News from ‘66 brings back fond memories

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, October 6, 2010

While gathering some of my news from our archive files I ran across some interesting news from Uriah, particularly the closing of Mixon Store in 1966.

Seeing this ad I thought back to the 1940s when my parents would visit friends in that friendly community. I remember several stores situated along the intersection of Highway 59 and Highway 21.

Something about this cozy hamlet-like town back then reminded me of today’s TV show “Murder She Wrote” without the bays and water inlets. The school seemed to blend right in with the curving terrain where the small businesses were situated. Grocery stores, feed stores, apparel stores, appliance stores seemed to accent two churches where town residents attended Sunday services.

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Those residents  reflected  a unique esprit de corps easily recognizable back then. That community always boasted, and rightly so, of excellent football and community baseball teams.

Some of my friends from that south Monroe County area included the Mims family, Gene Cardwell, Gene Garrett, Johnny Woods, Jettie Everette, Roy and James Burkett, the Coley Brothers and Mrs. Hadley, our knowledgeable correspondent who wrote the news from that area each week in The Advance. She also furnished news to the Monroe County Journal.

My sons played summer Babe Ruth Baseball with  several outstanding players from Uriah. In fact Ben Rhodes and Steve, my oldest son, played college baseball together at UAB under that great NFL hitter and manager Harry “The Hat” Walker.

And, after the 1940s until present time it is not uncommon for Uriah young folks to hang out with Atmore youths at Little River State Park.

Because I saw that Mixon Store closing ad caused me to think back to that  town  I visited  in the 1940s, so typical, so cozy,  so nostalgic — as towns should be.

In some news from 1966 Mrs. Tom Turk was the big winner of Piggly Wiggly’s “Match and Cash” game. Her prize of $500 was awarded to her by store manager Bob Carraway.

ECHS student Frances Earle won a Music Endowment Scholarship to Huntingdon Collage. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Earle, the musically talented student was a member of The National Honor Society.

Prizes were awarded three area farmers for harvesting first bales of cotton that fall. The winners were Clyde Peacock of Little Rock, S.R Ganey of Rabun and Carry Harris of Uriah. Those firms awarding the prizes respectively were Atmore Truckers Association, Atmore Milling Elevator Company and Frank Currie Gin.

Bishop Lyons was awarded Vocational Education Teacher of The Year. The Atmore Training School instructor was later recognized for his educational contributions for his service at Escambia County High School where he retired.

Russell Stillings, long time Canoe native and local dry cleaning businessman passed away that year. He was the brother of Canoe post mistress Nell Hill and uncle of Dr. Robert Hill.

Three local Boy Scouts attended Philmont, New Mexico National Scout Reservation in the summer of 1966. They were Richard Maxwell, Gary Fayard and Charles Rabon

Checking on some local sports have you noticed the number of Southern teams in the national spotlight this week? The Atlanta Braves clinched a playoff spot in the National League. It went right down to the wire as they won their final regular season game without having to meet San Diego in a playoff.

The New Orleans Saints with their high powered offense bounced back from a loss two weeks ago and is right up there on top of several professional football teams.

Three nationally known pro golfers Boo Weekley, Heath Slocum and Bubba Watson from Milton, Fla. have set the golf world on fire with their outstanding play of late.

Auburn has risen into the Top 10 poll of college football teams with their undefeated record. Led by an outstanding coaching staff and super talented group of fast developing skill players, the Tigers have now become probably the most improved team in the college ranks. In my opinion head coach Gene Chizik, based on his early accomplishments, should be considered one of the top candidates for Coach of the Year.

And finally, what else can the University of Alabama do to draw more attention to our state. I read just this week the Tide is the most written about and talked about team in the nation. As one well known writer put it “Alabama has not only separated itself from the Southeastern Conference but the entire field of NCAA football teams.”

Finally, I know you are tired of my writing about Google TV. Well if you thought my articles were too much wait until after today (Wednesday Oct. 6). This is day that Google makes the big announcement. Their set top box, which is called   “Revue,” will bring all your favorite TV shows through the internet right to your big den TV. Don’t worry you’ll get plenty of news about all this in advertisements and newspaper write-ups.

Next week we will have more news from 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 about 1966.|File Photo