For a street that is only 200 feet long that comes with a tiny bit of civic legislation, it’s got an awfully big story behind it.
Amidst all the other business to tend to, the Huntsville City Council recently approved a unique street name: Joe’s Place.
It’s a small connector between Kent and Surrey, in the Thornton Acres area just off Whitesburg Drive that was heretofore unnamed.
The street’s namesake is Joe Webster, owner of a tree-care business that has been in operation in Huntsville for more than 60 years and whose driveway is accessible from the connector.
The street naming was concocted as a total surprise to him.
A Huntsville resident named Jennifer Jackson knew that if a street did not have a name, one could be suggested by citizens. In 2012, she had succeeded in naming Arlene Street, after her friend Arlene Hall.
“She’s my friend’s mother, but I still call her Meemaw,” Jackson says.
We can agree that Arlene Street does have a slightly better sophistication than, say, Meemaw Way.
Jackson recently noticed the lack of a name on what is now becoming Joe’s Place. She reached out to Tom Sisco, a Traffic Engineering Analyst for the City of Huntsville to begin the process.
Her first suggestions were Webster Avenue or Cadillac Avenue (Webster loves Cadillacs) but she was informed those names were taken. So, what about Joe’s Place?
Indeed, it was available. Sisco connected with Mike Webb in Planning and Thomas Nunez in GIS to begin more homework. The street was actually part of what was originally called Haven Manor when it was platted in 1942.
They saw that no houses fronted the street, and they met with residents to see if there were any Joes in the neighborhood who might object to the naming.
That was part of a two-month process that culminated in the official approval granted by the Council.
Joe’s Place happens to be less than 500 feet from Arlene Street, which runs parallel to Whitesburg, connecting Kent with Bibb.
That’s what really makes this whole story sing.
As it turns out, Joe and Arlene have recently started dating.
Asked if she was the Cupid behind that romance as the matchmaker, Jackson just laughs.
“I learned a long time ago you do not match-make old people,” she says.
It’s matching people and streets that appears to be her great skill.