Getting back to the people and events of 1973

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, April 22, 2009

By By Lowell McGill
Last week, I mentioned a new device was forthcoming that could possibly eliminate the need to take Coumadin, the blood thinning drug used for heart patients. The reason I am writing about this is the fact that I have been using this drug for almost ten years. And, I am sure many of you also use it, but, I’ll have more about this later.
My coffee drinking buddies at Busters finally concurred that “you get the news first” in my column. Our main group, Johnny Coker, Mike Grindle,, Joe Pennington, Dave Kinman, Woodrow Pettis, Leon Lyles, Troy Byrd and Richard-our friend from Mobile-let me know that I was the first to announce the $250 Social Security stimulus check which will be arriving sometime in May. They also told me that I was the first to announce Phil Savage would be doing the “color phase’ on the A-Day University of Alabama radio broadcast. You really have to know this unique group to appreciate them. Every subject you can think of is discussed at this round table session. I don’t mean gossiping, but really poking fun at each other. With the exception of Mike, a minister who enjoys the congenial overall friendship of the group you get the low down on ‘all the news.” And, believe me, my column would cease to exist if I wrote about everything we discussed.
One day a customer took a seat at our table before all the guys got there. I asked him where he was from and he said I “am from up north, and I am down here working on the casino.” I asked him if he had always done construction work and he said, “that’s all I know how to do. He jested and said “I have built every thing from wooden snow sleds to fence rails for churches”. Well, I didn’t want to touch that one but I was rolling in laughter at his comical nature as he never stopped talking. He was one of those you could listen to talk all day He was leaving as my friends began to come in. Before he left he briefly introduced himself and departed for work. He said he had been in to dine several times and often listened to our “bull sessions”. He remarked that we had a really friendly group who seemed to enjoy each others company. He also said he was seriously considering moving down here and making Atmore his home. He told us he really enjoyed “all the people and the friendly relaxed style of living down here. He said if I do make the move I want to become a member of your coffee drinking gang. We told him he would be most welcome.
According to a medical report released March 28 by Reuters News Service, “a device that would be implanted in the heart has proved in a clinical study to be a potential alternative to a standard blood thinner for helping patients with irregular heart beats and preventing strokes.”
This comes as welcome news for those of us who must visit our local labs for monthly blood test” to insure our blood is maintained with the proper” thickness.”
According to the report, the device will be “guided to the heart through a catheter inserted through a vein in the upper leg. It is placed just behind or at the opening of the left atrial appendage isolating the appendage where the mast majority of clots are formed.”
The device is a product of Atritech Inc, according to the news release.
I’ll be waiting on further developments on this device. It would be great news to learn I would not have to visit that lab one a month to get my blood report. Updates will be announced here as they develop.
Now let’s take a look at some news, people and events from 1973.
Vanity Fair Manufacturing plants in Atmore and Monroeville began running a series of ads in The Advance for sewing machine operators. At that time there were several vacancies for these jobs at both plants. Ironically, we do not have a local plant now as it was phased out a few years ago. The Monroeville plant still maintains a relatively small work force as compared to those “hey days” back in the 1970s.
John Bachelor sold out his 1,500 acre farming operation in March 1973. He moved out west where he established a large cattle ranch. J.E Golden of Jay purchased the Bachelor farm.
Speaking of John, I remember Ben Haley telling about he and Billy Roy Parker flying out to John’s western home. They made the trip in Billy Roy’s crop duster plane. Ben said he remembered their making a couple of landings in cow pastures for refueling purposes. He said it seems like an eternity getting there in that crop dusting plane.
Sadly, all three of these good friends have now passed on.
Mrs. Virginia Mallard of Atmore celebrated her 103 birthday with friends and family in the spring of 1973. Mayor Oris Davis and city councilmen conducted a gala birthday for her at Atmore City Hall.
The Diana Shop opened for business here that year with a big ribbon cutting ceremony, also conducted by Mayor Davis.
In some current news Atmore postal employees may be among the 150,000 postal workers who may take early retirement. According to a news release by the United Postal Service on March 20, a “substantial reduction in mail volume may prompt some to consider volunteer retirement.”
Full details of this have not yet been released, but USPS says slowdown in mail volume may require action in the near future. The Postal service has already announced “plans to close six district offices and to reduce administrative personnel by 15 percent”.
Last week I wrote about my “obsolete” adjusting computer and software. One lady emailed and asked “why don’t you buy some modern equipment?” Well, let me say I do have the very latest computer and software for my writing and internet research. But, 20 years ago when computers were introduced in my adjusting work, I said if I ever learn how to operate it I will stay with it until I retire. I thought I would never learn how to use it. But, I finally learned it. And that is why I still use it. In other words, it is too late in life for me to learn all this ‘new stuff.” I have been getting the work done for a long time and I see no reason to change.
Also, a friend suggested I change the name of my column to “Down Memory Lane”. Might not be a bad idea since I write so much about “memories from the yesteryears.” I’ll have to run it by Adam to get his thinking on this.
I’d like to offer special thanks to Carl Johnson, the attorney son of Murray and Jean Johnson, for his excellent e-mail to me this week. A very successful and generous man, I still remember him from the days of long ago when he, Steve and Mark played youth sports together. It is great to see him achieve so much success in life.
Also, thanks to Charlotte Krajnick for her nice e-mail. I am at a disadvantage as she says she knows me, but I am unable to place her. She really wrote me a very nice e-mail. I will inquire this week in an effort to learn her maiden name. One thing for sure, she is an excellent writer.
Next week we will take a look at some of the fine, dedicated people who were officers, directors, managers and coaches in our Little League and Babe Ruth programs. We will also talk about the ladies who oversaw the LL and BR auxiliaries.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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