Friday, June 20, 2008

Sheri Goes to Samford - Post 1

by Sheri Fenley
(c) Sheri Fenley, June 2008
  • Not all donuts have a hole in the middle and come in big, pink, square boxes.
  • "Motorcycle Mama" has new meaning for me.
  • I may be geographically challenged for opportunities to join my peers at events, but I no longer feel alone in my pursuit of a career in the field of genealogical research.
  • I do not like thunder and lightning storms as much as I thought I did.
  • There is room on the porch with the big dogs.
  • There's a whole new definition for humidity and a human being's tolerance for it.
  • I do not like grits but I really like butter beans.
  • I don't care what anyone says, I like the Waffle House!
  • There is nothing better than being around so many people who don't think you are crazy.

I feel the need to share my reasons for the statements above and my first academic adventure at Samford and so begin with Day 1.


Birmingham, Alabama

My flight from California was smooth and fast; after a mere 30-minute layover in Houston, I arrived in Birmingham, Alabama, about 2:30 PM. I have never seen a place as green in the summer like Birmingham. Birmingham sits at the bottom of the lower Appalachian Mountain Range. Everywhere you look are low, tree covered, rolling hills.

My roommate had arranged for us to stay with a shirttail relative of hers because we could not check into the dorms until Sunday. We went to dinner at a Chinese buffet called Aunt Lisa's where the only Chinese food I saw were the fortune cookies we were given as a parting gift when we left.

I was promised dinner and a show and was not disappointed. In the Winn Dixie parking lot was a group of musicians who get together once a month and play. One of the band members appeared to be under the age of 65, the other 11 were not. Three of them were women (one of them playing a bass fiddle that was 3 feet taller than she was). A total of 1 mandolin, 1 fiddle and 1 bass fiddle and 9 guitars. They played everything from very old gospel favorites to Elvis. An addition to the festivities was a car show (Southern definition of a car show: A group of 3 or more newly washed vehicles that are NOT trucks parked next to one another). Dancing was an option that a few took advantage of.

The next morning was a church service that I still do not know how to explain. Finally, after church but before we were dropped off at Samford, was another dining experience that I feel I must share - The Waffle House.

There is a Waffle House everywhere in the south. The places are no bigger than my bathroom at home so I am assuming in order to serve the masses of people who frequent the establishment, having one on every corner is not over-doing it. I had hash browns that were smothered, covered, diced, chopped and some others things that one can have done to their food order. As you tell your waitress all the different ways you would like your food to be assaulted, she repeats your request to the cook shouting your preferences across the room.


Sheri Fenley is a guest blogger here on Genea-Musings - her introduction, and a description of the IGHR program at Samford University in Birmingham, were posted yesterday as "Meet Guest Blogger Sheri Fenley."

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