Gay West is the real deal

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It’s almost time to release the selection of this year’s Clanton Advertiser Person of the Year, but before we honor that person, I think it’s appropriate to go back and review our previous Persons of the Year.

Our annual award was first given to Kenneth Moatts. Then, Probate Judge Bobby Martin was the second recipient followed by Curtis Smith, Jimmie Harrison Jr., Mickey Bates and then Gay West, who won it last year.

Though I wish I had the space to talk about all of them, I only have enough time to talk about one of them. The person I chose to talk about is Gay West.

Gay has been one of the best people I have ever met. Not only is she very intelligent, she is resourceful and will help you no matter what it means. I really understand that more than most might think.

Earlier this year, the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards banquet at the Alabama Power Conference Center. I brought my notebook to the event so I could take notes of who received awards and such. I also had taken notes in this notebook for an important story earlier in the day, so it was important that I kept up with this book.

When the banquet was over, I went up front to take some additional pictures not realizing that my notebook was still sitting there on the table. This wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact that the cleanup crew was quickly clearing the tables by wrapping up the plastic cups, plates and dinnerware inside of the paper tablecloths, which were being put in the trash can. In those tablecloths was my notebook.

Once I realized that I didn’t have my notebook, I went back to my seat only to find everything was gone. I started asking Chamber Director Pennie Broussard and others if they had seen a reporter’s notebook, but they hadn’t.

That’s when Gay West got involved. When she heard about it, she started looking through the trashcans. It wasn’t until the final trashcan that she found my notebook. To this day, I don’t know how to repay her for that kindness. There aren’t too many people that would look through trashcans to find something you needed.

That’s only the beginning of her kindness, and I’m glad that we were able to recognize her for all that she has done for this community.