By Tammy Andrews
I spent all day Monday at Commissioner Wayne Watts’ “office space” in Lineville, better known on Facebook as “Wayne’s World of Watt-Nots ”, where the American Pickers had chosen to visit and film an upcoming show. This was a very interesting day for me and I thank Wayne for allowing me to be a part of it. I enjoyed meeting Mike and Frank, along with several other people who were along for the ride too. This was such a unique opportunity for our county and could possibly open doors along the way.
I’ve always said we have something special here that outsiders aren’t aware of unless they have had the chance to taste it for themselves. My favorite quote from the movie Doc Hollywood is “You don’t see a lot in town of Grady, but what you see you never forget”. Well, that’s the way I feel about Clay County, and so does Wayne Watts. This man loves everything about this county and goes above and beyond on a daily basis to promote growth and breathe new life into it. Not the kind of growth that would attract a large shopping mall, but the kind of life that would help us find our “niche” to promote tourism while preserving our small town heritage all at the same time.
It wasn’t Wayne’s idea to bring the American Pickers here, but he wasn’t going to turn it down because he knew this could be a great thing for this county. Wayne is always searching for ways to put Clay County in the limelight in a positive fashion so he, too saw this as a unique opportunity. Wayne was all smiles all day long because he knew the citizens were really enjoying the national exposure. He made sure to tell everyone “This is not about me, this is for Clay County”.
Wayne’s lists of priorities runs like this: God first, family second, and Clay County third. He has served in law enforcement for many years, owns a successful construction company and is a County Commissioner. As a Commissioner, you won’t find anyone who works any harder. Wayne’s nose is to the grindstone every day. And in times of crisis, you will either find him somewhere extending a helping hand or at the EMA Office helping direct calls.
Many days and weekends you will find him at his office space adorned with priceless treasures he has sought out and restored over the years and he can tell you specific details about every single item. Most of these items hold deep sentimental value to him as he does his best to preserve as much of Clay County history as he can.
You won’t find anyone else who has attained as much history knowledge of this county than Wayne. This is mostly due to Wayne paying special attention to some of the old timer’s stories when he was younger who have since passed on. Collecting and preserving these artifacts has become his passion and as his collections grow in numbers, he hopes to expand his “museum” of sorts one day, where visitors are always welcome.
Wayne Watts is one of the biggest assets Clay County has and I hope everyone here can see and appreciate that. So, next time you see him, be sure to thank him for everything he does for the betterment of our county. He will most likely blow it off as no big deal, but I know deep down, it would mean a lot to him. God Bless you, Wayne!