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COLUMN: Time to visit county’s small towns

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Abbeville for the first time.

I didn’t see much and I wasn’t there long, but what I saw impressed me.

Off the main drag, Mississippi Highway 7 out of Oxford, I made a right where it told me to head to the Abbeville downtown business district. At first I was a splash confused because it looked like I was headed right into the country with trailers on each side of me. The scenery was beautiful, with many, many trees overhead lining the drive. I also saw plenty of kudzu, which after having the stubborn vine in my back yard when I lived in Dadeville, Alabama, I savor its beauty, respect its root system and despise its persistence.

Coming into town I saw signs of a small community: a local fire house, a business or two and a town hall.

Abbeville acquired an old, historic church to repurpose for a town hall a few years ago and received a grant for refurbishing it. However, it turns out the church was so riddled with termites the project had to be halted. Luckily, the grant could still be used for a town hall and the leaders and residents have been in a nice, new building since 2010.

Pulling into town you could see fresh pavement and the smell from Delta Steak Company was incredible. I hope plenty of people from Lafayette County head out that way, because that eight-miles stretch from Oxford went by quickly.

On both the drive in and out I saw people walking the road to get in their nightly exercise. The people gave welcome waves to the stranger driving through with a Lee County tag. A Labrador retriever was walking with one resident and frolicking along playing with sticks and having a grand time.

To ensure those roads stay safe the small town has a police officer who will write tickets to speeders and send them to the town’s municipal court.

A lot can be accomplished in a small town of 400 or so folks to make it a quaint, friendly place to live. Everyone I encountered was laid-back and welcoming.

That is my next project as your new newspaper editor. I plan to visit Lafayette County’s communities and small towns and get to know its residents and leaders.

I want to get in the paper all the positives you have going on and let everyone know what’s so great about your spot in the hills of Lafayette County. Be ready for a phone call from me, but if you have something exciting going on or just want to tell me how wonderful your spot in this beautiful county is, reach out. I’m ready to travel.

Stephanie Rebman is editor of the Oxford EAGLE. Contact her at stephanie.rebman@oxfordeagle.com.