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JE SUIS CHARLIE
News report from Coxey Alabama by Kelly Kazek 2014
As Scott Holt takes a break from mowing his mother's yard on U.S. Highway 72 on a recent sunny day, a passing motorist stops his car in the turn lane and shouts a request to take a photo of the statue on the lawn.
Scott has grown accustomed to such unusual requests since suggesting his mother, 78-year-old Jo Holt, erect a statue in the wake of the April 28 tornado that devastated the Coxey community of Limestone County. Scott thought perhaps his mother should call a wood carver to make a monument from the stump of the red oak, his mother's favorite tree and one of many more-than-100-year-old trees the tornado toppled.
"I thought she might choose praying hands or something," Scott said, referring to the family's gratitude they survived the storm, despite losing two businesses and sustaining damage to two homes.
Instead, Jo Holt asked the sculptor to carve a likeness of her beloved Irish setter, Charley, into the portion of the tree that remained. Charley, who survived the storm in a storm shelter built by Jo's father along with Jo and as many as 20 neighbors, can often be seen running in the yard near his likeness, which never fails to make heads turn.
“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”