Not showing at rally makes us look bad

Published 4:13 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Normally I don’t use political topics in my columns, but today is an exception.

Representatives and dignitaries from countless countries and cities joined in a memorial march in Paris, France, last week to honor those victims gunned down by Islamist militants. But guess which country was not totally there? With the exception of our ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, the United States had no other leading dignitaries at this event.

Our lame duck president Barack Obama elected to take a defiant attitude in not sending top administrative officials, such as vice president Joe Biden or secretary of state John Kerry. His maverick attitude has been questioned by both liberal and conservative members of the media. Even delegations from Israel and Palestine were noticeably present in the march of sympathizers estimated to be over 1 million.

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You would think this president would have been more considerate for our French friends, in light of their locating one of the largest airplane building plants here in the United States. We should have been there. Not because that plant is being built in our backyard in Mobile, but because of the tragedy that this terrorist attack was.

By the same token, I do hope our governor, Mobile and state dignitaries were sent to this event.

I am sure if this had been a golf tournament, this president would have been first in line.

Media reps are filling the airwaves and newspapers today with stories of strained relationships occurring in Obama’s final two years in office. With an absence and tolerance of allies in Congress to offer him encouragement, the strain on him becomes evident more and more each day.

Because of future jobs and that which is in store for us here in the Atmore area, we give our utmost thanks to France for locating Airbus in Mobile and we offer our sincere condolences to those families and victims of this tragic event.

Have you ever wondered how many minutes of daylight we are gaining each day? For the past 21 days we have gained about one half minute a day, but from now until Jan. 30 we will gain about two and one half minutes a day, meaning nighttime is distancing itself further from us. To me this is good, especially while driving. That time of evening when it is not fully dark is one of the worst times to be on the road. So, let’s hope we can get through January when it is more daylight and better for driving.

A pastor friend of mine since college told me recently of two concerns he had at his church. While he was certainly not critical, he was concerned that his song leader was losing touch with much of his congregation by offering too much contemporary music.
He sees a somewhat aging congregation who still holds to those old traditional songs and styles of music. I can see his point, not only in his church but in many present day churches as well. And, for the most parts, song leaders coming out of college today are usually young men and women whose exposure has been to modern day music.

As churches across the land face problems like this, we must all try to be tolerant and accept that which others like or dislike as opposed to what we like or dislike.

Another problem that concerned him in church was the lengthy prayers offered by some congregation members. Jokingly he said, “It is almost like they are giving a soliloquy instead of a prayer.” Again, we should never be critical of the way someone offers prayers, even though I hear these somewhat long prayers in my own church. Yet, I should not forget these prayers are very sincere and are expressions from deep within their hearts.

Now let’s take a look at a few items of interest from 1970.

Escambia County High School hired Harry Hitchcock as the football coach. He previously recorded outstanding coaching records at other schools in the state. He replaced longtime coach C.P. Floyd who resigned. Floyd also had an outstanding record as the junior varsity coach at ECHS.

Atmore lost two prominent citizens that year, Wheeler Crook and C.E. Bachelor. Crook, with his wife Mattie Lou, had operated The City Café for a number of years and Bachelor was a well-known farmer.

Bachelor was known for bringing famous storyteller Jerry Clower to Atmore. Before he became famous, he was a humorous sales rep for a Mississippi-Arkansas agricultural firm. Clower was also close friends of two other prominent agricultural related men, Miles Horn and T.P. Whitten.

You can email Lowell McGill at