Ezell Dickerson walked the halls of the Calhoun County Ken Joiner Administration Building for the last time as its security guard Thursday.
The 66-year-old retired after serving in that role for a decade.
But it was never really a job, Dickerson said, speaking after being showered with well-wishes and tearful goodbyes from county workers during the County Commission meeting on Thursday.
“You’ve touched a lot of people’s lives,” said Commission Chairman Tim Hodges, speaking to Dickerson.
“I don’t have enough time to tell you all the things,” Dickerson said, wiping away a tear.
“He can always tell when something’s wrong, and he always knows what to say,” said Melissia Wood, assistant county administrator. “The first time I met him in the hall he became my favorite person.”
Several workers stood during the meeting to thank Dickerson for his kindness and caring, many wiping away tears as they did so. Dickerson could soothe crying babies in the arms of their parents in line in the tag office and brighten a worker’s day by humming a tune or offering a prayer, the employees said.
For Janice Howard, administrative secretary, it was sweet potatoe pie. Dickerson was known to bring treats he knew that workers liked. He’d bring four biscuits every morning to four particular workers and cook pancakes for many on other days.
The son of a World War I veteran, Dickerson said he served proudly in the U.S. Army for 20 years, completing tours in Egypt and Germany before retiring from the military and spending another 18 years working at Marvin's Building Materials. He took the job at the county building at the behest of longtime county commissioner J.D. Hess, Dickerson said, and quickly made it his calling to share a kind word and the Gospel with those he met.
“Names are hard to remember,” Dickerson said, but souls are recognizable instantly.
With his days at the county building over, Dickerson said he plans to continue his work in the church. He’s a member of the Snow Creek District Baptist Association where he’s been recognized for raising the most money for disaster assistance programs for the organization. His faith guides him daily, he explained.
Dickerson said what he’ll miss most about working there is those quiet one-on-one moments with workers as they started their day, when he’d tell them that ‘today is a good day.”
“Because everyday is a good day,” he said.
In other business, the commission:
Announced that Saturday, Jan. 21 will be free day at the Calhoun County Landfill. All Calhoun County residents can drop off at no charge appliances, yard waste, shingles, scrap metal, carpet and remodeling waste on that day. There will be a charge for dumping household garbage and tires, however.
Hired Kenneth Means as part-time security guard for the county administration building.
Approved invoices for payment for cleanup of properties at 4109 Springhill Dr. and 822 W 54th St. in Anniston, and 1016 Alexandria Rd. in Weaver.
Declared as nuisances properties at 1009 and 1028 Carter St. in Anniston, 260 Logging Rd. in Ohatchee, 1231 Edgewood Dr. in Weaver and 522 Hollingsworth Dr. in Anniston.
Approved the 2017 grower’s permit and farmer’s market rules and regulations.
Declared as surplus three Glock .40 caliber pistols, to be purchased by the Calhoun County Deputy Sheriff's Association to be given to retiring sheriff’s deputies Kennith NeSmith, Clay Battles and Kenneth Means.