Alabama Highway 21 is important to us

Published 5:41 pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Over the years and even today Alabama Highway 21 has served Atmore well.

In fact it is always just about this time of the year that we remember those pleasant trips to the State Farm area, where we purchased those sweet, succulent peaches plucked from the vast orchards near Fountain Prison Farm. And, in the fall we used that same highway to get State Farm sugar cane for chewing or jars of that sweet juice.

That was the highway “the boys from Auburn” used to get to their summer camp houses. Those houses were located across the highway at the entrance of Little River State Park.

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Auburn University operated this summer camp in connection with Forestry courses. It was usually considered a “lab course,” coming at end of their studies requiring completion prior to their graduation from college. Those students always looked forward to the camp as they found relaxation and pleasure at the state park. They always came into Atmore to go to movies, to eat out and some dated our pretty girls.

Many used this highway in earlier days to travel to Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham. Even today this route is considered ideal for reaching these destinations.

Our northwest Florida neighbors from Walnut Hill, Bratt, Enon, Oak Grove, Byrneville, McKinnonville and Davisville use it regularly to come to town for shopping, eating out and entertainment.

Now that Wind Creek is up and running, this highway has become practically the main thoroughfare for those seeking entertainment and gambling.

We have mentioned numerous times about our good times at Little River State Park. Well, Highway 21 is the only route leading to this relaxing spot.

Back in early days the CCCs (Civilian Conservation Corps) located camp houses up Highway 21. This government organization created forest and road related jobs for young men having difficulty finding gainful employment. These men also planted trees and shrubs and help beautify our forests and roadsides.

In news from 1975, a local and prominent businessman, Minor Corman, passed away. As president of Southland Telephone Company he owned and operated that firm here for many years.

Jack Lovely, manager of TG&Y, donated an assortment of merchandise to Jennifer Ashley Ward, the first baby born in 1975.

Glen Latham, head football coach at ECHS, was named “Coach of the Year” by the Birmingham Post-Herald newspaper. Latham guided the 1974 team to the 3A championship. Lou Ikner, a standout on that team who later played at the University of Alabama, was named to the All-Southern High School football team. Other team members garnering recognition for their contributions included Joe Latham, Jimmy Woods and Curtis Coleman.

1975 Eagle Scouts receiving awards included Brent Whitaker III, Ken Whitaker, Rob Faircloth and Chad Daniel.

Florence Kennington retired as Atmore librarian. She served 13 years here in that capacity.

And a couple of years ago prior to his retirement, Sammy Day, son of Joel and Louise Day, was recognized as an outstanding member of the Northview High School faculty and sports department. Sammy served just less than 40 years with the Escambia County Florida school system.

Have you been watching the IRS investigations on TV? We are learning a lot about alleged cover-ups involving the IRS. Now, if the IRS can claim computer failure to hide these cover-ups why cannot I do the same? You see my home was struck by a tornado in March and I lost my computer and my Neat Scanning machine. It just so happened much of my IRS documentation for the past 8-10 years was embedded in these two pieces of equipment. So if I should be called in for an audit or for any other reasons I would not hesitate to say, “Hey, hold on a minute. My documentation has been destroyed by a tornado and I no longer have this data. Did not you (IRS) claim during the investigation that you lost important info when your computers crashed?”

Of course I hope it never comes to this. But, this actually happened in my case. In fact we lost so many items we make a new list each day.

Next week we will take a look at more people, places and events from days gone by.

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

You can email Lowell McGill at