Published 4:34 pm Wednesday, October 30, 2002
We've heard about it, read about it, but never had experienced it until this past Friday and Saturday.
Now we know what "Southern Hospitality" really means.
Our bus load of YMCA "Folksmarchers" from Central New York was greeted upon our arrival at the Day's Inn by Mayor Shell and Allen Bell with such immediate sincerity that we felt at home right from the start. Each of our folks was so excited as they came from their rooms after receiving the colorful bag of gifts that were prepared by your Chamber.
What a wonderful weekend was spent with you folks! It was so nice to be invited to the Patron's Party at Robin and Janet Swift's, then on Saturday morning, a Police escort, and to be made honorary citizens – each of us – and, golly, we don't even have to pay any taxes! Celia Lambert and Terri Godwin deserve our thanks too.
To take part in your WSD celebration was neat – and to meet and walk with your Atmore-to-Syracuse walkers was a real delight. We tasted your many local foods, mmmm, tried cane juice, enjoyed the entertainment, and the conversations especially with the real citizens of Atmore who welcomed us warmly. We toured your countryside with Mayor Shell and saw cotton fields that none of us had seen before – and oh yes, later we did use our umbrellas – but it rains up North too. More often it snows. The "Advance" coverage was terrific. Then, we ended the evening with a time of fellowship and a great meal at Tommy Gerlach's concluding our night by singing to Howard and Nannette Shell, a parody of "Thanks for the Memory" – and we meant it for them and for all of you – we "thank you so much"!
YMCA Folksmarch Coordinator