Cramps, Finebaum and chills … oh my!

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wow, leg cramps and Paul Finebaum. Now that’s an odd twosome to lead into a column.

But that column about leg cramps I wrote a few months ago continues to get feedback, and Paul Finebaum continues to show his disdain for callers who have college degrees.

Now, this may not work for everyone but if you remember I told you of my placing a bar of soap in the bed each night and my cramps totally went away. A man told me this week it worked for him too but his bar of soap is now used up. I told him to unwrap a brand new bar and keep up his “treatment.” He said he has already done this, but he told me he has learned of another treatment that was given to him by a retired sailor.

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The seaman, he said, buys a bottle of Schweppes tonic and drinks a glass of it mixed with three teaspoons of pickle juice. You see, quinine, which is contained in the tonic, keeps the cramps away. Quinine, which was taken off the shelves a few years ago, has always been known to help cramps. And, by the way, don’t use any alcohol in the tonic.

A lady recently emailed me her remedy for cramps. She said take a clothes pin and place it on the left finger next to the thumb. But always put a small piece of cloth between the pin and the finger to prevent any circulation problems. Now, I am somewhat reluctant to try this remedy because of the mentioned circulation problems it could cause. So, I don’t recommend this method.

I have saved the most unusual remedy until last. While Ouida and I were having a meal out a few nights ago a good friend came by our table and we talked for a few minutes. He told me he had tried the soap method and it did “pretty well,” but he said he has found a new remedy and “boy, this really works.” I said tell me what it is so I can put it in my column. Reluctantly, he said before you get into bed each night place your shoes against the wall with the toes facing the ceiling. After a few nights you will discover your cramps are “all gone.” Well, I am just now into my second night using his remedy. But I like my remedy better.

For you Alabama football fans, former Bama coach Dennis Franchione brought his  Texas State University football team to Mobile Saturday night. This is the same coach a few years ago who left the Tide for Texas A&M during the night without telling his players goodbye. Little did he know he was sailing down the path of failure as he was tossed out of that school for not mustering up enough wins.

Actually, he should have stayed at TCU, where he was coaching before taking the Alabama job. Look what that school has accomplished since he left. Now, he regrets his leaving the Capstone in a “fly by night manner.” It will be a long way back to a “big school” with a track record like that. By the way, South Alabama pinned another loss on him and probably knocked his team from bowl participation.

Speaking of football how many of you listen to or watch the Paul Finebaum show? I dial it in on occasions, just to hear some of the idiotic callers rant and rave about their favorite teams. And these are the callers he wants on his show. On one of his programs last week an Alabama graduate-caller told Finebaum he was ashamed of a couple of callers having no ability to express themselves.

It was obvious the man was highly educated and articulated his conversation quite fluently. When the Tide advocate said it was his opinion those callers had never set foot in a University of Alabama classroom, Finebaum lowered the boom on him. He did so in a manner that you would think Alabama graduates should not express opinions on his show.

He allows these low-esteem callers to brag about their never attending college and even lets them ridicule those who did obtain a college education. It became more apparent to me that his show would be a complete “bust “without these rink-a-dink callers. After all, I have never heard a heart cardiologist with a college degree call his show.

Now, for a little news from 1954.

ECHS principal R.E. Hodnette announced his retirement after serving here since 1924. He was feted with a gala celebration by former students and teachers.

Four hundred eight moonshine stills were destroyed in the state. Ironically, most of those stills were located in northern Alabama. Not a one was found in the southern counties. (Whew … Baldwin County … what a narrow miss.)

The 1954 census resulted in growth in Atmore’s population. A total of 6,618 residents lived here that year, an increase of 1,000 from the 1950 census.

Atmore General Hospital became Greenlawn Hospital and Drs. J.O. Lisenby and C.P. St. Amant renovated their offices to accommodate more patients. I don’t remember all those on the staff of Dr. Lisenby but I do recall some of those who worked for Dr. C.P. They included his wife, and Ruth Brock, Margaret Kennedy and Bertha Nelson.

That was the year that Berny Salter and his family moved to Atmore when he assumed the duties of hospital administrator. I remember very well his young boys and their friends coming by the station rapping on the control room windows, watching us spin records and reading  the news. And, what a joy it is today to engage in conversations each week with one of those boys at our afternoon coffee sessions. His lovely wife enhances our meetings and adds charm even more.

I know you have been reading and watching the news about the severe snow and ice storms occurring in northern and midwestern states. The Accuweather forecasting website believes this will go down as one of the worst winters on record.  Aren’t you glad you don’t live up there where all this is going on?

And, Accuweather says those northern states will have to suffer off and on until early April. Now, Tom and Missie Tschida, go ahead and email your folks up in Minnesota and tell them to “eat your heart out.” We are really enjoying this nice Alabama weather … NICE WEATHER … who’s kidding who?

One other thing you want to keep your eyes on is the gas pump. As some of you probably know I write some oil news on occasions, which requires my keeping in touch with “the oil people.” Some are telling me that $2.25 gallon for gasoline will be common later this year. Wow, being able to fill up for $25 sounds great, doesn’t it?

I’ll have more news next week.

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

You can email Lowell McGill at