For several years now, this column has introduced doctors, nurses, lawyers, pilots, community leaders, city employees, retirees, business owners, managers, farmers, ranchers, shepherds, school teachers, school bus drivers, first responders, artists, musicians, craftsman, inspirational youths and those with many years of life experience, proud mommas, ministers, fitness expert’s, entrepreneurs, volunteers, cancer survivors and the list goes on.

Who’s Who usually takes a reflective look at the various people it features at the end of a year. Although only in the first quarter of the year, it seems appropriate with world conditions the way they are to reflect on “Who” the people of DeKalb County are because tough times either make people bitter or better.

DeKalb Countians are the people who proudly held the title “The Sock Capitol of the World” and when that title was yanked away they reinvented themselves. The stories are seemingly endless of the individuals who started over, came up with a new plan and stayed rooted in the community.

DeKalb County was affected by the economic crunch that started in 2007 like the rest of the country. Business owners constantly express thanks through this column for the support of the community. Many business owners tightened their “belts” and hung on tight for the ride and survived.

DeKalb Countians are the people who got up and literally dusted off and rebuilt their lives after the 2011 tornado outbreak. While the pain is still alive for the 35 who died that day, the spirit of going forward is also alive.

Here we are again, facing another catastrophic event. It is definitely a time for personal reflection, a time to consider others.

If history is any indicator of “Who” DeKalb Countians are, the pandemic storm will be weathered. Time and again the people of DeKalb County have put on fundraisers, created non-profit organizations and made food banks where there were none.

DeKalb’s Motto seems to be “It is what it is - deal with it.”

This column endeavors to feature inspirational people from all walks of life. If you know of someone who inspires others contact Marla Ballard at 256-657-8318.

— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Thursday editions.

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