Interesting news reports from the year 1970

Published 7:23 am Wednesday, February 10, 2010

By By Lowell McGill
This week we will take a look at some people, places and events from the year 1970.
Escambia County High School hired Harry Hitchcock as the new football coach. Hitchcock assumed his role with outstanding coaching records from other schools in the state. He replaced longtime junior varsity coach C.P. Floyd who resigned. The latter coach had a highly successful record with the junior varsity team.
Faulkner State Junior College in Bay Minette assumed its new name after having been known as Yancey State Junior College. The college was named after prominent “Baldwin Times” newspaper publisher James Faulkner. Bob Morrissette, publisher of “The Atmore Advance” was one of the guest speakers at the renaming ceremony. Morrissette had worked with “The Times” prior to purchasing “The Advance.”
Taylor’s Store in Lottie, a popular area landmark, was destroyed by fire in early 1970. The Dallas Taylor store was the favorite gathering place for many residents of that community.
Atmore lost two of its prominent citizens in the winter that year. C.E. Bachelor and Wheeler Crook passed away following sudden illnesses.
Crook, along with his wife, Mattie Lou, had operated The City Caf/ on South Main Street for several years. This was one of Atmore’s favorite eating places. It was known for tasty home cooked meals.
Bachelor was a longtime farmer here. He was also a friend of popular storyteller Jerry Clower.
If you remember I wrote about their friendship in one of my columns a couple of years ago. I met Clower at a Flora, Miss. service station while working flood claims on the Pearl River about 10 years ago. Clower, who was ahead of me in line filling his truck with gas, told me he often came to Atmore to speak at farm-related events prior to his gaining national fame as a comedian. He had other friends here including Miles Horn and T.P. Whitten.
Little League and Babe Ruth officers elected that year were Ed Cole, Tony Albert, Grover Everette, Bill Hendrix, Robin White, H.J. Smith and Ollie Strawbridge.
Our local hospital was the recipient of timely monetary gifts for the addition of a coronary unit. Each week church and civic groups brought in their gifts. Greater Mt. Triumph Church was recognized in February for its significant donation.
Now, here is some current news.
The newspaper industry was saddened last week to learn of the death of Hollis Curl, publisher of “The Wilcox Progressive” in Camden. The dedicated newsman was recognized for his late efforts to reestablish a ferry from Camden to Gees Bend, an isolated community, which later became famous for a group of entrepreneurial ladies who made “artful” quilts.
In political news, those on Social Security are now asking “where is my $250 stimulus check?” Well, right now no one seems to have the answer.
President Obama did not give a 2010 cost of living increase and some legislators last October said another stimulus check would “be in the mail” by March 2010.
Now, Terry Lewis, who is the Social Security regional communicator for Philadelphia, Pa., says in an Internet news story carried on “The Herald Mail” “the $250 payment remains a possibility.” She further said “the president has submitted to congress his proposal for a 2010 payment and it was assigned to the Ways and Means Committee Sept. 14, 2009 and that been the most recent action.”
Last year, those retired from Social Security, SSI and certain railroad workers received a stimulus check.
Another Internet source doubts there will be checks this year, while some believe the President will eventually make a push for this money. So, keep watching and reading and, perhaps, something will happen before spring.
Almost everyone was “glued” to the TV Sunday night watching the Super Bowl. From all accounts, Crimson Tide followers were especially pleased with the New Orleans victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The reason was their dislike for Payton Manning’s four-year association with Phil Fulmer, the former Tennessee Vols head coach. Fulmer is blamed by many for “turning in” alleged Crimson Tide violations to the NCAA.
Since Sunday, I have read stories with headlines like “Phfat Phil”s Star Falls and “Phfat Phil Phfumes over Manning toss,” but I think I have coined a phrase that seems to out phrase them all.
Wanna hear it?
I wonder if Tide fans will ever get over Fulmer’s rein with the Vols. That team, I believe, has a very diplomatic coach now in Derek Dooley, the son of Mobile native and former University of Georgia coach Vince Dooley.
Finally, in a very serious mode, many church congregations heard various members of Gideon’s International speak at church services Sunday. We heard a great speaker at our church.
Sunday was Gideon’s Day throughout the country and what a great organization this is. Dr Hugh Long, a Gideon and my Sunday School teacher was away from us Sunday speaking at a church somewhere in Alabama. I am sure those who heard his message were uplifted in their worship of God. I am sure there are other dedicated Gideon’s in our community who were speaking at various churches near and far.
I wish I had the names of all our local Gideon’s. They give much time and effort giving out Bibles and speaking to church congregations.
It is a shame that Gideon literature is no longer received at certain public institutions across the country. Are anti-family, gay and atheist groups permitted to distribute their literature in public places? I honestly don’t know what the law says about this. Do you know? (Here come the e-mails).
Incidentally, that battle to thwart the Tebow TV Super Bowl ad fell through.
One more item of interest is the battle Sen. Richard Shelby is fighting right now. He is attempting to block Obama appointees because of the alleged unfairness in the ongoing tanker contract. Shelby says he wants assurance that Mobile gets a fair shake by legislators and Robert Gates when it is decision time on the bids. The tanker contract would bring hundreds of new jobs to everyone in the Mobile area.
Next week, I’ll have more from the year 1970.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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