Sincerely, a smoker,
Angels in East Limestone
During Christmas we always hear that the true Christmas spirit is that it is better to give than to receive. Well in one community, they do this all year long.
The East Limestone community has some of the kindest, most generous people I have ever had the honor to meet. They are without a doubt people that exemplify the true meaning of what America and Alabama are all about. They never take credit for what they do, for it is their way of life.
With the names like Black, Drake, Pugh, Abercrombie, Whitt, Zirbel, and the list goes on and on, they are a people full of compassion and friendship. When my brother (East Limestone football Coach Cav) passed away, then later with my dad’s passing and my younger brother’s home taking a direct hit from an F-5 tornado, this community came out in large numbers. They came to Decatur for visitation and for the two funerals in numbers that was simply breathtaking each and every time, and they worked hard to help my brother with his tornado recovery.
I wish I could live in such a community, and I am thankful that my two little nephews will grow up there with so many great examples of what a person should be.
Andy, Barney and the folks from Mayberry I think would be proud to live there. A song that is played a lot during Christmas asks the question if there are angels among us. One needs to travel no further than to East Limestone to answer that question. And if you can’t go there, I have, and the angels are definitely there.
Be thankful for what you have
Diane Lehr, a Spirit of Athens board member, recently wrote a letter about allocating funds to social nonprofit groups.
She mentioned that she had lived in cities with cultural offerings of art exhibits, historic tours, plays, music festivals and fantastic little business and shopping districts that reflect the symbolic values and interests of the community. In larger cities, many of those fantastic little shopping and business districts are ethnically oriented. Athens doesn’t have any sizeable ethnic population groups that would support such areas.
Personally, I have performed on the piano at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, the violin at Northwestern University’s Hahn Hall, sung with the Tulsa symphony and my wife and I have also lived in some of the largest cities in this nation. We’ve visited Los Angeles’s Getty Art museum, the Louvre in Paris, Kyoto, Japan’s Buddist Temples, Beijing, China’s opera, among many other cities and activities. All these cities have great cultural offerings, but they aren’t Athens’ size. My wife and I have also been patrons and supporters of major city symphonies, Broadway theatre plays and art museums.
Athens doesn’t have the population, or real or potential revenues to support all these various activities, meaningfully, now or in the long-term future. If you want this experience, go to Huntsville, Birmingham, Nashville, Atlanta, New York City, etc., that do have those opportunities. We’re not “living in a potentially dingy, diminished bare-bones sort of community,” due to our city’s leadership being discriminate in the city’s funding allocations, and our good politicians should resent this remark by Ms. Lehr. Many cities are cutting allocations. It takes comprehension of not only what you’d like, but what our city can afford.
Spirit of Athens promotes the downtown district as the heart of Athens and Limestone County. There is more to Athens than just the Square and historic district that requires funding. Nonprofit organizations must capitalize, and expand, their own independent funding support sources and grants that are often funded by taxpayer’s taxes.
We need more attention and planning for the total revenues available to allocate funds to meet all the city’s needs, including paving, police equipment, fire equipment, major retail business development and other civic requirements. Ms. Lehr’s dreams and desires can’t take priority over everyone else’s realistic needs. Be thankful for what you have been allocated from taxpayer’s funds, in light of so many unmet critical needs of the city.
Happy new year.
Quentin D. Anderson Sr.