Eclectic, Ala., Media population: 1
A town needs have a purpose to it, a reason to keep being there. Montgomery is situated near the rivers’ convergence. St. Louis at the meeting of a thousand trails of steel and asphalt. Eclectic was a depot town for the first part of its history. A railroad spur jutted up for the output of Fuller’s Cotton Gin, the bounty of Alabama’s cash crop.
Even when the spur stopped running, cotton trucks kept the streets lightly dusted with ragged dingy wisps. The trucks moved day and night, dispersing to an outward web of textile mills, processing posts, and larger locomotives bound for distant use.
But then, even the gin closed down. Technology and competition drug Eclectic down toward obsolescence.
Today there’s not too much reason for Eclectic to be there, except that it always has been. Yet Eclectic grows. Not fast, mind you. Not by a long shot.
But it seems that just being there is a commodity now. People leave Montgomery in droves, as the quaint capitol sickens with the symptoms of urbanization — crime, traffic, claustrophobia.
Eclectic is their bedroom. Most of the day is spent in Montgomery. But every night they come home, turn down the covers and climb into bed in Eclectic, Ala. Where they can’t see the lights of their neighbors house.
Where they can hear the crickets over the television. Peace and quiet is one commodity Eclectic has. There are so many people searching for peace, it could fuel a renaissance in my home town.
I’ll be there to see it and report on it. I know that now.
Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to be very interesting.