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Hometown famous

As Hodges’ seven-term mayor winds down his last few days in office, he took the opportunity to thank scores of people during the Spirit of Hodges Festival – city employees and their spouses, councilmembers and state legislators. But Mayor Edward Crouch was destined to receive a heart-felt thanks himself.

The Town of Hodges unveiled a special bench bearing the years of Crouch’s service to the community. The bench stands in Town Park, underneath a magnolia tree the town dedicated years ago to the memory of Crouch’s father.

“I love it,” Crouch said. “I didn’t know anything about it.”

Town clerk Frankie Petree said the council and water department jointly purchased the bench.

Before the unveiling, Petree shared a long list of the mayor’s accomplishments during his many years of service, from how the town has changed since he began his tenure – “In 1988, Hodges didn’t have a Town Hall, police department, water truck or any full-time employees. Ed paid the bills and prepared the financial reports in the back closet of Hodges Community Center” – to his expansive acquisition of funding for the town.

The mayor’s role will be filled by Terry Petree, who was elected outright in August over opponents Danny Avery and Wendell Williford. Crouch had the following words of advice for his successor.

“Talk to people. Listen to what they have to say, then make a decision and stick with it,” Crouch said. “Terry’s a good guy. He’ll do a good job.”