While we in this area were shivering in January, Lesa and David Cummings were enjoying warmer weather in Cuba as they explored six cities on the island. Their exhibit of photographs from that trip are on display through October at the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County. During a program at the library Tuesday, their slide show featured 70 additional images.

Their trip with the Auburn Alumni Association was a people-to-people exchange approved by the U.S. Treasury Department, Lesa explained. "It took several months of filling out applications in order to get approval, but once there we enjoyed snapping impressions and memories," she said. "It is still a primitive nation, but I think we saw its charm."

Thirty-seven framed photos help tell the story of their stay in Havana in northwest Cuba and in Sancti Spiritus in the central part of the island. In Havana, a new harbor is being built; in Sancti Spiritus, the couple got a taste of a small town, also one of the original settlements founded by the Spanish.

"My photos reflect the exhibit title, ‘The Colors of Cuba,’ Lesa said. "They show the pretty buildings and vibrant colors everywhere that I saw." The people there dress in bright colors, she added, and it’s a tropical island with lush flora.

Why did the Cummings choose Cuba as a destination?

"Curiosity," Lesa responded. "It was a forbidden spot for the United States for so long. Now changes for the better are slowly taking place, the arts are highly esteemed and the people are so friendly. They’ve seen the worst and are hoping for the best. We are so glad that we went."

Anniston Museum offers trip to Cuba

A seven-night guided trip to Cuba is being offered by the Anniston Museum Complex and Museum Travel Alliance. The trip dates are Feb. 6-13. The registration deadline is Nov. 1. For details, visit www.annistonmseum.org.

Author to speak at JSU library

On Thursday, author Sonny Brewer will discuss his book "The Widow and the Tree" at Houston Cole Library at Jacksonville State University. His talk will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in room 1103 A on the 11th floor. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served and books will be available for purchase and signing.

"The Widow and the Tree" is about a magnificent oak tree that has stood watch over coastal Alabama’s mysterious backwater bay for 500 years. The tree, which people call "Ghosthead," has served as sentinel to the widow’s family land for countless generations. It was a childhood friend and a spirit guide in troubled times. Her father is buried in its shade.

So, why would the widow hire a man to fire up his chainsaw and end in a few minutes what took five centuries to create? The book is a tale of dark deeds committed with mercy in mind, provoking the reader to ask, "Would I have done the same thing?" This book is based on a true story.

Brewer is a writer, editor and founder of Over the Transom Bookstore in Fairhope. His novels include "The Poet of Tolstoy Park" and "Cormac: The Tale of a Dog Gone Missing," a story of losing his Golden Retriever and finding him a month later, 1,200 miles from home and up for adoption on the Internet.

Brewer has also written and illustrated a children’s book, "Rembrandt the Rocker," and ghost-written a biography of Clarence Darrow, entitled "Clarence Darrow, Journeyman."

SudsFest tickets on sale now

It’s fall again, time for football, food, friends and SudsFest at the Berman Museum of World History. The 11th annual beer-tasting and food sampling takes place Saturday from 6-9 p.m. at the museum. All tickets must be purchased before the event. Tickets are $30 for general admission; $25 each for groups of 10 or more; $20 for Designated Driver option (no bar access). SudsFest is for age 21 and up, and ticketholders must show a photo ID. Order tickets by calling David Ford at 256-237-6261.

This year’s musical entertainment will be The Foggy Hollow Bluegrass Band, based in the Webster’s Chapel community in Calhoun County.

Contact Hervey Folsom at herveyfolsom@yahoo.com.