In a small town, it's all about caring

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, May 15, 2002

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
Word travels fast in a small town, that's for sure.
I had no idea that ninety percent of Atmore even knew who I was, much less my whereabouts on a daily basis.
So I guess the old saying is true: everyone knows everyone and everything about everybody in a small town.
That's the moral I was ready to take away from the past couple of weeks, but it took a very special set of people to make me realize that I was wrong.
Well, to fess up, I was stricken by the tonsillitis bug from way down under. And I tell ya, it was no fun at all.
After a short stint at ACH, and finally Mobile Infirmary, I was able to come back home. It was certainly a relief.
I was ready to return to my old routine, just as if nothing had happened.
Well, boy, was that not gonna happen.
Everywhere I went, someone asked me "How are you feeling?" or "You doing better?" or, my personal favorite that I heard just a few days ago, "You gonna live?"
Well, at first it was nice to know that people were interested in my well-being. But then it became a chore to repeat the same old memorized lines: "I'm feeling much better, thank you."
I was on my way back to work for the first day when it struck me: I was content to stand in the background and not let anyone know I existed: if I was gone, then no one would notice, and if I was here, no one would bother me.
As I stepped back into my office the first day, I noticed a card on my desk. Then another. And another. And another
People that I have worked with throughout my time here in Atmore, whom I thought had no idea who I was other than just "that newspaper guy" had actually went to the trouble of wishing me a speedy recovery.
Deborah Watson, Scott Hurst and all the staff and residents at Atmore Nursing Care Center really went out of their way to let me know I was in their prayers.
And, ya know, it really feels good to know you're appreciated and people care about you.
And that's when it struck me. It's not about everyone knowing everything about everybody No, not at all.
It's about everyone caring about everybody all the time.
That's what a small town is really all about. We all live here, work here, play here, have families here and grow old here.
Whatever it is you do in Atmore, you always have one thing in common with your fellow Atmorian: you both live here.
So, from now on, I'll stop looking at it from the typical point of view, and know this: when my ears turn red, somebody must care.

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