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Getting to know your neighbor

Editor’s Note: Getting to Know Your Neighbor is a regular feature spotlighting residents in Franklin County and how they look at certain things.

Name: Rita Barton

Hometown: Phil Campbell

Place of employment: CB&S Bank in Phil Campbell


Q: What is the best thing about your job?

A: Waiting on my customers, working with my co-workers and having a job that is so close to my home.

Q: If you weren’t in your current profession, what would be your ideal job and why?

A: Nursing. Before Eddie and I got married in 1973, I was enrolled in nursing school at the Phil Campbell campus [of Northwest Shoals Community College] and wanted to pursue the nursing field, but when I got married I changed my mind about what I wanted to do and ended up working nearly 35 years in banking.

Q: If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

A: Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, because I’d love to see how much money I could make in one day.

Q: If you could sit down to dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

A: My grandmother, Mattie Lou Wilson. I enjoyed her cooking and enjoyed talking with her about the olden days. I miss her everyday.

Q: What’s the best present you’ve ever received?

A: Actually there are two – my oldest son, Chris, and my younger son, Kevin.

Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?

A: My fondest memories as a young girl are of playing outside with my brother, Byron, in the backyard. We would play outside all day making mud pies and putting berries in the pies then letting them dry out. We really had some good times back then – no computers, phones or electric toys. We had the simple things in life and it was surely the best.

Q: What do you think of as your greatest accomplishment in life?

A: I actually have two. The first is getting married to my wonderful husband, Eddie, and having two of the finest sons a person could ever want. The second is the Phil Campbell Memorial Park. My dream has always been to help Phil Campbell get different things for the town, and I always wanted a park for Phil Campbell, and now we have our Memorial Park. There are other things I also want the town to have such as a splash pad, a water park, a walking trail, a fun center for kids, a park with swings and rides for the kids, and the list goes on. Hopefully one day I’ll see these things come into play as well.

Q: If you only had one meal left, what would it be?

A: My Mama Wilson’s home cooking, especially her tea cakes.

Q: If you won a million dollars, what would be your first purchase?

A: After I paid off all of our debts, including my parents’ and sons’ debts, I would buy my husband Eddie a brand new truck.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

A: I would go to Germany. My dad was in the Army when I was about five and we stayed in Germany three years. I went to kindergarten there. I’d love to take my parents, brother, sons and their families to visit all of the places we traveled while we were there. It was so beautiful there.

Q: If you were the President of the United States, what would be the first law that you would enact?

A: I would make sure that people who were able to work would have to work for what they received and not be dependant on the government all of the time.

Q: If you were in local government, what things would you change in the area?

A: That there would be a fun center in their local town. Kids need somewhere to go for fun and not have to drive 30 or more miles to another town.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Franklin County?

A: It seems when things get tough, such as the tornado that hit Phil Campbell in 2011, that everyone comes together and helps each other. It goes to show that when you do unto others, good things are done for you. It certainly is nice to have friends from all over the place, especially Franklin County, when times get rough.

Q: What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?

A: I love to work in my flowerbeds and watch the fish in my four Koi ponds and goldfish ponds.

It’s so relaxing to listen to the water and watch the fish. I also love 50s, 60s and 70s music.