From T. R. Williams:

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you won’t be here a hundred years from now. Advances in medicine might help our youngest residents make it to 2117, but I don’t expect or hope to live to 163.

Since I wasn’t around in 1917 either, I choose to appreciate the importance this year holds. 2017 is Lawrence County’s 200th anniversary, the bicentennial of our formation by the Tennessee General Assembly from lands that were previously part of Giles and Hickman counties.

I have placed our bicentennial observance into good hands. Clint Alley, Assistant Director of the Lawrence County Public Library and author of Lawrence County History Trivia, agreed to serve as chairman of the Celebration Committee. Other members are Curtis Peters, Maggie Fincher, Tiffany Cope, Ryan Egly, Nancy Brewer, Marsha Stepp, Scott Franks, Ben Luna and Karen Niedergeses. I’m very proud of this team. They represent different parts of the county; possess a wide range of talents; and share an enthusiasm about Lawrence County’s past, present and future.

When talk of our Bicentennial began last year, we realized that we already have a lot going on in Lawrence County. In addition to planning at least one event ourselves, we hoped to encourage local residents to support those that are already on the calendar. In my opinion, the best way to appreciate our county is to spend time in it. Enjoy a meal at a restaurant you’ve never visited. Drive through West Point or Summertown. Tour the Old Jail Museum. Attend a program that features local talent or one that brings other talented people to us.

Great examples are coming up very soon. Next Saturday the 25th, you can take a stroll through Mimosa Cemetery and hear history brought to life by Clint Alley; then enjoy the Weathers Brothers’ Bluegrass and Gospel concert at the Crockett Theatre. The Fisk Jubilee Singers, an a cappella group that tours worldwide, will grace that stage April 6.

The Lawrenceburg Photographic Society has an exhibit of Lawrence County photos at the Crockett Arts Center now, open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. The Art Commission’s annual Marguerite Rose Burton Art Show opens there Sunday, April 23. At its opening reception that day from 1 to 3 p.m., you can vote for your favorite ‘Bicentennial’-themed painting in adult and student categories.

I also want to encourage you to support a Bicentennial event fundraiser, set for May 6 at Summertown High School: a beauty pageant for girls age 3 to 12. Why a fundraiser? The Bicentennial Committee is charged with planning and financing their work. You will be hearing from them throughout 2017, but their primary goal is a huge celebration on August 5. I’m sworn to secrecy, but here’s a hint: You will like it.

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