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Looking back: Nothing much went on in Atmore; TV costs similar

Forty-five years ago there didn’t seem to be much going on in Atmore. Business owners were having some good sales and there did seem to be a rash of vehicle accidents in the area.

Helton’s Tires and Appliances were advertising their color televisions at, what they felt were good prices and maybe they were in 1971.

Helton was selling RCA products and according to the ads that was the brand everyone should buy, RCA. They had color televisions starting at $279 and a special on a 23 inch for $519.

Now I have noticed something about prices of various products and I find it quite interesting to see that, in the 45 years since, prices haven’t changed a lot. With most things it seems as if prices have gone up over the years, but with the invention of electronics, the opposite has been true. One could buy a steak for $1 in 1971, and you surely can’t do that today, but you can find televisions cheaper than $519. And we have all seen the prices of other electronics come down as the new wears off.

There was a rash of vehicle accidents during this time. One death occurred south of Atmore when a horse ran out in front of the driver. Both the man and the horse were killed in the accident. Five Mobilians were killed in an accident on I-65. In all there were eight people who were killed in vehicle accidents that week.

The WMC Ladies of the First Assembly of God were planning a fish fry with plates selling for $1.25. Now that sounds like a bargain.

Some things haven’t changed. Elementary school students look forward to Field Day every year when they get the day off to compete in games and have fun. Forty-five years ago Rachel Patterson Elementary School was getting ready for their special day.

A new apartment complex was opened on Patterson Street. and the first resident was presented with a key.

The City of Atmore received a grant of $113,000 from HUD to be used to help with the cost of a new water system.

The city was also trying to revitalize the United Fund.

Atmore Prison Farm offered the inmates the opportunity to get some education and experience in some work situations. They were offered shoe repair, tractor mechanics, welding and heavy equipment and farm machinery.

I, for one, think this was an excellent program. You have read my views before about the need of keeping those in prison busy. I think the more they work at something, the less time they have to get into trouble. Imagine, if you will; spending day after day with nothing to do. Why not learn a trade, take some classes or whatever else the prison could offer? The way it seems to me is that a person is better off keeping busy than just sitting or lying around all the time. Now, I am no expert, so there may be reasons that there are not more of these programs offered and I don’t mean to suggest that those in charge of the facilities are the reasons for these problems. Those who run and operate our prison system are doing the best they can with the the resources they have.