Alabama is a lush and lovely state – I enjoyed my short visit there. It isn’t a state I could ever live in though as my hair and the weather had irreconcilable differences. Thankfully, even though the weather caused me to suffer aesthetically, it was physically quite bearable.
The FEMA course went well and it was great to be able to make new acquaintances with colleagues from HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) who are interested in starting or advancing their emergency management programs. It was also very good to see and have time to visit with Dave McEntire despite his penchant for alligator stories (see yesterday’s blog for more on Dave’s exercise of scaring the living daylights out of me). It is a rare opportunity that I get that much time to catch up with Dave.
The site we taught at – the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) – is in Anniston, Alabama at the Noble Training Center. It is a similar facility to the National Emergency Training Center, except substantially smaller. The CDP facility has typically been the site of training that focuses on WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction). The facility is quite interesting – it has a rich history and as I was told it also is home to a few ghosts. The most active other-wordily presence at the CDP is Charlotte. Charlotte’s baby died in the emergency room that used to be on the second floor many, many years ago. Charlotte also died shortly after the birth of her baby. She remains at the site searching for her baby I was told. A very sad story indeed.
I didn’t go to the second floor to seek out Charlotte where she is known to hang out. I am sure she is/was a lovely person, but I try and contain my interactions to those who are amongst the living. I appreciated the fact that she didn’t pay me a visit either…not that I wouldn’t have been cordial, but not really sure what we could have talked about. Perhaps she would’ve had some tips on how to control my hair in Alabama weather…I guess I’ll have to save that question for next time.
I shared Charlotte’s story with Dave and other folks at the course. Dave capitalized on Charlotte’s story to quip that the mannequins in the room attired in haz mat attire were really wearing ghostbuster suits to deal with Charlotte and the other spirits hanging around the building. That little observation earned Dave recognition as an honorary ghostbuster. Clearly, he is excited about this new opportunity in his life.
My stay in Alabama was quite brief, but thanks to a great course team, engaged course participants, lovely folks at CDP and Charlotte (for the lack of her appearance) – it was a fabulous experience. I don’ t know when I will return to Alabama, but the next time perhaps I’ll sit down and have a chat with Charlotte – I could seriously do with some tips on Alabama hair management.
Day eight hundred and fourteen of the new forty – obla di obla da