Eight O’clock coffee smell; ahhh memories

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I received a very interesting call last week from a man who identified himself as Doc Calin. He said he was calling about a column I wrote a few years ago about his dad who worked for Preacher Wells as his Atmore potato grading shed supervisor.

Doc, who now lives in Baldwin County, said he came across my article while visiting a cousin here.

I remember the incident in the mid 1950s. While I was out of college for the summer and working at WATM, I stopped my car at Mr. Steve Hubbard’s store in Nokomis to offer help to a man and his son whose rear tire rolled off their pickup truck. He was pulling a trailer loaded with empty Irish potato sacks. The man said Preacher Wells needed those bags right away. I told them to hop in and I would take them to Atmore.

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As we got into town, I learned “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 because 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.

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 and his son a ride to the potato shed. But that fragrant coffee aroma stayed with me all day. Even today Ouida and I still drink that Eight O’clock coffee. A bag goes a long way at our house.

Thanks to Doc for refreshing those Memories from that eventful day in the mid 1950s.

Now lets take a look at some people, places and events from 1986.

Green lawn 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 Post No. 90. A World War 2 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 Toca 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. I would like to go back over there this Christmas, and watch the Cajun’s Christmas colorful parades floating on the bayous. These parades are especially popular in Pierre Parte and Lafourche Parish. I wrote earlier about my friend who lives on a bayou near Pierre Part. 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 these parades. He also has a well-known cousin who writes for those 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 hopefully he will have it ready for publication in the not too distance future.

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

Last week, 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 McDonalds 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 McDonalds 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.

Well, this week it is Auburn’s turn. It’s their turn to pull for the Crimson Tide to defeat the LSU Tigers. Last week, we all pulled for the War Eagles to knock off the Ole Miss Black Bears. But things went bleak for us in the final quarter as Mississippi pulled away and won the game. If the Tide drops this game then our chances for a national championship go out the door. But wait, there is more.

If Alabama wins the game and LSU or Mississippi State defeats Ole Miss later on then the Tide gets new life.

I’ll have more news next week.