Carl Brady is a human kaleidoscope. One day’s schedule sees him change from doing editing, graphic arts and advertising to supervising the news crew, writing and shooting commercials for WEAC TV24. When time allows, he plays guitar, reads and enjoys family. There are changing patterns in his life. But the ever-present color is community service.

Brady joined the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama as program manager for East AlabamaWorks on June 1. “The Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama is the fiscal sponsor for the state of Alabama’s workforce development program known as East AlabamaWorks,” said Jennifer Maddox, president and CEO of the Community Foundation.

“Mr. Brady will be a great addition to the staff of the Community Foundation. His deep knowledge of our region’s businesses and their leadership and his experience as a career tech teacher at Oxford High School provide the East AlabamaWorks program with an excellent skill set.”

Lisa Morales, director of East AlabamaWorks commented: “We are pleased to hire Carl as we expand our program. He’s the perfect fit for helping me advance the workforce development mission in our area.”

The mission of East AlabamaWorks is to ensure there is a pipeline of a skilled workforce ready to meet the demands of business both now and in the future.

“There are lots of unfilled jobs in fields such as healthcare and manufacturing, but the employees must be trained,” Brady explained. “The workforce development’s mission is to find ways to get these people trained and job-ready.”

Having this personal impact on people’s lives will have multiple benefits, Brady added. “Benefits both for the individual and for the community,” he said.

Television viewers know Brady as news anchor and “East Alabama Today” host on TV24. He’s been working in the field of radio and television for 31 years. “This new opportunity will be a big move for me,” he said. “I’ve had an amazing career and I’ve never thought of it as work. But now I’m ready to change course, to re-invent myself while I’m still at a good place in life. And, I firmly believe that this decision is God-directed.”

He will go out to meet with educational organizations, promoting workforce training with business leaders and speaking to civic groups.

A certain photo in Brady’s file is an especially prized possession. It recalls an interview he had with Richard Petty in Talladega 20 years ago. “I was just a young reporter then, but I remember this as the interview that I learned from,” he said. “There he was, the biggest name in NASCAR racing then, and he treated me like a seasoned professional. We talked on racing for 30 minutes.”

Brady, a native of Gadsden and now a resident of Alexandria, counts interviewing as his favorite aspect of reporting. That’s where his pastime as a musician has paid off.

“I play guitar, electric and upright bass, piano — a little — and I’ve been singing all of my life,” he said. Performing with opening acts with some big names in classic country and bluegrass has connected him with interesting people, he said. “Now, it’s just me and my guitar, without the bright lights. I enjoy playing music with my friends.” His to-do calendar included a date yesterday as master of ceremonies at St. Michael and All Angels’ Bluegrass and Barbecue event.

Brady wants northeast Alabama to be all that it can be. He believes he can address this goal with the Community Foundation. “This will be a continuation of my personal commitment to community service,” he said.

Springwood Inn in Alabama magazine

Feature writer Lauren Jackson had it right when she noted recently in Alabama Magazine that there is history within the walls of Springwood Inn in Anniston, also called the Noble-Woodruff House.

But until you take the tour with owners Bob and Carolyn Orchid, who have made the house into a bed-and-breakfast, you may not realize how much of the past is present in the late 1800s domain of Samuel Noble, nor how these features represent different chapters in Anniston’s story.

Exterior design has changed due to the tastes of various owners, but the elegance and warmth remain in this home, which was moved to Booger Hollow by former owner Gerald Woodruff. According to Carolyn Orchid, much of the home’s interior is original.

Built in 1882, it still has the fine touches of the gentleman Samuel Noble. To this writer, it is a testament of the confidence and assurance he had in coming and starting a town with Daniel Tyler, which was to be The Model City.

Additions have been made to the inn, and remodeling was necessary. But the large entrance hall where Samuel Noble greeted his guests was as we see it now. The two front rooms are also original, as are fireplaces, chandeliers and crown molding downstairs as well as some mantels upstairs and downstairs.

The columns in the front interior were saved from Anniston’s Carnegie Library. The floors upstairs were saved from demolished churches and houses from the Noble Home’s period in history. Downstairs, the floors were taken from the old Carter Home in Munford, which was once used as a girls’ school.

The entire home is undergirded with wood from the former theater built during World War II at Fort McClellan. In the movie screening room is a stained glass window from the old Noble Opera House.

The article on Springwood Inn is in the May/June issue of Alabama magazine.

Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at herveyfolsom@yahoo.com.

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