Who is Becca Salamone? Born Rebecca Anne Crow in Birmingham, Alabama to Dr. and Mrs. John Bankhead Crow, I grew up on Cliff Road in Birmingham until the age of five years, then moved to a horse farm off Highway 119 in Shelby County. I lived on the farm, rode and showed horses until age 13, then moved back to “town” to Mountain Brook, Alabama. I come from a family of five kids; one sister lives in England; and three half siblings are spread across the US. My parents are deceased. I am the wife of Frank and mother to two, a girl and a boy. My family animals include three horses, three cats, two dogs, two guinea pigs, and one crab (don’t ask). I am known as The Voice of Alabama Horse Talk Radio and also the founder of The Girls of Alabama/Alabama Horse Talk, Becca’s Barn Dance, and the Shelby County Horse Network.
What’s your education? I have had a wonderful education, both academically and through simply living life. I attended Advent Episcopal Day School, Cherokee Bend Elementary, Mountain Brook Jr. High and High School, Spring Hill College, and American Graduate School of International Management (AGSIM) located in Arizona. At AGSIM (or Thunderbird), I studied International Business Management, and at Spring Hill College, I was the first graduate of their International Business program. Later, I studied pre-med at UAB and actually got accepted into medical school but never attended – long story that involves getting married! My life skills come from extensive travel through the US and Western Europe. I have been to every state except Alaska, but it’s on my list of things to do! As a child, my family took month-long summer vacations to travel out west in our motorhome. My Dad planned out our vacations going from state park to national park to every interesting stop (think biggest ball of twine) along the way. I thank my parents for exposing me to our country’s great and varied culture. Those experiences have shaped my views and my life.
What’s your work experience? I have always held some sort of job, even working in my father’s medical clinic as a child. I also worked in retail, at libraries, an international trade company in Mobile, and as a US Senate intern. My official jobs after graduate school include stints at International Student Exchange Flights, Birmingham Podiatry, AAA-Alabama, EBSCO, Vestavia Hills Business Association, North Shelby Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Horse Council, and finally at Alabama Horse Talk/The Girls of Alabama.
What’s your horse experience? From my horse show days, I competed at 4-H shows, open shows, and AQHA shows. I made the Tulsa Youth team and Congress team several times. The disciplines I showed in included halter, showmanship, horsemanship, western pleasure, huntseat equitation, jumping, western riding, trail class, reining, cutting, barrels, poles, and others. Recently, I’ve competed in drill team and tried out mounted shooting as a demo only. I also love to trail ride, which can be one of the most difficult of disciplines, owing to its unpredictability, but also one of the most enjoyable!
Your best horse memory? Ahhhh, there are so many. It’s hard to choose. Most of them are about the moments just hanging out with my horse and horse friends. I remember as a kid, all of us barn kids getting together in the arena, riding bareback, and “parking” our horses to talk while laying out in the sun on their backs and smelling that awesome horse smell from burying our noses in their coats. That’s a great memory! One of the memories I’ll never forget is taking my little Shetland pony, Angel, in the house with me to get a snack one day while I was riding. We stopped in the kitchen for me to eat and watch a little TV, then I climbed back on and rode her out the back porch screen door. My mom said, “Now, Becca, we don’t take our ponies in the house!”
Your favorite part of the horse? The fuzzy nose, of course! Love to nuzzle the muzzle!!
What have you learned about horses? They are intelligent, sensitive, intuitive beings, and humans are still peeling their many layers.
What have you learned about horse people? Horse people are what I call “good people.” They are very family-oriented, and pretty much, if you meet a horse person, you’re instantly bonded due to the like-mindedness. Strangers essentially become part of your own horse family.
What have you learned about the Alabama horse industry? It’s very fragmented and unorganized, but has tremendous potential to become a recognized contributor to our state’s economy. The future of the equine community is our youth. Youth involvement is good for the equine community/industry, and involvement with horses is good for our youth!
What have you learned about the Alabama horse community? Individually, the organizations and groups are awesome! They are doing such great work in our state to provide and promote the equine lifestyle and all of its benefits and advantages. Collectively, though, and I hate to say this, but it’s true, the groups seem to have a lot of in-fighting that is holding back the community as a whole from moving forward. Alabama Horse Talk has many goals, but one goal is to get the horse community to work together better in order to accomplish great things in this state for equine enthusiasts.
What are your goals? One of the main goals of Alabama Horse Talk is to bring structure and cohesion to the industry in order to serve the equine community by providing easy access to information and to share the good news of our Alabama equine happenings, as well as to highlight and promote all the good folks in the industry and what they are doing for our equine community. Most importantly, my goal is to celebrate the love of horses and the special, family-friendly, equine lifestyle we enjoy in the south.
What do you like best about Alabama Horse Talk? It gives me a platform to send a message, plus I love meeting and interacting with horse folks across the state. Without Alabama Horse Talk, I wouldn’t have been able to meet as many wonderful horse folks as I have, nor share their stories.
What is the advantage of Alabama Horse Talk Radio? Having Alabama Horse Talk Radio set up as an online radio show allows horse people to listen either live when it’s happening or later on the archives. They can listen 24/7 at their leisure and even download the shows to take with them on the go. In general, the radio show gives our equine businesses, services, events, and personalities the platform to get across to the public what they do in our horse world, as well as why it is important to them and why it’s important to the equine community.
What was one of the funniest moments on Alabama Horse Talk Radio? The funniest moment to me was when Pat Parelli was talking about people bringing an extra pair of socks to his event at Celebration Arena in Priceville. He was talking about knocking people’s socks off, so they should bring an extra pair. I thought he might have been talking about sweaty feet! LOL!
What is something we don’t know about you? Except for my close friends and family, most people don’t know that I come from a distinguished and nationally prominent Alabama family, the Bankheads. If you Google the Bankheads or search the Encyclopedia of Alabama online, there you will find my family’s history and the importance of their contributions to Alabama’s history. A few of the better known Bankheads are John Hollis Bankhead (US Representative and US Senator), John Hollis Bankhead II (US Senator), William Brockman Bankhead (Speaker of the House of US Representatives), Marie Bankhead Owen (Director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History), and Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (the famous actress).
My grandmother, Marion Bankhead Crow, and Tallulah Bankhead were first cousins. Tallulah, although a well-known actress, was less known for her work for racial tolerance and equality in America. My father, John Bankhead Crow, said that one of his best and most favorite memories of Tallulah was when she would come home on the train from New York or Washington and bring sparklers for all the kids to play with. Tallulah, besides being an award winning actress on stage and in film, was also a popular radio personality, starring in NBC’s The Big Show.
Their contributions to farming, politics, historical preservation, and the entertainment industry are astounding. My great grandfather, John Hollis Bankhead II, although he was involved in shameful policy disenfranchising the black vote, also contributed a great deal toward the advancement of Alabama farming and tried to lift rural Alabamians out of economic depression.
A lot of folks ride in a forest named for one of my family members, the William B. Bankhead National Forest, located near Double Springs. In 1942, the forest was named in honor of William B. Bankhead, who held the highest political office of any Alabamian except for Vice President William R. King. Other places have been donned with the Bankhead name including Bankhead Lake and Bankhead Tunnel, in honor of my family’s improvements to the state of Alabama.
Looking at my family’s history and the contributions they’ve made to the state of Alabama, it doesn’t surprise me that I have such high aspirations in affecting the equine industry and community here. Already, I am initiating the preservation of Alabama equine history through the “Preserving History With” series on the Alabama Horse Talk Blog, among other daily articles, hosting a weekly radio show that showcases our Alabama equine resources, plus doing as much as I can to bring the equine community together to accomplish common goals. I can’t help it; it’s in my blood!
Although it’s strange to write an article about yourself, I hope this glimpse into my life will help you understand who I am, where I come from, and what I stand for, as well as my aspirations for the Alabama equine community. Thank you for your interest in and support of me and Alabama Horse Talk!Alabama Horse Talk Radio