i have been to florence, alabama many times over the years. i always love the trip for many reasons, but one of the main reasons i go is because the journey inevitably takes me to alabama chanin. over the years, natalie has told me to go to the wall, but i was never able to go, for various reasons, until this fall. it was an ideal day to walk the wall- a strong wind was blowing and some of the trees were already bare. the leaves that were left were almost the same tones as the rocks that make up the wall. mr. hendrix was there, the creator of the wall. over the last thirty years, he has laid a stone for every step his great-great grandmother, a native american, made when she and her relatives were forced to leave northern alabama, and for every step she made on the walk home, when she returned, alone. he also showed us the very first stone he laid over 30 years ago. the wall is just off the natchez trace, so please go visit if you find yourself nearby.
words & photographs by rinne allen