It is time to get geared up for Williams' Station Day.
The call has gone out for artisans and crafters to help make the event as rich and full-flavored as the history of Atmore itself.
The event is held to celebrate that history, and has done so for the past 12 years. This year looks to be a humdinger of an event, with blues performer Roger 'Hurricane' Wilson headlining. And not to be missed is Zydeco artist Roy Carrier out of Lawtell, La.
The people who put this event together work hard months, sometimes a full year, in advance, to make it a fun-filled, affordable family oriented day.
The community gets behind it, and businesses such as Pepsi Cola, United Bank, Atmore Community Hospital, and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians lend it their full support.
And in keeping with the historical aspect of the event, the storytellers will be out in full force, regaling listeners with tales of growing up in Alabama when things were a lot simpler.
The history of Atmore would not be complete without tales and talk of Railroad Bill, the bigger-than-life character who, legend has it, was known to reappropriate funds from others to himself.
Jerry Daniel has taken that legend and turned it into entertainment value in story and song.
And of course there will be food galore, as well as a miniature train rides and displays.
There is still time for crafters and vendors to reserve booth space and they may be made by calling the Chamber of Commerce office.
Development moves ahead
It was with a glad heart that we received the news of a funding bill with $500,000 in it for development of the I-65 industrial park property. The funds are for building roads, sewer and water facilities.
Sen. Richard Shelby, instrumental in securing the federal dollars, said he is hopeful that the development will spur economic growth in the Atmore area.
We second that notion. Escambia County has been hard hit by the closure of Vanity Fair and Kmart, a double whammy of the economic sort that will take a while to recover from.
While other hometown merchants have done much to fill the void for shoppers, those lost jobs are hard to replace.
An industrial complex, perhaps a support plant manufacturing parts for the auto makers coming in to the Greenville area, would go a long way to make up for those lost jobs.
And anyone who is in doubt that Atmore and the surrounding area can compete in that kind of market should take a look at Swift Lumber, the 'local lumberyard' that is sending $2.5 million worth of lumber to Cuba.
We can compete, and with the dollars to develop the area, we can grow and make life here better for all of our citizens.