Williams Station Day offers best of Atmore

Published 8:29am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Funnel cakes, hero sandwiches, cane juice and buffalo wings will be among the many foods offered by several vendors as they line the street during Williams Station Day Saturday.

People from all around will stroll the bustling street eying and buying crafts and tasty foods and soft beverages. The Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce event will also include a diversity of bands’ music and numerous crafts.

Have you ever wondered where some of those “goodies” sold by vendors originate? Take, for instance, funnel cake. This is a popular cake found in the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch area. It is the flipping of the batter over hot grease and the sprinkling of powdered sugar over these circular and latticed shape creations that gives it identity. Normally we don’t see these cakes on a regular basis down south, usually relying on carnivals like this to whet our appetites for such pleasantries.

Heroes, torpedoes and hoagies are colloquial names for sandwiches we usually refer to as subs. These sandwiches with strange names are commonly found in northern and eastern cities. Each year I visit a vendor here who makes a superb hero sandwich. I think, perhaps, it is the type of bread he uses that gives this delicacy such as wonderful taste. Every type of sandwich meat you can think of is included in his unique sandwich.

But, you know, you can always find that all American sandwich-the hot dog at most of these food locations. It’s no wonder Andy Griffith lived so long. He loved his hot dogs. I do too.

Buffalo wings is a proper name that we, down south, always referred to as “chicken wings.” I suppose the name came from Buffalo, New York, not sure however. But, for the life of me, I fail to get the relevancy of Buffalo with chicken. I remember the first time I heard wings referred to as buffalo wings was at a military dinner  Ouida and I  were required to attend  not long after I received my ROTC Army military commission. And the appetizer consisted of small fried chicken wings listed on the menu as buffalo wings. This occurred in Aberdeen, Maryland many years ago. A couple of our friends dining with us, who were also from the south, had never heard of buffalo wings.

I never heard buffalo wings again until about twenty years ago when I saw and read advertisements about these wings. Now, you see TV ads galore promoting them.

Need I forget french fries? These foods stands Saturday will feature a diversity of these side orders. There will be curly fries, cheese fries, stacked fries, fries on a stick, fries on a sandwich and sweet potato fries. All, of course, add to the succulent tastes of those mouth-watering sandwiches.

Now, here is some advice for drinking the cane juice at Williams Station Day. Don’t drink a great amount of it initially. Sip it slowly. If you plunge right into it with big swallows you may develop an urge to throw up. You see, it is so tasty that it becomes very easy to drink too much all at once. This is based on experience as I was “raised” up on cane juice, syrup making and all. I hope the cane juice concession will be powered by a horse or mule. That’s the way it was done when I was growing up. However, in today’s world small tractors are usually engaged to squeeze the juice as the cane stalk is mushed in the teeth of the grinding wheels.

There will be contests for the little ones and big ones too. Crafts will capture the attention of almost everyone. It is really amazing to see these unique crafty creations displayed by a diversity of vendors. I’m going to be looking for one of those stately walking canes made from tree roots. I have a feeling I will be needing one of these in the not too distance future.

And, for those of you who enjoy music, bands and vocalists will fill the air  with pleasant sounds all day long. Yes, WSD kicks off that time of autumn when carnivals capture the delight of everyone.

Many schools and churches will be involved in their own events. One church I know of, Brooks Memorial Baptist, will feature a fall festival October 31 from 6 until 8 p.m. Activities will include “Trunk or Treat”, inflatables, free food, games and lots of candy.

Another item of interest is the 1972 class reunion. Nancy Helton tells us this reunion, which is held in conjunction with the carnival, should bring many former residents to the city. A dance and an assortment of activities are included on the reunion agenda. I am sure all those classmates from that graduating group are looking forward to renewing acquaintances and memories.

In closing, here is an off topic subject. I read online this week about one particular sunscreen that is known to “catch on fire and destroy you.”

Banana Boat skincare is the alleged culprit, reportedly. An Internet story by Mallory Ortberg states that if a user or “consumer comes in contact with a flame or spark prior to complete drying of the product on the skin, there is potential for the product to ignite.”  Five people have been burned from improperly using this product Ortbert relates.  Twenty-three of their sunscreen products have been recalled.

Wow..I thought driving a racecar was hazardous. I saw a racecar entry burst in flames during that Kansas City TV race Sunday. I hope the driver was not using Banana Boat.

,Next week  we will have more news of Atmore’s people, places and events.

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

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

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