Nostalgic Notes

Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, September 3, 2008

By Staff
Leatherwood offered helping hand after Katrina
By Lowell McGill
Before I get into my column I have something revealing to local sports fans.
I discovered this week that those who have Frontier internet and Dish Network will find pay-per-view football games right on your computer. The web site is Just this Saturday night I carried my wireless computer into the den and watched Auburn play UL-Monroe while I watched Alabama play Clemson on the TV network. And, here is some more good news. is right now promoting carrying the Alabama-Tulane game Saturday. This, as you know is a pay-per-view game, but it’s totally free on my satellite and internet service. I am not sure if ESPN 360 is available on cable or other satellite services. Those who have these services can give them a call to find out it is available
Another item is a correction to a story I wrote last week on the four couples who are celebrating over 60 years of marriage. In the story about the Day family, I inadvertently listed Randy Day as the athletic director at Northview High School. This should have been Sammy Day who is employed at this position. Randy, of course works with Masland. I regret this error and I am glad to make this correction.
In my column today, I wanted to tell you about a man, whose family is from the Atmore area, having performed outstanding public service work in Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina.
Winston Leatherwood furnished me some information about his nephew Dr. Lynn Leatherwood who has a medical practice in Gulfport, Miss. Lynn is the son of the late Earl Leatherwood who was raised in Atmore, but lost his life in a commercial accident in Birmingham several years ago. Winston is the grandson of Rue Mason who died in 1967 at the age of 100.
Dr. Leatherwood, according to Winston, set up a temporary medical station in Longbeach, Miss. following the storm and aided countless displaced residents with medical care. He worked tirelessly with his wife and small staff in caring for sick and injured storm victims for several weeks. He donated his time and services to several hundred storm victims. Many of these victims were without a home or food. Dr. Leatherwood even made efforts to help them find temporary housing and food, his uncle related.
Because of his compassionate efforts the firefighters of south Mississippi bestowed him a “Hero” and presented him with a plaque of commendation, Winston related.
In addition, he was also honored in Aliceville, Alabama, his former hometown according to Winston.
Winston stated that his generous service was carried on the TV locally and area newspapers.
Speaking of Rue Mason, many of you may remember his shiny 1929 Chevrolet which was on display for many years at Staff Chevrolet. The car, green and yellow in color, was in mint condition and had a rear “rumple seat.” After Staff sold out James Barnett, reportedly, bough the car and keeps it in a secured location. James is married to the former Beverly Troutman, the great granddaughter of Rue Mason.
Rue had several children who have now all passed away. They are Rue Mason, Jr., William Mason, Cornelia (Brantley) Mason, Maggie (Troutman) Mason, Rhonda (Leatherwood) Mason, Vera (Vickery) Mason and Ethel (Seales) Mason.
Some of the surviving Mason family members gather once each month at David’s for luncheon.
These family members are now abuzz over the possibility of oil drilling that may soon take place on a family track of land near Butler Street. Members of the family have received a lease agreement drafts and have been informed that a Texas drilling firm has plans to visit old drilling sites on their property. Not only this land, but tracks owned by other families in this area, reportedly, are now being leased. I have not made contact with the Alabama Gas and Oil Board confirming any drilling, however.
This reminds me of 1971 when I founded “The Tri-City Ledger” where we carried front page news of all oil activity. Our circulation mushroomed each week as residents learned where the next well would be drilled. Oil exploration was extremely popular during that time.
Now, new drilling seems to be on the horizon again and hopefully it will return with a boom here.
I kid my wife about her tiny lease share in her grandfather’s old home place. But, she says she is not holding her breath for it to happen. She told me to do the same.
Next week we will look further into the year 1974. I think you find several great items of interest that occurred that year.
Let me thank all of you who emailed me their appreciation for the column a couple of weeks ago about storms and weather patterns. As I stated earlier, we are now in the heart of the hurricane season. Even as I write today The National Hurricane Center is keeping their eyes on activity that could eventually come our way. However, let’s hope it treks somewhere else and leaves us high and dry.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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