Local resident donates thrift store “find” to Bibb County Chamber of Commerce 

By Mike Oakley

The Bibb County Chamber of Commerce recently received a gift from a local resident with historic ties to Bibb County. 

Mr. Jim Barrymore, who lives at the Congregate at Bibb Medical Center, is originally from Clarksburg, CA. He was browsing a thrift store recently and found a Bibb County blanket that had tourist attractions stitched into it. Barrymore, being interested in history, thought it was a pretty neat find and bought it for $2!

The blanket, once a fund-raiser for the Bibb County Chamber of Commerce, shows tourism “hot spots” around the county.  Stitched into the blanket are: Thomas Mill Bridge, Cahaba Valley Baptist Church (Marvel), Centreville Depot, Piper Trestle over the Cahaba River, The Kennedy House(downtown Centreville), Pondville School House, Montbrier (Brierfield home of the Mahan’s), Brent Baptist Church, Bibb Furnace (Brierfield), Centreville Bank Building, Ward’s Farm (near Abercrombie past the Mill Pond) and the Blocton Coke Ovens. 

Barrymore overcame childhood polio before working with the railroads from 1978 to 2011, starting in Sacramento, CA. and ending his career in Jacksonville, FL. He had friends in Marion, AL, who had moved to Six Mile, AL, and sold him on the idea of Bibb County being a great place to live. He packed up his belongings and headed south.  

“I saw this beautiful blanket in a thrift store and it was only $2. I bought it because of the representation of my adopted county. After a time, I thought this may be better as a display at the local Chamber,” said Barrymore. “So I decided to donate it.” 

This particular exhibit, almost pristine in appearance, is a welcome addition to the Bibb County Chamber of Commerce, “This was such a nice surprise,” said Valerie Cook, director, Bibb County Chamber of Commerce. “Mr. Jim is a valued visitor and resident and is so interested in history, so to receive this from him is certainly an honor.”

Pictured, L-R:  Valerie Cook, Jim Barrymore and Jim Oakley, Chamber Secretary. 

SOURCEThe Bibb Voice
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Mike Oakley is a longtime community and state activist dedicated to making his space better than when he found it. A 39-year member of the Alabama Army National Guard and U.S. Army, Oakley achieved the rank of Command Sergeant Major (CSM) and was mobilized or activated four times. He is a member of the Bibb County Board of Education since 1998 and works tirelessly to improve education initiatives in his home county. A member of several state boards of directors, Oakley believes that your attitude determines your latitude and a positive mindset is imperative to defeat negativity encountered in life. A lover of books, poetry, music and history, Oakley is excited to be a part of the move to bring news and enlightenment to interested readers.