July 3, 2013 — “It brings back a lot of good memories, seeing family I haven’t seen,” Blakeney said. “It’s what it’s all about.”
At least one man didn’t seem so serene. Jim Conn of Globe thought Olive Hill still struggles from the 2010 floods that sent Tygart Creek over its banks and wiped out much of downtown.
“It’s about gone downtown,” Conn said. “There ain’t nothing here; it all got washed out.”
Owens, meanwhile, points to recent business openings: a check cashing store; Scenic Hills adding a second location to its Grayson office; the Olive Hill Times newspaper returning to downtown.
Rayburn said returning to Olive Hill in January made sense.
“It’s our hometown,” Rayburn said. “We’ve spent a lot of money in Grayson and Olive Hill. We love our community.”
Grateful and concerned both seemed good ways to describe how Marietta Westbrook feels. She moved to Olive Hill from Dawsonville, Ga., 14 years ago.
“I’m not crazy about the drugs,” she said. “I’d like to see more business and to punish the offenders. There are some good people in this town, and they don’t deserve this. I have it good here. I have a good job; people could do good here if they tried.”
Proceeds from the games and contests went to two Olive Hill organizations: I-FARM — Integrating Faith, Agriculture to Renew Mission — which wants to teach people to grow sustainable, organic and affordable fruits and vegetables; and a widows home repair project All Things Ministries is sponsoring.
As far as anyone knew, just one person was tired of seeing the parade. Trish Davis cradled her sleepy grandson, 10-month-old Kenneth Barker.
“He’s missing his first parade; he’s sleeping through it,” Davis said. “At least we got him his first (stuffed) monkey.”