Located halfway between Lineville and Ashland on Alabama 9, the official address is One Bob Riley Drive.
Mr. Riley, the best governor our state has had since Big Jim Folsom, is the speaker.
About the only “down side” is the new school not only marks the closing of Lineville and Ashland High Schools, but does away with the traditional “Clay Bowl” football game between the two.
Fact remains, however, there are some things more important than football and better education for our kids is way ahead there. So, go take a look and be proud . . .
I knew Bobby and once did a column on his flirtation with the big time; he even appeared on the Grand Ole Opry a few times.
At the time I met Bobby, he had left music and was living on old U. S. 78 just east of Oxford. It was a long visit and, as a country music fan, I was a good listener over the span of a long afternoon.
Bobby never really made it big, like a Hank Williams or an Eddy Arnold, but he got a look at the ring and was a really fine singer. At one point – I can’t find it at the moment – I had one of his albums, the one that included his biggest hit, “You’re The Reason,” which topped out at No. 4 country and No. 11 on Billboard’s top 100 back in 1961.
Like I said, “Bobby Edwards” never really made it big, but he had a dream, he chased that dream, and he had a taste of the fruit.
That’s pretty good . . . and he was a very nice person.
James Tompkins, who started the annual singing as a birthday celebration for his mother, the late Mattie Bell Tompkins, is not doing all that well recently . . . some health problems.
An exception today . . .
1. The twins, Jonas and Charisa Cobb, who were born Tuesday at Jacksonville Hospital are (best I can figure) my third cousins. Parents are David and Missy Cobb of Heflin.
2. They were born July 31, this year. I may have mentioned in an earlier column (Sunday, I think), that July 31, every year, is also my birthday.
In my other life as sports editor of this newspaper, Troy was printer (back shop) in the days of hot lead.
Troy spent years “making up” my sports pages and his patience and willingness made our sports pages as good as any in the state.
So, happy birthday, pal . . .
I say “Old Bulldog” because he is not only a big Georgia Bulldog fan, but one of his many degrees is from the U. of G.
George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org