TV personality takes back seat to hobos

Published 7:49pm Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In the early 1970s Tarzan White was scheduled for an interview on the Dot Moore TV Show. But a very unique prior commitment prevented his doing that interview.

For those of you who may not be familiar with these two famous dignitaries let me tell you about them.

Arthur Pershing (Tarzan) White grew up in Atmore gaining success as a local, college and professional football player.

Dot Moore was a long time TV personality at WALA TV in Mobile. She was known for her many interviews with famous personalities.

The day before her interview with Tarzan she received a call from him informing her that he would not be available to participate. The reason? Well, he was in California speaking to a group of hobos. Yes hobos. You know those guys who hopped freight train box cars and traveled cross country seeing the USA in a perspective not known to most of us.

You see, Tarzan had gained a reputation of riding freight trains in his younger days. And it was only proper that someone of his statue speak to this hobo group. I did not learn which group he spoke to but I believe it was a group of hobos with whom he became friends in California. I am sure it was not the “National Hobo Convention” which is held in Britt, Iowa the second weekend of every August. Wikipedia’s Internet web site describes this “as the largest gathering of hobos, rail-riders and tramps who gather to celebrate the American traveling worker”.

Economic reasons did not cause Tarzan to travel as a hobo. He just had that burning desire to “do it”.

I don’t know if Dot was successful gaining that interview with Tarzan on a later date. If she did I am sure he would tell her he made several hobo trips, eating handouts, skinning and eating small wild animals cooked over camp fires along the railroad tracks. He also would tell her about his playing football at the University of Alabama and playing for the New York Giants and the Chicago Cardinals.

Dot did have to take second place waiting for Tarzan to address his hobo friends.

Now, let’s take a look at some news from 1966.

The ECHS marching band unveiled new uniforms at the opening game of the football season. The uniforms were dark blue trimmed in white and threads of red. Jim Elkins was the bandmaster.

Bedsoles, one of our more popular department stores, drew big crowds with a half price sale on women’s dresses and Winn Dixie featured a weekend sale of cube steaks priced at 10 cents a steak.

Sherry Robinson was selected Atmore’s Junior Miss and the D.A.R awards went to Mary Emma Floyd and Dick Lodge.

Tammy Beasley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Beasley, was selected Fall Carnival Queen at A.D. Kelly school in Wallace.

Seismographing for oil exploration was stepped up that year which laid the groundwork for successful discoveries here forty years later.

Kelly Young, service manager at friendly Ford, was presented an award of excellence for performances in diagnosis of Ford mechanical problems.

Heavy spring rains caused widespread flooding in town including the home of Fred William Hadley on Popular Street.

Ferlin Huskey, well known country recording and performing artist made a surprise visit to WATM in the summer of that year and Tom Miniard “put him on the air” where he performed a couple of his famous recordings. Two of his hit recordings were “Gone” and ‘On The Wings of A Dove”.

Bishop Lyons was awarded Vocational Education Teacher Of The Year. The Atmore Training School instructor was later recognized for his education contributions and for his services at ECHS where he later retired.

Clyde Peacock, S.R. Ganey and Garry Harris brought in the first bales of cotton that fall. Atmore Truckers Association, Atmore Milling and Elavator Company and Frank Currie Gin processed these bales respectively.

“….yes…it always whispers to me…those days of long ago…”

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