Saying goodbye with a final look at the past

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We begin with a brief look at 1966.

Yancey State College in Bay Minette changed its name to Faulkner State College. Named in honor Baldwin Times publisher and civic leader James Faulkner, the college is now called Faulkner State Community College.

I have been trying to find some old Yancey State book covers and related items, but they are hard to come by. I think I may have located one cover but the asking price is quite high. I am trying to get my wife to buy it for me but so far I’m not having any luck. Let me know if you have information of any for sale.

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You could eat a lot cheaper in 1966 than you can today. Back then KwikChek advertised in The Advance roast beef for $.39 a pound. And, my brother in law Lawrence Cooper, at his Bratt Grocery Store, ran a special on cube steaks at $.10 a steak.

Travis Black, former ECHS principal, was named president of District One Secondary Principal’s Association and Henry Lowery, owner of Greenlawn Pharmacy, was appointed chairman of the 1966 local United Fund Campaign. Henry was very active in local civic and community activities.

Last year we said goodbye to Barbara Billingsley, the TV mother of the popular hit show “Leave It To Beaver.” This show depicted America’s typical family. The 94-year-old Billingsley also starred in other well know movies throughout out her 75-year career.

One of the interesting aspects about this family was the diversified roles played by hubby Hugh Beaumont. In addition to being Beaver’s dad, I remember his playing a role as Superman and as detectives in other TV series. Beaumont was also a licensed Methodists minister.

You don’t find families on TV like that today.  Many liberal, young, writers today now want to insert scripts containing single parents and gay parents. In fact shows today are not “in the main stream” if divorce and “exes” are not written into roles.

We said goodbye to Jimmy Morris last week. He was one of Mobiles most colorful figures, especially in commerce, radio and TV. You heard his resonant voice that night in the mid 1950s as the PA announcer when end zone seats collapsed in Ladd Stadium bringing death and injury to several. That was Paul Bryant’s first trip into Ladd Stadium. His Crimson Tide played The LSU Tigers to a close finish, losing by only a few points.

Morris, who worked at WKRG Radio in the early 1950s, was teamed with a radio character called “Plow Handle Bill,” whose antics were popular in those days. He was also close friends to Atmore’s late Rev. Dewitt Allen, who worked at WALA Radio before entering the ministry. But he was best known as Mobile’s most prominent commerce ambassador.

Now, speaking of saying goodbye, this will be my final column. I regret having to bring it to a close as I have really enjoyed writing about people and events from the past. I thank all of you for reading it each week. Martin Richie gave me part time work with The Advance back in the early 1950s and ironically I bring it to a close with this champion weekly newspaper.


Thanks, again for your kind emails and for reading each week.