April 25, 2012

Hanging Around This Town

"I been hanging around this town on a corner; I been bummin' around this old town so long; I been hanging around this town on a corner;
I been bummin' around this old town for way too long."~~~Counting Crows

I love the sign when you cross the state line that says;  "Welcome to the Shoals". I haven't checked, but I just decided I need to know just where more of those signs are. I know below where the Cellar Door was between Lexington, Alabama and Loretto,Tennessee there is a "Welcome to the Shoals" sign and another up Chishom Highway at the state line. Really a country girl, that was raised in the greatest part of the Shoals; Whitehead, Alabama. That means I could say I was from Rogersville if I wanted or I could be from Lexington. Whitehead is in the middle of those towns. Yes, Whitehead is part of the Shoals. There are five points of the road that intersect. County Road 76 crosses the Betty Ann Highway and County Road 55 aka The Nugent Hollow Road: all cross at the old Pettus' Store Building. FYI, that is East Lauderdale, as in the East Lauderdale News or as my grandmother called it The Little Rogersville Paper. I have now moved  to what we always called, "town." I still am not sure where the four cities of The Shoals begin and end. Well, the river makes Florence easy. The phrase, "across the river," is one that all of us that live in the Shoals uses. I love the ring of that phrase.  I should say "hanging around four towns." When you live in the Shoals it is hard to tell when you leave one city and enter one of the other three. Florence to Sheffield, is easy. Then the Muscle Shoals to Sheffield is a bit more complicated, to me. Most of my days I am in three of the four cities. Tuscumbia not so much, unless I just decide to take a longer route at lunch. There are so many issues in the four cities now that my ride to work is a summery of all that I read about every day. Reading anything about the area is one of my greatest interests. We have so many sources to be in the know about what is going on in the Shoals. So much more than just a newspaper. I really am positive that I know more news than the newspaper. This reminds me of the joke. What is black and white and red all over? The Shoals blogs are almost an addiction of mine. They contain tidbits that make me investigate to find out more. I had never heard of Sweetwater Mansion, but something, I wonder, got me driving around to see it for myself.  I pass Heathrow's signs to stop the Walmart. I pass the sign about the public meeting. The lavender planted at Sweet Magnolia Cafe is the prettiest I have ever seen. I don't know what Ken does, but it is so pretty. I planted some hoping mine will do that well. Then there was the hottest fireman I have ever seen out this morning at the Fire station in North Florence. Oh, well that ain't news, but I said out loud to myself "man that's a hot young fireman." There are the UNA students that are waiting for me to come along and let them walk across. I am amazed at how so many drivers do not stop when they see a student waiting to cross. On around this town, at the courthouse are the crosses that VOCAL have placed in memory of crime victims. Seeing those crosses this morning; I had never realized the number of victims. It enlightened me each cross representing a life. Then there is the line of people waiting to get in the courthouse and I often wonder if there is a big hearing, when there is a line waiting. Now, it is probably people that waited to the last of the month to get their car tags. Then there is the sign that Frank's Italian Restaurant has moved.  TVA Reservation that no longer has it's police. I wonder if the state troopers have considered that someone that has had a few at Outback might want to go,"across the river;" by way of cutting through the reservation; just saying. There are many more. I am amazed that how much I gather; I can pass almost any business, knowing some fact about it. Shoot, I see people and sometimes recognize them from The Hardtimes or Quad-Cities Daily. You so got to feel for them not being ready for a portrait; some with smiles on their face, black eyes, the one with those big buggy eyes and even the pretty young girls with tears. The pretty young girls hopefully will hate this and learn a lesson. Hopefully the best thing that could happen. The Shoals with never dull moment or dull people. "just hanging around this town for way too long."~~~Counting Crows

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