Five Points South

A Historical Tour By Phillip Ratliff In an industrial city built around a rail line as a prim east-west/north-south grid, Five Points South signals a digression, to the social, the artistic, the unexpected. For a city still fighting its way back from suburbanization, Five Points South has remained a steady witness to the values of… Read More

Give it Up

Making sense of Lent.
By Phillip Ratliff

Southern Thunder At Vulcan Park and Museum

  By Phillip Ratliff Last June, Vulcan Park and Museum opened its exhibit Southern Thunder to the general public in its Linn-Henley Gallery. Like most Vulcan temporary exhibits, the education staff at Vulcan jam-packed Linn-Henley with artifacts, images, and didactic text, in this case, to advance a compelling narrative about the origins of racing in… Read More

Are you there, God?

It’s me, Roy. By Phillip Ratliff On December 12, people of faith rejected Roy Moore. Certainly, many rejected Moore in response to the allegations of sexual abuse of minors. Others, like myself, were never going to vote for Moore in the first place, having already concluded that he likes to pick on little people in… Read More

Sax and Being

The soothing sounds of the seventies, and beyond. By Phillip Ratliff Although no one expects a return to a pre-1990 level of popularity, the saxophone has made a sheepish comeback lately. This newfound interest in the only woodwind to successfully bridge the gap between rock and the marching band rests squarely on its ability as… Read More

Learning to Fly

The loss of another legend. By Phillip Ratliff News of Tom Petty’s death came on one of the most painful days in the nation’s collective psyche— the same day we all woke to the terrifying, depressing news of the Las Vegas shooting. In the surreal aura that lingered over the afternoon of October 2, word… Read More

Monumentally Perplexed

Discussing the elephant in the town square. By Phillip Ratliff Birmingham is a city of monuments. Atop Red Mountain there’s a bare-bottomed pagan god gazing proudly at his spearpoint. In his shadow, at Five Points South, a bronze ram spins stories while a Prohibition era Protestant minister prays fervently for a besotted city. None of… Read More

Devouring Leftovers

Enraptured by the end times.
By Phillip Ratliff

It Will All Work Out in the End

Finding your tribe certainly makes it easier.

A Mountainous Task

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve eyes new vistas.

We’ve Been Slimed

And you probably will be, too.