We know better

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Alabama gets a fair amount of negative press around the country, as I’m sure you all know. There’s the frequent network TV news shots of yet another trailer park being blown away.

(You can bet the most inarticulate and dentally challenged member of that beleaguered community will be hauled before the camera for the inevitable on-the-spot news report.)

And where DO they find all those pitiful souls that populate the talk show airwaves?

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I happen to know we have plenty of citizens that have been to a dentist, can speak decent English and are not married to their brother/cousin Bubba Joe Bob (who wrestles alligators on the side).

My sister Sara, the world traveler of the family, told me a comedian performing on one of her recent cruise journeys was poking plenty of fun at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

(Seems he couldn’t imagine all those illiterate hayseeds &uot;down heah&uot; butchering the Bard’s immortal words.)

&uot;Obviously the guy didn’t know what he was talking about…I doubt he’s ever even BEEN to Alabama,&uot; Sara noted disgustedly.

Personally, I’d love to bring this guy here and let him see what we’re really all about—’cause we know better, don’t we?

I’m sure he’d be floored to find out that Montgomery has a truly world-class theater complex with award-winning productions throughout the year. He’d be even more astounded to find little ol ‘ Greenville has an extremely active Arts Council that brings top-notch productions to the stage of the Ritz Theatre every season.

He’d be amazed to see the wealth of artistic talent displayed by our Fine Arts League members in their shows. That sarcastic mouth of his would likely drop open at the sight of the multitude of (well-read) books and variety of high-tech services available at our beautiful public library.

(Yes, we CAN actually read.

Some of us even write, too.)

As for the new public high school, well, he’d probably think he’d died—and gone to a more &uot;civilized&uot; state—-when he saw that gorgeous facility and met the outstanding faculty and students.

We may be a poor state, yet we are generous beyond compare. I’d have him take a gander at the giving, unselfish hearts that tutor kids, visit hospitals and nursing homes, help animals in crisis.

I’d let him try to count those that participate in church, club, work and school outreach programs.

Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, The United Fund—-all are generously supported and funded by ordinary Alabama folks, like you and me.

I’d teach him we’re a place that offers history lessons daily, roses in December and hospitality the year round.

That’s not news to us, of course—we know better.

Angie Long is the Lifestyles reporter for the Greenville Advocate.

You can reach her by leaving a message at (334) 382-5145 or by e-mail at along@alaweb.com.