Years ago, my grandfather bought ice at the old ice house in Warrior. He would fish at Guntersville, bring the fish home, and ice them down to sell out of an old refrigerator on the back of his truck on Sunday afternoon. Often, I went with him to buy the ice and sell the fish.
I remember going with my mom and dad to do banking at the first location of what was Warrior Savings Bank and subsequently the two following locations, the second of which being where I opened my first checking account. The current grocery store has had three prior locations to my knowledge. I well remember shopping with my mom in the first, then, as time marched on, shopping in the following locations by myself. The old shoeshine shop was just across the street and up from where Jack’s Hamburgers is now. The church where we worshipped carried fruit at Christmas to the people who lived at the old Love Hotel, long since torn down.
I write this to say that I have a knowledge, though limited, of Warrior. Much of my parents’ labored earnings, as well as mine, have gone into purchases at Warrior – from dry cleaning to flowers for funerals, from a quick necessity at the hardware store to a gallon of milk from the grocery. Warrior has been convenient for such purchases. I have enjoyed conversing with the merchants and like to feel that I have a good standing with these merchants. However, it is my opinion that the City of Warrior town council and its mayor are wrong in their current consideration of placement of a tax on the businesses and people of West Blount County.
Therefore, I have joined and will continue to support the boycott of the businesses of Warrior. Saturday, Jan. 2, a meeting was held in the parking lot of Logan’s General Store. I attended and was encouraged by the attendance. I also attended the Warrior City Council meeting held Monday, Jan. 4. The people of West Blount represented themselves well.
The statement was made that this legally correct crossing of county lines was an old law. Laws can and, as history writes itself, should on occasion be changed. There was a time when women were not allowed to vote. The law was changed. It should have been changed. There was a time when African- Americans could not vote nor own land. The law changed. It should have been changed.
It is my opinion that the powers of Warrior are seeing the possibility of economic growth with the forthcoming expansion of state highway 160 and are wanting to cash in to help support their weak budget. With the economy, I well understand that each private citizen and all businesses are looking for ways to make ends meet. No one can fault anyone for this. However the household meets its own demands within its own household. The city of Warrior should explore other avenues of meeting its household demands without going outside its house.
The people of West Blount County should realize its current demands as well as future demands and encourage the officials of Warrior to explore other means to meet their financial demands. Unfortunately, boycott seems to be the only aveneue of encouragement at this time. While I have a deep respect for many of the merchants of Warrior and understand this tax issue is not by their action, I will proudly continue to join other West Blount Countians in the boycott against Warrior businesses to help stop the issuance of this tax.
Sadly, I have a Warrior address, but proudly I live in Blount County.
David L. Thomas
Warrior (within Blount County)