Alabama’s Small Towns Might Just Be Charming

Unlike other times when I am about to travel, I’m not feeling like I’m forgetting something or feeling disorganized. Part of this comes from flying out at a leisurely time, I depart for Alabama at 12:30 pm and tonight we’ll stay at the historic Battle House Hotel in Mobile. I remember well a visit to Atlanta for a tradeshow and asking my old friend Harry if we could go out and see some of the small towns nearby. “There ain’t any,” he said, and it was true. The whole area outside of the city is wall-to-wall suburbs, strip malls and nothing resembling a small southern town.

But this week’s trip is titled “Small Towns and Downtowns Tour,” so I am expecting to see some of these cherished small towns that I love. That’s why I like South Deerfield so much…a little burg with everything you need, from pharmacy to video store, hardware store, general store and of course, cafe. On Friday night when we assembled at the Paradise City Tavern, among us was a man who doesn’t own a car. He walks to work and pops around the city on foot, and seems to have a great time doing it. His life is lived almost exclusively in the bubble of Northampton.

I have no idea if these small towns like Fairhope, Point Clear and Monroeville will be as charming to me as my home village, or if they’ll be strip malled like Hadley. As always I hope for the best and expect that they will be better than I think. I’ll shoot photos and video to share with you along the way.