Our drive through the Bankhead National Forest was peaceful and beautiful, at times following what seemed like an endless trail guarded by rows of tall green sentinels. Originally founded as the Alabama National Forest by President Wilson in January 1918, the area was renamed Black Warrior National Forest by President Roosevelt in June 1936. Congress changed the name again in June 1942 to William B. Bankhead National Forest, recognizing a prominent southern politician who had strongly supported Roosevelt on New Deal legislation and stood with him in opposing isolationists as America’s entry into WWII became inevitable. William Bankhead has another claim to fame—being the father of Tallulah, but she, like Zelda, is another whole Alabama story.
Emerging on the other side of the forest after a busy morning, we decided to search out lunch. You’d think TOR and I would have had enough of drive-ins after our Sonic fiasco in Leeds, but we’ve always believed the best way to find a good small-town restaurant on a road trip is to spot a crowded parking lot. In Moulton, that turned out to be the Cardinal Drive In, so we decided to take our chances. All three of us ordered and enjoyed the catfish sandwich, and though I’ve checked the news and googled, I’ve found no mention of the Cardinal shutting down for any reason, thank goodness.