Lucille Luttrell Howell loved dancing to the music

Published 6:55 am Wednesday, August 2, 2006

By Staff
Senior Living
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights Lucille Luttrell Howell. She just celebrated her 97th birthday.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born July 9, 1909 in Brewton.
I was born in my grandmother's two-story house. It was where the new First Baptist Church of Brewton sanctuary is now.
The old church was on one side and the grammar school and courthouse was on the other side of the house.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: My grandparents were Elston and Lucy Luttrell who owned Luttrell's Hardware in Brewton.
My father, Randolph Luttrell was from Georgia and my mother Binion Luttrell was from Evergreen.
My daddy worked for L &N railroad.
My brother Randy and I used to ride the trains during the summer to visit relatives and friends.
Q: Did you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I had three brothers, Randy, Joe and Clarence and one sister, Anna.
I was the oldest and Anna was the youngest. I am the only one left living now.
Q: Where did you attend high school and college?
A: The school, Brewton Elementary was right next door to our house.
My daddy had gone to school there and later my daughter would go to school there.
I enjoyed school so much. I had the best teachers. They were all so good.
I loved my home economics class. I learned how to cook. I was a pretty good cook.
I went to Brewton Elementary through sixth grade and then went to T.R. Miller for high school. I graduated in 1928 from there.
After that I went to business school in Montgomery for a year.
That was my first time to leave home. I lived with my aunt and uncle. They had a daughter my age.
I went to so many dances when I was in school.
We had a lot of entertainment back then.
I just can't tell you how many dances I went to.
A boy from out of town always carried me to them.
We went to T.R. Miller's home in Brewton. He had a ballroom between the first and second floor.
We did all kinds of dances.
I just loved to dance. When I hear music now, I just wish that I could get up and dance.
Q: How did you travel when you were younger?
A: We walked to school and church because they were right by our house.
My daddy had a car. I can't remember what kind other than it was red.
I had a car later on, but don't remember what kind it was.
I didn't care what kind of car it was. I just liked to drive it. I do know that it had a rumble seat in it.
Q: What jobs did you hold?
A: When I finished business school, I moved back to Brewton and went to work at Alabama Power as a secretary/bookkeeper.
I worked there until I got married in 1930.
I also worked at my granddaddy's hardware store in Brewton for a while.
When we moved to Atmore I worked for C.E. Bachelor in Canoe keeping the books for his diary farm.
Mrs. Bachelor always had me in for lunch everyday. She was so sweet to me.
Then I worked doing the books for Atmore Truckers and then finally ended up at Bateson's Furniture doing the bookkeeping.
My brother Randy had opened Bateson's and wanted my husband to come work with him. I worked there until I retired in 1986.
Q: Did you ever marry?
A: I married William C. (Red) Howell. He was from Evergreen.
He organized dances all over the place and I met him at a dance he set up in Brewton.
Our first date was at a high school dance. I loved to dance. We had so much fun that night.
He worked as a foreman on the night shift at T.R. Miller mill company in the box factory.
We dated for about four months before we got married at First Baptist Church in Brewton on Mother's Day in May of 1930.
My mother was very fond of him.
He continued to work at the mill in Brewton until we moved to Memphis, Tenn., where he worked civil service for three years.
We moved to Atmore when WWII was over and we were able to leave Memphis.
We moved to Atmore in May of 1947.
Q: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
A: We had a son and a daughter, Barbara and Billy.
Billy was seven years younger than Barbara and he recently died from cancer. He was a forester with Container Corporation and had two children.
I have three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Q: Where do you attend church?
A: I have been a member of First Baptist Church of Atmore since I moved here in 1947.
I was a Sunday School teacher, training union teacher, church secretary, president of the WMU and helped with Vacation Bible School for many years.
I love going to church. I still go. When Kelly Brown was the preacher he would tell everybody that he couldn't start the service until I quit hugging everybody.
They say that I was always the last person standing up.
I love people.
Q. What keeps you busy these days?
A: I am not able to do a lot of anything anymore.
I do still go to church and go with my daughter to the grocery store and shopping.
I really like Wal-Mart. The prices are good and they have good merchandise.
I used to cook a lot and I still would if I could.
I have been classified as legally blind and can't cook anymore.
My daughter lays out my make up for me every morning so that when I get up I can get a bath, fix my hair and put on my makeup.
It just makes me feel better.
I feel good all the time. The Lord has really blessed me.
Q. Have you traveled much?
A: I belonged to a Travel Club in Mobile at one time. I don't remember exactly how many trips we took, but I remember going to Hawaii and Canada with them.
Hawaii had some really good dancing. Every trip I took people would say 'She's the best dancer I've ever seen.' Everybody wanted to dance with me.
I always told them to plan the best trips after the tenth of the month because I had to collect electric bills at Bateson's until the tenth.
There were a lot of people from Atmore in the travel club. I think that I am the only one left from this area.
Q. What's your favorite television show?
A: I liked the 'Lawrence Welk Show'. I can't see it anymore, but I can still listen to it.
I liked some of the games shows at night and Auburn football and the Atlanta Braves.
Q: What advice do you give to people on staying healthy?
A: Don't smoke or drink. Always go to church. That was always my favorite thing. We just had good preachers and always went to church. Be congenial to people.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact Janet Little Cooper at 368-2123 or e-mail her at

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