The Magic of Marble Festival 2022 is over, but the magic of marble in Sylacauga remains with us in the number of jobs the industry provides as well as the beautiful art treasures that make Sylacauga such a unique place. This was the 14th annual event sponsored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Sylacauga Arts Council as well as Imerys and Omya, our local suppliers of calcium carbonate, companies that drive so many other industries that operate here.

Dr. Ted Spears plans all year to make this event happen, and he is to be congratulated for a very successful festival that brought visitors here from all over the United States. Our sculptor from Italy, Francesco Gazzi, worked steadily in Central Park and left a beautiful piece at B.B. Comer Library which you can stop and see.

Despite some typical Alabama weather, the sculptors were not to be discouraged, and enjoyed their learning experiences working together and sharing ideas and techniques as well as just good Southern hospitality. Tracey Thomas and staff at B.B. Comer Library hosted visitors for scheduled lectures, tours of the libraries extensive marble collection, and the sale room where the sculptors were able to offer their beautiful work to appreciative visitors. The bus tours to Imerys and Omya were Interesting and informative, and visitors had lots of questions for the very capable personnel who met us there. Those who participated in the Marble Scavenger Hunt all agreed it was pretty challenging. As always, visitors enjoyed the Imerys Overlook. If you live here, and have not visited the overlook, take time to do this.

How does the Magic continue? Like all good events, new people were made aware of just how fortunate we are in Sylacauga to have marble and the jobs it provides. These jobs range from blue collar jobs to very technical jobs manned by chemists and geologists with PhD’s. Meeting men who graduated from our local high schools and stayed in Sylacauga to raise their families and now have top level jobs is very gratifying. This is what we want for our city. The sculptures at B.B. Comer Library increase every year, and I hope to be able to bring you more information soon about some of the new ones that are there.

Now that we are into May and celebrating Mothers’ Day May 8, I am reminded of the good and godly women who make the world a kinder, gentler place. I remember with love and smiles my own mother, Bessie Riggins George, who worked hard and challenged me to be a lifelong learner. She also gave me so much advice that I could literally write a book entitled Things My Mother Said. One of the most selfless people I have ever known. Mother taught by example, “It’s not all about you!,” was a ready answer to my childish complaining; and it was not so long ago at that.