Published 11:31 am Sunday, January 18, 2009
New councilman Cornell Torrence renovates homes
By MaryClaire Foster
(This week The Atmore Advance visited with 76-year-old Cornell Torrence at his home on Carver Avenue.)
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Auburn.
Q: What is your wife’s name? How long have you been married?
A: Mavis B. Torrence. We’ve been married 54 years.
Q: What made you want to marry her?
A: She’s very beautiful and sweet. I fell in love.
Q: How did you and your wife meet?
A: We met in college at Alabama State University.
Q: What did you study in college?
A: I majored in physical education and minored in history. I received my masters in education from Troy State University.
Q: What did you like most about teaching?
A: I liked being around students and trying to mold personalities and help them develop.
Q: Where did you teach?
A: I taught at Escambia County Training School for 14 years and Escambia County High School for 25 years. I coached football and basketball at both schools. I was the head basketball coach at Escambia County High School for 20 years.
Q: What brought you to Atmore?
A: Mr. McCarvey, the Escambia County Training School principal at that time, came up to Montgomery and was seeking coaches, and I was recommended.
Q: Do you have children? Any grandchildren?
A: I have five children and seven grandchildren.
Q: What are some of your proudest achievements in your lifetime?
A: I was a high school All-State football player. I played four years of college football. I was able to take the basketball team to state twice. As assistant football coach, we won two state championships.
Q: What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?
A: The children sent us on a cruise to Alaska for our 50th wedding anniversary. We saw glaciers as big as mountains.
Q: Where’s somewhere you haven’t gone yet, but would like to go?
A: I’d like to go to Mexico. It’s really close to us, and I think I’d enjoy seeing some of the sights.
Q: Who do you think has been the best president in your lifetime? Why?
A: Bill Clinton. He was able to get a lot of different programs going and help a lot of folks.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I like gardening and building things. I’m not a carpenter, but I like trying to build different objects. I’ve renovated a couple of houses here in Atmore.
Q: What kind of gardening?
A: Turnips, mustards, collards, anything you can eat I like to try and plant it.
Q: What keeps you busy these days?
A: Right now I’m remodeling a house. This is my third house.
Q: Where do you go to church?
A: I’m a steward at Gaines Chapel A.M.E.
Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The University of Alabama for college football. The Indianapolis Colts. I just like all basketball period.
(If you would like to recommend a senior to be spotlighted please contact the Atmore Advance at 368-2123 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org).