The “Celebrate Sylacauga” block party began with a special presentation to local award-winning songwriter Troy Jones, who was recognized as a “hometown hero” and given a key to the city.
A songwriter for Carnival Music in Nashville, Tenn., Jones’ songs have been recorded by artists including Billy Currington, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, George Straight, Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen and others. The Fayetteville resident has been called the “forklift philosopher” for his down-home lyrics that have produced hits like “Shiftwork,” “Pretty Good at Drinking Beer,” and the Grammy-nominated “People are Crazy.”
“Thank y’all for supporting my music and supporting me as a songwriter and a person, and for loving my family and honoring them today,” Jones said.
Event organizer Margaret Morton read a statement prepared by Jones, in which he named his family members as the real heroes.
“It’s been an absolutely amazing journey, to say the least,” he said. “I’ve seen my share of rough spots, and I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but I’ve had the support of a truly great and amazing family. They’ve been there for the whole ride. Not just when things were good, but when things were hard and looked almost impossible. That’s when you learn who really loves you.”
Jones said his wife, Patsy, always encourages him to pursue his dream, and his children, Adam, Brittany and Lindsay, and grandchildren, Madison, Hudson and Hadley, are sources of inspiration.
“When you honor me, you truly honor them,” he said.
Following that presentation was another to the family of former Mayor Sam Wright, who died last August. Wright is this year’s recipient of the “Glenn Stephens Spirit of the Promise” award, presented by Sylacauga’s Promise Committee to a citizen who exhibits a passion for helping the community. Morton remembered Wright as “a gentleman who could be described as mayor, friend, husband, father, grandfather, supporter, cheerleader, doer, tireless advocate for our city, our community, our county and our state.”
His widow Connie Wright accepted the award, alongside their daughter and son-and-law Greer and Tab Bisignani.
“Thank you for having let him be your mayor,” she said, “for loving Sylacauga, for loving Sam, because he loved you.”
Sylacauga’s Promise also presented the city with its sixth consecutive “100 Best Communities in the Nation for Young People” award, to be displayed in City Hall.
Following the presentations was a brief concert from Jones and music from other local performers. Elsewhere in the area, people enjoyed free food, children’s activities, giveaways, city tours and more as the event encouraged citizens to “Love Where You Live” with signs and T-shirts displaying the new citywide slogan.
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