I moved to Scottsboro in the summer of 1981. I arrived with a suitcase full of hopes and dreams, a one year old little boy, and my nurses license. Now it is 2008, I am older, and want to say 'thank you' to the small town of Scottsboro. You provided me the space for many of my hopes and dreams to come true. You helped me birth two more children, and allowed me to help many of you give birth to yours.
We went to T-ball games, basketball camp, band concerts,fund raisers, plays at Northeat Community Collage, and wrestling matches. And yes!! Remember the year we won state !!! We've built Habitat houses, resuced spunklers [we have more caves in our county than most states have all together] washed cars, sold Christmas trees, parked cars on First Monday Trade Day. All to raise a few dollars for some various cause. Most of the time it was us parents working while the kids were off 'running errands or 'whatever.' For most of us it was just a part of our social structure while our kids were in school.
'Whatever' to my kids could be defined from a variety of things. Sometimes it was waterskiing on the river, or climbing the Pinnical at the Boy Scout camp. Sometimes it was swimming at the Rec Com or playing tennis, or camping out or horseback riding with some friends. That's the thing about Scottsboro, when my kids were teenagers, even before cell phone's came along, I could track my kids down with about 3 telephone calls. When they started driving and going 'out'...and they would say 'I'm going to so and so's house.'..I's say 'you best be where you say you are when I drive by to check.' It's just kind of a long version of saying, 'while living here I alway pretty much knew where my kids were, and who they were with, and what they were doing.'
You helped to teach my children, not only math, English and histoy, but so much more about life. They are now grown, living full, rich lives, exploring the world and giving back. And you, fellow Scottsboro friends, teachers, and family helped make that happen.
We have laughed together, cried and held each other, helped each other bury our loved ones, yelled at each other and then soon 'made up' because we have learned that in a small town it is not always wise to burn our bridges so quickly. Because we know that the very next day you will probably run into that person, the one you were so upset with the night before at the football game, at the grocery store or the bank or the local pharmacy or at church.
All of which that can be gotten to in less than a 10 minute drive.
Yes. Where else can you live where you can talk to mom [who lives all the way across town, which is a 5 minute drive] on the phone and you say [when she ask 'what have you been doing today?'] "I went to the bank to make a deposit, the pharmacy to get my meds, the grocery to pick up some milk, the Salvation Army to drop off a box of clothes, and the dollar store to pick up some cleaning supplies. Then I stopped in at Alfa to pay my car insurance and catch up on the news and Linda said to tell you 'hello' and that her mom will be back at quilting next week. And then I unloaded all my recycalbes at the recycling bin beside the library and came on home." And mom says to me, "Well what did you do with the rest of your morning?" Because she and I both know that even when I sit and chat while I run errands I'm done within an hour flat or less.
Well, now that may not say much to anyone, but I save a lot on gas money living here in this town. However, I do not place value of this town on money. Yes our cost of living is less, our property taxes are some of the lowest in the nation, we have a bounty of food, water, natural resources, and affordable housing. The true value of Scottsboro is with the people who dwell here. Their compassion, their charity, their committment. We are a small 'county seat' town full of life, diversity and heritage.
For those of you who don't know what it means to be a county seat town well, let me explain. The Jackson County Courthouse is the heart of our city. It sits just across the way from our new City Hall. So on the way to the bank all I have to do is go right up the street and park and go in to renew my driver's license, or purchase my hunting, fishing and or boating permits or marriage license,[while I catch up on the latest news from Judge Hambrick the Probate Judge.] I can run up the hall and pay my property taxes and say Hi to Ron Crawford the Revenu commissioner who also tutors kids as his ministry. I can sit down and watch open cases in the courtroom, And if I have time I can drop in to say hi at the Sheriff or the DA's office. I can go across the hall to mapping and apprasial to find out who owns a house down the street. Just last week I stopped in at the registors office just to ask..how many people last month registered to vote. Well the answer is that for the past couple of years we have had about 100 people a month come in to register. That is for all of Jackson county. Many of those moving here have retired and 'discovered' not only how beautiful Scottsboro is, but how far their retirement dollar will go here.
All my kids learned how to do all of these city and county government things while living at home. Now they have no reservations what so ever, where ever they live-- be it Dallas, Huntsville or Florence to go to any courthouse and contuct any matter of business because they learned how to do it first in the best classroom of all, a 'county seat town.'
Well, I could go on, but I'll add on last note. Of all of the years that I have lived here, for 10 years I commuted and worked at Huntsville Hospital. It's only a 45 minute drive. Four lane all the way with only two red lights before the first exit off of I-565 into Huntsville. I guess it was after all those years of commuting that I have come to cherish more the quiet serenity of Scottsboro. The wild dogwoods that bloom in the spring, the deer grazing in my backyard, the run of the river and the mountains. I never tire of resting my eyes on the landscape of this valley. And I hold dear the people which are the town..of Scottsboro. A place where dreams come true.