Birmingham: The city of my youth makes a comeback

Jerry Carter
Jerry Carter

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Jerry Carter.  It appears it’s not just young folks thrilled with Birmingham’s comeback.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

I spent a number of my childhood years in the Norwood section of Birmingham in the ’40’s and early ’50’s.  Those years provide the basis for my long-distance passion for the city.

I recall the old street rails for the trolleys, and buying Krystal hamburgers for 12 cents on the downtown corner of 2nd Avenue North.  The animated Christmas displays each year in the windows of Pizitz and Loveman’s department stores were awesome.  The Alabama Theatre was the absolute mecca for movie viewing.  I still recall my amazement when the Wurlitzer organ would rise up to stage level and music would fill the large hall.

I have depressing memories from a drive down 20th Street a couple of decades ago.  Closed shops and businesses stared back at almost deserted streets.  I could not believe the deterioration that had transpired.  I won’t even bother to try and describe a drive through the Norwood area.  That was a heartbreaking experience.

Now, however, it is again a pleasure to visit my favorite city!  I am so appreciative of the effort that has been put forth in the refurbishing of our Birmingham.  It seems that a great deal of the credit goes to the current mayor William Bell and our other leaders.  Positive, active, sensible leadership seems to making a difference that has been so needed.

It is a true pleasure to now visit and see some of the “Magic” returning to our “Magic City”.  I take great pride in watching the city of my youth come back to its former glory.

Jerry Carter:  “I made my initial appearance at the old Jefferson-Hillman Hospital (now UAB), grew up in Norwood, graduated from West Blocton High School and the University of Alabama—then retired to Tuscaloosa.  Life is good!”

Let’s turn Birmingham around.  Click here to sign up for our newsletter.  There’s power in numbers(Opt out at any time)

David Sher is the publisher of ComebackTown, a co-founder of Buzz12 Advertising Agency and co-CEO of AmSher Collection Agency.  He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP). 

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3 thoughts on “Birmingham: The city of my youth makes a comeback”

  1. *David, I have always had respect for your vision for the economic growth of our Magic City.  Would love to have lunch with you in 2015.  Great article by Jerry Carter, he was write on target with our description now.  It can change with projects of growth with additional job creation and a great product/service to our Magic City. Please accept me as a supporter of your publication.


    Robert C. Smith, Broker/Owner

    Pace Properties, LLC 

  2. My husband and I are also excited about the renewed spirit of our City center. I left Birmingham in 2000 for NYC, vowing never to return. We visited in 2011 and saw a Birmingham ready for “50 years forward.” We are thrilled to call Norwood home now. The neighborhood has historic status, and the City leadership has made efforts to clean up blighted property. Many folks are investing in Norwood’s rebirth. I am bringing an award-winning boutique retail wine and spirit boutique to 32nd and 12th, a concept I first successfully opened in NYC. Seeing my commitment to live and do business here will help attract other economic development along Norwood’s 12th Ave. We love Norwood! We found a neighborhood full of people ready to heal and eager to work hard to be a vital community. We even Christmas carol, grow together in community gardens, and have neighborhood potlucks. We hope you will let us show you a different side of Norwood soon. 

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