Say What?

“We from Alabama.”

It’s been several years, but I still remember this incident clear as day.  Living in Anchorage, Alaska at the time, I bumped into a man wearing an Auburn Tigers’ sweatshirt.  He was part of a church group visiting the 49th state.

Asking where he lived the fellow replied,

“We from Alabama!”

By his shirt I figured out that much. Inquiring again I asked specifically what city,

We from Alabama!”

By now I thought the visitor had hearing problems or was a bit slow.  Not wanting to come across as insulting I simplified my line of questioning.  I spoke slowly inquiring what town in Alabama he lived in.  It was easy to see I ruffled the man’s feathers.

“We from Alabama!”

This time he’d repeated things in a much louder voice. Seeing I still didn’t get it he started spelling out the first word,

“R – e – f – o – r – m, Alabama!”

Turns out I was the slow one.  It was obvious I’d been gone from the south too many years!  Reform, Alabama is one of those towns a person’s strangely drawn to.  Supposedly the place got its name in a most unusual way:


In the early days when folks first settled there, some residents were known for their wild crazy behavior.  A certain Methodist pastor named Lorenzo Dow became miffed at locals for not attending his religious revivals.  The residents let it be known to Pastor Dow they didn’t need his preaching.

He was so disgusted by their attitude that he cancelled the remainder of his meetings. He disgustedly packed up his personal belongings.

Riding out of town on a mule, someone asked Lorenzo what the new community should be named.  Without blinking an eye he replied,



There must be some truth to the story.  What other reason could there be for naming a town that?  Evidently things have changed drastically, because on the internet I found 6 local churches located there.

Even though Reform is in Pickens County it’s only 30 miles from Vernon via Highway 17.  There’s a business in Reform I need to visit. It’s a second hand store called ‘The Mud Hole’.  My aunts talked of going there.

Photos show the building to be most unique.  Eclectic businesses like The Mud Hole are where you find one of a kind items. I love browsing in such stores.

Before closing this out, there’s one final item I’d like to share.  I was caught years ago forging my dad’s signature on a school absence slip. Mom warned me after finding out that if I didn’t straighten up, I’d end up in reform school.

I’m quite sure she wasn’t talking about a school in Reform, Alabama!

Author: michaeldexterhankins

ordinary average guy

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