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Atmore residents won big in early ‘66

By By Lowell McGill
In early 1966, three Atmore area residents were lucky winners in local drawings.
Mrs. Gordon Horn, a native of Enon, Fla., won $500 cash from Kwik Chek (now known as Winn Dixie) in the “Spot of Gold Contest.” The 86-year-old winner was quoted as saying “that’s enough money to buy groceries for a lifetime.”
A&P Grocery Store gave away four-color television sets in their January drawings and Joel Stallworth won a complete “fishing outfit” from Rex Sporting Goods.
Back then, there were more small businesses here compared to today. Many of these firms were often involved in drawings, usually awarding clothes or other family-related items.
B.C. Moore and Sons Department Store brought in a new manager in February that year. He was Danny Lamar Godwin, former store manager at Dothan.
Alabama Power Company held an open house at its new location on Church Street. That firm had operated from a North Main Street location for many years.
BECO, a plant that overhauled and repaired electrical equipment, opened their doors with 25 initial workers.
Six local and area residents made the news headlines in the spring of 1966. They were Morgan Little, James Hall, Peggy Troutman, Terry Holland, Glenn Weekley and Margaret Hall.
Little, a former Advance editor, was initiated into the Mobile Professional Chapter of Sigma Delta National Journalism Society. A graduate of Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette and the University of Alabama with a degree in journalism, he later worked as news editor for the “Mobile Press Register” and the “Pensacola News Journal.” Little, who died three years ago, was also instrumental in helping me produce our highly successful “Oil Edition” in 1972 when I owned and operated “The Tri-City Ledger” newspaper. I founded that paper in 1971.
Margaret Hall, a senior at ECHS, won the County “Beef Cook-Off” event with her unique “round steak” offering. Her brother, James, was elected co-captain of the Sneed Junior College basketball team. Their parents were Mr. and Mrs. E.J. (Junior) Hall.
Troutman and Holland took top honors for selling the most magazines in the ECHS class magazine drive. The entire class sold $5,631.95 in subscriptions.
Weekley, 17, conducted a three-day revival at Martinville Baptist Church.
The Perdido native went on to become one of the most well-known ministers in America. He served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn. for a number of years. In fact, he was pastor at that church until his death in 2007.
Several Grand Ole Opry stars were congregation members. That church was also know for conducting funeral services for Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. (For more information on Glenn you can pull up my 2007 archive Internet story on his life growing up as my neighbor in Perdido).
In some current news, Dr. Hugh Long returned home from a week of mission works in Reynosa, Mexico.
As a representative of Brooks Memorial Church, he was one of nine from our area that made the annual mission trip.
More than 150 people working with an orphanage in that town taught scripture, distributed care packages and assisted in interior renovations. Hugh told me heavy rains prevented their doing much outside work. He has made this annual trek for a number of years.
Reynosa is located near McAllen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. It is also not too far from Rio Grande City and Harlingen, Texas, an area rich in growing fruits and vegetables.
My column last week about Little River State Park generated a lot of emails and feedback. I heard from several who remember “growing up” at that park.
One feedback came from a representative of The Alabama Hiking Trail Society, a nonprofit organization that has helped maintain the trails at the park since Hurricane Ivan hit the area in 2004. This source informed us “You Tube” carries some history about the park. This Montgomery-based organization does much for National Parks like Little River. Let’s hope their influence will help keep the park open.
Some of you may have read the article on “The Splinter Hill Bogs” in the current issue of “Southern Living” magazine. These bogs have drawn nature lovers from all over the world. But, sometimes news stories fail to identify other Bogs in and around the Perdido area.
Finally, there was a new oil-drilling permit issued last week. It is the Spooner Drilling Company Blackstone 32-7 No. 1 unit. I’ll have more details on this well and all other area drilling activities in the weekend edition of the Advance.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at exam@frontiernet.net.