Wednesday 25 March 2009

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Awake: 6:22am Temp 64 sleep 5+36 cloudy, then rain most of day overnight @ Montgomery, AL.

After 9:00am, Kathy made a call to the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Company in Montgomery & left a message that we would like to tour their automobile production plant.

Before we left to go downtown, Kathy's call was returned from Hyundai; the girl told her that their tour schedule is completely full until April 1st. Kathy asked for us to be put on a list in the event someone should cancel.

Early afternoon, we motored to downtown Montgomery to the Visitors Center & took the narrated trolley on (2) different tours: the gold route & then the green route. We paid $1.00 each which allowed us to get off & on @ various stops, walk around & get picked up @ another stop, but today's rain discouraged our main touring plan. We should have used the senior plan (over 65); for a mere 10 cents each we could have ridden one of the round trip routes &, for 20 cents each, both of the routes with no on/off privileges. We're going to have to watch these money saving choices more closely in the future!

We saw plenty of sights going a brisk 6mph (no kidding); if the driver went faster than that speed, the programmed GPS would literally skip describing the next point of interest.

Montgomery is the State Capitol of Alabama & thusly, there are many large & beautiful white buildings all around town. However, like so many cities around the U.S.A. these days, the downtown area does not look so good; empty display windows, business buildings for sale or rent, very little pedestrian traffic, in fact, not much vehicular traffic at all.

Montgomery is the city where Martin Luther King, in 1954, became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. On our trolley tour, I took pictures of his home & the Baptist Church where he continued to preach for equality.

And I took a picture of where Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus when she was asked to give her seat to a white fellow.

I took a picture of the Hank Williams Museum & his 1952 Cadillac in which he made his final journey & we rode around Old Alabama Town, a recreated town of yesteryear for the tourists & school kids.

We were, however, very impressed with the Montgomery Union Station & train shed which was built in 1898. Erected of brick and limestone on a high bluff along the Alabama River, the station had six tracks under a 600 foot shed, with a coach yard on the south end of the station as well as a Railway Express Agency facility on the other end.

The number of passenger trains using Union Station declined during the 1950s and 1960s & in 1979, the Union Station was closed.

After a period of disuse, the Union Station was renovated for commercial tenants & the main area for the visitors' center. The train shed still stands, although tracks under it have been replaced by asphalt parking. After touring the inside of Union Station with its stained glass windows, high ceilings & beautiful wood, we ended our touring for today.

Dinner: Bass fish, wild rice with golden raisins & a mixed salad.

Evening movie: "Hollywood without Makeup." A documentary of the 30" & 40's of Hollywood actors being casual & themselves. It was most enjoyable.

Lights out: 11:40pm

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This page contains a single entry by George Monte Kirsch published on March 29, 2009 3:33 PM.

Tuesday 24 March 2009 was the previous entry in this blog.

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