National Guard was recruiting here, 30 years ago

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thirty years ago in 1985, the Alabama National Guard was recruiting new personnel. As of July the Alabama Guard was only slightly behind New York in strength and hoped to make up the difference to take over the top strength in the nation. Attention was being paid to the recruitment in several ways and one was that they set up a communication center and machine gun emplacement in K-Mart Shopping Center.

I never thought about recruiting for the National Guard. My husband was a member for several years while his brother retired after 20 years with the Guard. In 1961 (at least I think that was the year) my husband’s unit was mobilized because of the building of the Berlin Wall. I know that by the time the unit was deactivated he was ready to sever his ties with the Guard. He had also served in Germany in the regular army.

In Atmore, the city was getting ready to pave portions of 13 different streets. Bids were going to begin very soon. It was also announced that Alabama was losing jobs to foreign competition.

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This was 30 years ago and today that trend continues. From a company’s perspective, it saves them money, but from the workers’ perspective, they lose their income and ability to purchase goods.

It was also noted that the president of the Alabama Farm Bureau Federation said that the bottom had fallen out for farmers with prices dropping to new lows.

People were still trying to entertain themselves and the 21st Annual Rodeo drew a record crowd of 2,600 at the Atmore Saddle Club.

Rodeos seem to draw a large crowd every time. I know that I am in the minority but they don’t appeal to me. But then again, that is why there are different things for different folks. My idea of having fun would be boring to lots of others.

Atmore Boy Scouts, Steve Gibbs and Jerry Sasser III, with the support of Troop 26, were trying to earn their Eagle badges. They were commended by Congressman Sonny Calahan for their work of restoration of Williams Station Cemetery.

The Scouts have always been pretty good about cleaning up and helping to protect old cemeteries from the ravages of time.

There was an announcement of a death in Escambia County of an AIDS patient. I remember when each new case was watched and there were all sorts of rumors of how one could contract the disease. Today there has been progress made, but you don’t get a day by day account of each new case.

It just goes to show that people become accustomed to lots of things. The same thing happened during the war in Vietnam. In the early days, people who went to Vietnam were called ” observers” and there were reports each night on the news of how many were killed that day. Then it got to the point that there were too many to keep count of. I guess people just got used to hearing it every day.

Also, in the newspaper, there was lots of discussion about the value of generic drugs and whether they were good or bad. I know doctors don’t always agree about it.

One can save a ton of money if they use generic drugs and that is the main reason that I have changed all of my prescriptions to generic.

One of those name brand drugs that I did take was Lyrica and it now costs a small fortune. I don’t use it anymore.

One good news story was about the decrease in the price of groceries for the second month in a row.

It must have been a small decrease, as I don’t even remember it. All I remember is the prices always on the increase.

I realize that I am being a “Debbie Downer” today. I don’t mean to be at all. As my husband used to say, “at least I am on this side of the dirt.”


“Looking Back” is a regular column written by Lydia Grimes. You can contact her by email at