Eight O’clock coffee is still my favorite

Published 6:26 pm Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I remember an incident in a mid-1950s summer when I stopped my car at Mr. Steve Hubbard’s store in Nokomis to offer help to a man whose rear tire rolled off his pickup truck. He was pulling a trailer loaded with empty Irish potato sacks.

The man said he worked for “Preacher Wells” at his potato shed and they needed those bags right away. I told him to hop in and I would take him to Atmore.
As we got into town he asked if I would take him to A&P because “the Preacher” wanted some Eight O’clock coffee for his small office at the shed.

As soon as we walked inside A&P it was obvious the coffee grinding had already begun as the pleasant coffee aroma filled the entire store. As we walked back to the coffee grinding area I ran into Wade Johnson who was chatting with another of my friends, Hilton Hall, who was an employee of the store. Wade’s dad, Mr. Royal Johnson was close friends of my father. In fact they often rode to work together at Brookley Field in Mobile. I could not chat with them too long because I had to get to work at WATM. Wade knew the man who was with me and told me he would give him a ride up to the potato shed. But that fragrant coffee aroma stayed with me all day.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Even today, Ouida and I still drink that Eight O’clock coffee. A bag goes a long way at our house, because she and I only drink one cup each morning.
Memories and times like this lend me motivation to write about recapturing days gone by, such as those in 1986.

Greenlawn Hospital initiated a crash course to stop smoking in January that year. Endorsed by the American Medical Association, the course was called “Five Days To Freedom.”

Mel Hardy and Tara Morris were named to the Alabama Private School Association All-Tournament Basketball team.

A special commemorative American flag was presented in memory of James E. Wearren for his lengthy service with the American Legion Post #90. A World War II veteran, he was employed with a local hardware store for a number of years. Wearren passed away in 1985.
Some local businesses ran outstanding specials in January that year. Chicken Express advertised taco salad and a drink for 99 cents. Snyder Furniture featured buy one get one free LA-Z-Boy recliners and BC Moore sold $25 slacks for $5 each.

Mary Jernigan opened her new tax practitioner office after successful years as a legal secretary for some of Atmore’s more prominent attorneys.

Atmore Police Chief James Dixon announced his office would supply night bank deposit escorts to local merchants and businesses. A rash of attempted robberies occurred during this time period.

One day soon I am going back to the “Blue Bayou country in Louisiana. Over the last thirty years or more I have made friends with quite a few of those living in the area located below the path of the Mississippi River spillway around Morgan City, Houma, Pierre Parte and Lafourche Parish.

I wrote earlier about my friend who lives on a bayou near Pierre Parte. He has two somewhat fascinating occupations. He makes tasty and spicy Cajun meal, which he sells to offshore drilling rigs. And he makes pereaus (small boats) used for fishing and Christmas parades on bayous and small streams.

He also has a well-known cousin who writes for that “Swamp Folks” TV show. In fact he took my manuscript back in 2002 and plans to complete it for me. I named it “Poison on the Bayou,” but my friend tells me he is giving it a new name and hopes to have it ready for publication in the not too distant future.

I’m “going back to this blue bayou” one day to see those kind friends I met so many years ago.

Recently, I had to make my semiannual trip to the VA clinic in Pensacola so that I could continue receiving my VA medicine. On my way there I stopped at McDonald’s for a sandwich and then trekked on to the clinic. Waiting for my appointment I watched TV at the clinic and suddenly realized that if it were not for McDonald’s and the VA Clinics, CNN would have fewer viewers. Fox News was not available at either location. I asked if we could turn it to Fox News but got a negative reply. One lady replied, we can turn it to MSNBC but not Fox News. No further comment.

Speaking of watching TV, I have learned that Direct TV refuses to allow the RFD TV network on their channels. What? No Molly B polka shows? That’s right, they absolutely refuse this rural network access. And from what I have been reading, many viewers are finding this very upsetting. Why everyone should be able watch this popular Saturday polka show. Boy, I don’t know what I would do if I could not get this channel on my TV. I sure am glad my Dish satellite carries this network.

I’ll have more news next week.

You can email Lowell McGill at exam@frontiernet.net.