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Jack Hawkins | Man of Troy

Dr. Jack Hawkins celebrated 30 years as chancellor of Troy University position this year, making him the longest serving university president in the country. The Mobile native earned degrees at the University of Montevallo, served with the Marines in the Vietnam War, was an assistant dean at the University of Alabama Birmingham, and president of […]


Christmas Eve Traditions

Twas the night before Christmas…for ‘Alabama Living’ readers Besides being Santa’s busiest day of the year, Christmas Eve for many families holds a special religious or cultural significance. While children are more interested in leaving notes and treats (ones not otherwise consumed by hungry grown-ups) for St. Nick, those old enough to have an appreciation […]


Memories of bread back home shaped central Alabama baker

By M.J. Ellington Nostalgia for a taste of home may be the simplest explanation for how a classical pianist – who was completely at home on a Ukrainian concert stage – re-molded herself into a cottage industry European bread baker who now sells her artisanal creations to customers in central Alabama.  During holiday season every […]


Ensure a happy holiday with these tree safety tips

By Derrill Holly About 95 million American households will host at least one Christmas tree this holiday season, and 81% of those trees will be artificial. But a real tree you cut from a field or buy from a store or lot was farm grown and harvested eight to 10 years after they were first […]


Start prepping for college early in the high school years

Preparing for college can be stressful on high school students and parents. Kathleen Stallings, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Undergraduate Admissions, provides a timeline to help future college students prepare for college at an early age and guide them through the application process with a realistic timeline. “Start early,” Stallings says. “Many […]


This day in history: December 17, 1939

The classic line-up of the Temptations in the 1960s consisted of (from left) David Ruffin, Otis Williams, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Alabamian Eddie Kendricks. Singer Eddie Kendricks, the first lead tenor for the Temptations, was born in Union Springs. Formed in Detroit, Michigan, under Motown Records, the group’s original lineup featured three Alabama natives—Kendricks, […]


Alabama Snapshots | Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the shelf, 4-month-old Behr McDonald, is all smiles waiting for Santa. SUBMITTED BY Gail McDonald, Prattville. Alaina’s Elf, Buckles, sent her an outfit all the way from the North Pole. She can see him but Papa and Memaw can’t. SUBMITTED BY Robert and Linda Orso, St. Stephens. Dylan LaPorte’s elf, Tricky, toilet papered […]


Electronic gift guide for tech-savvy friends and family

By Abby Berry This holiday season, give the gift of tech! If you’re searching for the latest gadgets and electronics to gift but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of ideas for your tech-savvy friends and family members, and with a range of prices and interests, there’s sure to be […]


The city of Enterprise continues to persevere

By Emmett Burnett In the heart of downtown, a majestic maiden lifts a prize overhead. Outstretched hands hold a big, black bug. It is the world’s only tribute to an insect pest, in a city just as unique –­ Enterprise, Ala. The Boll Weevil Monument turns 100 on Dec. 11, 2019. In town, Beetle-mania is […]


Four gift ideas for your favorite energy nerd

By Maria Kanevsky The holiday season is the time for gift giving, but knowing what to get your loved ones isn’t always easy. Here are some gift ideas that are perfect for the energy nerd in your life! The costs range from $25 to $100, so there’s something for everyone.  Kill A Watt Meter The […]


Christmas in Dixie: not quite what it used to be

Today Christmas down South looks pretty much like Christmas in other parts of the country — without the snow.   But it wasn’t always that way. At one time, Christmas in Dixie was marked with customs and practices unique to the region. What happened?    Let’s look back a bit. By the time Christmas came here, it […]


Princess Theatre’s visual splendor continues to charm audiences

By Aaron Tanner The Princess Theatre, which turns 100 this year, is the crown jewel of downtown Decatur. The premier multi-function community arts center showcases films, concerts, and performances from local and national acts in its 677-seat auditorium, hosts private events and features a listening room for live music. Initially a location for a livery […]


Twist on Tradition

We throw around the word tradition a lot, and usually use it in a favorable light. That’s with good reason: It’s good to have customs and to remember old ways. It connects us to our history – both our collective and our personal pasts. Some wider traditions reinforce cultural ties; others are just for us […]


Make soil the first crop to grow in 2020

This can be a tough month for gardeners who want to be outside digging in the dirt but know it’s too early in the season to grow much of anything. Luckily, there is something that can — and should — be grown right now and for months and years to come: soil. Can soil be […]


Three reasons why Social Security is important for women

More women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Yet, on average, women face greater economic challenges than men in retirement.  Nearly 55 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women. Women generally live longer than men while often […]


Alabama 4-H launches capital campaign

The Alabama 4-H Foundation recently announced its new capital campaign, “The Center of It All,” which focuses on expanding the infrastructure at the 4-H Center south of Birmingham. At the center, Alabama 4-H fulfills its mission of providing hands-on learning experiences, including science and camping programs, for the state’s young people. Members of 4-H are […]


Whereville, AL

Photo by Allison Law of Alabama Living Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by Dec. 12 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The […]


Family recipes bring a taste of Italy to Athens

By Lenore Vickrey For nearly 13 years, Dan Oliver had enjoyed success owning and operating a popular Italian restaurant in Huntsville. So when property became available in downtown Athens, a town about 35 miles away, he decided it was time to branch out and open a second location of Terranova’s.  “Athens is a wonderful, growing, […]