This is an open letter to the people of Madison County:
In 1983 my father and mother, Jesse and Vera Anderson, moved to Madison County from Washington DC. I was 14 years old when first I passed around the courthouse square in Danielsville. I have passed around that square many thousands of times since then and over the years our family has written its own history with all you.
My sister Denise married a Madison County native, Tony Brown; they have buried a son here and have two children who have graduated from high school here.
Two years ago I buried my father in Bluestone Cemetery and now as this year draws to an end, I find myself packing my mother’s house as she closes the Madison County chapter of her life to move near my oldest sister who lives in Florida.
But this letter isn’t about the Anderson family; it’s about the people of Madison County. Since the day we arrived, the community has welcomed us with opened arms. Larry and Jackie Peirce arrived at our front door with groceries before we had the moving van all the way in the driveway. Pastor Ray Jenkins arrived with an invitation to church and youth program before the end of our first day. It wasn’t long before we had spent Thanksgiving with William, Nina and April Hitchcock, made a family tradition of the Colbert Fourth of July parade and worked alongside many of you — our adoptive community.
My moving away many years ago and visiting once or twice a year since has provided me with a unique perspective of this marvelous community. Madison County is full of people with character who live values they believe in and which they teach from generation to generation. I still hear the words “yes sir” and “yes mam,” see hands wave from a passing car and genuine smiles of kindness between strangers.
This letter is to thank all of you for being more than you have to be and most of what others try to be. When you live in a community like this one, sometimes it’s hard to see how special it is and how special you are. Make no mistake — you are special! Thank you for living what you believe and believing in yourselves and giving of the same to those around you. Recognize and cherish what you have.