In the book, "Hiking Sipsey-A Family's Fight for Eastern Wilderness," Rickey Butch Walker teams with Jim Manasco to produce an ultimate guide to the Bankhead National Forest which includes the Sipsey Wilderness Area. It tells of the struggles to prevent the destruction of one of Nature's greatest gems which is located in the Warrior Mountains of Northwest Alabama. You will read of the efforts of those who cherished the unique treasures found in the Bankhead Forest and launched a determined and successful campaign to preserve it for this, and subsequent, generations. With the attitude that anything of value this great is worth fighting for, the Sipsey Wilderness was established. Meet the family of Jim and Ruth Manasco who have dedicated their life's work to preserve the natural beauties of the Warrior Mountains and the Rocky Plains. Follow the struggle to designate the heart of the Bankhead, the crown jewel of the forest, as a wilderness area so that it might return to its primitive state, that which proceeded the effort to turn it into a pine plantation. The book allows the reader to walk the trails of the forest and smell the wildflowers that grow in profusion within its boundaries-look but don't pick! Through words you visualize the habitat of the forest, listen to birds sing, frogs croak and the hoot of an owl. Read the messages left on the ancient Beech trees and recognize the different species of vegetation by examining the leaves and bark of the plant. Search for the herbal plants such as ginseng-but no digging allowed! Let the great variety of moss amaze you, but in all this, be careful to preserve this treasure for future generations.
As I reflected on these sermons from the Book of James, I was reminded of something from my post-Depression childhood. My parents were poor, but that didn't bother us much because almost everyone we knew was as poor as we were. We lived on a farm and were fortunate in that we always had food to eat; but we didn't always have good clothes to wear. In fact, we had two kinds of clothes. We had what we called our "Sunday go-to-meetin' clothes," which were the best we had; we kept them to wear to church on Sunday. Then we had our clothes that we only wore during the week for work and play. These were not as good or nice as our Sunday clothes. In the vernacular of rural Alabama in the mid-1930s we referred to them as our "ever'day" clothes. The expression "ever'day clothes" reminds me of the Book of James. James is about every day religion-Faith in Ever'day Clothes.
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