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Don’t say there’s nothing to do in the Valley

People who complain about there’s nothing going on and that this is such a dreary place need to do a better job of paying attention. This is a very active community with a lot going on. Just pay more attention and you’ll find lots of interesting activities to take part in.

Just take today, for example. Those who complain of too much litter on the roadsides — good point — but how about doing something to help the problem? At 8 a.m. this morning, you could have gone to Valley Community Center and joined a community cleanup effort. You could have gotten a free biscuit and t-shirt for your trouble. From 7 a.m. till 3 p.m. EDT this afternoon, you could have taken that old, broken computer or TV set to the Farmers’ Market pavilion. They would have taken it off your hands at no charge to you.

At 10 a.m. this morning, you could have taken the short drive to Fort Tyler in West Point for the annual commemorative weekend. Today is the 153rd anniversary of the Battle of West Point. Fort Tyler was the last fort to fall in the Civil War. Re-enactors clad in blue and gray uniforms will be on the grounds throughout the day having musket drills, musket firings and talking to visitors about the daily life of the Civil War soldier.

The best part comes last. From 7:30 p.m. until around ten o’clock tonight, visitors can witness the candlelight tour. The switchback trail to the top of the hill will be lit by luminaries. As Fort Tyler Association President Rea Clark puts it. every step up that hill is like going back in time.

It’s an eerie experience to say the least. On the evening of April 15, 1865, the soldiers inside the fort knew that federal cavalry was on the way and that were woefully undermanned and supplied to hold them off the next morning.

Being in that lantern-lit fort, talking to men in the butternut uniforms of the Confederate army, it’s almost like you are there with them on Easter eve in 1865,

Everyone needs to take in LaFayette Day. This annual fundraiser for Valley Haven School’s Hike/Bike/Run is always a chance to see some fabulously restored antique vehicles, and if you’re lucky, a restored green and gold John Deere tractor. LaFayette Day is a great time to check out some of the electric cars that are designed, mad and driven by some really bright young students at the Chambers County Career Technical Center. There’s lots of good food, some surprisingly good live entertainment, and the best part is running into people you’ve known for a long  time but don’t see that often anymore. It’s good to catch up with what’s been going on in their lives.

There’s something really interesting going on Sunday as well. At 3 p.m. EDT, the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society will be hosting a quarterly meeting in the Lanier Room at Bradshaw-Chambers County Library. Dr. Mac Holderfield will be talking about Chambers County’s early history and showing some rarely seen maps of the county via a power point program. Hearing Dr. Holderfield talk is a treat. It’s like hearing a graduate-level lecture and you didn’t have to pay a ridiculous amount of tuition to be in the room.

So, there, to those who said there’s nothing to do in the Valley. On one weekend alone we had Clean Up Valley Day, Fort Tyler Day, LaFayette Day, the awesome candlelight tour and a presentation by Dr. Mac Holderfield. We should consider ourselves lucky.