Column generates interest among readers

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The column last week on mulberry, loquat, Chinaberry, quince and chinquapin trees apparently created some interest with some of my readers. I received emails and phone calls from local folks as well as some from out of town telling me about their experiences with these trees.

Robert Fillmore called me after reading the column stating he has a quince tree with a lot of fruit on it in his South Presley Street yard. He said they made tasty pies. One woman from Uriah wanted to know what a quince looked like. I told her it somewhat resembles an apple and a pear, more round than long and very green until it ripens when it turns light yellow.

Betty Burkett e-mailed me about her loquat and chinquapin shrubs in her yard. She said her husband Roy, who passed away a few months ago, “set the trees out a few years ago.” She also stated that cold weather got her kumquat tree earlier this year. She added “Roy was always putting out some kind of trees. I think he was trying to fill up the yard.”

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A very good friend of mine,I am sure he was a good gardener as I knew he was definitely talented and crafty at building things.

Charles Lowery called me about the big mulberry tree that was near his Canoe home when he was a teenage boy. He said he has not seen many mulberry trees since those days.

A man from Bay St. Louis, Miss. also emailed me after reading the column on the Internet, stating he had dozens of loquat trees, but they were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. And Jonathan McCants, who formerly lived near here and now lives near Selma, said he has three chinquapin trees “as high as your head and big around as two barrels.” He will be picking them later in the fall, he told me.

It is always nice to get feedback from readers who identify with my columns.

Before I get into some news from 1966, I just now pulled a story from the Internet, which may be of interest to those of you who purchased merchandise online in 2006-08. “The Birmingham News” carried a story Sunday stating some Alabama taxpayers may be receiving tax collecting letters from the Alabama Department of Revenue “in an effort to collect unpaid consumer use taxes for Internet purchases made on Amazon and other online and out-of-state retailers.” So, keep an eye on your mailbox and beware of “the tax man” if you made online purchases during this time frame.

I also have been researching the possibility of the government assessing Internet use fees in the future. If they start charging for this, then Internet publishers may have to sell a few extra ads to sustain their business. Rupert Murdock, Fox News chief, has, reportedly, been quoted about charging for online news. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Speaking of news, it was refreshing to learn that Boone Newspapers, The Atmore Advance parent organization, has added another daily newspaper to this growing chain of publications. The addition of the Washington, North Carolina daily now gives the Boone organization 37 papers in eight states. I get personal satisfaction writing my columns for this organization, unlike those earlier days when I almost went broke trying to keep two small, under financed weekly papers afloat and nearly having two heart attacks from the grinding pressure of getting out each edition only to layout another one, and another one, and another one. Today, without any fret or worry, I don’t even have to leave home. I just lean back, turn on some easy listening big band sounds of the 40s and 50s and wear out the Internet with uploaded columns and news stories to The Advance.

For all of you who follow our oil news stories, I am happy to state that the Huxford well has been fitted with a completion rig. It is just another in a long line of successful producers right here at home. And, my oil and gas contacts tell me even more drilling operations will be announced soon.

The reason I mention oil news is because of the phone calls and emails from area and local residents who follow all aspects of the oil and gas drilling industry. I am glad they look to us for this news. I am also glad (the second time I said this) I elected geology as my required science subject back in 1954-55 while a student at the University of Alabama. I did not know back then that one day a successful movie “Jurassic Park” would be so popular. The Jurassic/Smackover formations have been good to oil drilling firms in south Alabama and northwest Florida.

Now, let’s take a look at some news from the year 1966.

Gerald Stanton won another national award with his Coon on the Log dog “Sugar Foot Stoney.” It was the third national award for Gerald’s dogs. Because of his accomplishments, Gerald’s picture and his endorsement were featured on the bags of a national dog food manufacturing company.

Fishing was so popular that year that Roy’s Bait Farm on Jack Springs Road frequently ran out of crickets. Regular customers used this route to Patterson’s Lake and other popular fishing areas.

Helton’s Tire and Appliance advertised in the Advance window slide out air conditioners for the unbelievable low price of $99.95.

Sherry Robinson, 16-year-old ECHS senior and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Robinson, was selected to attend Girls State at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. She was sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Post 90.

Mrs. J.H. Biggs, longtime Lottie and north Baldwin news correspondent, was recognized by The Atmore Advance and “The Baldwin Times” for her dedicated efforts in writing news from these areas.

In some other news of interest from 1966, Medicare C Plus became available for the first time to those on this health plan and the Braves left Milwaukee to make their home in Atlanta. That move afforded many of us the opportunity to drive up and watch Major League Baseball for the first time. A marquee (sign) in front of a north Alabama church, which read “I have never seen The Ed Sullivan Show,” attracted national attention. Of course the pastor’s message was that everyone should be in church on Sunday nights. (Sullivan’s show ran on Sunday nights).

And, my thought for the day is about apples. Have you ever been offered a bag of what appears to be beautiful apples only to discover there were two to three bad apples in the bottom of the bag? There is no way to suppress those bad ones, which will eventually rise to the top and influence the good ones. Best solution -get rid of the bad apples. Think about it.

Next week, I’ll have more news of people places and events from the year 1966.

“…yes it always whispers to me..those days of long ago…”

Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

This week Lowell's column talks the interest his previous column received.|File Photo