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Ted Vodde, Publisher - Alabaster Newsletter

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Read our Newest Issue - October 2022



     It was early Autumn and we had been white water canoeing all day.  

     It was a fun outing with friends and families.  After a day on the river, folks would make dinner and then gather seated around a large fire with drinks.  In the long tradition of humans since time began, we would tell stories.  

      There would be stories about the river and close calls in certain rapids and other notable encounters.  

      With families of some of the participants there at the campfire, children enjoyed roasting marshmallows and making smores.  Since Halloween was in the not too distant future, I thought I’d share a tale of Alabama with some embellishments.

      “This is a story about Alabama long ago when Native American tribes roamed the land.  Like all groups, different tribes made war on each other for access to prime hunting lands and good water.  

Two tribes in north Alabama were fighting and it needed to stop.  The Chief saw a solution.  He would have his daughter, Noccalula, marry the son of the Chief of the opposing tribe and the two tribes would bond in peace.  

      I’m sure he saw it as a simple solution, but it was not so simple.  Noccalula was deeply in love with a brave of her own tribe and she couldn’t bear the thought of marrying this other brave from another tribe.  Her father, the Chief,

tried to convince her it was for the best but she only grew more sad.  

      Finally her Father said the arranged marriage must take place.  Filled with anguish, Noccalula flung herself from the top of a waterfall to her death rather than marry the brave from the other tribe.

      And to this day, they say the spirit of Noccalula haunts the waters of all the rivers of Alabama searching for her lost love.  Sometimes you can see her by the river bank.  We can summon her ghost by calling Noccalula!  Noccalula!”

       Just then there was a weird glow by the river that seemed to float around one of the big trees.  The children’s eyes turned as big as saucers and they called out, “Look, there she is!  It’s Noccalula’s ghost!”

      Later I thanked my friend who had slipped off to the edge of the river with a glow stick attached to a long string.  When he heard me call out Noccalula, he cracked the glow stick and hoisted and swung it around the tree.  Ah, nothing like a little campfire theater!  Happy Halloween!


     I hope you enjoyed my ghost story for Halloween.  I couldn’t resist sharing one last story with you as I have over the past 10 years.  

      I have chosen this time to retire, and I wanted to tell you how much I have appreciated your loyal readership.  I always tried to be especially attuned to what was happening in the future so you could make the most of what the city has to offer.  

      I couldn’t have done this without some great people helping me.  John Brackin is a wonderful writer who has contributed many stories over the years.  While we’re in the writer’s bullpen, my heartfelt thanks to David Frings for writing great nature columns and for helping me get started doing the newsletter 20 years ago when he was Mayor.  He was a great Mayor and is always a great friend.

      I’m also grateful to Cam Ward and April Weaver for providing great columns on what’s going on at the state level and the processes involved.  Thank you so much for your help.

      Graphic artist Dawn South has been with us since we were a color publication, and she has always done a superb job.  You know, she is also a fabulous traditional artist with many canvasses for sale, and she also does custom art.  

     For years photographer Eric Starling took our pictures, and he is the man who took the pictures of the flaming pumpkins for me.  Since Eric moved to Auburn, Jeremy Raines has been helping me during events, and he does a great job and is obviously a very hard worker.  

      I want to thank the city of Alabaster for choosing me to do the newsletter 20 years ago.  It has been an honor and privilege to do it.  Every month, I would send out a reminder memo to all city departments to send me their upcoming events so we could help them get the word out. 

      At the Albert L. Scott Library, Frances Smith and Carol Smith would send the upcoming Library events.  Sharon Allen would always get the info to me even when she was deep into working with a variety of challenges in keeping the Parks and Rec programs sailing along smoothly.  

      The Beautification Board has also been untiring in their contributions to keep the city beautiful and coordinating the house of the month as well as the Christmas Tour of Lights.  Thanks so much to Marie Jordan, Randi Dicus, Nita Furlong and Loretta Barber for your help.  

      Although she is not listed in the credits, I also want to thank my lovely wife Nan, who has edited the newsletter with a fine tooth comb and made sure we had the best grammar, spelling and punctuation.

      And as they say, last but most certainly not least are our wonderful advertisers.  Most have been with us for years, and I have always tried to create a magazine they could be proud to be a part of.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart as there could have been no newsletter without your support.  

      Finally, what will Ted do in the future?  Well I’m going to enjoy some down time with family and friends.  Looking toward the future, I like telling stories and taking pictures.  And I think I want to do more of that. Thanks so much and farewell.


Editor - Ted Vodde