I was a reporter covering Corbin city government in 2004 something wild happened.
The current mayor of the town, Scott Williamson, abruptly resigned. He had about a year and a half left on his term. A replacement was needed. The city’s Board of Commissioners appointed Amos Miller to be mayor.
I’ll be honest, at the time, I sort of didn’t know what to expect. As a city commissioner, Amos rarely spoke. When he did, it was to the point. He was difficult to read. So I wasn’t really sure he was the best choice for mayor.
Forgive me on that one. I wasn’t from Corbin. I didn’t grow up here. So, I didn’t have the knowledge of him others obviously did. It became clear real fast that I had woefully underestimated Amos Miller … his ability to lead, cunning political instincts, shrewd ability to motivate and negotiate, and single-minded dedication to doing what was best for the city of Corbin and it’s citizens.
From then on, I looked up to Amos.
I’ve sought his advice on everything in my life — my marriage, raising my daughter, politics, career, faith. It had become apparent to me that Amos had life figured out to the greatest extent one could. At least, that was my perspective. He had all the best advice. All the right answers. He could make me laugh when things looked grim. Gave me new perspective and hope when a situation seemed hopeless.
His untimely death last week was like a gut punch.
I’m pretty sure a whole town full of people felt the same way.
I get this sense recently that we are losing people that have been sort of the bedrock of Corbin. Those once-in-a-generation kind of folks whose sense of community and willingness to do just about anything to make where they live a little better trumps all else. They have this magical ability to get the rest of us desiring to be that way too, if for no other reason then we don’t want to disappoint them.
Amos was one of those people. There just is no substitute. I don’t think anyone can totally fill that void.
There’s a park off Barton Mill Road named after him. It’s beautiful, but sort of disused now. It was his dream that it be transformed into a thriving, modern Little League Baseball facility. I can tell you, there are plans to that effect. It would be something the entire town could use and enjoy. As a current member of the city commission, I’ve pledged to do everything I can to make it a reality. It would be a fitting tribute to one of Corbin’s most beloved citizens.
I can imagine in my minds eye a picture, or maybe even a statue of him there when it is complete, watching over all the youth in this town playing on the fields he helped build.
Amos is gone. But I think his legacy to the city of Corbin will endure forever.