Crenshaw County coverage feels like coming home

Published 8:56 pm Thursday, November 3, 2022

Before joining The Luverne Journal staff, morning commutes took me up the road to Montgomery. For more than 20 years, I spent most of my waking hours “in town” and away from my rural home in Lapine.

During my last week with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the newspaper announced I had joined the staff. Before I had the chance to tell my neighbor, Oleta Owens, the good news, friends had read the announcement and called her to share the story.

Oleta and I met that Thursday evening at the fence dividing our properties, and before I could say a word, she said, “I heard you are writing for The Luverne Journal.”

And that’s when I knew that I had come home.

Oleta, a long-time Lapine resident, serves as president of the Crenshaw County Historical Society. Our afternoon fence-line conversation later shifted to my living room, where we spent hours discussing Crenshaw County — who my people were, the history of county churches, who was related to whom, happenings in the area, and so on.

Days later, I learned a local dining favorite, Coco Momma’s Family Dining, would reopen. I signed on to cover the news.

Soon, without hardly any effort, I learned more about Crenshaw County and her people than, as we like to say, “you can shake a stick at.”

Rural Alabamians tend to identify by our family history. As I began attending local events and introducing myself, I found myself sharing my family history related to Crenshaw County.

It felt very much like a homecoming. Everywhere I went held a distant memory, a vision of an experience, either mine or one I had heard at the knee of Uncle Henry, or Aunt Huldah, or one of the other Crenshaw County natives who invested in my childhood.

Each new acquaintance held a connection to my family and the places I love so much.

Last night, I found myself going through old photos, recalling summers spent with Cato and Pettus aunts and uncles on what is now called Best Road. I relived Crenshaw photo memories, not mine, but my mother’s, her mother’s, her grandmother’s.

I’m glad to be home and to get acquainted with you, our Crenshaw County readers. I’m finding we have much in common. We may even be related.

 I can’t wait to find out.