Our local farmers grow some tasty crops

Published 3:45pm Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Atmore has always been noted for its fruit and vegetable vendors — those men and women who sell their home-grown goods at intersections and heavily traveled streets.

Right now we are seeing some eye-catching locations featuring fresh corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and beans. On my way to Pensacola last week, I saw a most unique vegetable stand. It was filled with some of the most reddish tomatoes I have ever seen.

But the man operating this stand used a most unique method to draw customers. He sliced those tomatoes, took two slices of light bread with a heaping of mayonnaise and made what I thought was one of the tastiest tomato sandwiches I have ever eaten. And it was free. Now it is no wonder he was selling tomatoes by the sack full.

Even while I was there, his son drove up with a pickup filled with these delicacies to replenish his supply. This goes to prove how imagination and entrepreneurial thinking can make one a success.
Our local vendors can boast, also, of good tasting fruits and vegetables. I am seeing watermelon vending sites galore and I expect to continue seeing them until early fall. The prices remain somewhat high and will stay that way until July 4 passes. After that, I am sure prices will taper off.

As fall wraps itself around us, peanut vendors will pop up. I enjoy the aroma of freshly dug green peanuts. The smell, alone, prompts me to buy these — hard to stop eating — legumes. My aunt used to “can” them. Actually, she did not preserve them in cans but in Mason jars. They really made a tasty snack during the cold winter nights.

Back in the early 50s, cane juice vending “mills” were quite common. A man from Monroe County always set up his portable grinding mill outside old Byrne Field. He brought his mule, mill, stacks of sugar cane, croaker sacks and dozens of half quart Mason jars. As the mule chugged round and round the grinding mill, he fed stalks of cane into the teeth of that piece of machinery and out came that delicious cane juice. There is no telling how many jars of that sweet stuff he sold. Boy, I wish someone would set up one of those mills today.

Now, let’s take a look at some news from the year 1966.

Gerald Stanton won another national award with his Coon on the Log dog “Sugar Foot Stoney.” It was the third national award for Gerald’s dogs. Because of his accomplishments, Gerald’s picture and his endorsement were featured on the bags of a national dog food manufacturing company.

Fishing was so popular that year that Roy’s Bait Farm on Jack Springs Road frequently ran out of crickets. Regular customers used this route to Patterson’s Lake and other popular fishing areas.

Helton’s Tire and Appliance advertised in The Advance window slide out air conditioners for the unbelievable low price of $99.95.

Sherry Robinson, 16-year-old ECHS senior and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Robinson, was selected to attend “Girls State” at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. She was sponsored by Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Post 90.

Mrs. J.H. Biggs, long time Lottie and north Baldwin news correspondent, was recognized by The Atmore Advance and The Baldwin Times for her dedicated efforts in writing news from these areas.

And, in 1940, we drove our cars and fueled them by a diversity of gasolines. I am sure you remember Sinclair. It was easily recognized by its big green and white dinosaur. What about Standard Oil and Esso? These brands are usually found up north today.
Woco Pep, distributed by Dee Gibbs, was a popular offshoot of Pure Oil Company. Gulf Gas and Oil was easily recognized by its big round orange sign. Mobile Oil was here for only a short time, but is very popular in the north and east today.

By the way, many of these well known gasoline companies kept their logos and services visible to the public by sponsoring popular radio shows. Cities Service Petroleum was famous for its “Cities Service Band of America” and Texaco was synonymous with the Milton Berle Show.

In some news from 1966, Medicare C Plus became available for the first time to those on this health plan and the Braves left Milwaukee to make their home in Atlanta. That move afforded many of us the opportunity to drive up and watch Major League Baseball for the first time.

Have a good 4th, don’t overstuff your self and thank the Creeks for their generous offering of fireworks Friday evening.

Next week, I’ll have more news of people places and events from the year 1966.

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

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

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