A look back at music and slang in Atmore

Published 11:33 am Wednesday, June 19, 2013

While researching our 1970 Advance archive files this week I uncovered several items of interest.

Hank Locklin, well known country singer from nearby Munson, Fla., headlined an all-star cast at the Atmore saddle Club’s annual rodeo. Linda Helton reigned as rodeo queen.

Long time Vanity Fair workers were rewarded with six percent pay raises. Over three hundred employees benefited from this timely raise.

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Two notable deaths occurred that year. Former Atmore Mayor H.H Dees died at the age of 82. Having served the town for over 25 years, he was regarded one of Atmore’s leading mayors.

Cassie Weekly, wife of Charles Weekly of Perdido, passed away that summer. Her husband was brother of Atmore’s John Weekly.

A cousin of Eulene Cargin, she was also a close relative of Advance Perdido correspondent Tola Ficklin.

Bratt Baptist church broke ground on a new and spacious educational building. Rev. Jerry Smith, pastor, spoke on the church’s beginning in 1908.

Marian Elliot, a native of Gadsden, transferred to Atmore as Warden of Holman Prison.

Four Atmore Drug stores and owners were recognized for successful operation in a town the size of Atmore. They included: Escambia Drugs – Ken Barnett and James Nall; Greenlawn Pharmacy – Ed Ray and Bill McCrory; Reid Drugs – Tom Kelly; and Davidson Drugs – Bob Davidson.

ECHS football players gaining honors on the grid iron included Allen Moore, David Dennis, Earl Miller, Randy Bailey, Isaac Holt, Gordon White, Stanley Singleton and head coach Harry Hitchcock.

It seems each day our group of old timers at our coffee sessions have come up with a list of conversations that just keep on “repeating itself.”

One subject is the insertion of contemporary music and singing in the church services. Many of these services lack the  “old time singing” that most of us grew up with. Most of my coffee session friends and I don’t identify with the contemporary movement. But when you take it all into consideration, I suppose pastors and song leaders find it somewhat difficult to reach all age groups with ministry and song. Then again, you look around in most churches and you see more older folks than younger people.

For me, give me those old traditional hymns where the melody can be heard. Hymns of this nature, containing four-part harmony, create a more serene worship service in my opinion.

Back in the 1940s and 1950s there was a grammar school class mate of mine who gave me a very unique course in “home spun” education.

For instance, this friend referred to his uncle as “Ander.” It wasn’t until later years I learned his name was “Andrew.”

This friend often used words like” lighterd  wood,” “tar,” “far,” ”slud,” “knowed,” “hope” and “us-uns.”

With the help of some of my schoolteachers, we were able to “unscramble” these old time “sayings.”

For instance, “lightered” is short for “light wood.” “Tar” was used for “tire.” “Far” was short for “fire.” ”Slud” symbolizes “slid.”  “Knowed” was used for “knew” or “had known.” “Hope was a common term for “help.” And “us-uns” simply meant “us” (meaning more than one).

In today’s world I notice a vernacular used primarily by some female teens and young ladies. The word ten is sometimes pronounced “tan.’’ On sounds like “AWN,” attach is pronounced “attoch” and bin sounds like “ban.”

These are just a few words I have noticed and they are used mostly by female TV panelists  and commentators.

Our Pink lady this week is Tiny Womack. This nice lady finds time in her busy schedule to work a few hours at the hospital answering the phone and directing visitors to patient’s rooms.

Having served with the Ladies Auxiliary for nearly two years, she also devotes ample time to her church functions at Presley Street Baptist. She has two children, Debbie Dean, who lives here, and Tammie Davis, now living in Westlake, La.

More news of years gone by next week.

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

Lowell McGill can be reached at exam@frontiernet.net