I am Camille Fly Dautrich, daughter of Earl and Eunice Fly, longtime Mechanics Bank employees and Dupuy Street residents. For the past 33 years, I have lived in Branson, Missouri, but a piece of my heart has always stayed in the Valley.
As a result, I have followed with interest the ongoing story of the attempts by a group of young Oxford businessmen to build a huge trailer park in Water Valley, and I applaud the efforts of Mickey Howley and others not to let this happen.
Water Valley has come a long, long way in the past decade—today it is a place that people use words like “charming” and “lovely” to describe. Because of some wonderful pieces of publicity, many people I meet are familiar with the Valley and wonder if it’s as idyllic as they’ve heard. I always tell them, yes, it is.
This hasn’t just happened—I know its many successes are due to the efforts of a small but unbelievably hardworking group of people there.
So why in the world would you allow a group of young men who don’t even live in the Valley to develop an area there that will doubtless cause more trouble than good?
This Oxford arrogance is nothing new. Older readers may remember my dad from his many years at the bank, and even back in his day, some people from Oxford looked down on Water Valley and its residents as second-class citizens.
One Oxonian once told my dad that when Oxford flushes its toilets, it goes to Water Valley. Daddy died in 1983, so this was a long time ago, but even then, it made him furious.
From what one of my favorite columnists, Coulter Fussell, has written, in some ways Oxford isn’t the lovely little college town it once was. It has certainly grown and prospered since I lived there in the ‘70s, but along with that prosperity has come a host of city problems.
Please don’t allow Oxford to push some of those problems onto Water Valley.
I hope Valley residents will continue to stand up to those who want to interfere with the quality of life in our hometown. Nobody likes a bully, but often when a bully is confronted, he’ll turn and run. I know many of you love our little city every bit as much as I do and will do everything you can to keep the Valley the wonderful place it is.
Camille Fly Dautrich