I wanted to do a good job speaking to the members of the Talladega Chamber of Commerce. Mac Ferguson heads up the Chamber and they had a great crowd today. They honored several folks and companies and you could just tell that they have a lot of folks pulling in the same direction in Talladega County. It’s a great part of our area, and I’m honored that they ask me to speak at their meeting.
It was a pleasant surprise to see an old friend after the meeting. 83 year old Robert C. Weaver is a good and kind man, and one of the best known merchants and philanthropist in the Talladega area. I hadn’t seen Mr. Weaver in almost 10 years, and I was delighted to see he’s still active and going strong.
The meeting ended about 1:30, and I needed to get on the road back to Birmingham, but Mr. Weaver asked if I had some time for him to show me something. He said he’d wait by the curb if I’d pick him up there. So, after he assured me that he could get up into a pickup truck OK, we were off.
Robert Weaver was born in Talladega in 1927, he was educated there and in the 1950’s he opened Wood-Weaver shoe store that’s still in business on the town square today. He wasn’t just a businessman. Mr. Weaver was involved in so many aspects of life in the city of Talladega. He was involved in youth sports, he was a song leader, and he helped produce radio programs that highlighted Talladega. Mr. Weaver has been a valuable volunteer at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. His good work was highlighted in Newsweek Magazine in a feature called “American’s who are quietly making a difference.” What a perfect fit.
Mr. Weaver had me drive to the back of Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center just outside Talladega. At the top of the hill sits the new Robert C. Weaver Chapel. It’s a beautiful building that serves many uses for the folks who come to work and play and share at this special place. It will always bear his name — and that seems so right. We had our picture taken in front of the chapel today and we’ve added it here.
I wish I’d had more time to visit with Mr. Weaver. I’m going to go back and see him this summer when camp is in full swing at Shocco Springs. He likes to treat the children to ice cream from time to time, and I told him I’d like to come back and do a story about him and all he does. He agreed and I’ll look forward to that.
Before I left, Mr. Weaver handed me a brown envelope and told me to open it later. I opened it that evening between newscasts. Inside was a two page summary of all the wonderful things Robert C. Weaver has done and experienced in his more than 8 decades of living and serving others. Also, there were two gospel tracks that clearly outline what one must do to be saved. I imagine Mr. Weaver gives out many of those. He is always thinking of others, both in the short term and for eternity. And finally a pair of black socks, a really nice pair of black socks. I’ll wear them and enjoy them knowing that everything in the envelope was given in a spirit of love and kindness — that’s just the way Robert Weaver does everything.
It sure was a good day to be in Talladega, it was a special day indeed.
I’ll see you tonight at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00.
1732 Valley View Dr.
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