In just a few days (Dec.13), our county will celebrate its 200th birthday. What comes to mind when you think of Henry County? Is it the sound of peanut dryers in mid-September or the sight of oceans of white cotton in late October? Is it the song of a whippoorwill on a warm summer evening? Or the roar of a Husqvarna chain saw as daylight breaks on a timber crew? Maybe it’s the sharp sound of a .270 Winchester as you down that 180-pounder on opening day or the echo of a Remington 12-gauge as you bag a big gobbler on a cool, late April morning? Or could it be the pregame nervousness you feel just before the Iron Bowl’s opening kickoff, when families with split allegiances often watch from separate rooms?

What does Henry County mean to you? What’s our greatest attribute? I recently posed that question to T. Larry Smith, the man who knows more about Henry County than most anyone I know. His response was immediate — the same as mine and probably the same as almost everyone reading this column. It’s the people — all 17,302 of us.

It matters not if you live in or near Balkum, Browns Cross Roads, Capps, Edwin, Graball, Granberry Cross Roads, Lawrenceville, Otho, Screamer, Shorterville, Tumbleton, Wills Cross Roads or White Oak or maybe Newville, HaIeburg, Abbeville or Headland.

We’re all one; we’re family. During this holiday season, happy birthday, Henry County. May God’s blessing be ever upon you.

Dates to remember include:

» Dec. 5 — Headland Christmas tree lighting and parade — 5:30 p.m. in downtown Headland.

» Dec. 6 — Wiregrass Forum — 7:30 a.m. Ozark.

» Dec. 6-8 — Snowball Derby weekend — Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola.

» Dec. 9 — Abbeville Christmas Parade — 6 p.m. in downtown Abbeville.

» Dec. 10 — December administrative meeting — 9 a.m. in the probate courtroom.

» Dec. 10 — December commission meeting — 10:30 a.m. in the probate courtroom.

» Dec. 16 — H.C.H.R. board meeting — 1 p.m. at Azalea Court.

» Dec. 18 — Joint A.C.C.A./A.P.J.A. legislative planning meeting — montgomery.

» Dec. 24/25 — Merry Christmas (Henry County Courthouse will be closed).

David Money is probate judge and chairman of the Henry County Commission.

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