Two friends and I returned home today following a three-day trip that can only be described as a travel “back in time.”

We visited Laurel not knowing what to expect. Traveling over 5 hours we found ourselves taken back in time to an era where no matter a retail store, a restaurant, a bakery or a museum one is welcomed and made to feel as though an old friend had just recognized you. For a brief period we returned to a time when conversation flowed, common interests appeared easily and pride in history was contagious.   

Whether a driving or walking tour or simply swinging on a porch an impression of beautiful homes, families out walking, children free to play and even a family having pictures taken could only but remind of us of an America we have known and missed. Churches on practically every corner, children walking home from school and babies in strollers, well one could not paint a more beautiful picture of the way we all envision our world should be.   

Spending our mornings and evenings with Mrs. Peggy at Wisteria Manor and meeting her other guests was the icing on the cake! New friends included a special resident physician and his son who quickly came to our rescue changing a flat tire late one evening.  Even a tire dealer who quickly serviced and provided a safe trip home can be called a new friend. Catching a glimpse of your famous residents was our goal in traveling to Laurel but soon upon arrival we realized Laurel has so much to offer. 

I found a sadness in leaving beautiful Laurel with hopes of being able to return someday. Pictures taken can never describe the feeling one takes away following a visit to Laurel. While probably best known for the work of Ben and Erin, upon a visit one soon realizes the step back in time that may have begun with two now encompasses an entire town all of whom share values of care, the importance of friendship and the spirit of America as it should be.  

Thanks to each in the community of Laurel for our step back in time!   

Janet C. O’Neal 

Columbus, Ga.

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