First off, I owe you an apology. All these years and I never looked your way– not even once. And there you were right in front of me, handsome, quiet, and bursting with pride. You never did care who liked you, did you?
I’m sorry I listened to others when they told me to steer clear. They were wrong. Remember that time a few years back when we brushed shoulders as I passed by? I should have given you a chance back then. But instead, I chose Louisiana. Louisiana! Loud and gritty, playing in some Zydeco band. A touch of charm but certainly no Southern manners. Not like you anyway. What was I thinking? In the end, the crawfish capital left me feeling dirty and broke. There you were sitting right next door with your southern pride and drawl, laughing just a little, thinking I told you so. But your mama raised you right, so you’d never say it out loud, would you?
Anyway, now that I’ve come to my senses and given you a chance, I realize what I’ve been missing. Your cities are the cleanest I’ve seen with folks as nice as can be. That’s not normal, you know that right? I spent time in history-rich Montgomery and Birmingham. I visited old Hank’s and Rosa’s museums and went out to Hank and Audrey’s graves.
Your small towns charmed me with loads of antique and pickin’ shops. Guntersville, honestly, took my breath away. That lake! Wow! Those little boutiques and restaurants along the main drag, and the sweetest people. And the cotton farms– Hundreds of miles of crops I didn’t even know still existed. So beautiful.
The drive to Scottsboro, all along the lake, was gorgeous. You didn’t think I’d miss a chance to see what 40,000 feet of unclaimed luggage looked like did ya? Oh and when I got there, Main Street was closed for a parade–on a Friday! All the townspeople were lined up for miles. It was the cutest thing! Huntsville surprised me with its beauty too. So many beautiful historic houses and fancy restaurants.
And I almost forgot the Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman. I still can’t believe one little Monk spent fifty-years creating those gorgeous miniature replicas of places he loved throughout the world. I sat there on the ground beneath the statue of Brother Joseph, the creator, and had my lunch, am almond butter and jam sandwich. It was so peaceful.
I guess it’s true what they say, the boy next door is so often overlooked. There are so many great things about you that I would’ve missed if I hadn’t given you the chance. Again, I’m truly sorry and hope you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me. I look forward to seeing you again real soon!