Area has more than meets the eye

Published 12:39 pm Thursday, July 28, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
Having grown up in this county, I spent most of my time growing up dreaming of how I would get out.
The conventional wisdom is that this county – and much of the south – has little to offer twenty-somethings looking to get ahead in the world, and I have for the most part been a firm believer in that.
But a funny thing happened on my way to the big city life – I started working here.
This job has afforded me a unique perspective on the wonderful things the area has to offer.
On only my second day on the job, I made a trip to the Turtle Point Environmental Science Center, and even now am still in awe that such a wonderful place exists relatively unnoticed in our area.
After working here for a couple of months, I made a trip to Little Rock to cover a junior rodeo event. That drive showed me at least a half-dozen places in the county I had always heard about but never seen, and the beautiful farmlands of Little Rock and Robinsonville were a sight to behold.
Recent assignments have sent me through Huxford and McCullough; places one could imagine living in in a simpler time, when life didn't happen in such a hurry.
Canoe has been a favorite stop of mine from the beginning. It seems every trip I make to Escambia Academy someone has a kind word to say.
Bratt and Walnut Hill, while I haven't spent much time in either, have also been quite accommodating to a poor, confused, and sometimes somewhat lost, reporter.
But of course, the focus of this job is on the city of Atmore, a city that has exceeded even my wildest expectations.
Much of my time is spent in the schools, and A.C. Moore, Rachel Patterson, Escambia County Middle, and Escambia County High have always welcomed me with open arms.
But the best part of this job, with the possible exception of going to the Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Baseball games, is the opportunity to meet the wonderful people in the area.
From day one, everyone I've come across has always been eager to help and steer me in the direction of a story. The best part, however, is that there are a few of you I like to talk to sometimes even if I don't need a story.
My budding love for this city even inspired me to stop by Sunday and check out a few churches, where my fianc/ and I were welcomed with open arms.
While almost anyone who knew me prior to taking this job could tell you I've been biding my time on getting out of town for practically my entire life, the opportunity to travel throughout, and meet the fine people within this county has made me wonder how I could've ever thought that way.
This may have gotten a bit on the rambling side, but I just wanted to take the opportunity to compliment the people I've come across. There's a lot to be proud of in this area, and one of these days perhaps more people will realize it.
Thanks for helping me do so.
Tim Cottrell is a staff reporter for the Atmore Advance. His column appears weekly.

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