Nostalgic Notes receives mixed email reviews

Published 12:53 am Wednesday, October 29, 2008

By By Lowell McGill
A few items of interest from the year 1955 before I acknowledge some nice, and some not so nice, emails, letters and phone calls recently.
Many from here joined long lines at local schools to receive their Salk polio vaccines, which became available for the first time here and nationwide. Local school principal Garland Butler was elected chairman of the Escambia County chapter of infantile paralysis in June 1955.
In state and city news, Gov. Jim Folsom declared that the state would no longer use unmarked patrol cars. The Atmore City Council voted to prohibit anyone “conducting business on city streets.” The order did away those who sold merchandise or performed various services on the street within the city limits
Janice Watson became one of the first here to become an airline hostess. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B Watson, she took a position with American Airlines.
Two from the county were called in the month of June by the Selective Service Draft Board as part of the state’s quota of 237.
Joyce Crabtree was named the Escambia County, Fla. Langley Bell winner as the top 4-H competitor. The Ernest Ward High School senior was one of over a hundred competing for the honor.
In education news, longtime Atmore Training School principal W. Whisenhunt accepted a position with the school system in Anniston. Larkin Business School opened its doors here in mid-1955. The school, which offered a variety of business courses, was established in Brewton. Many returning veterans continued their education at the school.
Star Route, a very familiar mail route originating at the local post office was recognized as one of the largest mail routes in the state.
Rev. B.A. Lambert, pastor of Brooks Memorial Baptist Church, announced plans for a new educational building.
Summer time in Atmore included regular street dances near Byrne Field. The dances were sponsored by the American Legion Post. This same organization announced the formation of city softball teams. James Robinson was post commander during this period of time.
Mrs. Joel Smith began writing an Advance community column about residents living in Halls Fork. This community is located on the Phillipsville road south of Perdido
Pensacola’s Fiesta of Five Flags drew local contestants from Atmore, including Betty Smith. A number of young ladies throughout south Alabama and northwest Florida vied for Queen of the annual event
Now to acknowledge some response to our columns. Edgar Norris was the first to provide the correct answer to the location of the 1974, 3A high school semi-championship football game. In an article I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I related the game had to be moved from Pell City to another field due to weather and field conditions.
Which town did the game move to? The answer was Childersburg.
Lisa Hartline Hess thought the game was played in Ashville. In her email she indicated she was in the band that year. I emailed her back and told her ECHS had a very good band that year.
Mabry Hough, who stated in his email, that he lived in Pell City in 1974 and he remembers the game being moved to Childersburg.
Another nice email on a different subject came from Ed Ray who gave me some more information on Jimmy Rane, the television “yella wood” man. This Auburn University grad, according to Ray, contributed his talents and general support to Abbeville’s successful historical downtown development. Ray, who is acquainted with Rane, said the robust gentleman received special recognition in 2001 from the Alabama Historical Commission for his many historical contributions.
Another person called without identifying himself stating that I wrote about Auburn in a non positive manner when I detailed Tony Franklin’s departure from the University after he had been abruptly fired as the Tiger offensive coordinator. Well, sir if you had read my column correctly you would have found that I wrote about seeing a classless internet video stream of his leaving campus. The video showed hurt and sadness in his face as he loaded his personal items into his vehicle before driving away. Only a couple of students were shown offering him condolences as he left. I also wrote that I though the video stream was not endorsed by Auburn University.
I also heard from several of my friends who sincerely enjoyed Adam’s series of articles about the Creek Indian projects. It is truly amazing, and not speaking from the standpoint of gambling, that this great tribe has brought such needed employment opportunities to our community. It brings back memories of the days when my very good friend Hugh Rozelle, along with Lenoir Thompson and Chief Calvin McGhee, spearheaded the plans for the Creek’s federal recognition.
These three men and Eddie Tullis, too, should never be forgotten for their roles in the success of the Creeks. Buford Rolin and all the present day tribal members are to be praised for all they are doing to make Atmore a successful community. City officials working hand-in-hand with the Creeks will make us a booming city of the future.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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