Good times in Petersburg Saturday
By Karen Hall
After a rainy start, the weather was beautiful Saturday afternoon for Petersburg's "Cool Autumn Night Cruise In."
Fall decorations filled the center of the square, and vendors lined up around the sides, selling everything from jewelry to T-shirts, baked goods, and tasty snacks.
The vintage vehicles lined up at the old Morgan School, and made a slow drive from there to the square, then a loop through some residential streets before arriving at the corner where Russell Street enters the square. Alderman Corey Smith announced the make, model and year of each car and truck, and they drove ceremoniously into position on the square. A 1969 Ford Ranger had come all the way from Franklin, and a 1987 Pontiac Firebird was there from Chapel Hill, but the others had come from Marshall and Lincoln counties.
Singer-songwriter Tom Dixon, now a Petersburg resident, accompanied himself on the guitar as he sang old and new favorites from the center of the square.
Dixon grew up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but moved south to be closer to Nashville, ultimately putting down roots in Petersburg.
"It's a tight-knit community," he said. "I love it." One of the songs he played was written while he was sitting on his back porch in Petersburg.
Dixon was ready to join in the fun, singing "Happy Birthday" to Julie, whose birthday was Tuesday, and drawing tickets for the door prizes contributed by generous sponsors.
People admired the cars, made purchases from the vendors, and finally sat down in chairs facing Dixon's microphone to enjoy his playing and singing.
It was not just for fun on a fine fall afternoon. Funds were being raised for the Petersburg Community Center, to be housed in the old elementary school, with the sale of T-shirts, baked goods, and other items, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of BBQ nachos were going to benefit the Unity Middle School cheerleaders.
Petersburg may be small, but it has spirit, and people who will do whatever it takes to make the small town come to life again.