The fate of our beautiful town doesn’t hang in the balance three days into the new year, but being named the site of the Southeast Alabama Veterans Home would be an adrenaline shot the likes of which Eufaula hasn’t experienced since it was proclaimed the cotton capital pre-Civil War.
Therefore, right off the bat, even before most have given up on New Year’s resolutions, Jan. 3 could be a day that changes the outlook for Eufaula.
Not that Eufaula can’t survive, what with its spectacular lake, historic district and state park — all of which are second to none — but getting the Veterans Home would be like adding fertilizer to a garden, escalators for the walking impaired, and Nick Saban to you coaching staff.
If Jan. 3 is indeed when an announcement is coming, there should be a declared moment of prayer on Jan. 2 because nothing could change the prettiest village that claims both the Wiregrass and the Blackbelt as its home like getting this project. Not only would it mean a substantial amount of quality jobs, but we would have new residents of the highest caliber moving to our town.
Thanks to the Hero Banners that already adorn Eufaula Avenue, it’s obvious Eufaula treats its Veterans like no place else. With things we have to offer other towns reportedly in the mix can’t — or don’t — it seems like an easy choice, but I’m probably biased.
As for other things to look forward to in 2020, how about ...
» A rain-free week for the annual Eufaula Pilgrimage;
» Another stellar turnout — and weather — for Eufaula- Fest, which made a triumphant return to the Seth Lore District in 2019;
» Lunker bass galore as well as more of the same successful fishing tournaments for Eufaula, helping keep hotels and restaurants hopping while they’re in town;
» I know it was extremely hard work and a break is needed for at least a year (or two), but how I’d like to see a state tournament or even a World Series again return to Eufaula after the overwhelming success of the event last summer hosted by the Parks & Recreation Department;
» A new officiating setup for the guys in stripes calling games in the Alabama High School Association. I mean, something has got to change;
» Another state championship for a local school — Lakeside won two in 2019; the AISA baseball title and the Alabama Bass Nation High School fishing tournament;
» Another change in the right direction for Eufaula City Schools Superintendent Joe Brannan’s greeting at department meetings. ECS’ continued climbing of the academic ladder forced Brannan, who took over a school district that had been dropped to the bottom of the barrel, to put immediate and long-term plans into action. In less than a year, he no longer has to open meetings with “CDFF,” and can now say “CCCC,” with plans in raising those grades even higher this year;
Go Tigers ... and Chiefs ... and Jaguars ... and Hornets ... but most of all, Welcome Veterans!