Catching up on old news from 1975

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This week, we have some news from 1975 and 1966.

Let’s take a look at some nostalgic news from the year 1975.

Our Little League teams were managed by some dedicated men back then. Arthur Brantley and Jerry Colbert coached The First National Bank team. The Rotary Club Tigers were under the guidance of John Mitchell and Jim Monroe. The Maxwell-Haley Cubs were managed by Eleyan Amerson “Doodle” Purvis and Al Amerson.

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Charles Wicker and Earl Gunn led the Bank of Atmore Warriors and Ed Brown and Glen Simmons guided the American Legion Eagles. The Lions Club Cardinals were directed by Jim Corman, Robert Dean and Freddy Troutman.

Rene (Norris) Godwin, pretty blonde daughter of James and Nan Reia Norris, was crowned Miss Atmore Little League Queen. She is now the wife of Lamar Godwin. Incidentally, Cassie, her older daughter, graduated from the University of Alabama recently. Her younger daughter, Olivia, is currently a student at UOA.

Harriet Thomas (RN), wife of Dr. William E. Thomas was recognized by the Alabama Heart Fund Association for directing our local chapter to one of the most outstanding Heart Fund Chapters in the state.

There was a rare treat on the local golf course that year. H.C. Williams and Frank Slay each scored “holes in one” in separate tournaments. Both men were regarded as avid golfers.

Woodrow McLain Parker, a graduate of Escambia County Training School and the University of Florida, was named the director of Physical and Vocational Counseling Center at UOF. Dr. Parker holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the university.

Mrs. Joyce McGhee, widow of former tribal Chairman Calvin McGhee, passed away in 1975. Mrs. McGhee was active with her husband in Creek Indian affairs, having traveled with him on several occasions to The Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.

There was a gala State Academy Rodeo held at Atmore Saddle Club under the direction of Glen Jernigan. Some of the winning participants were Eddie Presley, Mike Ward, Gary Hetzel, Jay Blacksher, Chuck Flowers, Steve Jernigan, Tony James, Elizabeth Hildreth and Shane Mason.

In 1966, there was some sad news upon learning of the death of beloved former local teacher Mary Hodnette. Having served here for many years the popular educator lost her life in a car crash near Auburn. She moved from Atmore a few years before the tragic accident.

Two Perdido teachers, Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Trawick left their positions for jobs in Southbay, Fla. They were the parents of the late Archie Trawick, former Escambia County Department of Education head. The Trawicks, however, returned to Baldwin County following their retirements.

Former ECHS student and football standout Alan Davis received scholarship in accounting from the University of Alabama.

The EWHS Jazz Ensemble took top honors at the Stage Band Competition at Troy University. Members of that group included Terrill Spence, Mike McKinley, Pete Plant, Tony Andress, Phillis Brown, Bruce Stone and Mike Eubanks.

Two Atmore physicians, Dr. C.S. Crawford and Dr. C.P. St. Amant, hauled in prize catches in the Pensacola Billfish Tournament that year. Angling on Dr. St. Amant’s cruiser “Ragin Cajun” they landed a 6 foot, 10 1/2-inch Billfish to capture the event. They also caught a Marlin weighing slightly over 86 pounds. This, too, was a tournament winning catch.

A big gospel sing featuring the Hopewell Quartet, Jay Quartet, Carnley Trio, Melody Masters, Gospel 4 and the Dixie Melody Quartet was held. Well-known gospel promoters Ruth Fillingim and J.G. Whitfield spearheaded the event.

Have you ever watched the precision displayed by our local school bus drivers? It’s really amazing seeing them wait their place in line and allowing other buses to enter that line. There must be dozens of buses out there each day. And, you know, these are good jobs for the retired or for those who have other part-time jobs. These courteous drivers play a valuable role in our local economy.

For those of you who rode school buses to school you will remember how we waited for the “feeder” buses to arrive so we could depart to our respective high schools.

Buses waited at McCullough, Huxford, Canoe and Perdido schools for those feeder buses to come in.

Phillipsville, Rabun, Splinterhill and Lottie students fed into the Perdido School and were transported to Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette.

Booneville and McCullough area students fed into a waiting bus at the McCullough School where they were taken to ECHS in Atmore.

A feeder bus from the Canoe area accommodated students from that area and Bratt and Byrneville students were bused to Ernest Ward High School in Walnut Hill, Fla.

Perhaps it would be a thoughtful gesture to remember those trusting drivers with a small gift or card during the upcoming holiday season.

I hope everyone has a strong TV set Friday when the Iron Bowl takes place. The eyes of the nation will be on this game as the two teams are ranked high in all the football polls. I’m sure Tuscaloosa will be bombarded with fans from each team.

Can’t you just smell the aroma coming from those tailgate parties. One thing about this game is the fact friends and foe will gather at family homes for a time of either happiness or gloom. I hope your favorite team wins.

“…..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