Home sweet home Alabama

By Bob Stickley

Some 41 years ago, I made my first trip to the state of Alabama to visit my in-laws.

I had no idea then that northwest Alabama would be so beautiful.

I could not imagine that the hills surrounding Russellville would be so beautiful and I had never seen anything like kudzu, which covers the earth and trees, almost as if it’s choking whatever it covers.

While I was in the Army, I had seen most of the United States, except for the west and south, and much of Europe.

I was surprised at the beauty of the south, but I didn’t think I could ever get used to the summertime heat, especially since the fall and spring are my favorite times of the year.

During my first visit to Alabama, I was introduced to polk salat and I love it.

I am told it’s a good tonic and it sure beats the pieces out of spinach.

You can’t beat picking blackberries and making a great cobbler or biscuits and gravy.

I remember Russellville being such a great place to visit and never wanting to leave.

So we decided to make the move to sweet home Alabama and settled into the southern way of life.

When I moved here 33 years ago, Russellville High School had a lot to offer for a big sports fan.

The amazing thing is how the community looks forward to Friday night football and there is always a good crowd at each ball game to watch our Golden Tigers.

I have met many wonderful people here and made lasting friendships.

Some have passed away, but I still keep their memories with me. People like Erskine Wages, Bill Lucas, John Blackwell and Hal Kirby.

All of these men were of great distinction and each played an important role to our city in their particular field.

Another who comes to mind is Bobby Bolton, the founder of the first Watermelon Festival.

And of course, Sen. Roger Bedford, who has done so much for the people of this area.

We also must remember the great effort to build the A.W. Todd Center, which is used for meetings, weddings and concerts, as well as housing the senior center and is adjacent to the farmers market.

The new downtown streetscape project is also nearing completion.

All of these items are what make this sweet home Alabama.

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