Boy I tell-ya…it’s amazing what can grow in your own backyard.

Robin Fryday lives about a mile down Center Road from me here in Novato, CA, and I’m so glad we met about a week ago through our mutual friend, Sharon Eide (met Sharon years ago on my morning walk).

Sharon follows this blog and has been telling me for months that I have to meet Robin—co-director of the 2012 Oscar nominated short documentary, The Barber of Birmingham—Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement.

We all finally met for lunch downtown Novato, and what a great day that was! Shirley Gavin Floyd , Civil Rights Historical Researcher from Birmingham, was with Robin. They walked into the restaurant with movie posters in hand, rolled and tied with a ribbon like a diploma. (I was grateful to Shirley for helping me temporarily increase the black demographics in downtown Novato).

As you can imagine the conversation was lively; I gave them Peachseed Monkey bookmarks and introduced a few characters; Robin and Shirley shared stories of their journey making the film, and of the late Mr. James Armstrong—the subject of the film and a mighty force indeed. He cut hair at Armstrong Barbershop in downtown Birmingham for more than 50 years. His most famous client: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Armstrong was one of many who put everything on the line for racial equity and the right to vote during the Civil Rights Movement. It was beyond belief for him in 2008 to witness President Obama’s Inauguration.

Last Monday I drove to Oakland for a screening at Bishop O’Dowd High School. The Barber of Birmingham packs a powerful punch into 25 minutes, a perfect length for educational purposes, which was a goal of Robin and her co-director, the late Gail Dolgin []. A fitting legacy for an American citizen who did extraordinary things.

THE SKINNY ~ Mark your calendar to see the film on:
Thursday, August 9th
National Broadcast on PBS