Nestled away in Coosa County lies the small town of Goodwater, Alabama. This 6.52 square mile town was once a bustling rail hub. It was home to thousands of people, young old and in between and served as a pit stop for trains carrying coal.
I traveled to Goodwater, AL alongside my husband not too long ago. We had been trying to make it down there to visit his grandmother and a few other family members for a while. I was thrilled to make the trip for several reason, but most importantly because I knew how much this meant to him.
I had never been to a small town in the South. The city was so adorable. Small business and family oriented. Everyone was so friendly. But overall, it was deserted. There were very few habitable homes, but most of them needed a tremendous amount of work, or needed to be replaced altogether. Several of the homes had been lost in fires.
I fell in love and had my heart broken all in one day. There was so many unanswered questions regarding the largest city in Coosa County. What happened? Where did all of the shop owners go? Why did it seem post-apocalyptic? What are the plans to restoration?
I was baffled, as was my husband. We couldn't even piece it together and make sense of it. There are families there. The entire community is a family. There are young adults and their children there. Who is going to fix this for the kids, at least?
Immediately, we wanted to help. We wanted to find solutions. We wanted to hear less excuses and less "heroic" stories and more explanations. I wanted to march right into city hall and demand answers. I still do - and I will.
The people of Goodwater, AL are good people and they deserve a warm and bustling city again. There is no warmth in the downtown area, just remnants of what used to be. I am certain that Goodwater is not the only place that this is happening. I am certain that this isn't the only town in Coosa County where this is happening. I sincerely believe that if we can develop a model for redevelopment and regrowth that we can spread this model across the south and restore all towns like Goodwater.
There has to be an answer. There has to be some way to fix this. If anyone knows how to make the dreams of this town come true, please shoot me a friendly email with the subject: "Let's put the GOOD back in Goodwater!" at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your assistance.
Love & Light, Fam!