The Alabama Media Professionals sponsored a fall workshop today in Birmingham on how to make money as a freelance writer.
The facilitator that planned the workshop was called to Washington D.C. for a meeting, so she asked if I'd help make the workshop happen.
I agreed, but I realized afterwards that I'd have to be in Birmingham at 8 a.m. to meet the speaker and get him situated prior to the guests arriving.
That meant I'd have to be on the road by 7 a.m. Normally I get up at 6 a.m. to sip coffee and leisurely read the morning paper.
This morning I tossed down the java like a stale bagel, and I was on the road.
It was another beautiful day here. Wispy white clouds crawled lethargically across the sky.
After I got the speaker situated, I stood out on the front of the building waiting for participants to arrive. The workshop was held at a beautiful facility converted from an old loading dock next to the railroad tracks.
The access is a little cumbersome, so I stood on the dock watching for confused people.
As I stood there, I saw two smoke stacks a few blocks away. Forty years ago, they would have been belching smoke as thick as syrup into the air, but now, they stand to remind us of a by-gone era.
You can Google Birmingham, Alabama and read about the city's past.
It's both remarkable and tragic. It was the center of industry for many years. In the 1960s and 70s, people were willing to overlook the fact that the air was just slightly less dense than the red clay in the surrounding fields and hollows, because industry provided jobs in the coal and steel industries that allowed people to work at jobs for decent pay, build homes, schools, and colleges.
Then things happened here during the civil rights era that we'd all like to forget.
It's interesting what runs through ones mind at an idle moments.