Proud to say I’m from Walker County
by James Phillips
Apr 19, 2013 | 911 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Phillips
James Phillips
A couple of weeks ago, the Daily Mountain Eagle posted a simple question to its Facebook page: “How would you describe Walker County to a potential visitor, potential business owner and a potential resident?”

The Eagle received quite a response. While some of the feedback was positive, the majority was negative. Area crime and drug activity were mentioned multiple times. Coruption within area leadership and a lack of high-paying jobs were also brought up multiple times.

Several of those comments can be read below.

I grew up in Walker County — and not just any part of the county. I was raised in the Phillipstown/Stacks Bottom area of Empire.

As a teenager, I was like many others and wanted to move as far away from Walker County as possible. I didn’t think there was anything to do here, and I didn’t see a bright future here at all. I planned to go to college out of state and rarely visit this place for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I fell in love and those thoughts changed.

I have lived in Jefferson County for about a decade now. Our larger neighbor to the east definitely isn’t in any better shape than we are, especially when it comes to things like crime and coruption. We’re actively looking to move back to Walker County.

Working at the newspaper provides me with an interesting point of view concerning Walker County. I have the opportunity to see the good, the bad and the ugly of the area.

In recent days, I’ve also noticed a couple of new Facebook pages — Walker County, Alabama and Why I love Walker County, Alabama. The first page shares memes that poke fun at the county, while the second page shares reasons that area residents love the county.

I think Walker County is a fantastic place. It’s full of amazing people who are doing their part to make not only our county, but also our world, a better place. Like anywhere, we do have our share of problems.

Is it OK to poke fun at some of our issues?

I think so. We need to have a sense of humor about our shortcomings.

I think it is also a great idea for people to share the positive aspects of our county.

As a newspaper, we have to highlight the good and the bad. We report facts as they happen. We also now have a separate product — Walker Magazine — to emphasize only positive things about our county.

I’m thankful I was raised in Walker County. I’m thankful to work in Walker County. I’m thankful that on a daily basis I get to meet the people who live here and attempt to tell their stories.

I try to portray the good and the bad of our county in a fair and honest way. In my eyes, the good that takes place in Walker County outweighs the bad by a large majority.

For those who like to focus on the negative aspects of Walker County, I think pointing out our flaws is essential to improving our quality of life here.

But it’s one thing to sit back and complain about the area. It’s another thing to do something about it.

I challenge all area residents to do all we can to make Walker County a better place. We need to make an impact now to improve our county for years to come.

James Phillips is editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He can be reached at 221-2840.