The town that can, and does
We've all heard the story of the little train that could.
You know the one, where the small train, which had never travelled over the mountain, kept telling himself that he could make it.
"I think I can; I think I can; I think I can."
That saying has been motivating the underdog in us for years. That saying is how we approach things in East Brewton.
While many communities are circling their wagons during these tough economic times, East Brewton has been growing in many ways. The past year has been a busy one here, as we've undertaken many projects to help improve our community.
A couple of the more visible projects that took place in East Brewton recently were the completion of a new football stadium at W.S. Neal Middle School and our new street signs.
The stadium actually opened last season, to great fanfare including a visit from then-governor Don Siegelman. And with their new home, the Blue Eagles have enjoyed success on the field, narrowly missing the playoffs last year, and getting off to a 4-1 start this season.
The street signs, which are being gradually installed at intersections all over town, have been a huge hit with residents and visitors alike. And the positive comments keep coming in about our new wooden signs.
Shoppers in East Brewton received good news when Fred's Discount Store opened its location on Forrest Ave. And based on the crowds in the parking lot, sales appear to be going strong. Just a little further up the road, Horton's Insurance opened its new location.
One complaint we hear often about our community is that the kids don't have anywhere to go. In a public-private project, East Brewton is in the process of completing a new Little League and Babe Ruth baseball complex across from the middle school. The new fields, which will be ready for play next spring, were sorely needed and will help in scheduling games.
Additionally, they will be available for tournament play, which means bringing people from out-of-town into East Brewton. Those visitors will eat at our restaurants, gas up their cars and purchase other goods and services in our town. And that means new tax revenue for the city.
But East Brewton is about more than new buildings and businesses. For years, the city has played host to this area's annual Fourth of July celebration. The event, which opens with a spades tournament and wraps up in the evening with a fireworks display in Historic Fort Crawford, draws hundreds of people to the park on the banks of Murder Creek.
A couple of important dates are quickly approaching. On October 10, W.S. Neal will hold its annual homecoming activities. This year's activities will include a pair of pep rallies in addition to the annual parade, which begins at 1 p.m. in front of the high school. There will be a general pep rally just before the parade begins as well as an alumni pep rally beginning at 11 a.m. in the O.C. Weaver auditorium.
Two weeks later, the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles tee it up with cross-creek rival T.R. Miller in the annual
Battle of Murder Creek to be played at the Eagles' new home. This year's game promises to be barn-burner, with a potential spot in the playoffs on the line.
In December, the annual Christmas Parade will begin in East Brewton before travelling to downtown Brewton. The parade is sponsored by the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce, which represents East Brewton as well as Brewton.
After chugging away, and working harder than he thought he could, the little engine did make it over th at mountain. He thought he could, and he did.
East Brewton is a lot like that little train engine. We find projects we hope to accomplish, and then through hard work and positive thinking, we make those dreams turn into reality.
I invite you to come visit East Brewton and see our progress for yourself. I know you'll be impressed.