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Pilots for Christ, Gideons are fantastic

I am sure all Facebook regulars and Atmore Advance readers are familiar with the Pilots for Christ mission in Monroeville. A member of Pilots for Christ International, this Monroe County-based firm has made its presence known throughout south Alabama and northwest Florida for transporting cancer and diseased patients and their families to and from well known hospitals, doctors offices and clinics, particularly those clinics in Memphis and Houston. And, they do it for free. This organization is funded by gifts from individuals, churches, business organizations and civic organizations.

Perhaps some of you know of friends and relatives who have been helped by this group. The twin motor plane can accommodate for other passengers beside the pilot.
Those desiring to donate to this worthy case may do so by calling (251) 575-9425. You will also find more information about them online at www.pilotsforchrist.net.

This week we will take a look at some people, places and events from the year 1970.

Escambia County High School hired Harry Hitchcock as its new football coach. Hitchcock assumed his role with outstanding coaching records at other schools in the state. He replaced long time junior varsity coach C.P. Floyd, who resigned. The latter coach had a highly successful record with the JV team.

Faulkner State Junior College in Bay Minette assumed its new name after having been known as Yancey State Junior College. The college was named after prominent Baldwin Times newspaper publisher James Faulkner. Bob Morrissette, publisher of The Atmore Advance, was one of the guest speakers at the renaming ceremony. Morrissette had worked with The Times prior to purchasing The Advance.

Taylor’s Store in Lottie, a popular area landmark, was destroyed by fire in early 1970. The Dallas Taylor store was the favorite gathering place for many residents of that community.

Atmore lost two of its prominent citizens in the winter that year. C.E. Bachelor and Wheeler Crook passed away following sudden illnesses.

Crook, along with his wife, Mattie Lou, had operated The City Café on South Main Street for several years. This was one of Atmore’s favorite eating places. It was known for tasty home cooked meals.

Bachelor was a long time farmer here. He was also a friend of popular storyteller Jerry Clower. If you remember, I wrote about their friendship in one of my columns a couple of years ago. I met Clower at a Flora, Mississippi service station while working flood claims on the Pearl River about 18 years ago. Clower, who was ahead of me in line filling his truck with gas, told me he often came to Atmore to speak at farm related events prior to his gaining national fame as a comedian. He was friends to others here including Miles Horn and T.P. Whitten.

Little League and Babe Ruth officers elected that year were Ed Cole, Tony Albert, Grover Everette, Bill Hendrix, Robin White, H.J. Smith and Ollie Strawbridge.

Atmore Hospital was the recipient of helpful monetary gifts for the addition of a coronary unit.

Each week, church and civic groups brought in their gifts. Greater Mt. Triumph Church was recognized in February for its significant donation.

It was Gideon’s Day throughout the world, recently. To me, this is one of the most honorable organizations we have. The Gideon who spoke at our church brought a great message and you easily tell he was a dedicated man of God. Dr. Hugh Long, my Sunday School teacher, was away from us on that day speaking at a church somewhere in Alabama.

I am sure those who heard his message were uplifted in their worship of God. I am sure there are other dedicated Gideons in our community who were speaking at various churches near and far. I wish I had the names of all our local Gideons. They give much time and effort giving out bibles and speaking to church congregations.

It is a shame that Gideon literature is no longer received at certain public places across the country. Are anti-family, gay and atheist groups permitted to distribute their literature in public places? I honestly don’t know what the law says about this. Do you know?

More next week.

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