When we first moved to Columbus in 1970, I was not a happy camper. I probably drove my parents crazy because I so did not want to be in Columbus. It’s awfully tough to move during the summer of your junior and senior years in high school.
So Daddy would pack us up in the old station wagon every weekend and take us somewhere. Most of the time, it was just driving around, looking at different (and you’d better believe West Georgia/East Alabama was different for us at the time) towns and attractions.
We drove around the area now called Valley one Sunday. There were huge cotton mills and towns named Lanett, Shawmut and Langdale.
Now, the cotton mills are gone and that whole area just north of Columbus is called Valley.
After that day, I didn’t go back to the area until I went to interview some folks who started a theater company. I naturally got lost, but I finally found the Langdale Playhouse. I think it was Langdale.
That’s been a good dozen years ago or so. Maybe longer.
This weekend, there’s something called the Cotton Mill Reunion — Alabama Homecoming Event.
There’s the Cotton Ball at 7 p.m. Friday in the Old Tennis Court in Langdale to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the city of Valley.
Wow. Valley is only 30 years old.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, a historic market will be placed at Riverdale Mill. There will be events from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Activities will include community tents, a display of mill artifacts and memorabilia, storytelling by the Cotton Mill Players, contests and games and costumes.
What I think is going to be the most fun will be the naming of the former mill worker who traveled the longest distance, the oldest former mill worker, fastest yarn roller and most memorable mill character. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Of course, there will be arts and crafts for children and old-fashioned games.
Barbecue plates are $10.
The events are free.
For more information, call Martha Cato at 334-756-5228 or Barbara Brooks at 334-756-5232.
Whoops! Wrong person
In my column last week, I said the founders of the Columbus Jazz Society were Jan Hyatt, Sid Kaminsky and Paul Vander Gheynst.
I got a note from Jan saying I was wrong.
The third person is James Sparrow, who is now the professor of lower brass at Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, N.C.
“Vander was always very supportive of the Society but didn’t assist with its initiation,” Jan said in the e-mail. “James, Sid and I started the Society after Sid and I had discussed it for several years. It was modeled after the Hartford Jazz Society, Hartford, Ct. where I was a member in the 70s.”
Jim, I’m sorry for the mix-up.
But I sure am glad the CJS is still a very active group.
Sandra Okamoto, firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8580.