I’m proud of the young man my godson, Will Dooley, has become.

He’s friendly, humble, respectful and isn’t afraid to live out his faith in Jesus Christ.

A 2018 graduate of Boaz High School, he will soon earn his associate’s degree from Snead State Community College. In the fall, he will transfer to the University of Alabama, where he received a presidential scholarship.

Sam Dooley, that great American, is an Auburn graduate, and he raised his son to love Auburn and all things orange and blue. I never attempted to sway Will toward the Crimson Tide, because I respected the Dooleys’ love for the Plains.

I thought Will was kidding when he told me he was considering transferring to Alabama, but he was serious. At the Capstone, he intends to study political science and philosophy, and then hopefully be accepted into UA’s law school. I’m excited for Will, and I hope he enjoys his time in Tuscaloosa as much as I did.

Will served as a congressional intern in Washington D.C. last summer, and the experience caused him to eye a future career in the political arena. U.S. Senator Dooley or Gov. Dooley have a nice ring to them, don’t they?

Growing up an Auburn fan while holding a degree, or degrees, from Alabama would be a plus for Will on the campaign trail, as he would mean it when he said, “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle.”

When he was growing up in the Aroney community, Will loved baseball and motocross racing. One of the funny memories from Will’s childhood was listening to him and Sam share the story of Will’s wreck — in which he escaped injury despite flipping over the handlebars — while practicing for a motocross race at Oneonta.

I never pictured Will as a lawyer or political figure. However, I can’t wait to vote for him and put one of his campaign signs in my yard.

I can see the headline now: “Aroney’s favorite son goes to Montgomery” or “Aroney’s favorite son goes to Washington.” 

Goodbye to the 

Goodyear plant

It saddened me to hear the news of the imminent closing of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Plant in Gadsden. It was an industrial giant for Gadsden, Etowah County and the surrounding area for 90 years, paying wages that helped provide an excellent living for its employees.

If you’re like me, an appropriate bumper sticker for your vehicle would be, “Honk if you know someone who works (or worked) at Goodyear.”

My late aunts, Wynell Reeves and Latrell Johnson, and late uncle, Curtis Reeves, began working at Goodyear in the early 1940s and worked there until retiring in the early 1980s. Latrell’s son, Rickey Johnson, worked there 41 years before retiring in 2013.

Kenneth Smith, Gene Martin, Keith Harper, the late Jacky Scott, the late Junior Owens and my cousins Melvin Fant, Larry Joe Colvin and Rex Higgins are a few more Goodyear employees that come to mind.

It was hard work, but the employees took pride in their jobs and the products they produced. I remember Jacky Scott telling me one time I had the wrong kind of rubber on my car, because my tires weren’t the Goodyear brand.

I hope the civic and government leaders in Gadsden and Etowah County are successful in recruiting new industry to offset the loss of the Goodyear plant. Unfortunately, it won’t happen quickly enough to help all 400 employees find new jobs.    

Shannon J. Allen is sports editor for The Reporter. He can be reached at shannon.allen@sandmountainreporter.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.