Martin "Tab" Turberville has a road named after him

Published 3:44 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2006

By Staff
Senior Living
(This week The Atmore Advance spotlights 89-year-old Martin "Tab" Turberville. He has spent most of his life farming. )
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born on Dec. 7, 1917 west of Uriah in Mineola. Our old homeplace is still there.
Dr. Cole,who drove a horse and buggy to our house, delivered me.
I lived at home until I was 21 and got married.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: My father was Dan Turberville from Wayne Wright north of Monroeville and my mother was Maddie Boone Turberville from Mineola.
Q: Did you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I had three brothers. Only one is still living. He lives in Atmore.
And I had three sisters with only one of them left living. She lives in Robertsdale.
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: I went to Mineola School from the first grade to the sixth grade.
My favorite time of the school day was dinner time. I carried two sweet potatoes with some meat and a biscuit with syrup.
My favorite subject was history.
Q: How did you travel when you were younger?
A: We walked three miles to school one way. I got in a little bit of mischief during that time.
Me and my brothers, or cousins or just friends would get in fights.
We didn't always get along you know.
Our father got a brand new truck just before he died in 1925.
I bought a 1926 Model T Ford for $35 from an individual. I kept it for three to four years. I got my monies worth out of it!
Q: Did you work after you got out of school?
A: I worked on the family home until I got married and then I went to work at NRA in Uriah building sidewalks for the schools. We mixed cement with a hoe and spread those walks with a trowel.
I also run a rolling store at one time for a year or two. I went to Uriah, Frisco City, Megargel and around selling grocery items like bacon, snuff, lard and kerosene.
Back then I sold kerosene for .20 cents a gallon, now it is as much as $10 a gallon.
I had a little boy stop me one time with a little fruit jar for a nickels worth of sugar.
I also worked at a sawmill for a short time in Fulton.
I worked on the state farm at the prison for a while. I made $50 a week working six days a week.
The government gave me a deferment from being drafted if I stayed on the family farm.
We were in the middle of peanuts at the state farm and I was about ready to leave anyway. They told me that they would draft me if I didn't go back to the farm, so I went back home.
People were begging and waiting in line to get a job then making $50 a week.
I married before the Pearl Harbor attack. My other brothers went into the service, but I went back to the farm.
I was born on that farm. You could see the chickens through the cracks in the floor of the house I grew up in.
I was never a big time farmer, maybe 50 to 60 acres.
In my spare time, I made moonshine in Mineola. I had my own still. I didn't make it to sell. I just made it for my own use.
And I only spent one night in jail in all my years. I spent the night in the Baldwin County Jail for night hunting for deer.
I had a spotlight shining them and when I saw that warden's lights pull up, I threw that rifle off in the woods. That thing was so full of buck shot that it could have killed us all when I threw it. I never did go back to get it.
I haven't retired yet. I still farm about three acres of potatoes, butter beans, watermelons and other crops.
The road that I live on in Lottie was named after me – Tab Turberville Road. Most people know me by Tab instead of Martin.
They named it without asking me.
Q: Did you ever marry?
A: I married Edna Hall from McCullough. We met at a baseball game in Booneville. She was hollering for Booneville and I was cheering for Mineola.
I went and started talking to her and then later she wrote me a letter and that is when it all started.
We dated for about six months and got married at my house. We were married for 11 years. She was 17 when we met and I was 20.
Then when I was 40, I met Dorothy Jones from Lottie. She came to see me at my mama's house. We dated about six months before we got married in Perdido. We were married for 38 years before she passed away six years ago.
Q: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
A: Me and my first wife, Edna, had one son. He lives in Atmore. I don't have any grandchildren either.
Q. Where do you attend church?
A. I go to Mineola Methodist Church. It has been there for more than a 100 years.
I have outlived a many of the people in that church. I have been a member there all my life.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: I still do a little farming and take care of my animals. I have a donkey, two beagles and a pile of chickens.
I hope that I live one more year to see the pine trees I planted get cut. They are 20 years old now.
I go to church and I go to the Poarch S.A.I.L. center everyday that they will feed me.
I went with a group of men from there last year to Lake Eufaula for a fishing trip.
The guys bought me a pair of swimming trunks and a six pack of beer.
I was the only man in the swimming pool that night at the motel with quite a few women. I wore those trunks in there too.
Then we put on a Hee Haw program one time and I played String Bean.
I don't like dancing one bit, but everybody just kept on and on about it until I finally put on a show for them.
Q. Have you traveled much?
A. Yes, I took my mother to Cleveland, Ohio to see one of her daughters.
That was the first time I saw the big town. We caught the train in Atmore and stayed for about a week.
I will never forget that trip.
Q. What's your favorite television show?
A. I watch a good bit of television. I really like that Court T.V. program and I watch the news and weather.
Q.What advice do you give people to stay healthy?
A: The best thing a person can do is to watch what you eat and how much you eat.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact Janet Little Cooper at 368-2123 or e-mail her at lifestyles@atmoreadvance. com

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