Woke up at the hotel and lingered there catching up on emails, photos, and such. Just posted all of my Florida pics from BIG camera I will call it. check http://www.flickr.com/photos/joshhaileyphotography/sets/72157628198739575/.
We were informed from another friend of friend (Lynette Hansons blog friend Virginia Jones) that there was a marathon going on so we stayed clear of the blocked roads. Went and met Clay for brunch at Cosmos Pizza in 5 points Birmingham (very cool part of town) and then went down to the Civil Rights museum and 16th street Baptist Church where the bombings killed 4 little girls in the early 60s. We were walking around admiring the sculptures in the park when a man approached us from the street telling us about one of the works of art. It was one of those moments where one could easily walk away as many probably do but this man Charles just seemed like he knew what he was talking about and cared. I asked him if I could strap a mic on him and walk and talk with us about what he knew about Civil rights and growing up in Birmingham. We walked and talked for about 2 hours and he told us everything, of how he stays in an apartment near the museum and comes out to talk to anyone who seems interested in history, in equality, to tell the stories and struggles that so many of us dont know or forget. He told us about the dogs, the power hoses, and intense amount of hate that was brewing in the 60s and its sad bombing of the church across the street. He then told us about his wish to erase the hate and how much it had gone from so high to so low but obviously still here. He told us his story and his thoughts on America. He made me cry which in turn made him cry. It was one of the blessed moments that you really get to understand and admire another human being who has a heart and cares about people. It has been such a struggle as a southerner to know the awful history of what has happened in the last 50 years but also such an inspiration to walk the streets that people like Charles, Rosa, and Marthin Luther King jr. tried to make a change and risked their lives to do so. I am always in awe of the teachings of Martin Luther King jr. and wish there were more people like Charles to talk to on every street corner and in every park. Thank you my friend. We then went and picked up Virginia from her house (friend of a friend online and an avid photography blogger of all things Birmingham and Paris). She was such a lovely ray of sunshine when we got her and Clay (both Birminghamians) in the car and got the video rolling as we went down the streets of Birmingham. We went to steel mills, saw train tracks, cemeteries, and beautiful light around every street corner. Such a lovely day with amazing people, still just overwhelmed. After the light faded Jaymee and I went for tacos and I was spent. Went back over to Clays who let us stay and passed out soon before midnight with his 2 sweet cats! Wow, just great people in a magical city that is made of steel. Thank you. Off to Hunstville in the morning!