Phones have replaced PCs, TVs…what’s next?

Published 11:59pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The digital age is here, especially in the world of “smart phones,” or perhaps better known as “cell phones.”
Changes and additions to this innovative little gadget occur almost overnight. I just learned that my cell phone could be converted to a TV. I would need to buy a dock, as they call it, insert my phone into it and project streaming TV programs onto my den wall or even a clean white sheet. So what am I doing with a TV set, anyway?

Or, while I am waiting in the doctor’s office I can play games or puzzles to while (some say “wile”) away my time. In many cases you can perform Internet chores on your smart phone, just like you do on your computer. YouTube has become one of my favorite “smart” choices. TheBible.com, an online Bible, is also very popular.

What about photography? Snapping a photo with your phone is first nature. Just a glance at Facebook proves this point. I imagine when I wake up tomorrow morning there will be another new feature added. When will it ever end?

Don’t forget that digital TVs are changing all the time too. Right now I am waiting on an Amazon order for a gadget called Chromecast. Because of its heavy demand it will be October before I receive it. This is a little $35 “plug into your TV” gadget that brings in YouTube, Netflix and hundreds of TV, sports and movie shows. This little apparatus could be the one invention that sends cable and satellite subscriptions spiraling downward. And if ESPN ever comes aboard, you can expect an entirely new concept in buying and watching TV.

Now let’s take a look at some news from 1970. The Rev. Dewitt Allen was called as pastor of Brooks Memorial Baptist Church. This articulate minister began his ministry in Mobile. I have written several times about his time as a radio-TV announcer on WALA TV and radio, prior to his ministry. In 1953, the night Hank Williams died, Dewitt was on duty at the TV station. After learning of Williams’ passing, he immediately called Jack Cardwell, a country singer and WKAB radio host, who sat down at the station and wrote the lyrics to the song, “The Death of Hank Williams.” Dewitt was one of those responsible for helping engineer that tape and getting it to the recording company, where it became an overnight hit.

The Rev. Allen will not only be remembered for his wonderful radio and TV voice, but also for his inspirational sermons here in Atmore.

A group of friendly and respected men were elected as officers of the Bratt Volunteer Department in 1970. My good friend Thomas (Famous) Bradberry was one of those elected. Other friends of mine were also elected. They were Charles Lowery, Robert Stewart, Lamar O’Farrell, Colvin Davis, Lester Godwin, Douglas Morgan and Hubert Brown.

One of Atmore’s and Flomaton’s very own, Fern Bell, was honored in Huntsville with the naming of a youth ballpark in his honor in that city. Fern, who was quite successful up there, was active in youth leagues where his sons played for several years and where his leadership brought several state tournaments.

Also that year, the Atmore Jaycees conducted a fund raising drive, selling honey. They raised an unprecedented amount of money that year to benefit children at Partlow Camp. Our own Terry Jones was one of the leaders of that successful drive.

Jack Madison and James Charles Madison led Atmore’s peewee football team to the city championship. Sponsored by The First National Bank, the players were Robby Ferguson, Jay Blackshear, Dusty Harrison, Jimmy Woods, Marty and Mike Hadley, Tommy Pickens, Chuck Madison, Pat Reeves, Ed Staff, Bryan Flowers, Allen White, Steve Dees, Dough McAnalley, Steve McGill, Randy Miller and Tony Luker.

I was talking with my pastor, Robert Heard, and he was telling me about the difficulty pastors had preparing sermons that both older and younger members of the congregation could identify with. I am sure that most all pastors and ministers would agree with this. He told me larger city churches do not have that problem, because their assistant pastors can offer sermons to almost every age group. Even song leaders must find it difficult to prepare contemporary and traditional music to satisfy the taste of the entire congregation. I must say Robert does an outstanding job in holding a balance to our dedicated group. Arnold Hendrix at First Baptist had also told me when he first came to Atmore how he wanted to offer sermons that all ages would enjoy. And he did just that, too.

All of us working together with our respective pastors and ministers, understanding and appreciating their efforts, would make their jobs a lot easier and more rewarding.
Well, football time is here. Do I need to tell you it begins this weekend? I hardly think so. You already know.

Right now, “back row quarterbacks” are airing their concerns about respective teams. Will the Crimson Tide pick up where it ended last season, will Auburn coach Gus Malzahn consider defense as a relative counterpart to offense, will LSU’s Les Miles retain his job after the season is over, will the Ole Miss Rebels become an SEC West elite team, will it be Georgia or Florida as the SEC East representative and will Kentucky, with a new coach, ascend from the SEC basement? A lot of questions, a lot of excitement and probably a lot of surprises will be revealed as the season unfolds.

Our Pink Lady this week is Doris Gentry. This community-minded lady has volunteered services at our nursing home for 30 years, in addition to her seven years with the Hospital Auxiliary. Having worked at Samco as a secretary, this lady finds pleasure in all her volunteer work. She is another of those fine people who serve our hospital and community well.

I will have more news of Atmore’s people, places and events next week.

You can email Lowell McGill at exam@frontiernet.net.

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