Elections, hurricanes and stories from days gone by

Published 11:10am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Well, as I write this on Monday I don’t know the condition of our weather as you read this on Wednesday or days after.

I can only be reminded of another “I” storm, Hurricane Ivan, which blasted us in September 2004. Now Isaac is making his presence known somewhere near us I am sure. Again, writing on Monday, I don’t know if the storm delayed our elections or caused considerable damage.  If the elections were held I hope your favorite candidates won and here’s our congratulation to the winners.

That’s one good thing about a web page. It’s almost like old time radio days where you can get the news “as it happens,” and, The Advance web page certainly keeps you abreast of current happenings such as that which is happening today.

While we wait for news on the hurricane, let’s take a brief look at people, places and events from years gone by.

In 1966, Swift Lumber Company added a second shift to their local operation creating thirty-five new employees. Even today this firm is regarded as one of the most productive mills in the state.

Northrop King announced a new seed variety would be marketed at the Atmore facility. Developed at its Southeast Research Center, Atmore was chosen because of its diversity of clients.

ECHS Principal Travis Black was named president of the Alabama District One Secondary Principal’s Association.

A popular barbershop back then was Jack Wright’s Barber Shop. In 1966, Jack surrounded his chair with Obie White and Tommie White, two classy and well liked barbers.

Pensacola Jaycees named George Van Pelt Escambia County “Young Farmer of The Year.” Teamed with his brother James, the duo operated a prolific 664-acre dairy farm in the Davisville area.

Atmore American Legion and VFW posts conducted a special memorial service for Spec Five serviceman Jack E. Clemmons. The Atmore soldier lost his life in the Vietnam War.

Mrs. Henry Rogers Jr., wife of Dr. Henry Rogers, Jr., was elected president of the Fourth District Dental Auxiliary.

In 1969, the Strand Theatre held over the movie “Hang em High” for a couple of days. Because of his popularity Clint Eastwood drew patrons in huge numbers.

Eastwood, by the way, now reportedly leans to the right with a flavor toward the “Tea Party Republican movement.” Normally Hollywood chastises those who identify in such a conservative manner, but that stranglehold on this hero fails to dent his movies acting and directing, even at his advancing age.

You know there is such a thing as being too “elitist” in Republican ranks. For instance, I know an “elitist” who pulled a straight Republican lever in an election a couple of years ago, failing to consider a close relative who was running on a Democratic ticket.

That is what I call extreme. But, the Republicans have successfully emerged both factions of the party, as displayed at their Tampa Convention.

Speaking of web pages, I would like to be “young again” and create my own page. I would use a format like Ritchie’s early 1950s Atmore Advance publications. For example he did not use an obituary section as most papers do today. He put two column heads on death notices, particularly those who formerly lived here and died away from here. And, he was the very best at using headlines with a “kick” on all his news stories. He believed the heads were the key to sustaining readers. I would have a distinct advantage writing stories along this line because of my age and my involvement with so many from years gone by.

The same goes for Tom and Ernestine at WATM in that era. Each time the fire whistle sounded you learned immediately where the fire was located just by dialing 1590. Maxwell –Haley sponsored the fire report for many years. In an effort to add diversity, I would insert You Tube videos just like a DJ when he “spins his records.”

I’m too old now, though, as I am merely reminiscing.

Again, here’s hoping all are well following the storm.

More, next week.

Lowell McGill can be reached at exam@frontiernet.net.

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