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Alabama to Ohio State
FLAME JOURNEY UPDATE:
(Dates start with Flame's 1996
arrival in Oakville, Alabama from Los Angeles
and then go back in time toward Hannibal, Missouri)
Stuart Owens Rankin, Jesse Owens' grandson, poses with
Olympic Relay escort looks on, just before the
OLYMPIC FLAME is
passed to Rankin near the Jesse Owens' Memorial Park in
June 29 . . . Festivities begin at 9 am and the OLYMPIC
FLAME arrives at 12:45 pm at the Jesse Owens' Memorial Park. The
unveiling of the Jesse Owens visitors center, memorial museum and
renovated home with other events follows the Flame's arrival.
A replica of the 1936 Berlin Flame
is ignited by the Torch runner before the relay departs for
June 28 . . . Today's relay starts in Nashville,
Tennessee and pauses tonight at the US Space and Rocket
Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville is the home of Thornwood's mascot tree and just 50 miles from the Jesse Owens'
Memorial Park at Oakville. The Flemming Hills mascot in Huntsville is a cockspur thorn (officially a Yellow Locust). The Thornwood mascot is a near cousin of the Blackthorn tree, that is native to both Ireland and England. BBC America sells Irish-heritage walking sticks made from the Blackthorn after craftsmen remove intimidating stout, vicious cockspur thorns.
In January 2009 Dr. Foote interviewed World War II
radar specialist living in Northampton, England.
She had monitored V-2 rockets, that were aimed at London from Germany,
as a small green blip on an electronic screen in Belgium-based radar station. But, she had seen her first actual V-2 Rocket at the US Space and Rocket Center while visiting her daughter in Huntsville several years before the interview.
June 25 . . . Just four days from the arrival at the
Jesse Owens' Birthplace in Oakville, Alabama, the OLYMPIC FLAME
travels from Charlotte, North Carolina to Greenville, South
Carolina. Today's Torch relayers from South Carolina include
Reico Barber, graduating senior, Rock Hill High School; and R.
Shell Dula, head football coach at Union High School.
Before leaving Washington, a Torch bearer
OLYMPIC FLAME near the White House. Later, the
relay visits Mount Vernon on its way to Richmond.
June 20 . . . The Torch relay takes a break at
Washington's Mount Vernon College, site of the 1996 Olympic
Soccer Village. Here, Olympians hold their home countries'
flags, before the OLYMPIC FLAME is transported to the U.S.
Capitol to remain overnight.
June 16 . . . In Hartford, Connecticut, the OLYMPIC
FLAME passes the homes of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain.
The Jesse Owens' Memorial Park is just a few miles from
Mooresville, Alabama, primary filming location for Disney's TOM
AND HUCK, adapted from Mark Twain's masterpiece about them. In
less than two weeks, the Torch runners will arrive in North
Alabama at Jesse Owens' birthplace.
June 9 . . . For the OLYMPIC FLAME's journey to the
Jesse Owens' Memorial Park in Oakville, Alabama, today's arrival
in Cleveland, Ohio is the most significant since the FLAME left
Los Angeles for Atlanta. In Cleveland, the Torch bearers
pass the Jesse Owens' statue. As a Cleveland middle and then high
school student Owens set two world records, putting him on the
Buckeye's track and field prospect list. He gained national
collegiate fame running for The Ohio State University.
TOM AND HUCK, the Disney movie now available on DVD,
in North Alabama, birthplace of Jesse Owens.
today, May 30, 1996, the OLYMPIC FLAME visits Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain's
hometown, for a TOM AND HUCK celebration on its trip to the Jesse
Owens' Memorial Park in Oakville, Alabama. The FLAME bearer runs past Tom Sawyer's fence, right next to the house where Twain was born in Hannibal. Tourists flock to Mooresville, Alabama, the state's oldest town, to see locations used by Disney in the film adaptation of Mark Twain's masterpiece and to other famous North Alabama tourist attractions, such as the birthplaces of Helen Keller and W. C. Handy in the Shoals.
Thornwood's mascot tree in Huntsville,
where citizens celebrated 50 years of Space Achievement
along side V-2 rocket that was showered on London
Buttons above in THORNWOOD logo are Clickable
The THORNWOOD mascot is a magnificent, cockspur thorn tree at 2110 Byrd Spring Road, Huntsville, Alabama. One North Alabama tree expert says it's a Yellow Locust, a "senior" speciman of the variety. The Thornwood mascot is a near-cousin of the Blackthorn tree from Scotland, Ireland, and England that historically was used to make traditional Irish Shillelaghs. BBC America sells Irish-heritage walking sticks from Blackthorn branches, but craftsmen remove all thorns before shaping and finishing the BBC sticks. A linking sidewalk from the tree to parking, eating, and hotel venues was completed in 2004, after the Flemming Hills subdivision sign was moved to the south side of Byrd Spring Road to open up the sidewalk path. For those tourists wishing to do an auto drive-by, Byrd Spring Road has just been resurfaced in 2007. But out-of-town drivers should turn around in the entrance to Plantation South Condos, since a trespassing sign clearly prohibits visitor traffic into the development. Signs, encouraging tourists to park in next-door Church lot, prohibit entrance by commercial vehicles while allowing all others to use the parking.
However, the Church signs do not sanction multi-day, overnight stays by anyone.
Travel information from North Alabama sources: Tourists flying into North Alabama should consider Huntsville International Airport (FlyHuntsville.com) or the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport (FlytheShoals.com).
An Alabama 4-lane highway leads from the Shoals and from Cullman all the way to access roads to take you to the Owens' birthplace. Official state maps from Alabama Welcome Centers show the highway to Oakville several miles southeast of Moulton. The turns from Route #157, which the Alabama Legislature renamed "The University of North Alabama Highway", are marked with official State of Alabama highway signs. When driving north on Interstate #65 from Birmingham, tourists may follow directions on a giant newly-redesigned Jesse Owens billboard. The sign faces south near Welcome Center/Rest Stop on east side of I-65 before Cullman exits. The original 2008 billboard designers chose the same view of Owens featured in the photo that Johns Hopkins University Press used in 2002. Chotank.com provided the photo capture file to Johns Hopkins for a brochure promoting Reviews in American History.
Copyright (c) 1995 -- 2011
Avon Edward Foote, Ph.D.
Dorothy Gargis Foote, Ph.D.
Huntsville-Decatur-Florence DMA (TV Market)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
|Crystal Palace Tower of BBC Television|
Photo by Dr. Avon Edward Foote on assignment with his grandson,
Jason Marshall Foote of Roanoke, Virginia