Looking back as we head forward
Chuck Bodiford Publisher
It is hard to believe that it's over. As last Wednesday closed the year 2003, Thursday began the next. Looking back it's been a year marked with change, both good and bad for our town. Every once in awhile when I have a free minute, I like to look through what we call "bound volumes" here at the office. These are books that are made up of a year's worth of newspapers. They show a quick snapshot of events that have helped shape our town.
Looking through the books, it is easy to see the negatives that have affected our community one way or another. The first story that seemed to just jump off a page was "Local Kmart to Close". Others included "City Council rescinds tax contribution to area schools" and "State tells BOE to expect $1M cut". These are headlines are terrifying when flipping through the book, but with each passing story a feeling of pride and triumph comes over me. Those stories just mentioned were all stories printed in January 2003, and we're still here kicking. No matter what was thrown at us whether expected or unexpected we as a community came out as the victors; we are survivors.
As I continue looking through the book other things begin to show. Not all things that happened in Atmore where bad; many were good. Examples of these are "Atmore raises $65,000 for Relay for Life," "Old Kmart place sold – large Freds coming" and "Annexation plan stirs emotions." These stories show Atmore is not just surviving, but growing.
As a community we have stood together and made a statement that screams, "Yes we will do what we feel is necessary to make sure that our children and grandchildren have Atmore to call their home." This was most noticeable when we accepted the tax referendum presented to Escambia County, with an overwhelming shout of "Yes!"
Now that 2004 is upon us I can't help but wonder what does the future have in store for us and our town. Will it be anything like the year that just closed? Change continues to be a reminder that time is always passing and always will. And no matter what happens, Atmore will always come out on top and be that much stronger.
Chuck Bodiford is an Atmore native and publisher of the Atmore Advance. He may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org