Billy Gates is a staple in Atmore community

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Billy Gates should have been included in an earlier column when I offered complimentary toasts to some of Atmore’s finest. It was not the fact that he was overlooked, moreover I just wanted to lead with him in this column today.

This man has been the total story related to the military and veterans here for several years now. A retired school instructor in the industrial and mechanical department at ECHS, he is the current face and voice of many military and veteran organizations in Atmore.

You will also find him and his dedicated staff out front at our spring and fall carnivals overseeing vendor booths, mostly those tasty sausage sandwiches, and at the Poarch POW WOW selling that very succulent roasted corn. But even more visible is his untiring efforts assisting retired and disabled veterans. He is always out-front in military parades, flag recognition sessions, veteran’s funerals and veteran Honor Flights. Almost daily, he sends out emails to veterans with timely and beneficial information.

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He dedicated time of service overseas, including receiving wounds, should foreshadow all his many accomplishments.

Veterans from all backgrounds find his advice and assistance most welcome and helpful.

So today we say thanks Billy. Now our community can really appreciate your sincere dedication and service.

That Super Bowl Sunday night generated a couple of noteworthy tidbits.

First, you really cannot totally blame Can Newton, the former Auburn Tiger quarterback, for Carolina’s loss. After all, the six or seven sacks on him that Denver mustered was not of his doing. But his loss of innovation and quickness were his to accept. The fact that he walked away from the press conference after the game had much to be desired. Of course, it had to be total devastation for him since his efforts were totally diminished by the Denver defense. Throughout the season, he would frequently be seen after many victories running around the football field making like an airplane. The spotlight escaped him after his team’s loss but you can be assured he will be back next year, leading his team to what he hopes will be another Super Bowl appearance.

By the way, the state of Alabama had a good representation of players in that game. And, one of the officials, Rusty Banes from Tallassee, played baseball for Q V Lowe at AUM in 1989-90.

Another note of interest about that game was the fact that 1.3 billion chicken wings were eaten by fans the world over. And many of those wings came from the state of Alabama. They say the number of wings eaten would stretch from Charlotte, N.C. to Denver, Colo. 53 times.

One thing about those wings seem so out of place. Why are they referred to as BUFFALO WINGS in certain parts of the country?

For the life of me I see no connection between buffalos and chickens.

In some news from years past and back in 1986, Coyotes went on a rampage and killed several cows in Little Rock.

Floyd bell and his son initiated a unique trapping method in an effort to snare these animals. The county animal control destroyed these “bandits” but not before concerned onlookers rode by his place to catch a quick view of them. Their skilful trapping enabled neighbor’s cow to gaze peacefully from then on.

In other 1986 news Ike Northrop, local well known merchant, was feted on his 100th birthday by many relatives and friends.

Ellen Maddox was named Chamber of Commerce Person Of The Year and Gerald Philen became the new manager of Blanton’s Roller Rink which was located at the old Graham Oil Company building.

Former Atmore resident Murray Greer passed away at his home in Eufaula. He had worked in an execute capacity for a number of years with Alabama Power Company.

The late Jeff McGehee took some time off from his busy traveling schedule to chair the 1986 Rotary Club sponsored Fiddlers Convention.

The Marianna, Florida native who was affiliated with our local telephone company often said Atmore would become his permanent home. But after an unexpected illness he moved to North Carolina where he passed away. Jeff was involved in numerous community activities and he was responsible for many telephone employees receiving good retirement and insurance benefits.

The Alabama Cattlemen’s Association presented an award to James Black upon retiring from Production Credit Association.

In 1974, R L Watson and Steve Peterson were named football and baseball coaches respectively at Escambia Academy. Steve, who is married to Tony Albert’s daughter served for a number of years as head baseball coach at Middle Tennessee University.

And, speaking of MTSU have you ever been up to that part of the country? If so you would have seen those many cedar trees growing there. I think I have never seen an area of our country where there are so many cedar trees. It is a short ride from North Alabama traveling somewhat toward Nashville. Isn’t there a town near there called Cedars of Lebanon?

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