Faith & Family Winter 2020 - Page 7

Bound by Tradition

Bibles with hidden family stories add something special to local leaders ’ swearing-in ceremonies
Story by Benjamin Bullard

When Kenneth Nail

stepped forward to take his 4th oath of office as Hanceville ’ s mayor in November , he laid his hand atop a family heirloom with a pedigree that predates the 20th Century .
The weathered , hardcover 1880 Bible that Nail and his sister , Hanceville council member Patty Nail Dean , used for their official swearing ceremony is big — almost too big for a person to comfortably hold for very long . But the book holds tremendous sentimental value for Nail and his family , because the book itself holds so many family treasures .
“ It ’ s even got a locket of my great-grandmother ’ s hair in it ,” says Nail . “ It ’ s got the corsage that my grandpa wore to his mother ’ s funeral in 1940 . I ’ ve used that
Times File Photo
Gracie Grissom holds the family bible for daughter Jenny Folsom as Folsom is sworn in as a member of the Cullman City Council in Nov . 2016 .
Bible for my past two swearing-in ceremonies . It ’ s a family heirloom that just means a little something extra to us .”
Nail isn ’ t the only local leader who turns to a treasured family artifact when it ’ s time to take the oath . Cullman City council president Jenny Folsom , now in her 4th term , says she ’ s used the same personal Bible that her parents gave her at birth for all four of her ceremonies .
“ I was born in August of 1946 , and in the front of this Bible is
Amanda Shavers
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