Getting a ‘deal’ not what it used to be?

Published 9:11 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013

But WAIT…call TODAY and we will send you a second product FREE, just pay separate postage and shipping.

How many times have you heard or seen this advertisement on TV? Advertising of this type can be seen on almost all TV shows these days. Let’s say the advertised item sells for $19.95 and the S/H is $9.95. So, what’s the catch?  Well, the advertiser tells the potential buyer they will include a second item if you pay another $9.95 for shipping and handling. Realize this: The second item comes in the same box as the original item with shipping and handling already included. This means you are paying $9.95 for that second item, right?  So, is the second item really FREE to you?  As deceptive as it may be, this illustrates how tricky words can be used to sway one’s ability to reason properly.

I use this parallel to illustrate today’s digital world to somewhat quaint methods used to order products back when I was a boy.

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I remember cutting a coupon from my Dick Tracy comic book and mailing it in with a dime. In return, I received a detective badge, a whistle and the secret code solution.

But, I had to buy next month’s comic book to get the secret code. I was “on pins and needles” waiting for next month’s comic book because I had already solved the mystery. A pyramid of sorts, perhaps, but it was BIG, BIG to me way back then. I also got a kick sending in the round top of my five-cent ice cream cup. A ring that glowed in the dark was a prize I cherished on one occasion.

“Yes, it always whispers to me….those days of long ago.” I remember some of Atmore’s leading citizens before they reached their realms of success. Roy Helton clerked at Stallworths Clothing before establishing his own business. Joe Everette drove a gas truck prior to buying his gasoline distributor business. Sandy Furney delivered bread and pastries to customers on his route before hiring drivers to do the delivering. Odus Wise worked as a teller at The Bank of Atmore before becoming an officer in that bank. Buddy and Babe Robinson vulcanized tires before moving into management and ownership capacities at their tire sales and recap shop.  J P Madison and KC Powell drove short haul trucks for local farmers before entering their respective successful long haul 18 Wheeler trucking businesses. Frank Bricken worked as a route insurance agent before owning his automobile dealership. Gene Garrett clerked in the big family store in Uriah before becoming an attorney and politician. Lawrence Cooper initiated a successful grocery delivery route prior to establishing his grocery store in Bratt.  Bill O’Neal picked up and delivered clothing leading to the success of his John’s Cleaners (remember that slogan, “When Clothes are Dirty…Call 2:30?”). Buster Joyner clerked for Joe Murphy before going into the restaurant business for himself. By the way, Buster was instrumental in introducing locally “The Spinning Wheel,” a thick, tasty mouth-watering giant milkshake.

I could go on and on and I will in future columns.

I remember some wise advice given by a former local bank president at one of our 1960 Jaycee luncheons. He said often bankers fail to consider success can come to customers later in their life. He was referring to customers who may have at one time been “down on their luck.” He related you never want to show disfavor to a customer while he is in a low state due to circumstances beyond his control. You never know when that person could become extremely successful or wealthy through his hard work and efforts. “Never close the door to potential good depositors,” he said. Sounds like some good advice from a banker with good forethought.

Now let’s take a look at some news from our yesteryears. The State of Alabama awarded Novalee Hale a plaque for his tactfulness dealing with those incarcerated at the local prison where he served as Warden. In 1986 Joe Brogden, a prominent local attorney, became our Escambia County Court Judge. Louise, his talented wife, was named chief dietician at Green Lawn Hospital. And, in 1955, pretty Wynonna Dunn was selected an Escambia County Beauty.

Reverend Arnold Hendrix, Pastor of Atmore First Baptist Church, has been very complimentary of our column since he was called here several years ago. “Through Nostalgic Notes, I learn so much about older folks, both friends and relatives, who I heard my parents speak of when I was a young boy,” he said.  “I also learn about Atmore’s lifestyle, the way Atmore was in those years long ago”, he added.  And, when he speaks of his relatives he talks about former residents known to many of our readers. His Uncle John Weekley and daughter Eulene Cargill were friends to many here. His relatives in Perdido were close friends of mine. Reverend Lester Weekley, who was a friend of my family, preached at my dad’s funeral in 1989. Tola Ficklin, his aunt, was our long-time Perdido Community Correspondent for the Atmore Advance. He related to me on one occasion our column was helpful to him in assembling his online ancestry search.

As you know I have been featuring a Pink Lady in the column each week. This week, Irma Henderson is our Hospital Auxiliary lady in the spotlight. After 25 years of dedicated employment she retired from Fountain Correctional Center. She has been a PL volunteer for less than two years now. A son, James, works with ATT&T and her daughter, Ashley, is attending nursing school. She is another of those dedicated ladies admirably serving our hospital and community today.

I will have more news of Atmore’s people, places and events next week.

Lowell McGill