Quitman is a great place to live
April 8, 2001
Editor's note: The following essay, written by Quitman High School student Sonya Napp, won first place in the Quitman Centennial Essay Contest. It was read aloud at a centennial event last Sunday. As part of our renewed commitment to present commentary "by the people," The Meridian Star is pleased to publish Ms. Napp's essay.
Quitman is a great place to live because the people are friendly, there is a great hometown spirit and there are interesting places to visit.
When you walk into a local store or public place and somebody yells your name, you know the people are friendly. I have never gone to an establishment in Quitman where someone hasn't spoken a kind word or a hello; this is one of many factors that make Quitman at great place to live.
Growing up or living here has its predicaments, but when the people you work with, go to school with, or talk to help you through those times, it cushions the situation a lot more than mean stares, glares and careless notions.
Another factor is when you go to school with the same group of people, besides the occasional new student that quickly gains new friends, it is hard to miss the flaws, virtues and characteristics. When you know everyone and everyone knows you, it makes you more comfortable than when you are surrounded by strangers. I also think the school is more suitable when you can be surrounded with long acquaintances.
When there is a large number of people at football, baseball, softball and other sports functions, you feel a sense of hometown spirit. You always will have the busy parents of players in the game, the band, and the cheerleaders attending these functions.
Also, you have the football veteran who has been following the game since he was a player many years ago, who comes and pays his money to see high school players fight to win and so he can cheer them on. That man has community spirit.
When parades and courthouse law functions are overcrowded by the many citizens of Quitman, that is also community spirit. I am proud to be a part of a community where people will support and love each other like the ever popular Relay For Life; many of Quitman's citizens contribute and take part every year to save the lives of cancer patients.
One of the other factors that makes Quitman a great place to live is the interesting places to visit. Among the many historical places in Quitman, the newly remodeled train depot is a marvelous piece of our town's history. It tells a story of many trips of the citizens, cargo shipments, and events that took place many years ago.
The Confederate cemetery is another historical location in Quitman. It tells of a time gone by where freedom was in sight by one side, and rights were the view on the other. How many more can remember the homecoming of the Desert Storm soldiers not so long ago at the National Guard Armory?
Many more locations, which are historical, might be the Chickasawhay River, which runs through Quitman. How many people knew that there were once grist mills located along its banks.
What about the old rickety buildings that are in Quitman? They might have once been a doctor's office when there were no polio shots, or a house where many meals were consumed with God's name at the table.
Hidden amongst the city are many old buildings, including the J.K. Kirkland Hardware Store and the Masonic Building. These old buildings might not be considered historical landmarks, but they are a piece of our history.
There are many more reasons Quitman is a great place to live, but for me these reasons make Quitman my hometown and my home.
Sonya Napp is a ninth grader at Quitman High School.