The next Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists takes place in Birmingham, Alabama from August 29 – September 1, 2016. “Indians, Squatters, Settlers and Soldiers in the ‘Old Southwest'” is the conference theme and it is hosted by the Alabama Genealogical Society. We’ll post breaking news, details on lectures, speakers, vendors, special offers, events, research places, getting to the hotel/convention center, and information about the Birmingham area.
Here are some more of Liz Wells’ 101 Reasons to Visit Birmingham (and Alabama)! Learn more about many of these via www.birminghamal.org/index.aspx
- Barber Vintage Sports Museum, the largest motorcycle museum in North America
- The Birmingham Barons, an AA baseball farm team for the Chicago White Sox.
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens, don’t miss the Japanese Gardens and Teahouse.
- Rickwood Field, completed in 1910 the oldest surviving baseball park in the US.
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute – a museum and center for education and discussion about civil and human rights issues.
- Birmingham Museum of Art, the largest municipal art museum in the Southeast.
- 5 Points South, a trendy district in Birmingham.
- Oak Mountain State Park, outdoor recreation in 10,000 acres 30 minutes from downtown.
- The original Temptations and several of the Commodores hail from Alabama.
- The birthplace of Sara Mayfield, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, and Tallulah Bankhead — all were childhood friends!
- Miss America 1995, Birmingham’s Heather Whitestone, was the first Miss America with a disability.
- Fort Condé in Mobile was built (1724-1735), by the French and was the headquarters for the colonial governments of the French, British and Spanish, taken by Americans in 1813.
Booth space is first come, first served and fills quickly. Cost is $219 per booth – or $199 for nonprofit groups and societies. Online signup will be available soon, but it’s being done by fax and snail mail at the moment. FGS Member Organizations will be receiving details on special space. But to sell publications or other items you need to have a regular Exhibit Hall booth.
FGS and the Alabama Genealogical Society look forward to seeing you in Birmingham from August 29 to September 1, 2016.
p.s. 1: The Exhibit Hall has free wireless
p.s. 2: The sessions and special events are all set and you will be hearing a lot about them in the next few weeks.
p.s. 3: rumor has it that the 16 page program brochure will be available at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy later this month and at RootTech the first weekend in February. (Ok, so it’s true, not just a rumor!)
Anne Carroll George was a Birmingham author who received the Agatha Award for her mystery series about two Southern sisters, and she was a former Alabama State Poet Laureate. She was nominated for a Pulitzer for her non-fiction writing. Anne George was a featured author at the Birmingham Public Library’s “Alabama Bound” forum featuring Alabama authors. I had the pleasure of being her escort when she came to the Library for the event. Anne George was intelligent, funny, articulate, and a kind individual. The world is a poorer place without her. She died in 2001. She is best known for her Southern Sisters Mysteries about two sisters in their sixties who manage to get themselves involved in one murder after another. The books are light reading, with humorous sketches of Patricia Anne, know to family as “Mouse”, and her sister, Mary Alice, know as Sister. Mouse, the retired school teacher, is a petite reserved person while Mary Alice, aka Sister, is tall, rich, impulsive and many times married.
The first book in the series was, Murder On A Girl’s Night Out, 1996. Mary Alice buys a local dance bar and takes Mouse out to see it. Patricia Ann finds the country-western bar not as bad as she had thought it would be but that was before the previous owner was found murdered there the next day. The character development is well done and the dialogue entertaining. You do not have to be a native Alabamian to enjoy the book as the descriptive narrative is excellent.
The next book is, Murder on A Bad Hair Day, was also published in 1996. Anne George writes about Vulcan, the largest cast iron statue made, who stands “mooning” the city of Homewood as he stands atop Red Mountain. Many local landmarks are mentioned or described in her books. This time out the two sisters find themselves involved in two murders. The first murder is of a young owner of an art gallery where the sisters had been to an art show. Patricia Ann and Mary Alice pair up with Detective Bo Peep (yes, what a name for a detective) to solve the crimes.
The third book in the Southern Sisters series is titled Murder Runs in the Family.In this book Patricia Ann’s daughter gets married and one of the guests is a genealogist who quickly becomes a “new” friend of the sisters. The genealogist supposedly jumps out a window of the local courthouse committing suicide only it is really a murder. Once again the dialogue and the characters are just too funny. It is thoroughly entertaining.
Anne George’s fourth book was Murder Makes Waves, 1997 is set in Destin, Florida where the sisters have gone to the beach. Mary Alice is seeking her fourth husband while Patricia Ann just wants to relax. While at the beach the ladies meet an old friend, Millicent, who manages condominiums and then Millicent gets murdered. As usual you get a great description of the area and a lot of eccentric characters. The plot is not bad although it has a weak ending, but still the humor abounds.
The fifth book was titled, Murder Gets A Life, 1998. This time out it is the son of Mary Alice, Ray, who has met and married Sunshine Dabbs of Locust Fork, Alabama. Mary Alice thinks that she and her sister, Mouse, need to meet the family of the bride and that is when they find their first corpse. The characters, as usual, are quirky, and entertaining. George’s books are guaranteed to make you laugh.
Murder Shoots the Bull published in 199 is the sixth book in the series and it is just as funny and amusing as the previous books. In this book the next-door neighbor is suspected of killing his “girlfriend”, then of poising his first wife, and to add insult to injury his house burns down. Mitzi, Arthur’s wife, does not believe he is a murderer, nor do the sisters. Mary Alice hits the president of the bank on the head with her umbrella, which lands the sisters in jail. A must read.
Murder Carries a Torch, 2000 is the seventh book written about the sisters’ exploits. Patricia Anne and Mary Alice have just returned from Poland when their cousin, Luke comes to them seeking help. Virginia Luke’s wife, of forty years has run off with another man and he wants them to help him find her. They trace the runaways to Mount Chandler where they find two dead people but not Virginia or Monk. The local Sheriff and Sister are attracted to one another, which adds to the zany story plot. The sisters get involved with snake-handling holy rollers this time which adds to the cast of characters and the plot. This is another fun filled “murder” book.
Sadly this is the last book written by Anne Carroll George. Murder Boogies with Elvis, published in 2001. Mary Alice decides to marry Sheriff Virgil Stuckey and they plan to announce this to his children after a benefit that is taking place at the Alabama Theatre. There are 29 Elvis impersonators at the Alabama and wouldn’t you know one of them falls down dead at Sister’s feet. The dead man is not an Elvis impersonator at all he is a Russian ballet dancer who was in America on a cultural exchange program, so what is he doing in Birmingham, Alabama. Then the murder weapon is found in Patricia Anne’s purse. This is a truly funny series and would make a great film series. The characters are all well developed and quirky, and the dialogue is just right.
Go to the web site and read about Anne Carroll George. She was a true Southern Lady.