No buffalo, but this is home

Published 9:14 pm Monday, August 9, 2004

By Staff
Chuck Bodiford
Every Tuesday at noon I meet my fellow Rotarians at the Atmore Community Hospital where we catch up with one another and hear a presentation on a particular subject. Before the presentation is given by the speaker that week, we follow through with three rituals. First, is the invocation, where we ask our Maker to guide us and to help us. Second, we say the Pledge of Allegiance facing the flag of our country, the United States of America. And finally, we sing a song usually lead by Dennis Bilbo.
Last week, Dennis was not able to be with us; however, he sent word of what song to sing, which was "Home on the Range." As we sang through the lyrics, they began to hold not necessarily new meanings, but the lyrics reinforced what I was already feeling. Atmore is home and will always be home, even to those of us who had to leave for one reason or another.
Oh! give me a gale of the Solomon vale,
Where the life streams with buoyancy flow;
On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever,
Any poisonous herbage doth grow.
How often at night, when the heavens were bright,
With the light of the twinkling stars
Have I stood here amazed, and asked as I gazed,
If their glory exceed that of ours.
These above two paragraphs are taken directly from the song, and in my opinion describe Atmore almost perfectly. "Where life streams with buoyancy flow," can be directly compared to the fighting spirit the residents and businesses have displayed. As a town and a community our candle has stayed lit, even when we felt at times the world around us was getting darker.
Yes, at times we do have poison or problems to sometimes pop-up, which is referenced by the lyrics that read, "On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever, Any poisonous herbage doth grow." Even if we do not want to admit it, all communities, even ours, will experience their share of problems from time to time. However, I would have to say not all communities handle their problems as well as we have.
And lastly, the last lyric on the bottom graph asks, "If their glory exceed that of ours." What the writer is referencing, I believe is other homes or in this case cities. My answer would have to be no, there are no other towns that are as glorious. In my opinion, Atmore stands at the threshold of greatness, and this greatness is only a reality because of the people that live here in our fair city.
So I'll leave you with one quote that is timeless, and has lasted over several generations. With three clicks of her heels, Judy Garland summed it up saying, "There's no Place Like Home."
Chuck Bodiford is an Atmore native and publisher of the Advance. He may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox