Posts Tagged ‘Cathy Adams’

Volunteers honored at annual Birmingham Botanical Gardens luncheon

Monday, December 17th, 2012


(L to R: Director of Library Services Hope Long, Cathy Adams, Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele)

Volunteers honored at annual Birmingham Botanical Gardens luncheon

On Thursday, December 13, Birmingham Botanical Gardens held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, recognizing the time donated by those that assist in the achievement of The Gardens’ educational mission. Cathy Adams was presented the Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year award for her continual service in many areas of the organization and her significant impact on The Gardens. Ann Katholi was awarded the A. Brand Walton, Jr. Unsung Hero of the Year for her independent and “behind the scenes” contributions. Birmingham Audubon Society was recognized as the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Partner of the Year for helping The Gardens to multiply its effort and achieve its mission. Betsy Fleenor was awarded the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Plantperson of the Year for sharing her plant knowledge and skills with other individuals who volunteer. Sallie Lee was awarded Educator of the Year for her educational efforts promoting public knowledge and appreciation of plants, gardens and the environment.

The potluck luncheon was held in Strange Auditorium from 11:30 – 1 p.m. Music was provided by the Crestwood Trio.

(L to R: Betsy Fleenor, Ann Katholi, Sallie Lee, Ty Keith, Helena Uber-Wamble (Keith and Uber-Wamble are with Birmingham Audubon Society))

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens announces 2013 Board of Directors

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens announces new Board of Directors for 2013

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens is pleased to announce its 2013 Board of Directors. Tricia Noble will serve her first term as president, taking over for Past President Henry Ray. Scott Walton returns as treasurer and Barbara Burton will serve her first term as secretary. Hanson Slaughter will serve as president-elect. Jeanie Sherlock will assume the role of vice president of development, while Brian Barr returns as vice president of facilities and planning. Carl Jones will serve as governance chair. Lou Willie and Elizabeth Broughton will serve as officers. Sherlock is one of seven new board members for 2013, a group that includes: Mary Boehm, Chris Boles, Emily Bowron, Beverly Hoyt, Houston Gillespy, and Charles Goodrich. Five 2012 board members will rotate off: Shane Boatright, Sheryl Kimerling, Mike Malone, Fred Murray and Janet Taylor. 

Completing the 2013 Birmingham Botanical Gardens Board of Directors are: Cathy Adams, Laurie Allen, Maggie Brooke, Gary Burley, Tricia Holbrook, Robert Holmes, Margi Ingram, Clarke Gillespy, Kathryn Porter, Lucy Tutwiler and Mary Williamson.

Cathy Adams Talks to Dolores Hydock

Monday, November 28th, 2011

To read Cathy Adams’ most recent feature on both Three on a String’s Bobby Horton and Dolores Hydock, click here. The feature below originally appear in the May 2007 issue of the now defunct Portico magazine.

Portico: Dolores Hydock

Story performer Dolores Hydock spins tales based on topics from the mundane to Medieval literature before spellbound audiences at concerts, festivals, and special events.  Beginning her acting career playing the Statue of Liberty in a Fourth of July pageant, her varied experience has included being a house mother at a halfway house for juvenile delinquents, selling computers, copy editing cookbooks, and teaching acting at Birmingham-Southern.

A master at blending of humor, poignancy and joy, Hydock spoke to Portico about her love of life and language.

Portico:  How does a girl from Reading, Pennsylvania wind up a professional Southern storyteller in Birmingham, Alabama?

Dolores:  I don’t think of myself as a “Southern” storyteller in the traditional sense of sitting on the porch, rocking and lying, making the story up as you go along.  I am a storyteller who is fortunate to live in the South.  My background is more theatrical, my style more kinetic.  Southerners are slower in telling stories as a result of generations sitting around in the heat on the front porch.

I moved to Birmingham 33 years ago via Connecticut. As an American Studies folklore major at Yale I did field studies on Chandler Mountain.  Elderly mountain women took a Yankee college girl under their wings and taught me everything from quilt patterns to recipes to folklore.

Portico:  What aspects of life in the South persuaded you to stay?

Dolores:  Southerners have such a great sense of place.  Northerners are always trying to figure out where they’re going next.  This culture has an openness to connection between people, and that’s what storytelling is all about.  Southerners say “doan go,” in a Selma accent, inviting you to stay and stay connected.

Portico:  What has the transition to life in the South been like for your 86 year old mother?

Dolores: She has considered it an adventure, although sampling Southern food at Nikki’s West terrified her.  She made the comment that there is nothing slow about Southerners moving down a food line.

Portico:  Many of your stories focus on something as simple as an iron skillet or Jungle Gardenia perfume.  Do you have a “seeing the world in a grain of sand” approach to life?

Dolores:  The older I get the more I realize that life is made up of a lot of little things done in the maintenance of life.  It’s good to learn to love the maintenance rather than waiting for the big dramatic moments.  Cultivate both joy and gratitude, focus and put a frame around the little things that bring joy.

Portico:  How have you translated Medieval literature, such as the 14th century epic poem Gawain and the Green Knight and the 13th century tale Silence into understandable interpretations for modern audiences?

Dolores:  PanHarmonic, a trio of musicians who perform music from the 12th-16th centuries on reproduction instruments, and I took Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to six rural Alabama high schools as a touring project of the Alabama Humanities Foundation.  I enjoy telling stories that have lasted for centuries, stories about the journeys of heroes, stories that ask kids who have never seen a hurdy gurdy or heard a harp or songs sung in Middle English or Latin if they can “walk the walk.”  The themes of the music and the stories are timeless, blues songs that speak to life being hard and the bliss of the world being fleeting. 

Portico: Tell us about your special affection for “holidays that aren’t on the calendar.”

Dolores:  I like holidays such as Arbor Day for which there are no greeting cards.  Easter has special significance for me because my first paying job was putting eyes on chocolate bunnies in the Luden’s Candy factory.  Seeing those bunnies staring with their little beady eyes on the drugstore shelves people don’t think about how the eyes got there.  I wrote a story about “back to school day,” comparing my experiences as a five year old to my mother going back to school for a lecture series in her eighties.

Portico:  As a teacher and fan of Cajun dancing, do you consider yourself a musician as well as an actress?

Dolores:  I like to dance, but I don’t sing or play an instrument well enough that anyone would pay to hear me.  I do sing beautifully in the shower and in my car, and I love holiday sing-a-longs where I can perform with others around me singing loudly enough that no one really hears me.

Portico:  You have a strong sense of family.  How did your parents influence you?

Dolores: Both of my parents fostered a love of language and a sense of the power of language.  We always had a lot of books in our home, and my mother read to me.  For us the library was a palace, a sacred place, and the women behind the check out desk were high priestesses.  Getting a library card was an honor and a privilege. 

Through the power of language you can create worlds and make connections.  If you have words you don’t need material things.  Words augment and enlarge your world and allow you to laugh and cry and share your world while experiencing the worlds of other people. 

My father gave us a sense of really caring about what we did no matter how trivial it might seem in the eyes of the rest of the world.  The fathers of my generation had a work ethic and taught respect for yourself and your work.  My father did his duties nobly.

To learn more and hear clips from Dolores performances visit her website at  CDs are available from local bookstores.

To reserve your spot at December 4’s Southern Tales event, featuring Hydock, visit

PHOTOS: Annual Donor Appreciation Event

Friday, November 18th, 2011

(L to R): Lucy Thompson, Executive Director Fred Spicer, Peggy Balliet, Michael Balliet, Fay Ireland

On November 17, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens held its annual Donor Appreciation soiree at the home of Lydia and Taylor Pursell. Approximately 100 donors enjoyed the cocktail party, enjoying a wide array of hor d’oeuvres provided by Whole Foods. Among guests in attendance were current board members: Tommy Amason and his wife, Yates, Lou Willie and his wife, Cindy Comford, Sheryl Kimerling and her husband, Jon, Tricia Noble and her mother, Janie Meadows, Board President Henry Ray and his wife, Carolyn, Scott Walton and his wife, Kelley, Mary Williamson and her husband, Lex, Laurie Allen, and Louise Wrinkle and her husband, John. The board also toasted its new members in attendance, who will assume their new roles in 2012: Cathy Adams, Brian Barr, Tricia Holbrook and Barbara Burton.

(L to R): Kim McBride, Lydia Pursell

(L to R): Mary Williamson, Director of Marketing and Membership Andrew Krebbs, Laurie Allen

(L to R): Laurie Allen, Barbara Burton, Philippe Lathrop, Judy Crittenden

(L to R): Executive Director Fred Spicer, Nancy Latimer, Lamar Latimer

(L to R): Ogden Deaton, Helen Harmon, Chris Harmon, Francie Deaton

(L to R): Joy Kloess, Price Kloess, Lex Williamson

(L to R): Bob de Buys, Holly de Buys

(L to R): Scott Walton, Kelley Walton

(L to R): Tricia Holbrook, Board President Henry Ray, Leah Taylor

(L to R): Ann Katholi, Bill Warren, Michael Balliet

(L to R): Don Cosper, Pat Cosper, Phillip Morris

(L to R): Sheryl Kimerling, Leah Taylor, John Roberts, Tricia Holbrook

(L to R): Charles Katholi, Ann Katholi

(L to R): Mary Evelyn McKee, Taylor Pursell

(L to R): Mary Williamson, John Forney, Ann Forney