Billboards are truly a sign of our progress

Published 5:44pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013

They say billboards are an indication of progress. If that is the case, then Highway 21 from the Florida state line to I-65 can certainly be considered progressive by all means.

Each time I drive out to the interstate, I see a new billboard. And, I also see more and more traffic on this road. Of course, most of these vehicles are on the way to Wind Creek. In fact progress abounds all around, even into Mobile. But, more about that later.

These billboards are placed there mostly by out-of-town firms, particularly from Mobile and Pensacola. There are some local billboards, however. These firms know this is a heavily traveled highway and they want their products seen by thousands of motorists. And as Rivercane and Wind Creek expands, there will be more and more billboards and traffic.

Wind Creek apparently is nearing completion of its new movie theater-bowling alley complex. Finishing construction is evident as exterior marquees and colorful signs are getting final touches. The bowling lanes will be particularly appealing to everyone. The bowling league director has an important role in the initial phase and should exercise foresight to insure a proper balance between league bowlers and walk-in bowlers. I am sure there will be no problem in this regard.

These new Wind creek offerings are considered FUN businesses. Moreover, we can consider these new businesses as “destinations.” That’s right. This means a high school class in Robertsdale, Monroeville or Milton can say, “Let’s go to Atmore” to bowl or to the movies. Or young people can say, “I’m taking my date to the movies and bowling in Atmore.”

These new businesses out there, including Rivercane, will bring additional jobs. And don’t forget that jobs could also possibly come to the industrial park, when Airbus expands its Mobile operation.

Speaking of progress in Mobile, just this week an Asian country placed orders in the billions for new planes to be built there.

I keep emphasizing how BIG Airbus will be for ALL OF US. Not only will Mobile’s skyline expand with additional tall buildings, but many outlying towns like Atmore will benefit greatly with offshoot plants and supply houses. Incidentally, Atmore should be at the very top for consideration for one of these offshoots because of our easy access off I-65 from Mobile. I believe it is less stressful to exit I-65 here, as opposed to “fighting” traffic on congested Highway 59 in Baldwin County. Even their new express highways will not elevate all that daily traffic.

We are fortunate for our geographical location to Mobile. We are also fortunate to be living in a town with such a bright future economic outlook.

Now, let’s take a look at some news from those “yesteryears.”

In 1975, two Perdido teachers, Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Trawick, left their teaching jobs for teaching positions in Southbay, Florida. They were the parents of the late Archie Trawick, former Escambia County Superintendent of Education.

Former ECHS student and football standout Alan Davis received a scholarship from the University of Alabama.

A rare event occurred on our golf course that year. Postmaster H.C. Williams and Frank Slay each scored holes in one in separate golf tournaments. Both men were regarded as avid golfers.

Also in 1975, our Little League teams were managed by a group of dedicated men. Some team managers and coaches were John Mitchell, Jim Monroe, Eleyan Amerson, “Doodle” Purvis, Al Amerson, Charles Wicker, Earl Gunn, Ed Brown, Gene Akins, Glenn Simmons, Robert Dean and Freddie Troutman.

Gerald Stanton captured first place with one of his hound dogs in The National Coon On A Log Contest in Georgia. It was the third time Gerald took top honors in this sport.

Atmore recognized some talented baseball players from the 1940s who “lit up the diamond” at old Byrne Field. They were Charles and Root Lowery, Joe Lalak, EE Martin, Buddy and Doc Vickery, Austin and James Taylor, Hiram Cabiness, Hip White, Lefty Adams, Eubie Coon, Gene Wilson and Jack, Clarence and León Akins.

Last week, I wrote about enjoying our beautiful sunsets while relaxing on the sugar white sands along the Gulf. This week I received an email from a reader who had come down from Illinois just to see these colorful sunsets. That reader remarked, “I do not know why southern sunsets on the Gulf seem so much brighter. Perhaps, we are just closer to the sun down here.” Perhaps so.

Next week I will have more news about people, places and events from Atmore’s days gone by.


You can email Lowell McGill at exam@

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