Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy 100th Lee County

I have been getting to know the Sanford area for just a few weeks now, mostly through the confines of my new job at Central Carolina Hospital. Getting to know my co-workers at CCH has led me to believe that the Sanford area is just plain full of nice people. So, it was good to have an event like the Lee County Centennial Celebration to confirm that this area is loaded with genuinely kind folks.
(Above: The Railroad House at Depot Park)

I approached the celebration with a good sense of small town euphoria, eager to see what this area is all about. The celebration was starting just as I arrived and already several hundred
people had gathered. I was instantly drawn to my favorite music - bluegrass - which was being played by The High Countrymen. These guys played some great tunes and had that older bluegrass style that I enjoy. Not too folksy, not too modern. I think Bill Monroe would have tapped his toes to the high country sounds.

There were lots of old cars on display, which was kind of neat as it added to the historical feel of the event.

Several of the old cars were lined up right by the train tracks by the park.

These old fellows took in a pair of vintage vehicles.

A good number of people dressed the part. Lee County was named for Robert E. Lee, so several came in Civil War attire. I spoke with these kind folks for a few minutes and they shared with me that they just dressed up for fun. Neither of them were affiliated with a reenactment group or historical society, they just enjoyed donning the fancy duds from time to time. I got to speak with at least a dozen folks. From the owners of WLHC 103.1, whose offices were just a block or two away (they invited me to stop by some time, which I will do), to a Lieutenant with the local Sheriff's office, everyone I spoke with was very accommodating and helpful.

There was a Robert E. Lee look alike contest. I bet this guy won it. Robert E. Lee is a historical figure I have always admired, even amidst all of the controversy.

My wife says I can never go anywhere without running in to someone I know. We have seen people we know in Atlanta, Orlando, on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, California, and Mexico. I bumped in to 21st District Superior Court Judge Ron Spivey just before he spoke at the celebration. We knew each other back in my hometown of Winston-Salem, and played on a summer league basketball team together a few years back. He has a pretty good jump shot. Spivey grew up in Sanford and spoke of how proud he was to still be considered part of the Sanford area. I think he has a good reason for that. Sanford strikes me as a neat little town.

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