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Lifestyle

Cullman, through a visitor’s eyes

This week, Linda Alexander visited the Cullman County Museum for the first time. She was intrigued by the vast wealth of information to be found there. / Loretta Gillespie

Although this wasn’t Linda Alexander’s first trip to the city of Cullman, it was the first time for some of her stops this week. Alexander, of Moulton, visited the Folsom Center in Cullman and her impressions were very positive. “Everyone should see these murals, I just can’t believe this!” she said in awe. “They are breathtakingly beautiful,” she exclaimed. “The artists’ detailed work was truly representative of life in Cullman.”

Alexander was also amazed with the cleanliness of the facility and the friendly staff.

Her next stop was the Cullman County Museum, which she had never visited before. “I was impressed with the collection of artifacts, the detailed clothing, baby clothes, the antique materials and the county quilt. The children’s room and the paper dolls brought back memories. Julie Burks is a wealth of knowledge about events and the history of Cullman and Cullman County,” said Alexander.

She took a break at Berkeley Bob’s, which has recently been named the No. 1 coffee shop in Alabama. “I loved the décor of the time period in the 60s and 70s,” she laughed. “I caught myself just looking around at everything. There was so much to see, and I loved the ambience, it was such a laid-back place.” She enjoyed a cup of Berkeley Bob’s famous iced coffee. “It was really good,” she smiled.

Just as she was about to leave, Alexander discovered a photo album with a collection of various musicians who have entertained crowds of bluegrass fans at Berkeley Bob’s over the years. As she flipped through the pages, she became even more intrigued with the coffee shop. “I want to bring my grandson and granddaughter to this unique place, to have them soak up some of this atmosphere. They are musicians in their teens and they would love it here!”

As she left Berkeley Bob’s, Linda noticed the little church in the next block.

“I had seen the small church on First (Avenue) many times, but never heard the story of how it came to be here until today. I was so touched by Mrs. Richter’s dedication to the memories of her husband and son,” she said softly.

Bennett Home Supply is one of places with which the whole Alexander family is very familiar. “I’ve been shopping at Bennett’s at Christmastime for over 20 years. I always find Radko ornaments for my grandchildren there, and I love looking at their window decorations,” she said as her car passed the well-known Cullman landmark on Second Avenue.

Another place that the Alexanders have frequented over the years is the Peinhardt Farm, where they enjoy seeing the old-fashioned way of life through the eyes of their grandchildren. Today, though, Alexander was able to visit the Agriplex for the first time. “I thought it was very impressive the way they used the space in raised beds. In talking to the Vista worker, I was even more impressed with her eagerness and giving nature and with the ideas she had for feeding those who are food insecure.

“She also mentioned the vision she has of spending Microsoft grant money to add pocket vegetable gardens along the streets of Cullman, and I thought what an amazing vision from one so young,” Alexander remarked.

The Alexanders have also spent a lot of time at several of the recreational facilities offered in Cullman. “We love the parks, especially the Field of Miracles,” she added. “The kids love the go-carts and putt-putt golf at Fun Zone, which is very well-run and safe for kids their age.

“Cullman is a good, safe, clean town,” she concluded. “You never know what you might run into in some cities, but I’m very comfortable in Cullman.”

As she made her way home down Highway 157, she pointed out how neat and free of litter the roadsides were. “It always catches my eye when a place is littered, “she said. “This stretch of highway, well, in fact, the whole town of Cullman, including West Point (which she was passing through at the time) indicates to me that the people of Cullman take pride in their county.”

From another visitor

For the past year, Lisa Steele has worked with Cullman Regional’s hospice program while finishing up the requirements for her nurse practitioner degree. She retired from the school system in Lawrence County and decided to pursue another career, nursing. She has come to love Cullman for many reasons, but says that since she gets to see another side of life than the shopping and great restaurants, she has also come to love the people of Cullman and its surrounding areas.

“There is such a sense of community here,” she said. “I love the way they are always reaching out into the community to get ideas , even though sometimes the people are not from Cullman County, they still listen carefully to their input. I think all communities need to do this,” she said emphatically.

“The people here are so welcoming, even to someone like me, a stranger from out of town,” she said. “They are always so kind and gracious, both in their homes and in their businesses. I’ve never had a bad experience of any kind in Cullman.”

Steele makes home visits, works with CRMC staff members, shops and dines in Cullman on her days here. “I’m very much at home in Cullman,” she said. “Even when I’m lost in the rural areas and have to stop and ask for directions, the folks are always so helpful and friendly. They help each other…they seem to always go the extra mile, I just think you have an outstanding community here, and it’s certainly not like that everywhere.”

It is nice to see Cullman through someone else’s eyes, to remind ourselves that it pays off to go that extra mile, be it in a clean roadside, or a good cup of coffee. Maybe it’s just a smile when you pass someone on the street. People remember things like that…

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  • Loretta Gillespie
    "I'm so impressed by the beautiful murals at The Folsom Center," Alexander exclaimed. " I think everyone should know about these!" She was referring to the cleverly detailed murals by Cullman artist John Tupper.
  • Loretta Gillespie
    "I'm so impressed by the beautiful murals at The Folsom Center," Alexander exclaimed. " I think everyone should know about these!" She was referring to the cleverly detailed murals by Cullman artist John Tupper.
  • Loretta Gillespie
    "I'm so impressed by the beautiful murals at The Folsom Center," Alexander exclaimed. " I think everyone should know about these!" She was referring to the cleverly detailed murals by Cullman artist John Tupper.