Old-timey businessmen loved to make outrageous proposals, usually with their thumbs tucked firmly into the lapels of their vests, and one Mel Allen, an Alabama businessman was no exception. In the 1880s, Allen figured that an area of land he controlled would make a fine late-19th-century Southern town, if only he could divert a nearby rail line to it. So he approached the leader of a crew of railroad workers toiling in the area, an English engineer named Phil Campbell, with the very kind of outrageous proposal Victorian-era businessmen loved to make.
If Campbell would build a railroad depot and add a length of track off the main line to the depot and back, Allen would found a town around it and name that town after Campbell. Well Campbell did just that and Allen held up his end of the bargain, naming the town he founded Phil Campbell, Alabama, in the Englishman's honor. As the town's website points out, it's the only town in the state with a first and last name.
This bit of unusuality didn't escape the notice of a writer whose name is Phil Campbell too. He decided that it would make a fine time if he threw a Phil Campbell festival and invited everyone in the world named Phil Campbell (or some variation thereof, AOL reports, like Phyllis or Felipe Campbell) to this Phil Campbell Convention in Phil Campbell, Alabama on June 17 and 18, 2011. Of course, if Phil Campbell the Motorhead guitarist shows up he will be the belle of the ball. No word on if he's coming or if he's even heard of it, though.
If you've ever wanted to see what a Phil Campbell looks like up close, this convention will probably be your best hance. And here's their Facebook page.