A look at more people who shaped Atmore

Published 5:00am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For the past few weeks we have been looking back in remembrance of friends and acquaintenances we have known since the 1940s.

Today we remember these. James Warren, Luther Fountain, Ralph Gibbs, Cliff Bethea, Clarence Bryars, Cecil White, Jark Ammons, Roy White, Houston Wolfe, Jim White, Silas Ganey, Carl Barnette, Earl Dewitt, Ray Lavalle, Claude Bouler, Julia Bryars Gibbs, Jeff Cochran, Keel Brown, Hubert Brown (Bratt area), Chester Barton, Joe Maxwell, Will Vaughan, Joe Mahovich, Earl Barbarow, Bill Bartel, Loraine Byrd, Claude Steele, Mrs. Sterling Fancher, Arthur Weekley, Hiram Cabiness, Babs Bryars, Morgan Little, Dolphus Jones, Taylor Faircloth, Ollie Baker and  Bill Showwalter.

Now let’s take a look at some news from the year 1954.

A group of Atmore and area young women organized a “traveling” basketball team in 1954. They called themselves “The Red Devils.”

Playing in a semi pro league they played teams from Cantonment, Pensacola, Baldwin county and Mobile. Fans always came out to watch them play because they were all very good ball players. The Mobile and Pensacola newspapers often wrote of their accomplishments.
The taller, rebounding players were Lorain English and Voncille Madison. Playmakers included Pauline McCall, Helen Hoehn, Marie Faircloth, Mary Lou Nall, Shirley Amerson, Thelma Pitts, Glennie Wiggins, Polly Cooper, Rita O’Ferrel and Betty Jo Smith. Delbert Copeland was the team manager and E. C. Copeland was the chief referee.

They played in an era prior to TV growth and fans found these games offering good entertainment back then.

Ladies discovered a sale on hair dos in early 1954. Elsie Rhodes and Alley Taylor, who operated Atmore Beauty Salon, ran a special on permanents for $7.50 each.

Strand Theatre, which was the longest running advertiser in the Advance, came up with a free grocery giveaway for everyone who came to the “picture show” on Friday nights. Many times there were not enough available seats to accommodate all those movie-goers.

Twentieth Century Business College announced plans to begin a school here in town. It would afford many the opportunity to earn high school certificates and learn an assortment of business trades, such as speedwriting and shorthand. Representatives were stationed at the Burton Hotel and the Chamber of Commerce Office. That hotel was located near where United Bank is now located. It was either a two or three story sprawling frame structure that towered skyward.

Area farmers got a big scare when a virus swept over sweet potato growing lands. Actually, a quarantine was placed on the yams. Fortunately our farmers escaped it as it extended from south Baldwin County to near Perdido.

Also, back then Adams Coffee Company ran neck in neck in sales of their popular coffees. A&P Grocery store was the hub for the Eight O’Clock brand and Adams countered with its Dixie Blend. Most coffee shops and cafes served both brands in an effort to keep all customers happy.

Just four years later, in 1958, Atmore’s Paul Smith paid a visit to his hometown to visit relatives. That was the year his TV series “Cannonball” debuted on a national television network. Smith, who was known in Hollywood films as Paul Birch, played the role as a cross-country trucker helping folks in distress along the way.

I hope you are getting ready for the big presidential election. Quite a few issues are at stake. I don’t recall any election like this one. So much dislike, so much animosity. Heaven only help us in selecting the right one for the job. Also, don’t forget Emilie Mims, our lady from Atmore. We need her as she has proven her capabilities serving us well this past year.

More next week.

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

Lowell McGill can be reached at exam@frontiernet.net

Editor's Picks