On a recent winter night, I was standing with a friend on Red Mountain, admiring the glory of the Magic City at my feet. I could see all the places I treasure from my vantage point: Five Points South, historic Ramsay High School, Sloss Furnace, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and its world-class medical center, Children’s Hospital, and my favorite, City Federal building, lit up in the distance.
I remarked absentmindedly, “If only this city would love itself more,” to which my companion responded sadly, “This whole state needs to love itself more.”
In the days since that bittersweet exchange of words, I have meditated on what Alabama stands to gain by learning to love itself and on the question of who it could learn this from. Then clear as the ring of Denny Chimes, it hit me: The University of Alabama. What entity in this state loves itself more than the one with fifteen rings on its fingers?