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Column: Love letter to Camden
Alfred Mae Drakeford (c).jpg
Alfred Mae Drakeford

My Dearest Love,

It is one of your beautiful 70-plus degree days in February when you draw me from my desk and close to you. I venture as close as possible -- there is no other place I’d rather be. The daffodils have risen and the robins are returning, truly your beauty is unmatched. It is no wonder you are an All-American City.

You may be the oldest inland city, but you still make my heart skip a beat. Your population is small, but your future is forever bright. New schools. Undergrounding. Paving projects. Fine arts. The sport of horses. The stir of tourists exploring your fine shops or local friends meeting for lunch helps me realize happiness isn’t measured by the coins in my purse, but by the smiles on their faces. It is such an honor to see your families sitting on the fine verandahs or walking their Boykin Spaniels. So often, your youth remind me why you are so special.

I know your every nook and cranny … I take your every shortcut to enjoy your every offering. To the north, I see you standing tall and reaching far. To the east, your hardworking citizens earn my respect every day. To the west, the Wateree River flows swiftly past. And, to the south, your beautiful fields and pastures peacefully call us all. At your very core, you allow me to see your many wonders.

Sometimes I am your toughest critic, but always, I am your greatest fan. That is how our relationship has grown and been sustained since the day of my birth. Perhaps this is how all your relationships since your birth have flourished. No one holds a candle to your charm -- I fell in love with you so long ago, and you will always own my heart.

Having been reared here and haven chosen to spend my entire life here, I discovered who I am. I discovered who you are. I discovered a great passion to serve you. You are my home, you are my city -- you are my love.

Your fingerprints are forever painted in my mind and on my heart. As I stand outside, I realize I live, work, worship and play in the most beautiful city in this big, bustling world. No other will ever replace you. Everything you are is everything I adore. I truly love you Camden, South Carolina.

Forever yours,

Alfred Mae

P.S. Alfred Mae Drakeford is the proud and loving Mayor of Camden, South Carolina. With arms wide open, Camden welcomes you to the most beautiful city in the world … visit often and visit soon.