Wednesday, March 27, 2019

November 20 through December, 2018

The second campground we stayed at in Alabama was in Dothan at the Hidden Hollow RV Park. 
 It rained almost the entire 4 days of our stay so we never ventured out of the park.
After crossing into Florida we began seeing the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. 
We spent a couple of days at Stephen Foster State Park in White Springs.  This was our 4th stay at the park so we didn’t feel the need to do much exploring.
The final RV park we stayed at, before beginning our winter work camping, was Blueberry Hill RV Resort in Bushnell where our water pump quit working.  Monte called around and was able to find a replacement for $125.  He had the new pump installed in short order.  Thank goodness Monte is so handy. He has done most of the maintenance and repairs in our RV saving us thousands of dollars over the years. 
We were very busy in December as we began our work camping duties at Lake Manatee State Park. 
Monte put in the majority of our required hours while I did little projects here and there.
 We were also quite busy with annual doctor visits, attending parties with our co-camp workers and celebrating special occasions and the holidays with family.
Our 15th Anniversary 
Mom and Dad's Anniversary 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

November 11-19, 2018

Moving on to Mississippi we stayed at Twiltley Branch COE in Collinsville.  The driveway at our site was well over 200 feet deep.  It was heavily treed so getting any reception on our rooftop satellite was out of the question. 
Because we planned on staying a few days Monte set up our portable dish. 

Again, it rained and was quite chilly our entire stay at the park so we didn’t do much of anything.
The first of the two campgrounds we stayed at in Alabama was at Prairie Creek COE in Lowndesboro. 
The view from the site we stayed at in this campground was absolutely beautiful. 
 And for most of the four days we camped there the weather was beautiful as well with sunny skies and mild temps requiring a light jacket.

We had chosen Prairie Creek Campground because of its close proximity to Selma, a town steeped in the history of the Civil Rights Movement.
Our first stop was at the Lowndes Interpretive Center in White Hall where we watched a short film titled, “Never Lose Sight of Freedom.”

After the Civil War, millions of former slaves remained in the eleven states of the former confederacy, many staying on the same plantations on which they had been enslaved.  Though no longer slaves, a new system arose in the South to meet the need for cheap labor.   
Many landowners began to use violence to keep former slaves within a chattel-like environment known as sharecropping. 

The workers did not own the land and had no say in which crops were planted. 
The arrangement involved working the land for a share of the crops produced.

Bigotry did not end with the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 
 White landowners in Lowndes County retaliated against tenant farmers who registered to vote or engaged in voting rights activities by throwing them off lands where they worked and lived.
SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee helped disposed families remain in the county by setting up a “Tent City” on US Highway 80.

In Selma we began with a visit to the Selma Interpretive Center.  We skipped the film as it was the same one we had viewed at the Lowndes Interpretive Center. 
The center commemorates the historical events associated with the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

One of the many ways that African Americans were prevented from voting was the introduction of a literacy test that was impossible to pass. 
In some cases prospective voters were required to guess the amount of gum balls or cotton balls inside of a jar.

After leaving the center we walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge that crosses over the Alabama River. 
The bridge was the site of the conflict of Bloody Sunday when armed police attacked and brutally beat Civil Rights Movement demonstrators with billy clubs and tear gas as they attempted to march to Montgomery on March 7, 1965. 
On March 21 the marchers successfully walked to the Capitol building.  The bridge was declared a National Historic Landmark on March 11, 2013.

Directly across the bridge is The National Voting Rights Museum & Institute that chronicles and displays the artifacts and testimony of the activists who participated in the events leading up to the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches.  

The museum has several rooms and exhibits areas divided by themes. 
We concluded our visit to Selma at The Ancient Africa, Enslavement, and Civil War Museum that celebrates and interprets African American history from antiquity to the Civil War.

Before entering the exhibits we were treated to an introductory speech by Anne Pearl Avery who recounted her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama. 
Anne became a member of the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at the age of 16.  She discussed her many arrests for protesting and participating in voter registration drives in many locations across the South.