Good people often lead to good things

Published 4:07 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I always like to write good news about good people. This week is no exception.

I heard one of the most beautiful songs in church rendered by our pianist, Rhonda Joyner. Not only did she sing with eloquent resonant quality, but she complemented her piano styling as an excellent accompaniment. Her offering carried me back to the sounds of the 50s, which were filled with nostalgic melodies free of today’s “modern music.” And it fit in so well with a serene church worship. Her addition to our church family adds pleasant diversity to the equally talented Teresa Brown’s songs.

Jimmy Biggs continues to supply us with his fresh-grown vegetables. Monday morning was no exception either. Per his normal manner, he left bags of tomatoes and squash at our front door without making a sound. He was driving away about the time we discovered his delivery. Ouida was preparing him a nice hot cup of coffee as he failed to hear my chant “come back” while he was driving away. Undoubtedly, he must be regarded as having one of the very best “green thumbs” as any vegetable grower in the Atmore area. Gosh, we are so glad to have him as our friend.

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Marlene Forrester works extremely hard in her job as director of our Hospital Auxiliary, the Pink Ladies. Having been at this helm for quite some time now, she spends several hours each day serving various aspects of the hospital operation. Her capable staff is also recognized for their contributions to the overall success of this program. On your phone calls to the hospital the first voice you probably hear is that of one of these remarkable Pink Ladies.

Bub Gideons has become a familiar face around town. And, rightly so. His efforts in the Strand Theatre restoration have not gone unnoticed. You’ll see him at the excellent promotional head of many worthwhile local promotions. His role in politics has been outstanding. I remember quite well his granddad, Onree Owens. He, too, was such a wonderful community minded person.

“Made in Alabama” and “Great Companies Land Here” are just two of the popular themes that Airbus suppliers are seeing this week at the Farnborough Airshow near London. A distinguished Alabama delegation led by Gov. Bentley, Sen. Jeff Sessions and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson is meeting with more than 90 business reps selling the state and the Mobile area to future suppliers and off shoot firms. Here is wishing much success in garnering up new businesses, which will also be welcomed by all of us in the Atmore area.

Now, let’s take a look at some news from the year 1966.

New department stores were beginning to flourish here back then. West Brothers, a successful household and clothing firm with headquarters in Louisiana, held its grand opening in August that year. Located at the corner of Presley and Church streets, the new store was managed by Frank Bankston.

Liberty National Insurance Company handed out national sales awards to three local agents. Murray Johnson, Burl Phillips and John Phillips were recognized for keeping policies in force for lengthy periods of time.

The Atmore Progressive Recreation Club Dodgers also completed a successful youth baseball season. Players on that team included David Bishop Jr., J. Johnson, James Collins, Barry Autry, Edward Lambert, T. White, Chester Johnson, W.Johnson, Hal Mason, Chubby Longmire, Thomas McNeal, Larry Clark, Orlando McCorvey and Johnny Ray Brooks. The team was managed by W.T.Johnson and Wilbert Walker served as club chairman.

Elizabeth Coker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Coker of Rt. 2 Atmore, captured honors in her ninth grade 4-H club sewing contest. She was recognized for innovative clothing fashions she made on her sewing machine.

Southern Miss University awarded a General Merit Scholarship to Phyllis Brown of Walnut Hill. The Ernest Ward High School graduate is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmont Brown.

Jimmy Brown, former ECHS and Southern Miss gridiron player, was recognized for his outstanding play as a member of Livingston University’s football team.

The movie, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” was held over for repeat performances at the Strand Theatre and “The Perry Mason” television show was aired in color for the first time that year.

Mrs. Nettie Levada Martin, owner of Martin Automotive Parts, passed away in 1966. She was the mother of Cecil and Carlton Martin, Gladys Middleton, and Edna Barrentine.

A well known successful Perdido sawmill owner, Frank Emmons, died that year and his wife Anna passed away only eight days after his death.

The Bratt First Baptist Church held a grand opening for its Pastorium in the spring that year.

Finally, local television anchors continue to display “egg on their faces” (not literally) when hurricane season arrives each year. They always get real excited In June when the storm season officially begins but knowing that hurricanes normally begin to kick up in late August and September. So why so much excitement in June? The real kicker is this. These TV weather people use sensational headlines like “Julia is a dangerous hurricane,” again knowing the National Hurricane Center has already said the storm would turn to the north and east without any U.S. landfall.

It’s just another way to grab your attention with a “non-story.” One thing that is relevant is the fact that El Niño may not be a factor, as reported earlier. Some in the know are saying the western Gulf could get in on some of action. It has been 10 years since our last storm and, who knows, things may be “ripe” for more activity this fall.

Next week, more news from 1966.

You can email Lowell McGill at