Thank you to everyone who attended the cemetery stroll last weekend and thank you for your generous donations that will enable us to place a historical marker at the front of the cemetery.
An event of this size does not happen without a lot of help. We hope that we have not missed anyone.
First, none of this could have gotten off the ground without our actors, and we are overwhelmed that these busy people give so freely of their time and talent to make this event possible.
Kelly Goodowens, who is always willing to help us out as he did last stroll as Dr. W.H. Payne, and did such a great job as Gene Airheart, meeting with Gene’s daughter to understand how to portray her father.
Pat Presley, who put so much time and effort into talking to friends and family so he could become Sgt. Sammy Baker, complete with a nearly life-size photo of the boxer.
Traci Phillips, who does such a great job capturing the personalities of our striking county women, Virginia May Brown this year and Lucille Benson last year.
Bunny Mountain and Joan Reeves who portrayed our hostesses for the event, Lucy and Jessie Sue Bynum. How nice to see them brought to life. Joan was a very memorable Babs Deal last year.
Amy McCamy Patterson, who, in the spite of recent tragedy, pulled together such a great, authentic-looking Mary Texas Hurt Garner and told us more about our youngest state elected official.
Jerry King, who channelled Bob Gentry in the Judge’s overalls and shirt, both of the men consummate story tellers. Jerry was the Unknown Man last year.
The Hodges cousins—Don, Sonny, and Doug Hodges—who recreated their fathers Mess, Charles, and R.L., whose skill as pharmacists was trusted by two generations of Scottsboro families and whose talent for practical jokes left us many stories.
Jason Johnson, a member of the Mountain Valley Players, who gave us his time and talent to bring to life the sad story of McKinley Kirby, gassed in the last three weeks of World War I.
Alexander Edge, a NACC student from their excellent theater program, who looked so striking as Daniel Martin’s son James Knox Polk Martin, and told us his Civil War story.
Nat Cisco, another veteran of last year, who stood by the headstone bought with last year’s donations and told us why we had used your funds to memorialize the unmarked gravesite of Deputy US Marshal Ed Moody. Our go-to “lawman killed in the line of duty,” (he was Matt Wann last year), Nat did a great job becoming Marshal Moody.
Greg Bell, whose voice comes to our kitchens every morning over WWIC, did a great job as University of Alabama football player John O’Linger, telling us about being recruited by young Bear Bryant, along with teammates David “Bull” Webb and Pat Trammell. Greg brought the research he did to have O’Linger added to the county Sports Hall of Fame this year to his portrayal.
Miles and Carter Hodges, proving that history is not just for those who have already lived it, brought two sons of Dr. James Monroe Parks to life and told us the story of Robert T. Scott and their family’s tragic migration to Texas and return to Scottsboro. Miles, you might recall, was little Tom Shipp last year, with his mother, Sarah.
For those of us who never met Red Sharp, Dicky Holder was a great substitute. He told us the stories that make Red Sharp a local legend with the skill of a practiced story teller.
Dr. Gary Speers, who brought his oratory skills as a minister and his broad knowledge of African-American history in Jackson County, to bring Wiley Whitfield to life.
Brad Yates, who so skillfully gave us first-hand knowledge of his grandfather, Cecil Word, a man who left such a mark on Scottsboro.
Thank you to the Bynum Foundation for generously funding the cemetery stroll.
Thank you to Dr. David Campbell and Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) for administering our grant and lending us the time and talents of Blake Wilhelm and Julia Everett. Thank you to the NACC Theater Department for costume assistance.
Thank you to Kent Jones and Justin Chambless who brought the golf carts from NACC and drove our visitors who needed a little extra help. And these same nice guys helped us clean up when the stroll was over.
Thank you to our volunteers, who kept things moving smoothly, manning the gates, passing our programs, tending to the needs of the actors, and passing out bottled water to our visitors. Thank you to Jennifer Petty of the Scottsboro Jackson Heritage Center; to Tammy Bradford, Susan Fisher, and Lennie Cisco of the JCHA; to Beth Presley; and to the Scottsboro High School Junior Civitan Club, the NACC presidential hosts and the NACC library personnel.
Thank you to the city of Scottsboro for allowing us to close Cedar Hill for the stroll and providing garbage service.
Thank you to the Scottsboro Police Department for keeping an officer with us the entire time, making the hazardous traffic along Cedar Hill Drive safe for our considerable pedestrian traffic.
Thank you Dr. Jose Reyes, Ken Holder and the Scottsboro City School System for allowing us a planning session and keeping our tentative reservations for Carter Gym in the event of rain, which thankfully we did not need.
Thank you, Britt Meeks, our very competent JCHA videographer and Jonathan Nappier, the NACC videographer, who did such a great job taping our actors and producing the archival images of the stroll.
Thank you, Beth Presley, for cleaning the headstones of the people on the stroll, this year as she did last year.
Thank you to Benny Bell and his crew at Cedar Hill who had absolutely manicured the grounds of the cemetery and provided such a pleasant setting for the stroll.
Thank you to Jackson County Sentinel, The Clarion, the Scottsboro Electric Power Board and WWIC radio for publicity.
Thank you to Unclaimed Baggage for allowing our visitors to use your parking facilities.
Thank you to Highlands EMS for being on hand in case of an emergency.
Thank you to the wonderful folks at the Scottsboro and Jackson County Rescue Squad. They opened the armory and provided a place for our actors to meet before and after the stroll. They fed us hot dogs and kept our visitors safe parking cars. They even returned Sunday evening in the darkness to help an actor search for a lost ring. Way above and beyond.
It was a wonderful event. It does indeed take a village to put on such an event, and we need to remember all these wonderful folks who provided the means for such a pleasant afternoon of history at Cedar Hill
Blake Wilhelm and Julia Everett
Northeast Alabama Community College
David and Annette Bradford
Jackson County Historical Association.