Back in Hartselle after all these yearsPublished 3:22pm Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Sometimes just “passing through” a place can change your life. That’s what happened to me when I spent a little time in Hartselle during the summer of 1962 more than fifty years ago.
My brother Clif Knight had just taken a job at the Hartselle Enquirer. I was looking for something to do with my summer before going off to school in Louisville, Kentucky. So he and I struck a deal. I would work with him for a couple of months—filling in for vacationing Enquirer employees—and then be on my way to “bigger and better things” in Yankeeland.
But I hadn’t counted on meeting the girl of my dreams during my brief Hartselle stopover. Here is where I met Dorothy Jean Boster while attending a youth event at Hartselle’s First Baptist Church. She and I were married a year later, and we have been together ever since. So as it turned out, my summer in Hartselle was a turning point in my life and one of the best things that ever happened to me.
And now, the two of us are back. We have just moved here from Nashville, Tennessee. Some things have changed since we left Hartselle a half-century ago—new businesses along Highway 31, steady population growth, new schools and parks, a major super highway known as I-65, and the transformation of downtown into an antique shopper’s paradise.
But some things about Hartselle haven’t changed. The people are just as friendly and helpful as they have always been. You can still drive over most of the town in just a few minutes. There’s a strong sense of community among Hartsellians that you don’t find in many cities these days, even in the South that is known for its pride of place. And yes, Clif Knight is still working at the Hartselle Enquirer, and the train that runs right through the middle of downtown is just as loud as ever!
Dorothy and I are delighted to be back in town after all these years. Here is where we hope to spend the final years of our lives—among family and friends in “The City of Southern Hospitality.”