians were the movers and shakers.


Thursday, June 9, 2022, UA Gadsden Center
Presenter: John McFarland The first steamboat to ply the waters of the Coosa River was appropriately named the Coosa. On July 4, 1845, that gallant little steamer, Captain James Lafferty commanding, came 'round the bend below what is now Gadsden. The Coosa had riverboats that were active in transporting Confederate soldiers, Yankee prisoners, and supplies of the South to the railroad in Rome. Frequently a fiddler would be on board and would supply music as the graceful steamer made her way through the night, her bright lights reflecting in the water. Riverboats were a large factor in the building of Rome and Gadsden and added much to the enrichment of the lives of both the young and the old. Then, of course, there is that world-famous sailor! John has all the details.


Thursday, June 16, 2022, UA Gadsden Center
Presenter: John McFarland All aboard for John's cruise along the rivers once dominated by the boats that carried cargo and passengers to all points north, south, east, and west. He will discuss the history of the riverboat and provide historical tidbits including the important people and places that have become legendary in the annals of riverboat lore.


Thursday, June 23, 2022, UA Gadsden Center
Presenter: Jeff RandallRandall Search and Rescue is a regional search, rescue, and training organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Alabama and member unit of the Alabama Association of Rescue Squads. The team provides aid to sheriff's offices and authority having jurisdictions in Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Teams are trained to operate for extended periods of time in remote wilderness, mountainous, high angle, subterranean, hazardous terrain and other austere environments. Team members have extensive training and experience in wilderness land search, technical rope rescue, backcountry rescue, cave rescue, and search incident management. Join us as Jeff tells us all about the efforts of his teams as they are involved in search and rescue missions.


Thursday, June 30, 2022, UA Gadsden Center
Presenter: Janice Knight Elements and principles of floral design will be discussed in this class. Elements include color, form, light, line, pattern, size and space. Principles include balance, contrast, dominance, proportion, rhythm and scale. We will observe the basics of putting together a traditional design. If we have time, we will observe a creative design.


Thursday, July 14, 2022, UA Gadsden Center
Presenter: Eric Schavey Soil improvement in its broadest sense is the alteration of any property of a soil to improve its performance. One rule in garden training is to never walk in garden beds. Stepping on garden soil compacts it, which destroys beneficial soil organisms and their habitat. Then there's compost. Compost is referred to by farmers as "black gold." What is compost and why do we need/use it? Eric will give us tips on how to improve our soil, as well as inform us of the nuances for making a better planting area, whether it's for vegetables or flowers.


Thursday, July 14, 2022, UA Gadsden Center
Presenter: Stan Moss Language -- how important is it in communication? Is it all about grammar? Does our language clearly describe our intent and entertain our listener? Or can language just be fun? Those wacky expressions, where did they come from? Who made up that word/phrase? Language, the use of words, can indeed be fun and entertaining. Join us for a different look at the way we communicate.


Thursday, July 28, 2022, UA Gadsden Center
Presenter: Laurie Brock
Laurie Brock's trip from an Alabama attorney to a Kentucky priest may be best described as a horse ride! Laurie will share "her experiences of love, grief, humility, joy, and deep wisdom that she discovers day to day with horses."


Tuesday, June 7, 2022, Online using Zoom
Presenter: Maggie Johnston
Wild Alabama's mission is to inspire people to enjoy, value and protect our state lands. From Bankhead Forest "corporate plundering" monitoring to a statewide initiative, WildAL.org has a mission to keep the lands for future generations.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022, Online using Zoom
Presenter: Dr. Jeff GrayT
This talk will summarize the importance of computing to our state's economy and the efforts to bring new opportunities to the children in our state. Attendees of this talk will also learn information about the fundamental concepts of computing and how computational thinking surrounds all aspects of our daily lives with several hands-on examples.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022, Online using Zoom
Presenter: Lois Palecek
We will learn how they became judges, the training required, the process from start to finish, and how to control your reactions to a really bad dish. With all of the cooking shows available, Lois will explain what a legitimate competition entails and the pluses and minuses of judging.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Online using Zoom
Presenter: Easty Lambert-Brown
Ever wonder what qualifies as a banned book? Different people react to the notion that any book should be banned, especially booksellers. We will discuss the current trends in banning books, how they have changed over the years and possible implications for future authors.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Online using Zoom
Presenter: Alan Taylor 
 Downsizing! Rightsizing! Decluttering! Repurposing! "Slim" furniture! Regardless of what you call it, most of us, as we age, decide, or are required to reduce our spaces and furniture. Alan Taylor, now retired, has advised clients of all ages on furniture value, purchase, and placement. As one of us, he finds his knowledge use advising how to adjust to our reduced spaces especially dealing with "good" furniture that our younger heirs really don't want. What to keep, how to decide, how to maintain, dealing with new open living areas with fewer walls. Share your questions and solutions as we discuss this evolution in our lives.


Tuesday, July 19, 2022, Online using Zoom
Presenter: Chip Shields 
 For sports officials at any level, this is probably a very familiar question. Recently retired from 30 years of football officiating, 20 years at the NCAA level, Chip Shields has heard it all! He's going to explain how he got into this avocation (he has a day job). We will hear about the skills/training needed; hours of film preparation; weekends away from family; weekly rules tests; much of which takes place off the field. In preparation for the 2022 football season, join Chip as he talks with us about being a member of their team on the field.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022, Online using Zoom
Reform of our 1901 state Constitution has been discussed for 20+ years (or, some may say, ever since it was originally passed) since it has 928 amendments and is 20 times longer than the U.S. Constitution. Alabama Citizens of Constitutional Reform (ACCR) is a community of Alabamians who are determined to see legislative change for the better in the state, starting with our Constitution. Kristi Thomson is the chair of the nonprofit, grassroots public interest group that has met to revise language and now presents it to the legislature for the results to be addressed. Kristi will share with us the Tuscaloosa birth of the organization and what the citizens hope to accomplish.


Monday, August 1, 2022, Online using Zoom
Presenter: Laurie Brock
Laurie Brock's trip from an Alabama attorney to a Kentucky priest may be best described as a horse ride! Laurie will share "her experiences of love, grief, humility, joy, and deep wisdom that she discovers day to day with horses."


Tuesday, June 7, 2022, Bryant Conference Center
Presenter: Maggie JohnstonWild Alabama's mission is to inspire people to enjoy, value and protect our state lands. From Bankhead Forest "corporate plundering" monitoring to a statewide initiative, WildAL.org has a mission to keep the lands for future generations.


Tuesday, June 14, 2022, Bryant Conference Center
Presenter: Dr. Jeff GrayThe top jobs in the state of Alabama all demand some form of computing skills. A decade ago, Alabama was near the bottom of the nation in preparing students for the jobs of the future. But just recently, Alabama has become one of the top states in providing core educational opportunities in the K-12 grades. This talk will summarize the importance of computing to our state's economy and the efforts to bring new opportunities to the children in our state. Attendees of this talk will also learn information about the fundamental concepts of computing and how computational thinking surrounds all aspects of our daily lives with several hands-on examples.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022, Bryant Conference Center
Lois Palecek and a group of colleagues are actual food competition judges?right here in our river city. We will learn how they became judges, the training required, the process from start to finish, and how to control your reactions to a really bad dish. With all of the cooking shows available, Lois will explain what a legitimate competition entails and the pluses and minuses of judging.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Bryant Conference Center
Ever wonder what qualifies as a banned book? Different people react to the notion that any book should be banned, especially booksellers. We will discuss the current trends in banning books, how they have changed over the years, and possible implications for future authors.


Tuesday, July 12, 2022, Bryant Conference Center
Downsizing! Rightsizing! Decluttering! Repurposing! "Slim" furniture! Regardless of what you call it, most of us, as we age, decide, or are required to reduce our spaces and furniture. Alan Taylor, now retired, has advised clients of all ages on furniture value, purchase, and placement. As one of us, he finds his knowledge use advising how to adjust to our reduced spaces especially dealing with "good" furniture that our younger heirs really don't want. What to keep, how to decide, how to maintain, dealing with new open living areas with fewer walls. Share your questions and solutions as we discuss this evolution in our lives.


Tuesday, July 19, 2022, Bryant Conference Center