With controversy comes critics and politics

Published 7:51 am Wednesday, June 24, 2009

By By Lowell McGill
My emails have slowed down recently and I think I know why. The main reason is because I have been too “vanilla” in my writings. In other words I have not been very controversial.
Well, let me remedy that situation.
By now you have heard about Dave Letterman’s self serving political agenda on his late night TV show. It came to head a couple of weeks ago when he made that statement about the daughter of Sarah Palin. Little did Letterman realize that his statement would come back to haunt him. Just this week Olive Garden expressed its displeasure over his statement and immediately pulled its advertisement. Show people like Letterman readily know advertisements are vital for a shows existence. He was also embarrassed by week long demonstrations outside the studios where his show is staged.
Letterman did offer an apology to the Palin family, but it, too, was a joke in itself as he later joked about his apology.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) was asked why they did not come forward and support Palin. But TV pundits said this group also endorses a liberal viewpoint and they were not going to lend her support. Pundits point out that Palin represents opposite political and social views. NOW is readily recognized as avid supporters of abortion and gay rights.
Fourteen other advertisers are being asked to withdraw their ads according to an article last week by the Politico organization. It is believed by some that a couple more advertisers will withdraw financial backing to the show according to a radio pundit.
In another liberal moment this week, California Senator Barbara Boxer “dressed down” Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh at a hearing in Washington asking the General to refer to her as “senator” instead of “ma’am.” It was embarrassing to the General as Boxer said “It’s just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I’d appreciate your not calling me ma’am.” Conservatives had a field day over this incidence. Well, they ought to get a few emails.
Harold Allen performed a notable act this week. The longtime and successful mobile home dealer donated a sizeable check to the family of Hadyn Brake of Flomaton. Allen first learned of Hadyn in a story in The Atmore Advance and a Mobile TV station picked it up and praised Allen for his contribution in a TV feature story.
Allen, who received a kidney from his son nine years ago, gave the money to the Blake family to help defray costs of travel, lodging and food. Little Hadyn, who hopes to have a kidney transplant sometime after August, has been suffering from a lingering kidney disease since birth. The family is trying to raise 20 percent of the medical bills for the transplant.
Now let’s take a look at some news from 1974.
In city sports, Ed Brown and Al Rivera managed the Mike Simpson Wasps; Earl Gunn and Cecil Coleman guided the Piggly Wiggly Wildcats; Durwood Thomley and Joe Overstreet steered the Swift Lumber Lions and Ray Bell and Wayne Hubbard managed the Staff Chevrolet Beavers.
Atmore Trade School began classes for both inmates and the general public with an enrollment that exceeded all expectations.
Top TV programs included “All In The Family,” The Walton’s,” Sanford And Son,” “MASH,” Hawaii Five-O,” “Maude” and “Barnaby Jones.”
Some the hit songs of the year were “Radar Love” by Golden Earring; “The Real Me” by The Who; “Piano Man” by Billy Joel, “That Smell” by Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Honey Honey” by Abba.
Jim Norris, who was born in 1884, was recognized for having voted in every election since 1905. He was quoted as saying “I even voted for Theodore Roosevelt”.
Glen Latham and his capable staff of coaches led his ECHS team to the 3-A high School football championship by defeating UMS, Foley, Andalusia and Pell City in route to the championship win over Sheffield.
That Pell City game, which was a Blue Devils road game, was almost not played. The team and fans encountered extreme weather conditions in that north Alabama city. In fact field and weather conditions were so bad that the game had to be moved to a nearby town. Prior to moving the game officials brought in a helicopter to hover over the field in an effort to dry the standing water. Ice had formed on power lines and the blustery winds caused the lines to sway and fall around the stadium. It was a very dangerous situation. It was the coldest night I had ever watched a football game.
It took almost two hours to make the journey and get set up in the other town’s ball field. But the Devils withstood the elements with a very good victory over Pell City to set up the championship game against Sheffield the following week.
Atmore had some great players on that team. Two of them, Lou Ikner and Don McNeal, received college scholarships to the University of Alabama. Both had excellent careers in college. Don continued his career with the Miami Dolphins. Latham, because of his excellent guidance and with the support of a talented staff, was named Alabama High School coach of the year.
Next week, I will try to close out news, events and people from the year 1974.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at exam@frontiernet.net

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