Retiring Limestone County Circuit Clerk Charles Page Jr. will serve as grand marshal of the 30th annual Sheriff’s Rodeo Parade.
Sheriff Mike Blakely said Page — a native son with a long history of serving the people of the county — recently accepted the offer to serve as marshal of the annual parade. Line-up for the parade begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at the rodeo arena on Alabama 99. The parade will commence at 2 p.m. and proceed from the arena into Athens on Market Street to the Courthouse Square. From there it will turn north onto Jefferson Street, continue to Elm Street, turn west on Elm and return to the arena. Group and individual participants are welcome to enter. There is no fee.
The grand marshal
The sheriff offered this background on this year’s grand marshal.
Page was born in 1952 to Charles D. Page Sr. and Martha H. Page and was raised on their dairy farm in Tanner. He was educated at Tanner High School and received his associate degree from Calhoun Community College. In 1974, he married Kathy Montgomery and the couple moved to Nashville. There he worked for more than four years at the Metro Nashville Police Department, achieving the rank of senior patrol officer in a zone car in south Nashville. Their oldest daughter, Cara, was born in Nashville in 1976.
Due to demands on the dairy farm, the Pages moved back to Tanner and, soon after, youngest daughter Emily was born. The couple continued to work the farm but in 1984, while facing falling milk prices and lack of help, Page went to work for Blakely as a patrol deputy. He was promoted to lieutenant, and two years later to chief deputy.
In 1988, Page entered his first political race and was elected Limestone County Circuit Court Clerk. He began serving in January 1989, and has been in office since. His peers elected him president of the Alabama Circuit Clerk’s Association, and he has also served as past president and conference chairman for the past 18 years.
Challenges to the court
During a recent conversation with Blakely, Page said his most disappointing moment in office was delivering the news of mandatory layoffs from the Circuit Clerk’s Office staff, the sheriff said. Limestone County lost three employees in 2007 and four more in 2011.
“These were not just employees,” Page said. “They were friends and dedicated individuals who served the people of Limestone County with pride and professionalism.”
Page told the sheriff his best moment since being elected is being able to serve the people of the county and that, during his tenure, his office has returned positive audits on every occasion without any exceptions.
“Of all the responsibilities that accompany this particular office, the management of people’s money is of utmost importance,” Page said, crediting his staff for the accomplishment rather than himself. “If you have the duty to collect and disperse money on behalf of the state, the county and the courts, then you have a solemn obligation to simply do that which is right.”
Blakely said those who have worked with Page told him that when your leader is honest and treats the public with respect, then the job becomes easy.
“We are proud to honor Charles Page Jr., and we will miss him,” Blakely said. “He has not only served the people of Limestone County with dignity and professionalism, but he has also remained our friend. We expect he will remain active in politics, and we hope he will share his insights with us from time to time. We also hope to keep him involved in the rodeo. He is a great volunteer and works cheap.”
After Page retires next January, he says he is going to do “some much needed farm maintenance” but also hints at “helping” with his grandchildren, Blakely said.
“Knowing Charles, I think that may mean ‘spoiling’ just a little,” the sheriff said.
The Pages, who have been married for 38 years, still live on the family farm. Daughter Cara and Jamie Hammons, granddaughter Anna Page Hammons, and, Emily and Tyler Sandlin, and, Caroline Page, sister, make up the Page family.