Atmore prime location for Airbus offshoots

Published 10:54 am Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finding a more accessible route to Foley, Alabama would be as rare as finding a dining area television set tuned to a non CNN channel in a McDonald’s fast food restaurant.

Yet some Mobile TV News reporters seem to almost gloat while telling us Foley, one of the southernmost inaccessible cities in south Alabama, would be an ideal spot for Airbus related supply houses. Many of these reporters, who were not raised in our “neck of the woods” and who frequently  move up or down the ladder of employment  from one town to another  often fail to gain geographical knowledge of towns accessible to Mobile. Anyone who has lived here all of his or her life readily knows that Atmore, with an Interstate vein compatibly adjacent to our backdoor, is probably one of two sites most ideal for an Airbus “offshoot” business. The other site would be at the Bay Minette exit on I-65.

Can you imagine the fact of frantically fighting Highway 59’s ferocious traffic on your way to and from work in Foley?  Gracious, of ALL places…indeed!

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The smart and learned local and county politicians will grasp the significance of Atmore’s unique accessibility in relation to Mobile, place it on the summit of their political platforms, research all aspects of Airbus and related firms and diplomatically and articulately sell Atmore to our faithful, fore sighting friends from France.  That’s what I would do if I were running for office. These politicians will not only become more appreciated but they will generate a level of experience, expertise and a singular sense of personal accomplishment that others will not garner.

A contrasting viewpoint of Airbus’ amazing announcement to locate in Mobile was carried July 11 in an opinion column of the Anniston Star, a leading daily newspaper in northeast Alabama.   Using the headlines “All the rage in London: If only Alabama put as much effort in its vital issues as it did in Airbus.” The writer stated our state needs   “.. .fairer tax structure, continued improvement in public schools, a full- on assault against poverty and more jobs.” Is there a tad of jealousy here?  And the last paragraph of that article rendered a full recapitulation of the entire piece…”But those who love Alabama should demand that the large delegation of influential Alabamians soaking up the London attention puts as much effort into state’s other vital needs when they return home” (State leaders were on business seeking missions in France a couple of weeks ago).

I have read of others, hailing from other inland areas in our state, who covet our sugar white sands and the embracing emerald green waters of the luring Gulf of Mexico, but never knocking progress in the form of new industry.

Personally, when opinions like this flow by me I am reminded of watching a baseball game with one team using all left fielders. That’s my personal opinion.

Now, let’s turn to some news of the past.

An avid reader informed me in her email Saturday my failing to mention Judge Doug Webb’s family home on North main Street back in the 1940s and 1950s. She also called to my attention that Chester Barton’s Funeral Home was located on that street. My pal Jimmy Beck mentioned to me at Church Sunday he learned the art of butchering and meat cutting at the Yellow Front Grocery Store on North Main.
There was a celebration for Ernest Wards’ Guy Dennis back in 1969. The former EWHS and University of Florida Gator star was honored at his old high school for all his many gridiron accomplishments. Joe Latham, his high school coach was the emcee for the event.

Several Creek Indians were drawn to an important meeting at the Poarch School to gain more information on upcoming tribal recognition. Virgil Harrington, area director of the Bureau of Indian affairs, addressed the congregation delivering promising news to those key tribal leaders in attendance.

Two Atmore businesses advertised bargains at their respective locations. Brantley Tires advertised in The Atmore Advance Dayton tires at $32.95 per tire. Dayton was the prime tire manufacturer for this long-time, family-run business. A&P Grocery Store aired Tide (large) 36cents, sliced bacon 59 cents per pound and Angel Food Cake 39 cents each.

Doctor Percy Howard opened a new office on Laurel Street. His practice was primarily limited to surgery.

In other 1969 news Vanity Fair Mills, a large employer of skilled textile workers, led its Southern District in first quarterly sales.

Shareholders enjoyed a 61 cent per share increase.

And, in 1966 the Atmore post office completed several months of remodeling, adding 3200 square feet to the customer service window area.

We will have more news from Atmore’s yesteryears in our column next week.

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

Lowell McGill can be reached at